How to get married in Croatia

Want to get married in Croatia? If you or your intended is Croatian, this post is for you.

There are two options for getting married in Croatia depending on your personal preference:

  • Civil marriage
  • Marriage within the faith (“faith” usually meaning Catholicism, but all faiths are recognized)
perfect-wedding-guide

Civil Marriages

First, you’ll need to make a few decisions, including:

  • Approximate time and location of your wedding
  • Who will your witnesses be
  • Changes to your last name, if any

Next, visit the Registrar’s Office closest to your registered address in Croatia between 45 and 30 days in advance of your intended wedding date. You will need to declare your intention to be wed. Both future spouses will need to be present. At this time, the administrator will inform you if there are any impediments to your desired date, location and last name.

Each of you will need to provide the Registrar with specific documents before you can be issued a marriage license. Your intended future Croatian spouse will need to submit:

  • A document that proves their identity
  • A document that proves their citizenship

You, if you are non-Croatian, will need to submit:

  • An apostilled original of your birth certificate issued in the country of your birth in accordance with international treaties and conventions and that is notarized and translated into Croatian
  • A certificate of free marital status in accordance with international treaties and conventions and translation into Croatian. (It is best you turn to the embassy of your country of origin for this, as requirements may vary from country to country.)
    • Example: If a US citizen wishes to marry a Croatian, they may obtain the certificate of free marital status by declaring under oath in front of a consular officer and state that he or she is an American citizen, unmarried, and that a marriage in Croatia will be recognized in the United States. You can obtain this document at the United States Embassy in Zagreb with a US passport. The $50 fee must be paid in cash (dollars or kuna) or by credit card.
  • A certificate there are no obstacles to the marriage in the Republic of Croatia, and that the marriage will be recognized in the country of your origin, translated into Croatian. (Usually the certificate that you are not already married in the country of your origin satisfies this requirement as well.)
  • A document that proves your identity
  • A document that proves your citizenship

In addition, you’ll also need to provide:

  • Copies of the passports for your witnesses
  • Payment of the marriage license fee (approximately 210 kuna at the time of this post). This fee covers compilation of the minutes of the marriage application and the act of marrying before the magistrate.
  • If you do not speak Croatia, you will need to bring an official court translator with you to the Registrar.

Ceremonies for civil marriages are usually performed on the premises of the Registrar’s office. If you wish to be married elsewhere, you will have to pay an additional sum, determined by the distance of your desired location to Registrar’s office, the time of marriage, and whether the date you selected falls onto a working day, Sunday or a holiday.

Getting Married within the Faith

Couples who want to marry within faith will also have to visit the Registrar’s Office.

The same documents required for civil marriages will need to be submitted, but the fee system is somewhat different. The compilation of minutes will cost 70 kn of state stamps (or “državni biljezi” in Croatian). They can be purchased in offices of Croatian financial services called “FINA”, in post offices and on “TISAK” news stands. Additionally, 20 kn of state stamps is due for issuance of a confirmation that you fulfill the preconditions for marriage.

Getting Married in Croatia
vjencanja-info

Keep in mind that confirmation on the fulfillment of religious marriage preconditions (e.g. “marriage license”) is valid for three months from the date of issue.

For church marriages, you will also need to sit down with the representative of the religious community that you belong to. The procedures required by your church may vary as well. For example, some priests may insist that the bride and groom undergo an engagement course prior to marriage.

A religious marriage ceremony can only be performed by a religious community official who has regulated legal relations with the Republic of Croatia. Once you are married, it is the duty of the official who performed the ceremony to send your marriage certificate to the appropriate Registrar’s Office.

Same Sex Couples

Unfortunately, in Croatia “marriage” by law is a union of a man and a woman only. In 2013, there was a national referendum proposed by the conservative association “U ime obitelji”, which fought for this definition of marriage to be entered into the Croatian constitution and relevant laws.

All counties in Croatia voted “Yes”, with the exception of Istra and Primorje-Gorski. (THANK YOU FOR NOT BEING HATEFUL AND IGNORANT!) Since the passing of this referendum, same sex couples technically are not married as far as the law is concerned, which means same sex couples cannot marry in Croatia using the above procedures. Same sex couples can register a life partnership. Here are the details on that.

Residence Permits Based on Marriage

If you are a third-party national (meaning you are not EEA/EU or Swiss) marrying a Croatian, then you may apply for residence in Croatia under the Family Reunification policy. Details on how to apply for this residence permit are here.

