How to get proof of citizenship in 2020 (domovnica)

Domovnica - Proof of Croatian nationality
Image by Slobodna Dalmacija

Any person who holds Croatian citizenship can request a copy of their “domovnica”. Having a domovnica is important to have because it is needed when:

What is a domovnica?

A domovnica is a government document that states when you were granted Croatian citizenship. It functions as proof of nationality.

In this post, we’ll go over how to procure a domovnica for yourself or a relative depending on the situation.

#1 You have Croatian parents, but were not born in Croatia

If you’re Croatian diaspora but were not born in Croatia, then you will not be automatically registered in Matica rođenih, which is the master registry of Croatian births. A Croatian citizen born in a foreign country can be registered after the fact in Matica rođenih. Only after registration can the citizen get their birth certificate.

The request for Croatian citizenship can be submitted at any police department in Croatia or at a Croatian consular office in foreign countries. For people with disabilities, the request can be submitted by their legal representative or authorized person with power of attorney.

To make the request for registration and the associated domovnica, you will need to provide:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • An original birth certificate, not older than 6 months
  • An original marriage certificate, if applicable, not older than 6 months
  • Proof showing family relationship with your parents, grandparents or grand-grandparents
  • Background check from your country of birth, not older than six months
  • A certified copy of a valid identity document

After a decision is made on your application, you will be notified by mail whether or not it was approved. If your request was accepted, then you will receive Croatian citizenship after you pay the fee of 1.050 kuna. If your request was rejected, you will only need to pay an application fee of 35 kuna.

After your application is approved, your domovnica can be picked up at any Registrar Office in Croatia or in a Croatian Consular office abroad.

#2 You were born in Croatia and/or have citizenship through other means

If you were born in Croatia, you already have Croatian nationality. Or, perhaps you recently applied for and were granted citizenship. In both of these cases, you can pick up your domovnica at any Registrar office in Croatia or in a Croatian Consular office abroad. The cost for a copy of your domovnica is 20 kuna.

#3. You have Croatian parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents and need their domovnica, not your own domovnica

To get the domovnica of your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, you must prove the lineage between you and your family. As evidence, you can enclose either:

  • Your relative’s birth certificate or
  • Authorization from your relative verified by a notary public confirming your lineage.

Once you have one of the two pieces of evidence, you can purchase the domovnica at the Registrar office in Croatia or in Croatian Consular office abroad.

If your relative is dead and you need his/her domovnica, it is not possible to get domovnica. In this case, you can get written confirmation from the Registrar that he/she was a Croatian citizen. This confirmation can be purchased at the Registrar office in Croatia or in Croatian Consular office abroad. You can purchase it personally or via person authorized by the notary public.

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26 thoughts on “How to get proof of citizenship in 2020 (domovnica)

  1. Joaquín
    August 6, 2019 @ 4:54 pm


    What is the case if someone is a citizen granted because his great grandparents, do his newborn may be able to have to citizenship?


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

      Hi Joaquin,

      It doesn’t matter how someone got Croatian citizenship. If they have a child, then their child can get citizenship.




  2. Terentia Stefani
    September 7, 2019 @ 5:27 pm

    Hello Sara,
    My father was born in Lussingrande (Veli Losinj) in 1932 when it was still Italy. His family emigrated to the Italian mainland when his birthplace became Yugoslavia after WWII. He would like to move back to “Lussino” to the retirement home on the island and, when the time comes, be buried in our Stefic’/Steffich family plot behind the “Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate”.

    When vacationing in Veli Losinj a few weeks ago in August, he was told by the retirement home that he must first become a resident and cannot receive his residency until after 5 years of living in Veli Losinj before he can even apply to the retirement home. Since he is almost 88 years old, you can imagine his disappointment in receiving this news. He holds dual citizenship – his Italian passport show birthplace as Lussingrande (HRV), and his USA passport shows birthplace as Croatia! Can he acquire Croatian citizenship and then get his residency faster? I am currently living in Rome and have the same dual citizenship. It only took me a few months to get my residency since I was an Italian citizen, and Croatia is also a part of the EU and may have the same rules.

    Dad still lives in NY where he moved to in 1956 and we are trying to grant his final wish of living on Veli Losinj before it is too late. My Mom passed away in 2017 and he is now alone with us kids spread out throughout the USA, and me in Rome, but he wants to go back to his homeland.

    Thank you very much in advance for your attention.

    Kindest regards,


  3. Brad
    November 27, 2019 @ 1:47 am


    My Great Grandfather was born in otok BRAČ and left in early 1900. I am wanting to explore the possibility of going back for extend stays to know my heritage and larger family unit who still live there. To apply for DOMOVNICA for someone who died in another country (my pradjed) am I correct in starting this process by gaining initially a birth certificate from the consulate etc? and then getting this verified? AM I also correct in believing that I am entitled also to citizenship being third generation? Ive read many posts and answers on this site. Lots of information. Hvala Lijepa!


    • Expat in Croatia
      November 30, 2019 @ 3:59 pm

      Bok Brad,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      If your great grandfather was Croatian, then yes, you qualify to apply for citizenship. You will need to get proof of his citizenship, which you can do through an embassy or at a Registrar’s office in Croatia. You won’t be able to get his birth certificate from the Croatian government since he is passed and you don’t have permission. Proof of his citizenship and proof of your connection to him is all you need.




  4. Steve Kusic
    June 26, 2020 @ 4:46 am

    I received my Croatian citizenship in March of 2019. I applied through the consulate in Los Angeles.
    As of now the only proof that I have is the letter I received from the consulate.
    Will this letter be enough for me to obtain my Domovnica, and how do I obtain it.
    I live in the U.S. but I am planning on moving to Croatia as soon as possible. I also have a five year old son and I would also like to obtain Croatian citizenship for him as well as Croatian passports for the both of us.
    Any advise would be welcome and greatly appreciated.



    • Expat in Croatia
      July 1, 2020 @ 10:20 am

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for reaching out!

      You first need to request a copy of your birth certificate. To do that, you must first register with the Maticni Ured using the decision on your citizenship. Once registered, then you can request your birth certificate. Here are instructions:

      Next, you can use your birth certificate to get your domovnica.

      Registering with Matcini Ured can only be done within Croatia. I can connection you with a lawyer who can handle this on your behalf. They can also handle applying for Croatian citizenship for your child if you’d like. If you’d like a referral, please contact me by email.




  5. Ash Harrison
    July 9, 2020 @ 10:38 am

    i am from New Zealand my great-grand parents settled in New Zealand from Croatia how to i get there
    Domovnica, and am i eligible my uncle was able to get his citizenship so i assume i can ?


    • Expat in Croatia
      July 15, 2020 @ 10:22 am

      Hi Ash,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Based on the information you’ve provided, yes you qualify to apply for citizenship. You can request their domovnica from the closest embassy or consulate to you as long as you can prove your connection to them.

      However, the fastest way to get the domovnica is if you engage a lawyer here in Croatia. They can get the domovnica and prepare your citizenship application for you. If you’d like to be referred to a vetted immigration lawyer, please contact me by email.




  6. Halash Basich
    July 23, 2020 @ 8:33 pm

    My great grandfather came to Mexico from Brac Island (when it belonged to Austria), can I ask for the croatian citizenship ? if so how can get his birth certificate or other proof?


  7. Heather Schreiber
    August 12, 2020 @ 3:48 pm

    Hi Sara,

    I am looking for a bit more information regarding applying for my Croatian Residency/Passport. I qualify for it through my grandmother and as far as I am aware to need to get a domovnica first before applying. Are you able to help with what exactly I need to get it?

    And any further information for the application process would be much appreciated.

    I will be doing it at the Croatian Embassy in the United Kingdom.




    • Expat in Croatia
      August 13, 2020 @ 1:12 pm

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks for the question!

      You need to prove your grandmother was a Croatian citizen. This can be done by providing her domovnica or her birth certificate. I can help with both.

      Here is the full process for applying for citizenship including the requirements:

      To get help with the domovnica/birth certificate, please email me at [email protected] or submit the form at the bottom of the post about citizenship.

      Speak to you soon!




  8. Stephen
    August 27, 2020 @ 2:35 am


    I enjoyed this article and the comments below. In my case, my grandmother was Croatian, born and raised, but later moved to another country due to marriage. I have all of her personal documents stating her background, and would like to apply for Croatian citizenship through her. My question is, since this is my mother’s mom, does my mom need to claim her citizenship first, or can I apply directly using my grandmother’s Dominica etc? Thanks


    • Expat in Croatia
      August 31, 2020 @ 4:45 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      Good question!

      You can apply directly based on your grandmother’s domovnica. Your mother does not need to apply for citizenship first. That being said, if your mom has any desire to get citizenship, it would be more efficient for you both to apply at the same time.

      If you’d like to be connected to a vetted immigration lawyer who can prepare your application, please send me an email at [email protected].




  9. Natalia
    August 31, 2020 @ 4:33 pm


    I was born in Switzerland in 1983 to Yugoslav parents. After the fall of Yugoslavia, my parents and I received Croatian passports, but around the same time we also became Swiss citizens.

    As stated, I did have a Croatian passport around 1993, but it was never renewed. Do I qualify, and how do I go about getting this domovnica thingy?

    Many thanks! 🙂


    • Expat in Croatia
      August 31, 2020 @ 4:53 pm

      Hi Natalia,

      You can request your domovnica at a consular office abroad or at a police station in Croatia. The requirements are included in the above post. Once you get it, then you can apply for a new passport. Passports are only issued in Croatia.




  10. Stacey V
    September 9, 2020 @ 6:40 pm

    Hi Sara,
    thank you for all your wisdom and advice, love your page!

    I’ve scoured your website and not come across this question/answer.

    My husband was born in 1968 in Ogulin, Yugoslavia – emigrated to Canada in 1985.
    We checked what we needed with the consulate prior to leaving, had Family House & land in Croatia gifted and power of attorney documents done in Canada with Notary and got ourselves to Croatia.

    Well, the book of births does not have my hubby in it and the lengths we are having to go to prove he has rights to the house to enable citizenship has not exactly been easy.
    Any tips on proving he was born in Croatia when he’s not in the book of births. All his lineage is Croatian.

    We are also under a time crunch as we are considered tourists and need to achieve this prior to Nov 12th, eek, when Police expect us to leave should we not get this sorted by that date.

    Any advise is much appreciated, my apologies if this is confusing…as it is for me too 🙂



    • Expat in Croatia
      September 14, 2020 @ 11:34 am

      Hi Stacey,

      Thank you for reading! I’m so glad you love the site. 🙂

      Hmm, this is a tricky one. My recommendation would be to consult with an immigration lawyer. I can recommend a vetted one who can help you sort all of this out. For a referral, please email me at [email protected].




  11. Diana
    September 15, 2020 @ 2:54 am

    Hello Sara,

    Your website and the work you do is amazing soo helpful thank you!

    I have a couple of questions I’m hoping you can assist me with. My parents are Croatian and immigrated to Canada in 1977 and I was born in Canada. I got my “Rešenje” letter in 2009 through the Embassy in Ottawa (I used the connection/lineage with my mom she has her Domovnica paper) but I don’t have my Domovnica paper and I never applied for Croatian passport. My husband was born in Croatia in 1976 immigrated to Canada in 1989 and is a dual citizen too (he has the whole kit and caboodle Croatian passport/osobna/OIB). We have an 11 month old daughter born here in Canada and we want to apply for her Croatian citizenship. We are moving permanently to Croatia next summer. My first question is can we use me and my Rešenje letter for her to qualify/apply or does it have to be through my husband because he is the one born there? The problem is my husband’s family name spelling on his rodni list and all his Croatian documents is Fabjanovic and on his Canadian immigration paper and all Canadian IDs is Fabijanovic (his father changed the spelling on purpose for all of them when they immigrated). Our daughter’s family name is Fabijanovic just like my husband’s name here in Canada. I kept my maiden name so I’m hoping we can apply for her using her lineage with me so we can avoid the whole name situation.

    My second question is can we apply for my Domovnica paper and her citizenship once we get to Croatia (we already have a house there so we will have a prebivalište to give). If I can I would love to avoid having to go through the embassy to get everything done because of the whole COVID situation and it’s a long processing time with them. Once this citizenship hurdle is out of the way we can both then get our passports/osobna/OIB/zdrastveno done with the administrative police.

    I apologize for the lengthy message I didn’t want to leave any important info out.

    Big thank you in advance!


    • Expat in Croatia
      September 16, 2020 @ 8:16 am

      Hi Diana,

      Thanks so much for reading! I’m happy to hear you’ve found the resources helpful. 🙂

      Your daughter’s citizenship can be requested using the citizenship of the parent who was a citizen at the time of her birth. It sounds like that applies to both of you. In which case, you can use your citizenship if it is easier.

      Yes, you can do all of this in Croatia once you have a firm address here. If you need any help with this, I can connect you to a local lawyer who can handle these for you. Email me if you need assistance.




  12. Edina
    October 3, 2020 @ 6:27 pm

    Hi Sara, I have a domovnica issued to me under my maiden name. I’d like to apply for citizenship for my daughter but I think I first need to update my domovnica to my married name. Do you know I can can do this? I live in the USA.


    • Expat in Croatia
      October 6, 2020 @ 8:12 am

      Hi Edina,

      You shouldn’t have to change your name on the domovnica as long as you can provide government proof of your name change from your maiden name to your married name.

      If you need any additional guidance on citizenship, feel free to contact me.




  13. Kathy
    October 11, 2020 @ 1:51 am

    Hi Sara,

    I am starting the process to see if I may obtain my Croatian citizenship. Like one of the previous writers, my grandparents were from Lussinpiccolo (now Mali Losinj). In fact my great grandfather is buried there. The following is what I know about their birthdates and my grandmother’s arrival in the the United States.

    Maternal Grandmother
    Date of Birth: 1/19/1887
    Maternal Grandfather
    Date of Birth: 11/30/1880
    Exact Town of Birth: Lusinpiccolo (Now Mali Losinj Croatia)
    Year of Naturalization: Census denoted papers in 1910 (arrived in 1908) – Would have needed to live in US for 5 years

    Do you see the possibility of my obtaining Croatian citizenship?

    Thank you,


    • Expat in Croatia
      October 13, 2020 @ 2:29 pm

      Hi Kathy,

      Based on what you’ve shared with me, you qualify to apply for citizenship through your grandparents based on Article 11 of the citizenship act. If you’d like further assistance with gaining your citizenship, please contact me directly. I can put you in touch with a vetted immigration lawyer who can handle the preparation for you and answer any questions you have.




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