There are many paths to Croatian citizenship, one of which is based on lineage. If you have a Croatian ancestor, there are a couple ways you may be able to obtain citizenship. One is based on Croatian parents, and the other is based on relatives further back in your family tree.
Children of Croatian parents, in some cases, can register their citizenship rather than apply for it. This is a faster and cheaper process. Given that the current wait time for a full application can take as long as 2 years for the government to process, registration is more favorable if you qualify.
In this post, we cover:
- Differences between registering Croatian citizenship and applying for it
- Who qualifies to register Croatian citizenship
- How to register Croatian citizenship
- How to get help with your citizenship registration
The facts are these…
When registering Croatian citizenship, you are asking for something you are already entitled to. You have a birthright to citizenship based on origin.
The process of applying is for those who are using lineage or some other reason as their basis for gaining citizenship. In terms of lineage, a full application is required for grandchildren, great-grandchildren, spouses and adopted children, to name a few examples.
If you need to apply for citizenship, here is a post that explains the requirements and process.
If you are unsure if you qualify for citizenship, find out right now by clicking here.
If you were born after October 8, 1991 AND at least one of your parents was a Croatian citizen at the time of your birth AND you are younger than 21, then you qualify to register your citizenship.
If you were born after October 8, 1991 AND at least one of your parents was a Croatian citizen at the time of your birth AND you are older than 21, then you qualify to register your citizenship before January 1, 2023 (the deadline was prolonged in November 2021).
If you were born between January 8, 1977 and October 8, 1991 AND both parents were Croatian citizens at the time of your birth, then you qualify to register your citizenship before January 1, 2023 (the deadline was prolonged in November 2021).
If you do not fall into any of the above categories or you parents did not gain citizenship until after you were born, then you must apply for citizenship. To find out how you can apply for citizenship, click here.
#1 Collect the documentation
The application to register your citizenship must include the following:
- Completed application – Download it here
- Copy of your birth certificate (apostilled/legalized then officially translated and notarized)
- Copy of your marriage certificate, if you are married (apostilled/legalized then officially translated and notarized)
- Copy of your passport (notarized)
- Government-issued document that states when you were granted foreign citizenship, like an equivalent to a domovnica (proof of citizenship) – Some countries like the US do not have a domovnica-equivalent, in which case you must provide an explanation that this document doesn’t exist and state when you became a foreign citizen.
- Copies of birth certificates for both parents, even if one is foreign (apostilled/legalized then officially translated and notarized)
- Domovnica or certificate of registration for your parent who had Croatian citizenship at the time of your birth
- Any additional proof of former your Croatian parent’s life in Yugoslavia like a working book, military book, or old passport (this is preferred, but optional)
When putting together your documents, make sure:
- Apostilles are less than 6 months old
- Any documents issued by the Republic of Croatia are less than 6 months old
If you are unfamiliar with apostille, notarization and translation, please read our guide on how to prepare foreign documents for use with the Croatian government here.
If you need professional help gathering birth records, domovnica (proof of citizenship), or certificate of registration from the Croatian government, we can help! Click here to get assistance.
#2 File your application
You must register for citizenship in the country of your residence. If you live outside Croatia, you must file your application to register citizenship at the closest Croatian consulate or embassy to your residence. A list of all Croatian consulates and embassies outside of Croatia is available here.
If you live within Croatia, then you can register your citizenship at the closest administrative police station to you. [Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]
Take the entire application with all required attachments and submit it in person. While it will not take nearly as long as an application for citizenship, it will take some time.
The hardest part of your registration for citizenship will be getting all of the documents together. The documents like domovnica (proof of citizenship), birth records, and certificate of registration are especially challenging to get a hold of if living outside Croatia.
Many consulates and embassies are either closed or currently have limited hours, so it is best to get these kinds of documents directly from Croatia.
We have a team of expat-vetted immigration lawyers that specialize in citizenship. They all speak great English and can dig up the documents you need for your application.
They can also help with the translation and notarization of your foreign government documents. The cost for translation and notarization that will meet the requirements is substantially lower in Croatia than in foreign countries.
If you’d like help gathering documents for your citizenship registration, complete the below form. Once we hear from you, we’ll connect you with an expert.
Did you register your Croatian citizenship? What is your experience?
Read other citizenship articles
- 11 things to know before applying for Croatian citizenship
- All about the Croatian citizenship test
- Apostille versus full legalization of government documents
- How children of Croatians can register their citizenship
- How to apply for Croatian citizenship
- How to get proof of citizenship (domovnica)
- How to prepare your foreign documents for use in Croatia
- How to relinquish Croatian nationality
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.