 

Sharing is Caring:

16 thoughts on “How to get married in Croatia

  1. Marija Tomlinson
    September 3, 2018 @ 4:09 pm

    Hi,
    Just to add some details that are new (I guess):
    1. Croatian citizens don’t need to bring birth certificate etc just their id card. Registrar can now access these documents independently (same documents you can get through e-gradjani). That will apply for Croatian witnesses too, name might be enough but have a picture of their id card on your phone just in case.
    2. If one or both foreigners that want to register marriage don’t speak Croatian they have to bring official court translator with them both for registration and for the ceremony. You can find certified translators here http://www.sudacka-mreza.hr/tumaci.aspx
    3. You can normally register intention to marry not earlier than 45 to no less than 30 days before your desired date. There are exemptions to this but better stay within these limits. Collect all your documents and visit your registrar some 10 days before that 45-to-30-days-before period just to make sure you have everything. Some things can be collected fast but if you forgot something needs to be apostilled you’ll have to send it back to your country of origin and it will take some time to get it back and then you’ll also have to get it translated to Croatian (again by certified translator) and you don’t need to worry if you’ll be late for no less than 30 days before deadline.
    4. No older than 3 months relates to the day of submittion i.e. registration, not the day of ceremony
    🙂

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 19, 2018 @ 10:11 am

      Hi Marija,

      Thank you for the input! I’ve updated the post accordingly. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  2. Michelle cirujales
    January 11, 2019 @ 5:58 pm

    Hello sara
    Me and my croatian boyfriend have 4 months old baby and i live right now in philippines with my baby.. we have plan to move in croatia what kind of visa do i need to apply and do our son also need visa?
    Thanks in advance.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 8, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      You can apply for family reunification residence permit after you move here and set up a residence with your boyfriend.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Thakali
    March 13, 2019 @ 10:33 am

    They asked me a proof that I have residency here. Do you know what can that be?
    My landlord contract, my Croatian residency ID..?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 19, 2019 @ 10:49 am

      Hi Thakali,

      They are asking for your Croatian residency identification card.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  4. Britny
    April 26, 2019 @ 11:27 am

    Thank you for these informative posts. Very appreciated. One thing I’m wondering is I’ve found a company in the US that can apostille my birth certificate for me so that’s one thing down. But do I need to wait until it’s translated into Croatian to do the notary? I want to be sure I do things in the right order to prevent me having to send back my document to the US.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 27, 2019 @ 11:55 am

      Hi Britny,

      You shouldn’t need a company to get your birth certificate apostilled. You just sent it to the Secretary of State for whichever state the document is from.

      After it is apostilled, you can get it translated and notarized here in Croatia. They will translate the apostille as well.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Lyn
    April 30, 2019 @ 3:44 am

    Me and my Croatian bf planning to get married this December in Croatia I’m a Filipino citizen what are the documents needed pls I’m hoping some1 has an opinion thank you

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      May 15, 2019 @ 11:01 am

      Hi Lyn,

      You’ll need your passport and an apostilled version of your birth certificate.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  6. Lill
    May 26, 2019 @ 7:34 pm

    Hi i m indian my boyfriend is croatian. I hv Schengen business Visa multi entry. We want to marry in croatia in july end. What documents do i need and translation of documents can bé done in croatia ? Or i need to make in india ?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      May 27, 2019 @ 9:59 am

      Hi Lill,

      You’ll need the documents stated in the above post.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  7. Lara
    June 18, 2019 @ 4:44 pm

    Hello,
    I am a syrian refugee living in Croatia and my boyfriend is an Egyptian living in Egypt .. we are planning to get married in Croatia (within the faith) in an Orthodox church.

    *What documets do both of us need ?
    *And should we go to the Registrar’s
    Office after the marriege in church ?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 26, 2019 @ 2:54 pm

      Hi Lara,

      The post you have commented on covers this. When it doubt, speak to the Registrar directly.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  8. Sushant
    August 19, 2019 @ 8:59 am

    Hello,

    I’m Indian and my girlfriend is from Pula and its been 2 years now that we are in relationship. we met this year in Dubai as I have a job there, after meeting we decide to stay together in Croatia (after September) so the question is
    should I go there on Visit visa for 90 days?
    what should we do to stay together?
    find a job?
    or marry with her?
    Am I allowed to marry on visit visa?
    will get job there on visit visa?
    90 days are enough to get married?
    and what after marriage?
    what should i do to extend my stay?
    i will update you if i miss something.
    please suggest something we both are confused?
    Thank you.
    Hope you reply soon.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 22, 2019 @ 2:08 pm

      Hi Sushant,

      Please email me with these questions at [email protected].

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *