As stated on the eleventh article of the legislation on Croatian citizenship a person who descends from a Croatian national, up to the third degree relative of lineal kinship, can acquire Croatian citizenship. The Croatian government foresees four legal bases for obtaining Croatian citizenship:
Different Ways to Get Croatian Citizenship
- By origin
- By birth on the territory of the Republic of Croatia
- By naturalization
- By international treaties
We receive many inquiries on how to obtain Croatian citizenship by descent from people whose parents or grandparents emigrated from what used to be Yugoslavia. When applying for Croatian citizenship by descent the applicant will obtain it through the naturalization procedure. It is important to note that both the descendant, main applicant, and their spouse are eligible to apply.
Requirements for Naturalization
The requirements to become a Croatian citizen by naturalization are:
- Knowledge of the Croatian language and Latin script, and of Croatian culture and social organization. If both of your parents are Croatian, this requirement can be waived.
- Respecting the law and customs of the Republic of Croatia.
- There is also residency requirement—8 years of residency—but this is only required for people whose parents are not native Croats. If your parents are native Croats, or were born in former Yugoslavia, then there is no residency requirement. Because there are several ways to become a Croatian citizen, each application will be evaluated individually, on a case-by-case basis.
Applications for Croatian citizenship can be submitted to any office of Ministry of Interior in the Republic of Croatia or to diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Croatia abroad.
You will need to provide a complete application form and questionnaire, as well as:
- A biography
- A birth certificate
- A citizenship certificate
- A certificate of good conduct
- Other documents may be required, depending on the legal basis for obtaining Croatian citizenship. Applicants applying for citizenship “by descent” will need to show proof of family relationship with emigrants up to the 3rd degree of kinship in a straight line (parents and grandparents).
If the applicant is granted citizenship, they will be charged an administrative fee of HRK 1,050.00 (around 175.00 USD).
NOTE: the amount of 1.050,00 HRK (around 175.00 USD) is the administrative fee which is charged by the Republic of Croatia. It does not include consular or legal fees.
What the Law Says
You can also read a translation of articles 8 and 11 below for more information:
A foreigner can acquire Croatian citizenship by naturalization if he or she has submitted a request for Croatian citizenship and fulfills the following requirements:
- That he or she is 18 years old and is not deprived of working capacity;
- That he or she will give up foreign citizenship or submits proof that he or she will give up foreign citizenship if granted Croatian citizenship;
- That he or she has lived and has had a registered residence in the Republic of Croatia for at least 8 years in continuation and has been granted foreigner status on his permanent residence;
- That he or she is proficient in the Croatian language and Latin script, and is familiar with Croatian culture and society;
- That his or her behavior shows respect forlaws and customs of the Republic of Croatia.
Persons over 60 years of age are not obligated to fulfill the requirements from Point 4 of this Article.
You can read a translation of the relevant articles of the law below:
A foreigner who has submitted a request for Croatian citizenship and who has not given up his or her foreign citizenship at the moment of the submission of the request, or does not have proof that he or she will give up foreign citzenship when acquiring Croatian citizenship can be issued a guarantee of Croatian citizenship if he or she fulfills the rest of the requirements referred to in Article 9, Paragraph1 of this Act. This guarantee will be valid for a term of two years.
An emigrant and his or her descendants up to the third degree of lineal kinship (children and grandchildren), and his or her spouse can acquire Croatian citizenship by naturalization even if they do not meet the requirements from Article 8, paragraph 1 points 1, 2 and 3 of this Law.