How non-EU spouses of Croatians can apply for residence: Guide for 2021

This post has been verified with an immigration lawyer and the ministry that handles immigration
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LAST UPDATED: 12/07/2021

Want to live in Croatia with your Croatian spouse or significant other? As the spouse of a Croatian citizen, you are entitled to residency in Croatia as long as you meet certain guidelines. Officially, your reason is called “family reunification” (boravak u svrhu spajanja obitelji).

Your path to residency will vary, depending on your nationality. If you are married to Croatian but also are an EU/EEA national, then head over here as this permit is a better match for you. The below post is exclusively for non-EU (third-country) spouses of Croatian nationals.

In this post, we’ve cover:

The facts are these…

All possible relationship scenarios

The Croatian government recognizes a variety of relationships and partnerships for the purposes of family reunification. We will go through each one in greater detail below.

#1 You are not yet married or are in a common-law relationship

If you are not yet married but plan to marry in Croatia, congratulations! Croatia is an excellent choice to get married [Read: How to get married in Croatia (if at least one spouse is a foreigner)]. The whole country is beautiful and you will surely enjoy it. Once married, you can proceed with your application for residency.

Alternatively, if you can prove you have been cohabiting (living at the same residence) for at least 3 years, then you can apply based on a common-law marriage.

#2 You were married within Croatia

If you were married in Croatia, then your marriage will already be registered with “Matica vjenčanih”, which means you should already have a marriage certificate. You’ll need the marriage certificate as part of your residence application.

#3 You were married outside of Croatia

If you got married outside of Croatia, but intend to live in Croatia, you will need to register your marriage with the Croatian Registry of Marriages known as “Matica vjenčanih” in Croatian. You and your spouse will need to visit the registrar’s office closest to your registered address in Croatia. A list of all Registrar’s offices in Croatia is available here.

You’ll need to provide:

#4 You are in a same-sex relationship

Same-sex partners cannot get legally married in Croatia. They can form a life partnership called “životno partnerstvo”. However, same-sex marriages that were registered outside of Croatia are recognized as marriages in Croatia. [Read: Same-sex life partnership in Croatia]

Common law same-sex couples can access the same rights as heterosexual same-sex couples with regards to family reunification.

#5 You are in a civil union or life partnership

Civil unions and life partnerships are recognized in Croatia as marriages, in almost every way. If you entered into a civil union abroad or entered into a life partnership in Croatia, the non-Croatian partner will qualify for temporary residence.

[Read: Same-sex life partnerships in Croatia]

#6 You are in a polygamous marriage

If you are in a polygamous marriage, temporary residency based on family reunification in Croatia can be granted to only one spouse.

How to apply for temporary residency as the non-EU spouse of a Croatian

For the purpose of family reunification or a life partnership with a Croatian citizen, a temporary residence permit can be issued with a validity period of up to two years.

Below are all the steps you must go through to apply for temporary residency as a non-EU spouse of a Croatian citizen.

#1 Prepare the required documentation

First, gather all the necessary documents. You’ll need:

  • Application form – Download it here or get it in person at MUP/diplomatic mission/consular office
  • Private health insurance – You will need to sign up for state health insurance once approved for residence.
  • Registered address where you reside with your spouse in Croatia
  • Marriage certificate (apostilled/legalized, officially translated if married abroad) [Read: How to prepare your foreign documents for use in Croatia]
  • Criminal background check *NEW FOR 2021*
  • Passports for both of you, with the period of validity 3 months longer than the period of validity of the temporary stay (If the passport is not in English, then you must have a copy notarized and translated into Croatian)
  • 30x35mm passport photo

Please note that the above list of requirements applies to all non-EU spouses who are third-country citizens. Of course, what you need to provide ultimately depends on the person you speak to at the police station and what kind of mood they are in.

Financial means

Starting from 2021, proof of financial means is no longer needed for spouses of Croatian citizens. [Read: How to show proof of financial means (as part of your application for residence in Croatia)]

Article 65 of Law on foreigners says:

(1) Član uže obitelji hrvatskog državljanina iz članka 64. stavka 1. ovoga Zakona za odobrenje privremenog boravka u svrhu spajanja obitelji ne mora dokazivati osigurana sredstva za uzdržavanje.

Which translates as:

(1) A close family member of a Croatian national referred to in Article 64, paragraph 1 of this Act doesn’t have to prove secured means of subsistence for the purpose of granting temporary residence for the purpose of family reunification.

If you are the spouse of a Croatian and also an EEA/EU citizen, then you should apply based on yourself. [Read: How EU citizens can get temporary residence in Croatia]

#2 Apply for a temporary residence

Once you have these materials together, you are ready to apply for a temporary residence.

You can apply at:

Given the new rules related to the pandemic, contact the police station or consulate/embassy in advance by email or phone to see if you need to set an appointment or if you can provide materials over email.

Provide all the above materials, as they ask for them. Don’t give them anything they do not ask for. Usually, they will provide you with a list of the latest requirements.

At this time, you’ll need to complete an application form, which will be provided to you at the MUP or diplomatic mission or consular office. It is not something you need to bring with you, but you can reference this one so you know what to expect.

Once the officer confirms that you have provided all necessary documents, they should ask you for your contact phone number. If they do not ask, make sure you give it to them and that it is written on your application (even though there is not a field for it). This is how you will be notified upon approval of your application.

#3 Wait for the answer from MUP/diplomatic mission

And now, you wait. How long? It varies, could be a few weeks to months. Don’t get agitated or impatient. It will take as long as it takes. You are legal to stay in Croatia while your application is in process, so there is no reason to get anxious.

