If you are temporarily or permanently moving outside of Croatia, you may need to relinquish (or sign off from) the address of your Croatian residence. Perhaps you are a foreigner who wishes to leave before the expiration of your permit, or you’re a Croat leaving temporarily.
If you have Croatian nationality, you won’t lose your citizenship when signing off your Croatian residence. However, it is important to understand that your Croatian identity card won’t serve as proof of your Croatian residence if you don’t have prebivalište in Croatia.
In this post, we cover:
- Types of Croatian addresses of residence
- When to sign off your Croatian residence
- Other important things to know
- How to sign off Croatian residence
- When your residency is automatically signed off by the police
- Signing off from obvezno health insurance
The facts are these…
There are 2 types of addresses in Croatia:
- Boravište – Temporary address
- Prebivalište – Permanent address
Temporary address (boravište)
Boravište is a temporary address where you stay occasionally or for a certain period of time. Boravište can be registered for up to one year. It automatically expires after the validity period, so you don’t have to sign off this address once it is no longer valid.
If you are a foreigner with temporary residence in Croatia, your address is automatically registered as boravište. If you are a Croatian national, boravište is usually your other address like a summer house or student’s apartment.
Permanent address (prebivalište)
Prebivalište is a permanent address of the house or apartment where you live full-time or at least most of the time. Foreign nationals can only get prebivalište after they are granted permanent residence in Croatia.
If you move outside of Croatia, you must sign off your prebivalište. If you move within Croatia, you have to sign off your old prebivalište at the police and register a new one, i.e. change the address.
#1 If you want to change your Croatian address
If you are a foreign national or Croatian national moving within Croatia, you must sign off your old address and register a new one. In this case, MUP will sign you off your old residence and register a new residence at the same time.
#2 If you are leaving Croatia permanently
You are a foreign national with temporary stay in Croatia
If you are a foreign national with a granted temporary stay in Croatia, then you have a temporary address boravište. If you plan to leave Croatia permanently, you must sign off your boravište within 3 days from the day of departure from Croatia and also notify MUP that you are cancelling your residence permit.
You are a foreign national with permanent stay in Croatia
If you are a foreign national with a granted permanent stay in Croatia, then you have a permanent address prebivalište. If you plan to move outside of Croatia temporarily or permanently, you must sign off your boravište within 3 days from the day of departure from Croatia.
You are a Croatian national moving outside of Croatia
If you are a Croatian national who lives in Croatia, you have a permanent address prebivalište. If you decided to permanently leave Croatia and move abroad, then you must sign off your prebivalište.
If you don’t do this in Croatia, you can go to the Croatian embassy in your new home country. If you do it abroad, the deadline to report this change is 15 days from the day of leaving Croatia. This applies to all scenarios.
#3 If you are a Croatian national and temporarily leaving Croatia
If you are a Croatian national who is temporarily leaving Croatia, you don’t have to sign off your prebivalište. This scenario usually includes temporary absence due to education, employment, long-term medical treatments, or other justified reasons.
In this case, you must notify MUP that you plan to temporarily live outside of Croatia. If you are prevented from visiting MUP, you can go to the nearest Croatian embassy or consulate abroad according to the address of your foreign residence. You have to provide the documentation that proves the reason for your temporary stay outside of Croatia.
Depending on the scenario, you may provide:
- Certificate of employment
- Work contract
- Certificate of education
- Student index
- Foreign residence permit
- Foreign work permit
- Medical documentation
- Written statement of the reasons for your stay abroad (if you don’t have appropriate documentation)
You can temporarily reside outside of Croatia for up to 5 years. If you stay longer, you have to revisit MUP every 3 years to reconfirm that you are still temporarily abroad. Every time, you have to provide the above-mentioned documentation depending on your case.
#4 If you reported a false permanent address in Croatia
Sometimes people report a false permanent address (prebivalište). This means that they register residence at an address where they never lived or no longer live. If this is the case, you are obliged to sign off your false prebivalište immediately.
If you live in Croatia, you have to register your REAL address, i.e. at the exact place where you live. If you register a false address, MUP will sign you off due to their official duty. There could also be other consequences, such as the cancellation of a residence permit.
If you change your address, you also have to cancel or change your Croatian ID card or residence permit (if you have one). Since the address is canceled, the data on your Croatian address can no longer stay on the ID card.
However, Croatian nationals who live outside of Croatia are allowed to possess a Croatian ID card with a foreign address. Their ID card can serve as proof of Croatian nationality, but not residence. [Read: How to apply for a national ID card]
If you are a Croatian national who is temporarily gone, you don’t have to cancel or change your Croatian ID card. The data on your permanent Croatian address (prebivalište) can stay on the ID card. In this case, your ID card serves both as proof of your Croatian residence and nationality.
If you sign off from the address of property you own in Croatia, it will not impact your ownership. [Read: How to buy residential real estate in Croatia]
Below are instructions on how to sign off from your Croatian address for both foreign and Croatian nationals. The instructions are valid both for “prebivalište” (permanent address) and “boravište” (temporary address).
