Next steps after being granted Croatian citizenship

Flags with Croatian design called "kockice"
Flags with a familiar Croatian design called kockice and a Croatian flag behind

PUBLISHED: 21.8.2023.

Did you just receive your Croatian citizenship, or are you soon about to become a Hrvatica or Hrvat? If so, congrats on starting your brand-new Croatian story. Croatian citizenship comes with lots of benefits and no downsides.

Just because you have citizenship, don’t think everything will now be easy. Many steps await you – from getting your passport to registering your birth. You could easily get lost, overwhelmed, and exhausted, but that’s the Croatian way!

Bureaucratic processes become more complicated if you live outside of Croatia. Certain documents can be obtained only from within Croatia.

This resourceful guide is the perfect starting point to learn what to do after getting Croatian citizenship. It reveals which Croatian documents you can obtain, how to get familiar with the Croatian bureaucratic system, and how to get help from vetted Croatian professionals to save you some headaches.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

What is next after obtaining Croatian citizenship

Basics to know about the Croatian bureaucratic system

First things first, be aware the Croatian bureaucratic system may significantly differ from the one in your home country. Inform yourself about the bureaucratic procedures before you even start with your Croatian citizenship journey. Once you become a Croatian citizen, you will visit state institutions often, at least initially, until you get all the Croatian documents you need.

Thankfully, we have a myriad of detailed guides on our site related to immigration, citizenship, healthcare, real estate, and language. Examine one by one to get familiar with the Croatian system, and feel free to contact us if you need professional help. Tiny tip: a guide on immigration words and phrases available here should remarkably help.

You will eventually have to enclose your foreign papers during various bureaucratic procedures. A guide on preparing foreign documents for use in Croatia available here will discover the essentials.

In addition, view our articles about Croatian daily life, people, culture, education, history, transportation, and rights to get to know the Croatian way of living. Remember, assimilation cannot happen overnight, but the more you know, the less painful it is.

If you haven’t applied for Croatian citizenship just yet, check out our detailed guides for:

  • Descendants (lineage/prirođenje) – view here
  • Members of the Croatian people (Article 16) – view here
  • EU/EEA citizens’ naturalization – view here
  • Special interest, including the outline for Sara’s personal application – view here
  • Spouses and life partners of Croatian descendants – view here

You can also view our master guide on citizenship which covers all cases here.

What is next after granting Croatian citizenship?

After you become a Croatian citizen, the government won’t just hand you a passport. You must first go through several steps and obtain some documents to finalize the process.

Note: Administrative costs of the below-mentioned bureaucratic procedures are available here.

#1 Take a solemn oath

The first thing to do is to take the solemn oath called svečana prisega. You will be called for the oath before your citizenship application can be finalized. MUP decides on the time and procedure, but the text you must quote is unique.

You must say:

Prisežem svojom čašću da ću se kao hrvatski državljanin/državljanka pridržavati Ustava i zakona te poštivati pravni poredak, kulturu i običaje u Republici Hrvatskoj.

Which translates to:

I swear by my honor that as a Croatian citizen, I will abide by the Constitution and the law and respect the legal order, culture, and customs in the Republic of Croatia.

#2 Get Decision on citizenship

Once your application for Croatian citizenship has been approved, you will receive a Rješenje o primitku u hrvatsko državljanstvo (Decision on the admission to Croatian citizenship) from the state/MUP/embassy. This document is formal proof that you have been approved for Croatian citizenship.

An administrative fee may vary depending on whether you applied abroad or in Croatia. In case you get a negative decision, you can complain. Read more about Rješenje here.

#3 Register in the Book of citizens

After you receive a Rješenje, you are automatically registered in the Book of citizens called Knjiga državljana. It is a unique register of everyone who acquired Croatian citizenship.

#4 Get domovnica

A domovnica is a document that serves as proof of citizenship and states when you were granted Croatian citizenship. It is often a requirement during different application processes in Croatia, such as enrollment in the Book of births, applying for a Croatian passport, and getting a birth certificate.

To get domovnica, you must be registered in the Book of citizens. Then you can request your domovnica at a consulate office abroad, at any registrar’s office in Croatia, or in the government’s e-Građani online service.

[Read: How to get domovnica – Croatian proof of citizenship]

#5 Register in the Book of Births

It is your responsibility to register to the Book of births called Matica rođenih. It contains information about people born in Croatia, as well as Croatian citizens born abroad. You can do this at a registrar’s office in Croatia or at a consulate abroad.

If you are not physically in Croatia, we can connect you to our expat-vetted lawyer, who can register you in Matica rođenih. Contact us for a referral using the form at the bottom to be connected with one.

[Read: How to register a person in the Croatian book of births (Matica rođenih)]

#6 Register foreign marriage or divorce

Whether you live in Croatia or abroad, you must register your foreign marriage or divorce at the registrar’s office in Croatia. They will enter your record into the Croatian Book of marriages called Matica vjenčanih. This is needed to accomplish certain procedures, for example, applying for health insurance as a spouse or adopting a child.

[Read: How to register a marriage or divorce in Croatia]

In case your spouse dies, you must also register their death to the registrar, no matter where you live.

[Read: How to die in Croatia: Part 1 (What happens right after death)]

#7 Get your Croatian birth certificate

Once your birth is registered from the previous step, you can request a Croatian birth certificate, called rodni list. This paper holds the data about you and your parents.

In addition to the birth certificate, you can also get an excerpt from the Book of birth. This is a similar but more complex document, which shows your eventual name changes and matrimonial status.

[Read: How to get a copy of a Croatian birth certificate]

#8 Get a passport

A Croatian passport called putovnica is proof of your identity when traveling outside of Croatia. Just like domovnica, a passport also serves as proof of citizenship.

A Croatian passport can be obtained at MUP, via e-Građani service, or at the Croatian consulate or embassy if you live abroad. You must apply for it in person.

[Read: How to apply for a Croatian passport]

#9 Get an ID card

A Croatian identity card is called osobna iskaznica. An ID card proves your Croatian identity and citizenship, gender, date of birth, address, and residence. Croatia is a member of the European Union, so you don’t have to show a passport when traveling through the EU/EEA member states – your Croatian ID card is enough.

It is mandatory for all Croatian citizens older than 18 with a residency in Croatia. However, other Croatian citizens can also get it. You can get it only at MUP in Croatia since embassies and consulates aren’t allowed to issue it.

If you do not live in Croatia and obtain an ID card while in Croatia, they will put your foreign address on the card.

[Read: How to apply for a national ID card (osobna iskaznica)]

This ID card will also grant you access to e-Građani (e-Citizens), which is Croatia’s government online portal offering a variety of services. It allows you to solve bureaucratic issues or get state documents online without visiting MUP, registrar, doctor, and other institutions. Through e-Građani, you can register a marriage, apply for a passport, register as a voter, and get a Croatian criminal background check.

[Read: e-Građani (e-Citizens) – Online portal for Croatian government services]

#10 Move to Croatia

Finally, with granted Croatian citizenship, you can move to Croatia under facilitated conditions.

If you are planning to move to Croatia, check out our repatriation guide, which serves as a checklist for your transition.

[Read: Available visas and residence permits for Croatia]

Where do I obtain my Croatian documents?

If you are in Croatia, you must submit the most applications to the policija aka MUP (Croatian police). View a list of MUP administrative stations in Croatia here.

To get certain documents, you have to visit a matični ured (register’s office). A list of registrar’s offices in Croatia organized by Croatian counties is available here.

If you are outside of Croatia, visit the closest Croatian consulate or embassy to get your Croatian documents. Find the nearest Croatian embassy to your home here.

You must apply at the authorized institution in person to get most of the papers. Logically, parents can procure documents for their minor children. An authorized proxy or a lawyer may do it for you, especially if you are a person with a disability. Our vetted lawyers can help get all these documents for you once you’ve been granted citizenship. Just contact us for help.

If, for any reason, you want to terminate your Croatian citizenship, view our guide on relinquishing Croatian citizenship here.

Need help with your Croatian citizenship application and document registration?

Interested in applying for Croatian citizenship but not sure where to start? We can point you in the right direction.

Our expat-vetted lawyer network can take care of your application from beginning to end. We have excellent English-speaking lawyers across the country that specialize in citizenship and are in constant communication with the ministry. These are the same lawyers who help us vet all of our information on this site. Learn how we built this network here.

You do not have to live in Croatia to take advantage of this service.

For one flat rate, they can:

  • Validate your claim (which includes confirming if you qualify and checking the citizenship status of your relative)
  • Prepare a plan specific to your case to ensure you have the best chance of approval
  • Target possible red flags and prepare solutions
  • Collect birth records in Croatia (new copies are required)
  • Confirm exact requirements with your embassy or consulate and coordinate with them on your behalf
  • Provide guidance on preparing a successful CV biography (and coordinating translation into Croatian)
  • Prepare your family tree
  • Prepare supporting documentation
  • Coordinate translations for foreign documents, as needed
  • Assist with any issues or questions that arise after submission. They are with you throughout the process from start to approval.

As part of this service, you’ll have a dedicated Expat in Croatia caseworker who will follow up periodically to ensure you’re getting everything you need. You’ll also be able to reach out to them as well if any issues arise.

Having Expat in Croatia and our lawyer network on your side will give you the best shot at approval. It takes 1-2 years on average for applications to be processed, so best not to risk denial. This is nationality, after all, and obtaining nationality is a big deal.

View reviews from people who have used our services for citizenship here.

To get help with your application for citizenship, complete the form below, and we will match you with an expert.

View our other citizenship-next-steps articles

Državljanstvo by MUP

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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