That being said, if you require a visa to enter Croatia, then you should start your application as soon as you arrive. If you can enter Croatia visa-free, then make sure you apply for residence at least 8 days before the end of your tourist visa. However, MUP doesn’t like when people wait until the last minute, so best to start the process at least 2 weeks before.

Do not wait until the last minute before your tourist visa expires. If you do, there is a high risk the government will make you leave and return after 90 days. This most commonly happens with spouses who require a visa to enter Croatia as a tourist. [Read: How tourists are registered with the police]

#4 Pick up your residence card

You’ll be called back into the MUP or diplomatic mission or consular office once approved. At that time, your fingerprints and signature will be taken. Your application fee will also be due at this time. The officer will give you a payment slip that you’ll take to a nearby bank to pay. Bring the receipt back to MUP to show proof of payment.

In exchange, the police will give you a white card that you will need to present to pick up your residence card, so DO NOT LOSE IT.

You’ll then need to wait another 3 weeks for your residence card to be made. You may or may not be called to pick it up, so a good rule of thumb is to go 21 days to the day or after.

Administrative fees

Below are all administrative fees that you must pay. Do not pay them until instructed by MUP.

1. Administrative fee for issuing a temporary residence permit – 350 kuna

Payment information:
Državni proračun RH
IBAN HR1210010051863000160
Model HR64
Call to number: 5002-713-your OIB OR number of travel document if you don’t have OIB

2. Preparation of the biometric residence permit – 240 kuna

Payment information:
Državni proračun RH
IBAN HR1210010051863000160
Model HR65
Call to number: 7005-485-your OIB OR number of the case if you don’t have OIB

3. Administrative fee for issuing a biometric residence permit – 70 kuna

Payment information:
Državni proračun RH
IBAN HR1210010051863000160
Model HR64
Call to number: 5002-713-your OIB OR number of travel document if you don’t have OIB

This cost can also be paid in tax stamps. [Read: What is a tax stamp and why do you need them]

View other related posts


Sources:
https://mup.gov.hr/gradjani-281562/moji-dokumenti-281563/stranci-333/drzavljani-trecih-zemalja/281820
https://www.zakon.hr/z/142/Zakon-o-strancima

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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108 thoughts on “How non-EU spouses of Croatians can apply for residence: Guide for 2021

  1. John Stefanac
    August 27, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

    There are some errors in this process. I am Croatian but my wife is Australian, ie. Third country national.

    She never had to supply a birth certificate or university transcript. And most importantly the residency is only valid for 1 year. She needs to apply for renewal. we just submitted her renewal. Needed to supply same set of documents

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 29, 2018 @ 10:41 am

      Hi John,

      In response to the term of the initial permit, half of the government’s online resources state that a spouse’s permit is valid for 5 years, some say 1 year (per your experience). With regards to on-the-ground experience, I’ve only ever heard of cases where spouses have been given 5-year permits, and yet 3 people commented on this post saying they were given 1-year permits. I’ve updated the post to include a note that it may be either, depending on the situation. Thank you for the feedback!

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  2. Andy Obridge
    September 7, 2018 @ 2:04 pm

    Just two points that maybe you could clarify.
    Regarding HZZO cover. The office in Makarska would not let me apply until after I had my temporary permit. My UK EHIC was enough for both my Temp. permit and to exchange my driving licence. Of course when I had my Temp permit my UKHIC was invalid. I had to get written proof from NHS England I was no longer registered with them.
    Second point regarding the Croatian language test when applying for Permanent residency. I have seen on one MUP website, that I cannot find when I want it, is the age is 60 not 65 to exempt you from this.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 18, 2018 @ 2:53 pm

      Hi Andy,

      Could you clarify your question regarding health insurance?

      Regarding the language test, retired non-working adults over the age of 65 are exempt from the language test.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Alix
    September 26, 2018 @ 7:25 pm

    I’m Syrian nationalty and I’m getting married to a Croatian citizen. We are going to get married overseas not in Croatia. Do we have to visit the embassy of Croatia where we live or need to go to Croatia to do that . And after we get married overseas what do we need to provide the gov with after the marriage?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 22, 2018 @ 10:50 am

      Hi Alix,

      You do not need to visit an embassy. Get married as you plan to. Have the marriage certificate apostilled in the country where you get married. Then when you arrive in Croatia, have the certificate translated and notarized. Take it to the Registrar to register your marriage, then you can proceed with applying for residence as the spouse. Here is a link that should help: https://www.expatincroatia.com/get-married-croatia-license/

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Jhazzy
        June 19, 2021 @ 9:03 am

        Hi Sara,
        Just wanted to ask for an update on this one. Is it still the same up to the present? My Croatian bf and I planning to get married in Georgia. The apostilled marriage certificate is ok to be registered in Croatia and no need to go to embassy before right?

        Your response is always highly appreciated. More power to you.

        {reply}

        • Marija Tkalec
          June 21, 2021 @ 6:45 pm

          Hi Jhazzy,

          Yes, this post is still valid. You need an apostilled marriage certificate to register to Matica vjenčanih in Croatia.

          Thank you for the beautiful words (: Have the most wonderful time on your wedding!

          Warm regards,
          Marija

          {reply}

  4. Nancy Sebastian-Petrović
    November 6, 2018 @ 4:15 am

    We to Bosnia but my husband is Croatian citizenship.after are married we come back to Croatia.and we have our marriage certificate from Croatia.after we get that i go to Philippines coz my visa is only 3 months.and i need to go back to Philippines.So my passport i will change the status here in Philippines.when documents are done what visa should i apply to go back Croatia.And i have one question? Do i bring my son when i will visit mu husband in Croatia?he is my son before i get married to my husband.he is not his father.I’am a single mom when i married Croatian.can i bring my son to Croatia when i visit my husband there.thank you so much.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 11, 2018 @ 12:59 pm

      Hi Nancy,

      You won’t need to apply for a visa upon return to Croatia. If you plan to live in Croatia with your husband, then you need to apply for residence based on your marriage per the instructions in this post. You will be able to also apply for residence for your son as well.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Penelope Tolj
    November 21, 2018 @ 1:05 pm

    Hi. I have been married to a Croatian for 47years. I am Australian. If I apply for residency do I still book a return ticket and get travel insurance? Can I come back and forwards while waiting for residency?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 11, 2018 @ 12:44 pm

      Hi Penelope,

      It sounds like you will be applying for residency in Croatia. If this is the case, then you don’t need to get a return ticket or travel insurance. You will need to stay in Croatia while you await approval.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Penelope Tolj
        April 29, 2019 @ 12:08 pm

        Thank you Sara for your reply. Just to clarify a point.
        I have applied for extended stay and have a return ticket but I will be returning to Croatia. If in the mean time I pay the Health insurance fee and monthly payments and apply for citizenship before I leave do I have to repay the one year retrospective health fee again? I will continue to pay whole temporarily in Australia.

        {reply}

  6. U123
    November 23, 2018 @ 11:19 pm

    Hello im male 28 after i came in croatia i make Valid our marriage with croatian girl cittizen we make application for premesso since 1 month but
    they still didnt call us what to do and can you make a fast asnwer what to do ?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 11, 2018 @ 12:41 pm

      Be patient. It usually takes a lot longer than 1 month.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  7. Aleenah
    December 13, 2018 @ 8:01 am

    Hello Sara,

    I am American and my fiance is Croatian. We will be getting married in Croatia and once that happens the plan is to have me stay to him in Rijeka, Croatia. My question to you is about the recurring income. Once I finish up my contract in the armed forces I will not have a steady income (outside of the grants I recieve for attending classes for my masters degree) but I will have money in savings. Will I have to find work in Croatia in order to apply for residency if the amount of money he makes from his work is not enough to support us or will I be able to reference my savings or grant money from school as a source of income?
    That bit is a little worrisome. Thank you for your help!

    Respectfully,

    Aleenah

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 10, 2019 @ 3:22 pm

      Hi Aleenah,

      When applying for your permit based on family reunification, you and your spouse must have a combined income according to the amounts in this post. You don’t have to work, but your spouse does.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Dan
        January 19, 2019 @ 11:18 am

        This is not true. As long as you can show proof of resources of a certain amount you’re fine.

        {reply}

        • Expat in Croatia
          February 8, 2019 @ 12:02 pm

          Hi Dan,

          Would you share your experience?

          Regards,

          Sara

          {reply}

  8. Janice
    January 15, 2019 @ 9:25 pm

    Hi Sara,

    My question is whether being born in Croatia means that you are a citizen or if there are additional requirements that must be met? My husband was born in Zagreb and came to Canada when he was two.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 8, 2019 @ 11:57 am

      Hi Janice,

      I am in the process right now of researching if Croatia offers birthright citizenship. Stay tuned on that.

      That being said, if one of your husband’s parents is Croatian, then he is entitled to citizenship. He can apply at a consulate or in person in Croatia. It will go faster if he applies in Croatia. He’ll need to provide his parent’s domovnica (proof of citizenship).

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  9. Natasha luketić
    January 20, 2019 @ 12:06 am

    Hey Sara,

    So I have my temporary resident and will have to renew in April, the only issue is I work on a ship and will be going shortly after the renewal to work for 7months.

    Do you think it will be an issue??

    Thank you

    Natacha luketić

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 8, 2019 @ 11:52 am

      Hi Natasha,

      It should be fine if you are already renewed, but I recommend speaking to the police about your situation to be safe.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  10. Dan
    January 20, 2019 @ 6:48 am

    Regarding Aleenah’s question about proof of income for a spouse of a Croatian, there is no law requiring one of the two spouses to work. If you can prove sufficient funds in a joint bank account for example, that is enough. The latest info I can find from the Zakon o Strancima relating to non-EEA spouses of Croatians says:
    Članak 54.
    Državljaninu treće zemlje će se odobriti privremeni boravak ako:
    1. dokaže svrhu privremenog boravka,
    2. ima valjanu putnu ispravu,
    3. ima sredstva za uzdržavanje,
    4. ima zdravstveno osiguranje,
    5. nema zabranu ulaska i boravka u Republici Hrvatskoj,
    6. ne predstavlja opasnost za javni poredak, nacionalnu sigurnost ili javno zdravlje.
    Članak 56.a (NN 69/17)
    (1) Član uže obitelji hrvatskog državljanina iz članka 56. stavka 1. ovoga Zakona za odobrenje privremenog boravka u svrhu spajanja obitelji ne mora ispunjavati uvjet iz članka 54. točke 3. ovoga Zakona.
    (2) Državljanin treće zemlje iz stavka 1. ovoga članka iznimno ne mora ispunjavati uvjet iz članka 54. točke 2. kada se važeća putna isprava ne može pribaviti u diplomatsko-konzularnom predstavništvu strane države u Republici Hrvatskoj, a njegov identitet je moguće nedvojbeno utvrditi na drugi način.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 8, 2019 @ 11:51 am

      Hi Dan,

      Thank you for sharing!

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  11. Maud Lasić
    February 26, 2019 @ 5:25 pm

    Hi!
    I am French, married to a Croatian citizen. I have a permanent permit for a long time now. If I apply for citizenship, could I keep my French one or do I need to choose one or the other?
    Thanks!
    Maud

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 19, 2019 @ 11:08 am

      Hi Maud,

      Spouses of Croatian citizens are able to keep their nationalities. Ultimately, it will be up to the police so I would confirm with them.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  12. Jhonna Popadic
    February 27, 2019 @ 9:33 am

    Hi Sara,

    How I can get residency in Croatia? My husband is Croatian citizen but his living in London in his passport address is in London. When I go in police they say I can’t apply residency there since my husband not living there.

    Please give me some advice.

    Thank you
    Jhonna

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 19, 2019 @ 11:07 am

      Hi Jhonna,

      The police are correct. You and your husband must be registered at the same address in Croatia for you to apply for residency.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Abdel Kebbouche
        August 7, 2019 @ 8:56 am

        Hi there
        I am algerian national resident in uk Married to a croatian over 25 years my wife got her residency through my overstay before joining EU 2013. What’s the chance to apply for citizenship!

        {reply}

        • Expat in Croatia
          August 7, 2019 @ 1:49 pm

          Hi Abdel,

          You must live with your wife in Croatia for 8 years before you can apply for citizenship.

          Regards,

          Sara

          {reply}

  13. Therese
    April 18, 2019 @ 2:22 am

    Hello,

    I am a Filipino, married with a Croatian. We’ve been married for four years already. We got married in the Philippines but we would like to live in Croatia. We would like to know how is the process of registering our marriage and what are
    other requirements. We are going to Croatia at the end of this month and we would to know the information of registering our marriage. Should we do all the registeration in Croatia or to the nearest Croatian Embassy in the Philippines which is Jakarta? Looking forward for your reply. Thank you.

    Best regards,

    Therese

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 27, 2019 @ 12:08 pm

      Hi Therese,

      You should visit the Registrar’s office in the jurisdiction where you will be living to register your marriage. You’ll need an apostilled and translated copy of your marriage certificate in addition to your identification (passport/national ID).

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Amal
        December 17, 2019 @ 3:42 am

        Hi Sara,

        If you are able to receive temporary spousal residency in Croatia, are there any restrictions on how and where you make income? For example, can you work and travel easily with this residency through the EU if your home base is in Croatia? (I am a freelance musician).

        Sorry if I missed if this was addressed in a different post!

        Thanks so much!

        {reply}

        • Expat in Croatia
          December 19, 2019 @ 12:45 pm

          Hi Amal,

          No there are no restrictions on how and where you make your income. You just have to be able to prove your monthly income is enough to support the both of you (and your kids, if you have them).

          I am assuming you are the spouse. There are limitations on how much you can travel outside of Croatia per year with temporary residency. There has been great debate on this topic, as people are told different things by different people at different MUP police stations. The consensus seems to be that spouses can be out of the country up to 6 month per year. HOWEVER, I highly suggest you confirm this with your local MUP station and not assume, as it will impact your ability to apply for permanent residency after 5 years.

          Regards,

          Sara

          {reply}

  14. Blessing Nosakhare
    May 30, 2019 @ 7:15 pm

    Good day am a Nigerian and my fiance is a Croatian,I want to apply for a spousal visa and there is no Croatia embassy in my country.Should I apply through vfs or I should go to Croatia embassy in southafrica to apply.I anticipate your prompt response.

    {reply}

  15. Fernanda
    May 31, 2019 @ 9:48 am

    Dear all,

    I was hoping you could help me out with my questions. I am brazilian and currently engaged to a croatian guy but we live in Hungary.

    Would you be able to tell me if, in this scenario, I would be able to live or work in Europe?

    Thanks

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 13, 2019 @ 9:00 am

      Hi Fernanda,

      Since you live in Hungary, you would need to follow the rules in Hungary. You’ll need to speak to immigration where you live so they can inform you on the laws.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  16. Charina Pirkl
    June 3, 2019 @ 8:27 am

    Hi Sara,

    I am a Filipino and married here in Philippines to a Croatian. Currently he is working in Ireland and we want to live together either Croatia or Ireland. My question is, do I need to have a Visa if I want to live with him in Croatia? Ireland? or I just need Residence Permit together with my Philippine passport?

    Please give me some advice.

    Thank you..

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 13, 2019 @ 8:58 am

      Hi Charina,

      To live with him in Croatia, you will need a residence permit. The instructions on this post will help with that.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  17. Soilman
    July 20, 2019 @ 7:39 am

    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for the Valuable information that you’ve provided which I didn’t know about. Here’s my Story. I am a Palestinian carrying a Syrian Travel Document. I am Married to a Croatian Citizen and we have already registered our marriage in Croatia and got the Certificate. We currently live in Dubai. UAE but we’re thinking to move to Croatia soon. Do I have to collect all the documents you mentioned above, in order to apply for a long-term residency visa or is there any simpler way?
    To be honest, the Economical situation in this region is not doing so well, and we are planning to move out for good. This process will need several visits to Croatia before moving. But applying for a tourist visa is taking too long from my Area (1 Month) because the Croatian Embassy is located in Doha -Qatar. What do you advise me to do? In order to have a simpler way to Travel to my spouse’s home country.
    Thanks in Advance

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 22, 2019 @ 2:36 pm

      Hi Soilman,

      Unfortunately, there is not an easier way. You must first get a tourist visa to enter Croatia, then you can apply for residency per the requirements in the above post.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  18. Leroy Fernandes
    July 25, 2019 @ 1:21 pm

    Hi Good Day

    I am an Indian citizen just married to a croatian. My wife and me wants to apply for my temporary residence in Croatia , however we plan to work in Ireland. What chances to I have as an Indian spouse to work in Ireland being married to her.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 7, 2019 @ 1:36 pm

      Hi Leroy,

      If you plan to live in Ireland, then you need to speak to Ireland about your right to work.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  19. George Rodgers
    August 12, 2019 @ 11:03 am

    Hello,
    I am retired, British, and married to a Croatian. We recently moved to Zagreb from the Bahamas. Therefore I have no medical cover documents from the UK (they have to be processed in the UK and can take weeks) nor from the Bahamas. I understand that I need to register for O.I.B., then get health insurance (HZZO) before registering my residency application with the police. However, as stated, I have no medical documents other than a national insurance card from the UK. How should I proceed?
    Thank you.

    {reply}

  20. Charmain
    October 17, 2019 @ 10:04 am

    Good Day

    I intend on applying for a tourist visa and once in Croatia, my fiancé (who’s Croatian) and I intend on getting married prior to applying for a temporary stay permit. Is it required for me to change my surname prior to the application for a temporary stay permit? Can I proceed with the application with a passport on my maiden surname?
    My fiancé and I are confused as to whether I would be required to return back to my country to change my passport details i.e. surname.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 22, 2019 @ 8:22 am

      Hi Charmain,

      You are not required by law to change your surname. You can keep your last name if you desire. Just make sure all your documents match when applying for residency.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  21. julian bonpland
    October 22, 2019 @ 10:36 pm

    Hi, quick question, i currently have a Temp stay visa – other purposes – which does not allow me to work. If i get married to my croatian girlfriend will i be able to legally work and pay taxes in croatia?
    (I currently work as a freelancer and pay taxes in my country).

    Cheers.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 29, 2019 @ 12:30 pm

      Hi Julian,

      Yes, if you get married you’ll be allowed to work.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  22. Bob
    November 10, 2019 @ 4:23 am

    Hi Sara,

    I have a Croatian passport.
    I have a Domovnica.
    I have my document from Matica Rođenih.
    I don’t have an ID card.
    I don’t have an OIB.
    I don’t have an HZZO.
    I currently live in the USA, but shortly I will be leaving for Zagreb for an extended period (around a year). While I’m there, I’ll be staying in a friend’s apartment.

    My questions are:

    Which comes first for me — the chicken (OIB) or the egg (ID card)?

    Can I obtain an ID without actually having a permanent address in Croatia?

    On the “APPLICATION FOR THE DETERMINATION AND ASSIGNMENT OF THE PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (OIB)”, it asks for “MBG”. What’s that??

    Also on the above application, it asks for information about my parents — in particular, their MBG and OIB. They both emigrated from Pre-WWII Yugoslavia, so they have neither of those numbers. What do I do about that on my OIB application?

    I have two grown sons, both of whom want to obtain Croatian citizenship. Am I correct in understanding that the supporting documents they will need are my passport, my domovnica, my matica rođenih, their birth certificates (plus apostile and translations), their US passports, and completed application forms?

    Is it possible for me to obtain OIBs for them without their being present in Croatia?

    Many thanks!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      November 19, 2019 @ 3:53 pm

      Hi Bob,

      Here are answers to your questions:

      – You need an OIB first.
      – Yes, you can get an ID without a permanent address in Croatia.
      – MBG is your citizenship number.
      – For your parents, just fill out what you know.
      – Regarding your sons, yes all of those documents you listed are correct. Here are more resources: https://www.expatincroatia.com/apply-citizenship-croatia/

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Marth
        January 2, 2021 @ 2:58 pm

        Hi am Martha and married to a croatian man, we got married in my country Zambian southern africa, and we don’t have croatian embassy in my country, how do I apply and what are the requirements we need to be together in croatian.

        {reply}

        • Expat in Croatia
          January 3, 2021 @ 12:32 pm

          Hi Martha,

          You need to come to Croatia. You can enter Croatia without a visa if you enter with your Croatian spouse with a copy of your marriage certificate. Then once you find a place to live, you can apply for residence.

          Regards,

          Sara

          {reply}

  23. Odette P.
    December 10, 2019 @ 7:22 pm

    Hello,

    What are the customs in Croatia about spouse name ? Can she keep her family name or does she have to take her husband name ?

    Thank you !

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 13, 2019 @ 4:44 pm

      Hi Odette,

      Traditionally, the female takes the husband’s last name BUT it is not required. Anyone can keep their family name post-marriage.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  24. Çisem
    December 13, 2019 @ 3:48 am

    Hi Sara,
    I am Çisem and I am from Turkey. I got married to a Croatian citizien 2 weeks ago in Turkey and my spouse is in Croatia right now. Next month, I want to go to Croatia and as far as I know, I do not need visa since I am married to a Croatian citizen but we need to register our marriage in Croatia. I have read too many different things about this on internet and my spouse also could not reach any concrete result in there. Could you pls tell me how we can register our marriage in Croatia? What is the procedure?
    Thank you in advance

    {reply}

  25. Lynlyn
    January 1, 2020 @ 9:03 pm

    Hi,
    Im married to a Croatian here in Croatia, I just want to ask if it’s possible to have temporary permit to stay in Croatia without changing my family name in my passport to a married lastname?
    Is there any complications living here in Croatia without changing my old passport to a married name?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 7, 2020 @ 5:44 pm

      Lynlyn,

      If you changed your name when you got married, then all of your documents including your passport need to match. If you got married and didn’t change your last name, you don’t have to change your last name.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • zelza
        June 21, 2021 @ 7:12 pm

        hi sara!!
        I have the same concern as hers,
        Im a filipino who recently got married to a croatian citizen,and i change and put my husbands last name in our marriage certificate,now we wanted to apply for a temporary stay in croatia..Then police told us to first change my passport bearing my husbands last name before I can apply,Is there other alternative ways in applying for temporary stay using my maiden name still? Because in Philippines, releasing of Authenticated Marriage Certificate takes 6 months which is one of the requirements in renewal/changing of passpsport to adopt husbands last name.
        Or will it be possible as a filipino to apply a temporary stay in my home country thru the Croatian Embassy in Jakarta?

        {reply}

        • Marija Tkalec
          July 7, 2021 @ 12:48 pm

          Hi Zelza,

          Your documents must match when applying for residency which means that your name/surname must be the same on all documents. You should be able to apply at the Croatian embassy in Jakarta, but if you apply in Croatia, the whole process should go faster. I hope that I helped at least a bit. Good luck! (:

          Warm regards,
          Marija

          {reply}

  26. Penelope J Tolj
    February 1, 2020 @ 7:53 pm

    Hi Sara

    I have heard that there is a major change to residency requirements for spouses of Croatian citizens from non EU countries also.
    I have been told that if you have temporary residency already and have been in Croatia for at least one year that you now qualify for Permanent residency.
    Is this true?
    If so, how do I apply for this?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 17, 2020 @ 1:27 pm

      Hi Penelope,

      We haven’t heard anything about this. We also did some initial digging after receiving your question and couldn’t find any reference to this. Where did you hear this?

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  27. Penelope J Tolj
    February 1, 2020 @ 8:11 pm

    I found this information online.

    A spouse of the person referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article can also acquire Croatian citizenship even if he or she does not
    fulfil the requirements under Article 8, paragraph 1, points 1 – 4 of this Act, if he or she has been living in the Republic of
    Croatia for one year with the authorised stay.
    At the request of the Ministry of the Interior, the competent ministry, i.e. the central state office, shall give a reasoned opinion
    from which undoubtedly arises the existence of the Republic of Croatia’s interest in receiving the foreigner referred to in
    paragraph 1 of this Article into Croatian citizenship.
    Article 12.

    So maybe I can get residency without waiting 5 to 8 years?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 7, 2020 @ 2:28 pm

      Hi Penelope,

      As a spouse, you can get temporary residency once you move to Croatia with your spouse. However you will not qualify to apply for citizenship until you’ve gained permanent residency (which you can apply for after 5 years).

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  28. Matt
    March 24, 2020 @ 11:14 am

    Hi Sara!

    First, wonderful job you’ve done here. I used the information you provided to successfully land myself in Croatia fully prepared for all the bureaucracy and legal steps necessary to get married and obtain my family reunification visa. We were actually complimented at the courthouse for how complete our documents were!

    That said, I have a question and was hoping you could provide some insight or guide me in the right direction to obtain an answer. I was wondering if the family reunification visa allowed the right to work for a company based in a different country within the EU while I still reside in Croatia? There would be no travel involved as it is 100% remote work. Just trying to find some information on this before I pursue anything. Honestly not sure where else to ask this question!

    Thanks!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 24, 2020 @ 5:06 pm

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks so much for following! That is so great to hear!

      To answer your question, yes. You will need to pay taxes in Croatia on that income, so you’ll need to get a tax card at the tax office. Here is a full list of those offices.

      If you’ve got the time, would you mind writing a review about how our resources helped you on our Facebook page? We would love to share your experience with our Facebook fans. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/pg/expatincroatia/reviews/

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

    • Ryan
      May 8, 2021 @ 5:23 pm

      Hi Matt

      I’m hoping to do exactly what you are doing work wise. My wife is Croatian and we are planning to move from the UK to Croatia and I would like to keep my current job.

      My work is also remote from a laptop only and my company is based in UK. I was wondering if you could let me know your experience with the tax situation and what you needed to do.

      Many thanks in advanced
      Ryan

      {reply}

  29. Bruno
    March 24, 2020 @ 12:35 pm

    Great content, thank you! I have some questions, could you. help me?
    – Getting married with my Croatian wife, im a Brazilian, to get the perminent residency in somehow i need to speak Croatian?

    – If i het married with her, and have the Croatian residence, im allowed to Work in Germany without a Workvisa, just with my Croatian residence? Can i live in another European country with her?

    Thank a lot!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 24, 2020 @ 5:02 pm

      Hi Bruno,

      Thanks for following!

      – You will need to pass a language test to get permanent residency. You can read about the application requirements here: https://www.expatincroatia.com/apply-permanent-residency-permit-croatia/

      – You cannot work in other EU countries with a Croatian residence card. You must be an EU citizen to have that privilege.

      – You can live in another EU country with your wife, but you’ll need to check with those specific countries for their requirements. You’ll need to apply for residency in those countries according to their rules.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  30. MHJ
    June 19, 2020 @ 6:33 pm

    My husband and me both are indian. My husband shifted to Croatia in January 2018.
    Since then he has been living there and visits India every December.
    I had decided to shift to croatia in April 2020 but due to the pandemic my travel has been canceled. Croatian embassy in India is not accepting any visa requests(have been trying for 4 months now). Flights are available to and fro Croatia to India. But visa is not being granted.
    Is there any way in which my husband can apply for a dependant visa from croatia?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 22, 2020 @ 11:20 am

      Hi MHJ,

      Thank you for the question!

      Unfortunately, you can only apply for a residence permit from within Croatia. You’ll need to keep waiting until you can get a tourist visa. Once you travel to Croatia, then you can apply for residence.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  31. Carl
    August 18, 2020 @ 9:04 pm

    How does a third-country national wife take her Croatian husband’s surname?

    My concern arises because when they translated our marriage certificate when registering our marriage (we were married outside Croatia), what’s written on the part Surname after marriage is still my maiden surname, because the original certificate from my country doesn’t have part where it says name after marriage.. Will this restrict me if I want to use my husband’s surname.. what do I need to do in order to use my husband’s surname?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 20, 2020 @ 11:09 am

      Hi Carl,

      Thanks for the question! Do you have your husband’s surname on any other legal documents?

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  32. Christian Babic
    September 2, 2020 @ 6:15 pm

    Hi Sara!
    I´m croatian citizen who got married in Denmark with an argentinian woman.
    We will register the marriage in the Croatian Embassy of Denmark next week,
    Do you know if she can apply for Croatian Citizenship? Should we wait some time until she could apply?
    We do not plan to live in Croatia for now.
    Thanks!!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 7, 2020 @ 10:59 am

      Hi Christian,

      She does not qualify to apply for citizenship right now. For her to qualify, she would need to live with you in Croatia and hold permanent residence.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  33. Gian
    September 26, 2020 @ 11:05 am

    I have a family member Croatian residence permit, this is my 1st year but I am moving with my wife to Prague. Should I report to the police station and informe them, or should I just go to Prague and there won’t be an issue

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 29, 2020 @ 9:15 am

      Hi Gian,

      You must notify the police that you are leaving Croatia permanently. You should notify HZZO as well.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  34. julian bonpland
    October 19, 2020 @ 10:36 am

    Hi All,

    A bit out of topic. Once you get married, is it possible to apply for croatian language courses provided by the government?
    I know that in some EU countries its free and mandatory.

    Cheers,
    Julian

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 20, 2020 @ 9:09 am

      Hi Julian,

      There are existing free courses offered by the University of Zagreb that anybody can take. Here is a list.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  35. Chanikan Worakhunt
    April 16, 2021 @ 1:52 pm

    Hello, i’m Thai, right now living in Sweden with my Croatian boyfriend. We are in a life partnership and planning to move to Croatia together this August.

    My question: Which requirements do I need to show? Is it under the condition of the topic “How to apply for temporary residency as the non-EU spouse of a Croatian” that you informed?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 28, 2021 @ 9:33 am

      HI Chanikan,

      The requirements are in the above post.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  36. Arietta
    June 2, 2021 @ 9:21 pm

    I am from the UK and my partner is Croatian.
    We plan to get married in the near future and I want to move to Croatia.
    I have a 7 year old daughter who is not my partner’s biological daughter. If we were married, given that she is a minor and I am her legal guardian, would she also qualify for the family reunification visa? Obviously leaving her in the UK alone isn’t an option!
    I can’t seem to find any answers on this and the embassy don’t understand that she is not my partner’s child.
    Can anyone help?

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 6, 2021 @ 1:13 pm

      Hi Arietta,

      You can apply your child for family reunification. Good luck!

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  37. Meena
    June 4, 2021 @ 8:43 am

    Hai Sara
    I am meena from india . My husband got a offer from Croatia I want to conform some details which I mentioned below:
    1. My husband got work permit and stay permit from crotian ministry through his employer . By this help can I apply visa for myself .
    2. Can you tell me is any way or visa type is possible to apply a visa from india
    Thanks & regards
    Meena

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 6, 2021 @ 2:20 pm

      Hi Meena,

      You can apply for family reunification after 1 year, but not before. Family reunification is a situation when the family of a resident or citizen gets residency based on their family relationship.

      However, you can see all other types of Croatian visas here: https://www.expatincroatia.com/types-croatian-visas-enter/ For India, you need a visa to enter Croatia.

      Good luck (:

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  38. SkyHigh
    June 22, 2021 @ 4:09 am

    Hello,
    What would the process be for same sex marriages? I am Croatian and my wife is a United States Citizen. Since Croatia does not acknowledge same sex marriage, is there a way for her as a U.S. citizen to gain residency and eventually Croatian citizenship?

    {reply}

  39. jon
    July 13, 2021 @ 11:17 pm

    How do Marija and Sara,
    As ever thank for all your help and advice.
    I have been here in Croatia for 3 years or so and the bureacracy as you so often allude to is mind boggling!
    I’d appreciate your thoughts on my situation.
    I have a temporay residency here in Croatia that thanks to Brexshit has just reverted to the beginning again! so I have 5 years to go before I can get a permanent one.
    I have a Serbian girlfriend who has no claim to Croatian residency. We are intending to get married so we can be together full time. Would it be better to get married in the UK or here in terms of a speedy (ha ha) resolution. Are you aware of any problems with her getting a temporary visa because I am a UK citizen on a temporary residency card?
    Many thanx
    jon

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 15, 2021 @ 4:53 pm

      Hi Jon,

      Thank you for your support! We are always glad to hear that we helped someone (:

      We have an article on how to get married in Croatia. If you read it, you might get the feeling of whether the UK or Croatia is a better option for you two. Things shouldn’t get complicated in Croatia if you prepare the required documentation on time. You can view our article here: https://www.expatincroatia.com/foreigner-married-croatia/

      Regarding the temporary stay for your future wife, she should apply for temporary residence based on family reunification. It is called “spajanje obitelji” in Croatian.

      Congrats and good luck,
      Marija

      {reply}

  40. Lulu
    July 14, 2021 @ 11:55 am

    Question about ordering Marriage Certificates: my husband and I were married in the US but now have a translated Marriage Certificate at Matični Ured as part of my citizenship process—can we order a new copy from them? Thanks for the solid info as always!

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 15, 2021 @ 4:39 pm

      Hi Lulu,

      You should be able to get a copy from Matični ured. Thank you for reading Expat in Croatia (:

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  41. Erwin
    July 17, 2021 @ 5:16 pm

    Hi Ms. Sara!
    My mom married croatian national for 25 years and she’s already got her citizenship, is it possible for me to apply a residence permit under the family reunification category? I came here in croatia last september 2019 as tourist and found a job, so i got temporary working and residence permit applied by my first employer and then by 2020 i got a new job with other firm and got another new working and residence permit. Thanks in advance! God bless!

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 22, 2021 @ 3:33 pm

      Hi Erwin,

      This is excellent news, congratulations! It seems that you really enjoy your stay here (:

      Does your mother have a residence in Croatia? If the answer is yes, then you should be able to apply for family reunification.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

      • Nikola
        July 28, 2021 @ 1:50 pm

        Hello, I have a question regarding the reunification of the family. I am a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, my wife is a citizen of the Republic of Nigeria. We got married in Seychelles. I work in a Germany and in German company, but I travel home often and live at home. I am interested in what are the options for family reunification in Croatia, since in Nigeria the German embassy waits up to 48 weeks for an interview.

        {reply}

        • Marija Tkalec
          August 24, 2021 @ 3:57 pm

          Hi Nikola,

          All options are mentioned in this article. It sounds that the option “#3 You were married outside of Croatia” is for you. Steps are listed in the section “How to apply for temporary residency as the non-EU spouse of a Croatian”.

          If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask.

          Warm regards,
          Marija

          {reply}

  42. Antonio
    July 25, 2021 @ 4:18 pm

    Hi Marija, dobar dan.
    I am Croatian but live in the UK. I am planning to go back to Croatia next month, where I will meet my non EU fiancee (from Asia, she needs a tourist visa), and get married.
    Is there any possibility of her getting a temporary residence permit to stay in Croatia after we get married, while I go back to the UK as I work here? Our goal is for her to join me here in the UK next year, but it would make things a lot easier and simpler if she could stay in Europe until then!
    Or is the temporary residence permit only if both will be living together in Croatia?
    Hvala

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 30, 2021 @ 12:25 pm

      Hi Antonio,

      She can only get a residence permit in Croatia if you are both living in Croatia at the same address for at least 183 days each year.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  43. Nikola
    July 28, 2021 @ 2:11 pm

    Hello, I have a question regarding the reunification of the family. I am a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, my wife is a citizen of the Republic of Nigeria. We got married in Seychelles. I work in a German and a German company, but I travel home often and live at home. I am interested in what are the options for family reunification in Croatia, since in Nigeria the German embassy waits up to 48 weeks for an interview.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 30, 2021 @ 12:17 pm

      Hi Nikola,

      Your wife can live with you in Croatia per the instructions in the above post, as long as she lives in Croatia with you for at least 183 days per year. She can enter Croatia without a visa if traveling with you with proof of your marriage, then will need to immediately apply for residence based on family reunification.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  44. chris
    August 15, 2021 @ 10:28 pm

    hi, i am currently waiting for my permanent resident permit, i applied a month ago after four years of living together with my spouse in croatia and we have been married for five years now, the requirements was changed recently from five years living together to four years, can i apply for citizenship once i get the permanent id and do i also need to take the language exam since it is no longer required to do so when applying for permanent resident permit. Thanks

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      August 25, 2021 @ 4:46 pm

      Hi chris,

      Yes, you can apply for Croatian nationality after you receive permanent residence. However, if your Croatian spouse has received citizenship based on Article 11, you don’t have to receive permanent residence. I recommend this article for more information: https://www.expatincroatia.com/apply-citizenship-croatia/

      Spouses of Croatian citizens who meet the residence requirements don’t need to take the language test.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  45. Stu
    August 27, 2021 @ 1:58 am

    HI. Great site and very informative.

    Wondering if you could help clarify a few things.

    Situation:
    I am a UK national working full time for a UK company being paid in the UK and paying tax in the UK (which is paid by the company (PAYE).
    I have a son who lives in Croatia with my ex-wife who is a Croatian citizen.
    I am traveling back and forth between the UK and Croatia and while in Croatia continue to work for the UK company. I spend about a four weeks in the UK and a 2-3 weeks in Croatia.

    I have been told I should be able to get temporary residency based on my son being a Croatian national (family reunification).

    Questions:
    1. Does having Croatian temporary residency allow me to work legally in Croatia for a UK company?
    1a. If the answer is no, are there visas that I can apply for that allow me to work for that UK company and be paid by that UK company while in Croatia?
    1b. If there are, do these visas have a maximum stay limit?
    2. To maintain my temporary residency, do I have to be in Croatia for a minimum number of days in a year? Because I work for a UK company who deal with my taxes and need to continue paying UK tax, I can’t spend more than 183 days in a year in Croatia.

    Your advise on the above would be hugely appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Stu

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      September 3, 2021 @ 2:25 pm

      Hi Stu,

      Thanks for sharing your situation with us. Yes, you should be able to apply for temporary residence in Croatia on the basis of family reunification. Since your son is a Croatian national, I recommend you this post: https://www.expatincroatia.com/temporary-residence-for-spouses-and-children-of-eu-nationals/

      Yes, you can continue to work for your UK company. According to the Law on foreigners, your temporary residence will be cancelled if “you have stayed outside the Republic of Croatia for more than six months a year during your temporary stay.”

      Good luck,
      Marija

      {reply}

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