Does your family have a newborn member? There are two ways your new child can qualify to be registered in Croatia and receive the associated benefits:
- You are Croatian and had a child while abroad
- You are a resident of Croatia and had a child while abroad
- You are Croatian and had a child while living in Croatia
- You are a resident of Croatia and had a child while living in Croatia
In order to acquire all guaranteed rights, this post will walk you through where, when and how you can register your newborn child. In future posts, we’ll cover registering children through adoption and children brought from abroad as party of their family’s relocation to Croatia.
How to register a child born in Croatia
When it comes to the child registration process in Croatia, the following needs to be achieved:
- The government needs to be notified that a birth has taken place
- The newborn needs to be granted an unique identification number, known as OIB
- The newborn has to be given a name
Notifying the government of the birth
The majority of children in Croatia are born in the hospitals. In this situation, the hospital will notify the Registrar’s Office of the birth.
There is no official regulation that prohibits home births, but you may not have a trained medical professional assist you in a home birth. An expectant mother is allowed to hire a midwife from other countries, which have more established practices when it comes to home births, like Italy or Austria.
Regardless, sometimes home births happen unexpectedly when the baby can’t wait any longer. In the case of a home birth, anyone present at the birth can notify the Registrar’s office. Usually, the person registering the birth will be one of the following:
- The mother of the child
- The father of the child
- A witness to the birth
- The midwife that helped in the birth of the child
- A person who found out about the birth of the child
The deadline to register, whether the child was born in a healthcare institution or not, is 15 days from the birth of the child.
If the child was registered by the hospital administration, the facility will notify the nearest Registrar’s office that a birth has taken place. From that moment on, the parents have two options to complete the process:
- Register the child online using the newly established E-Citizen platform
- Visit the Registrar’s office closest to their home address and complete the process there. Here is the list of Registrar Offices in Croatia.
The E-Citizen platform is for Croatians citizens. To use this tool, you must have a national ID (osobna iskaznica) with a chip and the associated ID card reader (a device that connects to computers using a USB cable). Temporary and permanent residents are not issued this type of ID.
Foreign parents must visit the Registrar in person. Detail on registering both through E-Citizen and in person at the Registrar are described in detail below.
First, we’ll go through the steps to register in person. After, we’ll go over the E-Citizen option.
Naming the Child
The deadline for giving a name to the child is 30 days after the birth. Parents can choose any name they like, as long as the choice of words embodies a name.
The surname of the child depends on the surname of the parents. When there is a case of different surnames, the parents can choose one surname or both surnames to be given to the child.
If there is only one parent present at the Registrar Office, there must be written and signed consent provided by the other parent giving permission to name the child.
Documents Needed for Registration
When going to the Registrar, you will need to bring:
- The leave letter from the maternity hospital
- The marriage certificate of the parents
- Personal IDs from both parents
- Request for issuing documents from the Registrar Office (available at the Registrar)
You will also need to pay the fees associated with these procedures as follows:
- 60 kuna (in state stamps)
- 20 kuna state stamp for birth certificate (rodni list)
- 20 kuna state stamp for excerpt from the Registry of births (izvadak iz matice rođenih)
- 20 kuna state stamp for citizenship certificate (Domovnica), if applicable
- 14 kuna (in cash)
- Birth certificate – 4 kuna
- Excerpt from Registrar – 5 kuna
- Domovnica – 5 kuna)
State stamps look like little postage stamps and are a form of paying for administrative fees in Croatia. You need to buy them ahead of time before going to the Registrar’s office. Usually they are sold at newsstands called “Tisak” as well as at Narodne Novine locations.
During your visit to the Registrar’s office, the following procedures will occur:
- Your child will be entered into Registry of Births
- Your child will be entered into Registry of Croatian Citizens (only applicable if one or both parents are citizens)
- Your child’s residence will be registered
- Application for issuance of child’s OIB
- Application for issuance of mandatory health insurance (HZZO)
- Application for granting of one-off financial support for a newborn child
The child’s residence permit and OIB number can be obtained during that same visit to the Registrar’s office. Additional information about how and when the financial support will be provided will also be given during your visit.
HZZO will send the health insurance ID of the child to the home address.
One of the last steps is to apply for a one-off cash grant for a newborn child. This benefit is only one form of monetary benefits that are available to the parents in Croatia. We are working on a new post that covers child benefits in greater detail. Stay tuned.
Registration Through E-citizen
All the above steps that can be executed at the Registrar’s office can also be accomplished through the E-Citizen platform.
The E-Citizen platform aims to be a gateway to all the documents a Croatian citizen might need, such as:
- Marriage licenses
- Death certificates
- Tax cards
- Student grades
It has proven to be especially useful when registering a newborn child, as it saves a trip to see the bureaucratic powers that be in person.
Since the online system centralizes information on all citizens, the process is simplified. The forms that must be completed will be partially filled out automatically by the system.
Please note that there is a form that must be completed by both parents individually. If one of the parents does not qualify to use the online system, they can still complete the procedure by visiting the Registrar’s office.
The state administration has prepared this tutorial to guide citizens through the process of registering a child online. It is only available in the Croatian language.
There are no fees associated with registering your child through E-Citizen platform. The card reader is the only expense. It is 100 kuna and can be bought online here.
How to register a child born abroad
If a child is born abroad to Croatian citizens or non-citizens with residence in Croatia, the child can be registered with the government upon return to Croatia. The registration process will be fairly similar to the one previously described for registering a child in the Registrar’s office. The only difference is that a translated and notarized copy of the birth certificate from abroad would need to be provided.
It may take a bit longer for all the procedures to be completed for children born abroad, because the Registrar’s offices in Croatia do not have direct communication with their counterparts in other countries.
In addition, you may not register a child born abroad online through the E-citizen platform. It must be done in person.
Have you registered a child in Croatia as a foreign parent? Please tell us about your experience.