How to relinquish Croatian citizenship: Guide for 2024

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This post has been verified by the ministry that handles citizenship as well as immigration lawyers specializing in citizenship.
Croatian flag at Ban Jelačić square in Zagreb, Croatia
Croatian flag at Ban Jelačić square in Zagreb, Croatia

UPDATED: 18.9.2023.

When obtaining Croatian citizenship, some applicants want to know what their options are to relinquish their new citizenship later down the line in case laws or tax liability changes.

In other cases, some may need to give up their citizenship to gain the citizenship of another foreign country. It is possible to give up your Croatian citizenship, in most situations.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to terminate your Croatian citizenship

How the Croatian citizenship termination procedure works

The procedure for termination of Croatian citizenship is carried out by the Ministry of the Interior (MUP).

Croatian citizens can apply for termination of their Croatian citizenship if:

  • They possess foreign citizenship in addition to Croatian citizenship OR
  • Foreign state guarantees them admission to their citizenship on the condition that Croatian citizenship ceases

According to the Zakon o hrvatskom državljanstvu (Croatian citizenship act), Croatian citizenship can end by:

  • Release called otpust
  • Renunciation called odricanje
  • Under international agreements called po međunarodnim ugovorima

The Croatian citizenship act is available here.

Croatian citizens who are released from Croatian citizenship for the purpose of acquiring foreign citizenship due to requirements of a foreign state in which they reside (as a precondition for performing any vocation or activity), may re-acquire Croatian citizenship.

Croatian citizenship ends by release on the day of delivery of a positive decision of release.

Croatian citizens who renunciate Croatian citizenship cannot be readmitted to Croatian citizenship. In this case, they can only apply for Croatian citizenship through naturalization.

[Read: How to apply for Croatian citizenship]

Croatian citizenship ends by renunciation on the day of stating renunciation of Croatian citizenship.

Criteria for termination of Croatian citizenship

Release from Croatian citizenship

For the termination of Croatian citizenship by release, you must meet a number of conditions.

  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • There are no disturbances related to military obligations
  • Taxes, fees, and other public benefits have been paid
  • Liabilities to natural and legal persons in Croatia have been settled
  • Property obligations from marital relationships and obligations of parents and children towards Croatian citizenship and people who remain living in Croatia are regulated
  • You have foreign citizenship or proof that you will get foreign citizenship

A release from Croatian citizenship cannot be approved for:

  • People against whom criminal proceedings are being conducted in Croatia for acts prosecuted ex officio
  • People sentenced to imprisonment until they serve the sentence

For children to be released from Croatian citizenship, one of the following criteria must be met:

  • Both parents whose Croatian citizenship was terminated by release must jointly request a release for their child
  • If the Croatian citizenship of one parent was terminated by release and the other parent is a foreign citizen
  • If the Croatian citizenship of one parent was terminated by release and the other parent who is a Croatian citizen gives written consent for the release of the child from Croatian citizenship

Renunciation from Croatian citizenship

Adult Croatian citizenship with residency abroad and foreign citizenship can renunciate their Croatian citizenship.

The process of termination of Croatian citizenship by renunciation is easier. You just have to give a statement that you renunciate Croatian citizenship by your own will.

Children up to the age of 18 can renunciate from Croatian citizenship in these cases:

  • At the request of parents whose Croatian citizenship has been renounced
  • If one of the parents has lost Croatian citizenship by renouncing and the other parent is a foreign citizen

How to apply for termination of Croatian citizenship

#1 Collect the documentation

A. Documentation for release from Croatian citizenship

When applying, you must enclose this documentation:

  • Application form
    • Form for adults – download here
    • Form for adults and children – download here
  • Biography
  • Birth certificate issued on the prescribed form by international treaties and conventions (not required if you were born in Croatia)
  • Proof of foreign citizenship or guarantee of a foreign body on admission to foreign citizenship translated into Croatian by a certified court interpreter
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document
    • Passport
    • Identity card
  • Special power of attorney if you are represented by an authorized person

For minor children, you must enclose this documentation:

  • Application form – download here
  • Birth certificate (not required if they were born in Croatia)
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document, if any
  • Excerpt from the Register of marriage (Matica vjenčanih) of the child’s legal representative
    • Not required if parents were married in Croatia or their foreign marriage is entered into the Register of marriage
    • If the application is submitted by only one parent, proof of the civil status of the other parent must be attached
  • Copy of the judgment on divorce issued by the competent court (for divorced parents)
  • Guarantee of admission to foreign citizenship OR proof of possession of the child’s foreign citizenship (certificate or certified copy of travel document)
  • Special power of attorney if you are represented by an authorized person

B. Documentation for renunciation of the Croatian citizenship

When applying, you must enclose this documentation:

  • Application form
    • Form for adults – download here
    • Form for adults and children – download here
  • Biography
  • Birth certificate (not required if you were born in Croatia)
  • Hand-signed and duly certified Statement of renunciation of Croatian citizenship with the date
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document
    • Passport
    • Identity card
  • Proof of foreign citizenship
    • Certificate
    • Certified copy of travel document
  • Proof of residence in a foreign country
  • Special power of attorney if you are represented by an authorized person

For minor children, you must enclose this documentation:

  • Application form – download here
  • Birth certificate (not required if they were born in Croatia)
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document, if any
  • Excerpt from the Matica vjenčanih (Register of marriage) of the child’s legal representative
    • Not required if parents were married in Croatia or their foreign marriage is entered into the Register of marriage
    • If the application is submitted by only one parent, proof of the civil status of the other parent must be attached
  • Copy of the judgment on divorce issued by the competent court (for divorced parents)
  • Proof of possession of the child’s foreign citizenship (certificate or certified copy of travel document)
  • Special power of attorney if you are represented by an authorized person

#2 Submit the application

After you collect all required documents, you can apply for termination of Croatian citizenship. You must do it in person.

The application can be submitted at:

  • MUP administrative office according to your address – full list is available here
  • Croatian diplomatic mission or consular office abroad – full list is available here

If you are a person with a disability, you can apply through a legal or authorized representative.

If you submit the request at the diplomatic mission or consular office, you will pay a consular fee on the spot or at a bank when applying.

#3 Wait for the solution

You should now wait for a written invitation from MUP or a diplomatic mission to come and receive the solution. If your request is unclear, incomplete, or contains other formal deficiencies, they will invite you to come and solve the gaps.

If you submitted the request at the MUP administrative office, you’ll need to pay an administrative fee for the Decision on termination of Croatian citizenship. All possible administrative costs for this procedure are available here.

Administrative fees can be paid via payment slip at:

[Read: Croatia’s biggest banks: Comparison of fees and services]

Payment information is available here.

If you submitted the request at a Croatian diplomatic mission or consular office abroad, you don’t have to pay an administrative fee. You can go to the diplomatic mission and receive your solution.

#4 Pick up the solution

If you submitted the request in Croatia, you can pick up the solution at the same MUP administrative office. You must show them proof of paid administrative fees.

If you submitted the request abroad, you can pick up the solution at the same diplomatic mission.

When picking up the solution, you will have to sign an invoice indicating the exact date of receipt of the decision. It is proof that you received the decision.

If you get a positive solution, your Croatian documents (passport, identity card, border pass) will be canceled.

View our other Croatian citizenship posts


Sources:
Zakon o hrvatskom državljanstvu
Upute o proceduri: prestanak hrvatskog državljanstva
Sve više Hrvata traži otpust iz državljanstva, najviše ih zanimaju ove putovnice by Novilist

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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