Prebivalište and boravište: two addresses that must be registered with the police

Register prebivaliste or boraviste address in Croatia
Image by Scott Webb

Everyone in Croatia must register their address with the police (aka “MUP”). If you’re a tourist, your accommodation is obligated to register your address on your behalf. If you’re a long-term resident, then you are required to register your address yourself.

In Croatia, you can register up to 2 different addresses with the police, depending on your situation. The first type of address is called “boravište” and the second is “prebivalište”. It is possible to hold both a boravište and prebivalište address at the same time.

All residents (including Croatian citizens) are obliged to submit both their prebivalište and boravište (if they have both).

In this post, we’ll cover:

Let’s get started…

Boravište

What is boravište

Boravište is considered a temporary address, where a person might stay for only a certain period of time or occasionally.

You are obliged to submit boravište in these cases:

  • If you stay at the temporary address longer than 3 months
  • If you are staying at the temporary address specifically for employment, education, or long-term treatment reasons

Boravište is registered for a period of 1 year. You don’t have to check out boravište once a registered period ends. It automatically expires on its own. After this period, you can prolong it for another year. Boravište must be registered within 15 days after moving to the address.

If you leave the boravište address before the end of the registered period, you must return to MUP to formally “check out” from the address.

It is possible to register a boravište for a period of several years due to:

  • Education purposes
  • Temporary jobs
  • Accommodation in certain institutions

In cases such as these, boravište must still be renewed every year, for a period of 1 year.

Parents may register boravište for their children if they are under 15 years of age. An authorized person can register boravište for persons without working capabilities.

Boravište for foreigners (e.g. anyone who is not Croatian)

If you are a foreigner living in Croatia on a temporary residence permit, then your address is registered as boravište automatically. This is the address you use for anything administrative like your identification card, health insurance or driver’s license.

Every time a person with temporary residence changes their address, the new boravište must be registered with MUP. The address change must be registered with MUP within a period of 15 days after you move to the new address.

Boravište for Croatians

For Croatians, boravište could be used for a summer home or an apartment where they live while away at university. Those are just two of many examples.

Croatian nationals can have boravište in Croatia even if they live or work outside the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

Law on boravište

Below is the definition of boravište according to the Zakon o prebivalište (Law on prebivalište):

Boravište je mjesto i adresa u Republici Hrvatskoj gdje osoba privremeno boravi, ali se na toj adresi nije trajno nastanila.

Which translates to…

Residence is the place and address in the Republic of Croatia where a person temporarily stays, but has not settled at that address permanently.

How to register boravište

To register boravište, go to the MUP administration office nearest to your new address. If you are a foreigner and have never registered an address before, it is usually done when you start your application for residence.

To register your temporary address, please bring:

  • Proof of your identity
    • ID card
    • Passport
    • Foreigners may enclose Potvrda o privremenom zadržavanju ili oduzimanju putne isprave (Certificate of temporary staying or revocation of a travel document) or Potvrda o prijavi nestanka putne isprave (Confirmation of the report of the disappearance of the travel document)
  • Completed address change form provided by the police
    • Download a copy for Croatian citizens here
    • Download a copy for foreign citizens here
  • A statement that confirms that you are temporarily staying at this address – only for Croatian citizens
  • Proof that you have permission to stay at that address (provide 1 of the following):
    • Land registry certificate that shows you own the property
    • Consent of the landlord (or all co-owners) verified by the notary public, in person in MUP administration office or via e-Građani web application (eSuglasnost service)
    • Rental contract verified by the notary public
    • Purchase contract
    • Gift contract
    • Prepaid recent from tourist accommodation (hotel, hostel, apartment, etc)
  • If you are not a Croatian citizen listed in the Matica rođenih (Book of births), you must enclose a birth certificate or confirmation from the book of births from foreign country when registering boravište for the first time.

Prebivalište

What is prebivalište

Prebivalište is your permanent address, meaning the address of the house or apartment where you live full-time or at least most of the time.

Every time you change your address, you must register a new prebivalište at MUP. The address change must be registered at MUP within a period of 15 days after you move to the new address.

If you permanently move out from Croatia, you must “check out” from your prebivalište before leaving Croatia. By checking out, you are notifying the police that you don’t live at that address anymore and you aren’t moving to a new address within Croatia. If you don’t have time to check out before leaving Croatia, you can also offer this notification abroad at a Croatian embassy or consulate within a period of 15 day after the move.

Parents may register prebivalište for their children if they are under the 15 years of age. An authorized person can register prebivalište for persons without working capabilities.

Prebivalište for foreigners (e.g. anyone who is not Croatian)

If you’re a foreign national, you can only register a prebivalište once you have been approved for permanent residence.

Prebivalište for Croatians

Croatian citizens who live outside Croatia can get an osobna iskaznica (identification card for citizens). Since they don’t have a prebivalište in Croatia, they can use their foreign address for prebivalište.