#1 Collect the documentation
To sign off prebivalište or boravište, you must provide:
- Application form
- Proof of identity
- Proof you have permission to live at that address (only when changing the address of residence)
- 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
- Rental contract verified by the notary public
- Purchase contract
- Gift contract
To sign off your residence, you must fill out the application form with the appropriate personal data. MUP will provide this.
- If you are moving to another location within Croatia, you must provide your new address.
- If you are moving outside of Croatia, you must provide information on the address, place, and country where you are moving.
- If you are going to be temporarily absent from Croatia, then you must provide the address, place, country of your temporary stay, and the reason for leaving.
#2 Visit the police
Now is time to visit MUP. Before you visit them, check which police administration office you must visit. The residence has to be signed off at the police administration office closest to the address of the residence. [Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]
Signing off must be done in person. Parents or guardians can do it on behalf of their minor children or people partially deprived of legal capacity. Provide the collected documentation and they will process it.
If you are absent from Croatia, you must do it in the foreign country of your new residence or employ a lawyer to do it on your behalf using power of attorney. If you’d like a lawyer recommendation, contact us.
A list of Croatian diplomatic missions and consular offices outside of Croatia is available here.
#3 Relinquish residency
MUP should process your application immediately, upon your visit. As soon as they take your application and confirm that everything is fine, you are free to go.
The police can sometimes perform a field inspection if they suspect that something might be wrong. If they determine that you don’t live at your registered address, they will sign you off from the registered address immediately.
State institutions may sometimes suspect that you don’t live at the registered address. In this case, they must notify MUP who will then investigate the case. If they conclude that you don’t live there, they will also sign you off from that address.
If you have moved out outside of Croatia, but you didn’t sign off your residence at MUP or the Croatian embassy abroad, MUP will also sign you off automatically after making a determination on your status.
The police won’t sign off your permanent address of residence if:
- You are temporarily gone outside of Croatia, but you have informed the police and brought them the required documentation
- You are covered by the program of renovation or housing, but the property has not yet been renovated, returned, or you haven’t been provided with housing
Penalties for breaking the law
If you don’t obey the law regarding signing off your Croatian address of residency, you might be punished. Penalties can vary between 500 kuna and 5.000 kuna.
You could get a penalty if:
- You don’t sign off your address when moving outside of Croatia within the prescribed period
- You leave your permanent residence (prebivalište) for more than a year due to temporary departure outside of Croatia, but you don’t notify MUP or the Croatian embassy
- You provide inaccurate or false data when signing off Croatian permanent address (prebivalište) or temporary address (boravište)
De-registration of Croatian residence is defined by the Zakon o prebivalištu (Law on residence) which is available here.
It is crucial to know that you have to sign off from state obvezno health insurance if you temporarily leave Croatia or lose your residence. In this case, you cannot freeze or pause obvezno health insurance. You MUST sign off.
This is especially critical if you leave Croatia permanently before the expiration of your residence permit, as this is the only way they will stop invoicing you for premiums.
If you are a non-Croatian, you’ll need to first notify MUP that you plan to cancel your residence. Then you need to take this proof to HZZO so they can cancel your health insurance. Then you’ll return to MUP to finish the process.
Once (and if) you decide to return to Croatia in the future, you have to sign up for the obvezno health insurance again. If you come back and sign up for obvezno within 30 days from arrival, you won’t have to pay a year of premiums for the previous year again. To sign up, visit the HZZO health insurance office closest to your address. [Read: HZZO list of local health insurance offices]
View other residency posts
- Available visas and residence permits for Croatia
- Difference between getting a visa and a residence permit in Croatia
- How American citizens can visit and live in Croatia
- How Australian citizens can visit and live in Croatia
- How Brits can visit and live in Croatia
- How Canadian citizens can visit and live in Croatia
- How EEA permanent residents can get temporary residence in Croatia
- How EU citizens can get temporary residence in Croatia
- How EU/EEA citizens can apply for permanent residency in Croatia
- How non-EU family members of EU/EEA nationals can get temporary residence in Croatia
- How non-EU spouses of Croatians can apply for residence
- How South African citizens can visit and live in Croatia
- How third-country citizens can apply for permanent residency in Croatia
- How third-country (non-EU) citizens can apply for temporary residency in Croatia
- How to apply for a work permit
- How to apply for the digital nomad residence permit in Croatia
- How to apply for residence based on prepayment of rent
- How to apply for temporary residence based on language study
- How to get a residence permit based on property
- How to get residency by opening a Croatian business
- How to study & gain student residence in Croatia
- How to transition from temporary to permanent residence
- How to volunteer in Croatia and get residence
Law on Residence – What you need to know
Place of residence and stay
Law on Residence
Application for a temporary departure from Croatia that will last longer than one year
Procedure instructions – registration/deregistration of residence/residence, i.e. change of residential address for foreigners
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.