Croatian citizenship by descent

April 23, 2023

Croatia is a beautiful place. There are several ways to obtain Croatian citizenship but today we are going to talk about citizenship by descent. Croatia allows you to go back as much as further, as you can to claim citizenship there is no limit like in other countries.  However, tracing your bloodline is not an easy task. So, if your parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents are from Croatia you are eligible for citizenship by descent. 

The article 11 by the Croatian government is the one that you need to look at when applying for citizenship in Croatia. As this article covers the citizenship by descent program. 

How to apply?

Let’s take a deeper look at the process you need to know for the application. 

Determine and verify your claim 

First, you need to determine and verify the claim that you are part of Croatia. If you do not verify your claim you can waste your time and money by thinking that you are part of Croatia. The process is lengthy and can take time so, I highly recommend you to check and double-verify that you are eligible for the program. I also recommend hiring a team that can verify on your behalf that you are eligible for the citizenship by descent. The best way to claim your eligibility is by acquiring the birth certificate of your ancestors from Croatia. Without a birth certificate, it is not possible to apply for citizenship under article 11 of Croatia. You have to prove that you are directly descended from Croatia. 


After determining your eligibility for the citizenship and verifying that you are eligible for the citizenship you need to start the application process. You need to provide a biography that claims that you are eligible for citizenship. You need to prove the bloodline which can be done by acquiring the birth certificates of your ancestors. Moreover, you need to tell the reason for applying for citizenship. Also, you need to claim your ties to Croatia. These documents must be submitted in the Croatian language. 

You also need to provide your original birth certificate. That needed to be apostille and also need to be translated into the Croatian language. You will also need to provide the birth certificate of your ancestors. You cannot use the older copy you need to provide a new copy of the birth certificate of your ancestors. Also, if applicable you need to provide the birth certificates of relatives of yours or your ancestors. 

After gathering the birth certificates and above mentioned documents. You need to have notarized documents. The notarized documents include are passport photocopy, ID card photocopy, and document equal to Domovnica. 

A background check is also needed. You need to provide the background check from your current nationality moreover, you need to tell the Croatian government where you have lived for the last 12 months. Also, you need to prove that you are not convicted of any crime in the last six months. All documents need to be apostilled and translated into the Croatian language. 

You need to provide the identity document with a photo that needs to be notarized and translated as well. You will also need to provide the marriage certificate which also needs to be notarized and translated into the Croatian language. Moreover, you need to provide the family tree that proves you are from the family that you are claiming to be part of. 

Gathering all these documents can be hectic. To avoid any issues I highly recommend you hire an immigration lawyer. The immigration lawyer can make sure that your documents are completed and ready to submit. The chance of approval highly increases if the documents are properly documented. And you can avoid rejections. 

You need to provide all the original documents. So, ensure that none of the documents you are providing is outdated. 


Now you have all the documents it's time to submit those documents to the Croatian government. To get citizenship you need to submit your documents to the nearest Croatian consulate or embassy. 


After submitting your documents you have to wait to hear back from the Croatian government. The process is lengthy and you need to have a lot of patience to go through this process. The process can take two years or more. So, ensure that the documents you have provided are complete and have no mistakes. Because in case of incomplete documents or documents with errors can make the process more complex and can take more time. You need to ensure that the documents you provided are complete and have no issues as it makes it easier for the government of Croatia to process them. If documents are in poor form they will only collect dust and you will never hear back from Croatia. 


If everything goes smoothly you will get the positive decision back. You will get the decision that will allow you to obtain citizenship by descent. Once you receive the ruling your citizenship will start and you will become a legal citizen of Croatia. In case of rejection, you have 30 days to get back to them that your application is rejected on the wrong basis. 

Oath taking 

If your citizenship is approved you have to take the oath of Croatian citizenship. What is in the oath? That will be told to you by the Croatian MUP. The oath is known as “sveana prisega.”


Croatia is an excellent place to live or retire. You can claim its citizenship by descent by following the process I have mentioned above. The business conditions are also favorable as Croatia is a stable country. You can freely live and work in Croatia. You can also take advantage of the European Union as Croatia is part of the European Union and you can live and work in European Union countries. If you do not want to live in Croatia it's your choice and your citizenship will not be revoked. Yes, Croatia also allows dual citizenship so you do not have to give up your current citizenship. The Croatian passport is powerful according to passport index and you will surely enjoy having one.

Emiy Watson

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