Law on prebivalište

Below is the definition of prebivalište according to the Zakon o prebivalištu (Law on prebivalište):

Prebivalište je mjesto i adresa u Republici Hrvatskoj na kojoj se osoba trajno nastanila radi ostvarivanja svojih prava i obveza vezanih uz životne interese, kao što su obiteljski, profesionalni, ekonomski, socijalni, kulturni i drugi interesi.

Which translates too…

Prebivalište is the place and address in the Republic of Croatia where a person has permanently settled in order to achieve rights and obligations related to life interests such as family, professional, economic, social, cultural, and other interests.

Prebivalište, for the purpose of government benefits

Prebivalište can have two meanings. They are similar, but are used for different purposes. The first is what we just spoke about – the address where you live permanently. The second meaning is permanent residence, as in you have lived in Croatia long enough that you are considered to be a permanent resident.

The definition of a “permanent resident” varies depending on whether you are a Croatian citizen or not. A Croatian citizen is considered a permanent resident if they have lived in Croatia with prebivalište continuously for at least 3 years. A foreign citizen is a permanent resident if they were granted permanent residence after 5 years of continuous temporary residence in Croatia.

Permanent residence, as it relates to foreigners, refers to the right to stay on the territory of the Republic of Croatia for an unlimited period. It also comes with certain benefits and rights from the state that are not accessible to those with temporary residence such as stipends, tax relief and parental support benefits to new parents.

Foreigners with a permanent stay have settled at their prebivalište with the intention to live there permanently. They can register both prebivalište and boravište, just like a Croatian citizen.

To recap, to access certain government benefits, you must have prebivalište in one of the following scenarios:

  • Croatian citizen who has lived in Croatia continuously for 3 years or more
  • Foreign citizen (either EU or non-EU) who holds the status of permanent resident (stalni boravak)

How to register prebivalište

To register prebivalište, go to the MUP administration office nearest to your new address. MUP will register your new prebivalište and unsubscribe you from the old one at the same time.

To register prebivalište, you must provide:

  • Proof of your identity
    • ID card
    • A passport
    • Foreigners may enclose Potvrda o privremenom zadržavanju ili oduzimanju putne isprave (Certificate of temporary staying or revocation of a travel document) or Potvrda o prijavi nestanka putne isprave (Confirmation of the report of the disappearance of the travel document)
  • Completed address change form provided by the police
    • Download a copy for Croatian citizens here
    • Download a copy for foreign citizens here
  • Statement that confirms that you live at a new address – only for Croatian citizens
  • Proof you have permission to live at that address:
    • Land registry certificate that shows you own the property
    • Consent of the landlord (or all co-owners) in person at the closest MUP administration office or via e-Građani web application (Availability listed below) (eSuglasnost service)
    • Rental contract verified by the notary public
    • Purchase contract
    • Gift contract

Using e-Građani to register prebivalište

Croatian citizens can register their prebivalište using the e-Građani system with full privileges.

EU/EEA citizens can use e-Građani to:

  1. Change a child’s prebivalište from one parent’s address to another when parents have different prebivalište in Croatia.
  2. Give landlord’s consent to another person if they are owners of real estate property in Croatia and the other person wants to register prebivalište at that address.

Third-country nationals cannot use e-Građani for anything related to prebivalište.

When you must register a prebivalište or boravište

Deadlines for Croatian citizens

Croatian citizens must register a new prebivalište or boravište at MUP within a period of 15 days after moving to the new address.

Deadlines for foreign citizens

Let’s quickly recap. Boravište is the place where a foreigner stays during temporary or short-term stay. Prebivalište is the place where a foreigner with a permanent stay has settled with the intention to live there permanently. Foreigners with a permanent stay can register both prebivalište and boravište.

If you are a foreigner, it is important to know how long you have to change your address after moving. The rules for foreigners are as follows:

  1. Foreigners with a temporary stay must register their boravište or any changes within a period of 3 days after they enter Croatia or after the change.
  2. Foreigners with a permanent stay must register their prebivalište or boravište within a period of 8 days after they change addresses.
  3. Foreigners with a permanent or temporary stay must check out their prebivalište or boravište within a period of 3 days after they leave.
  4. Foreigners with a short-term stay must register their boravište in a period of 2 days after they enter Croatia or after the change.

Penalties for false statements related to prebivalište or boravište vary from 500 kuna to 5.000 kuna.

To learn more about how to register your address with the police for the first time as a foreigner, check out this detailed post.

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2 thoughts on “Prebivalište and boravište: two addresses that must be registered with the police

  1. Lynda Milina
    December 1, 2020 @ 7:24 pm

    I will forever be grateful for this post! I walked into that police station and had everything I needed, including my dad 😉 Aside from going to the post office to pay for the service ( I mean honestly, when are they going to start letting you pay onsite???), it all went extremely smoothly. Thanks!!!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 9, 2020 @ 10:57 am

      Hi Lynda,

      That’s awesome!! I’m so glad this post helped you!!

      Yeah, I agree about the payments. I mean, COME ON already.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

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