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International Travel

English

Country Information

Croatia

Country Information

Croatia
Republic of Croatia
Last Updated: December 1, 2017
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Embassy Messages

Zagreb

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Three months after your planned date of departure

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page is required for an entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


No

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Up to 10,000 euros

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Up to 10,000 euros

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Zagreb

Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2400
Fax: +(385) (1) 665-8933
Email: 

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Croatia for information on U.S.–Croatia relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You need a valid U.S. passport to enter Croatia. Croatia requests three months validity on your passport. Croatia is not a member of the Schengen area. If you transit a Schengen country en route to Croatia, your passport should have at least six months of validity to avoid difficulties. For further details about travel into Schengen countries, please see the State Department’s Schengen Fact Sheet. Please be aware that a U.S. citizen traveling on a passport that has previously been reported lost or stolen will NOT be allowed entry in Croatia. Visit the Embassy of Croatia website for the most current visa information.

  • You do not need a visa if you hold a valid U.S. passport and are traveling to Croatia for tourism or business for less than 90 days within a 180-day period.
  • For entry and residence requirements in Croatia, please visit the Embassy of Croatia’s website. The U.S. Embassy is not able to expedite or intervene in the issuance of a Croatian residence permit.
  • Visitors to Croatia must register at a local police station within three days of arrival in country. If you are staying at a hotel, hostel, or vacation rental, this process is generally done on your behalf by the property owner.
  • Foreign documents submitted for residence in Croatia, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, educational records, driver’s licenses, or other documents, must be translated into Croatian and have an Apostille stamp. The U.S. Embassy cannot authenticate documents. For information on applying for Apostille and authentication services, please see the Department of State’s Office of Authentications website.

The U.S Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Croatia.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs  regulations on our websites.

Military/Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Travelers: While active-duty U.S. military personnel may enter Croatia under the (SOFA) with proper Department of Defense (DOD) identification and travel orders, all SOFA family members, civilian employees, and contractors must have valid passports. Active-duty military personnel should obtain a tourist passport before leaving the United States to accommodate off-duty travel. DOD travelers should consult the DOD Foreign Clearance Guide, DOD 4500.54, before leaving the United States.

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Safety and Security

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

  • War hostilities ended in all parts of Croatia in 1995; however, de-mining of areas along former confrontation lines will continue until at least 2019. Mined areas are well-marked with Croatian-language warning signs using the international symbol for mines: a skull and crossbones inside a red, upside-down triangle. Drivers in former conflict areas should stay on paved roads to reduce the risk of encountering unmarked mines and unexploded ordnance.
  • For more information about mine-affected areas and de-mining operations in Croatia, please visit the Croatian Mine Action Center's website.
  • Avoid demonstrations. While civil disorder is rare in Croatia, U.S. citizens should monitor local media coverage, review their personal security practices, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even peaceful demonstrations can escalate into violence with little or no notice. Security messages about demonstrations can be found here on the U.S. Embassy website.

Crime: While violent crime is rare, isolated attacks targeting specific persons or property may occur and be racially-motivated or prompted by lingering ethnic tensions from Croatia's war for independence.

  • Safeguard your belongings in public areas, especially in bus or railroad stations, airports, gas stations, and public transportation. Report incidents of theft to the local police. File a police report if your U.S. passport is stolen.
  • Don’t display outward signs of wealth. It may make you a target for thieves.
  • Avoid "gentlemen's clubs." In the past, such establishments have presented foreign customers with inflated bills and threatened those who refuse to pay.

U.S. business entities are encouraged to read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Croatia.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy at +(385) (1) 661-2200 and check the information on local resources for victims of sexual assault on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112, and then contact the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide information about local resources for victims of crime
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home if you are destitute
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. You can find additional local resources for victims of domestic violence on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some crimes are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Real estate: U.S. citizens should exercise due diligence when considering purchasing real estate in Croatia. U.S. citizens should consult with an attorney before undertaking a real estate purchase, and should be careful to fully understand the implications of all parts of a real estate contract. Working with a translator can help ensure that your rights are protected. There is little the U.S. Embassy can do to assist U.S. citizens who enter into private land or business disputes; you must be prepared to take your case to the local courts. Please review the U.S. Embassy’s website for additional information on buying real estate in Croatia.

Travelers checks are less accepted and exchanged at an unfavorable rate. ATMs are common, and credit cards are accepted. Facilities are available for wiring or transferring money.

Recreational Boating: The Croatian Government requires all recreational captains chartering Croatian-flagged vessels to have a certificate of competence.

Croatia recognizes certain certificates issued by the U.S. Sailing Association and licenses issued by the national authorities of other countries.

Details on classes of licenses recognized by country can be found on the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure’s webpage.

Tourists in Croatia can be certified by passing a test at harbormasters' offices in Pula, Rijeka, Senj, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik, or at the Ministry in Zagreb.

Travelers arriving by private marine craft should refer to the Ministry’s website for information on nautical regulations.

 

Climbing and Hiking: If you intend to hike or climb in the Croatian mountains, seek local guides’ expert advice. For emergencies call 112 and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. Rock climbers in Paklenica National Park should consult a local guide or contact Paklenica National Park prior to their visit.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

 

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions regarding same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Croatia. Although lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals are afforded full rights in Croatia, same-sex couples may face legal challenges in the areas of adoption and next-of-kin determinations. In 2014, Croatia enacted the Law on Life Partnership of Same Sex Couples allowing for formal registration of same sex unions. The LGBTI community is protected by anti-discrimination laws, and there are no legal or governmental impediments to the organization of LGBTI events. However, there have been incidents related to hate towards LGBTI groups, notably during annual pride events, both in Zagreb and Split. Individual cases of attacks on members of the LGBTI community have also been recorded.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section six of our Human Rights Report for further information.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility and accommodation in Croatia are different from those in the United States. Croatian law mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities; however, there is a marked difference in new construction compared to old construction, where access can still be limited. Croatia’s geography is hilly and often steep, particularly along the coast, and presents challenges to some persons with disabilities. Access to public transportation may not always be available. Outside urban areas, accessibility worsens significantly.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Adequate medical care is readily available in Croatia, but the condition of hospital facilities may not be comparable to U.S. standards. Travelers to Croatia may obtain a list of English-speaking physicians on the U.S. Embassy’s website. You may require a prescription to get some medications that you can purchase over-the-counter in the United States.

If you will be in Croatia for more than three months, you may wish to get a tick-borne encephalitis vaccine. This vaccine is not available in the United States, but is available in Croatia from local doctors. Use insect repellent and inspect your body for ticks after spending time outdoors.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers in Croatia accept cash or credit card payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, please visit the U.S. Embassy’s website for information on bringing medical drugs for personal use when traveling to Croatia. Note that Croatian law prohibits the importation of drugs via postal mail.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Croatia may differ significantly from those in United States. Current information about traffic and road conditions is available in English from the Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) or by calling +385 1 464-0800 (English-speaking operators available 24 hours) or +385 1 661-1999.

  • Exercise caution when driving in Croatia. On the highways, be aware of aggressive drivers passing on curves or in oncoming lanes.
  • Highway tolls are higher than those in the United States and can be paid in cash or by credit card. Information on tolls is available from the Croatian Motorways website.
  • Croatian radio broadcasts programs in foreign languages on several frequencies. From mid-June to mid-September, Channel 2 broadcasts foreign news, traffic information, and important information in English and German.
  • Within Croatia, emergency roadside assistance is available by calling 1987. Dial 112 or 192 to speak to the police, and dial 194 for an ambulance.

Traffic Laws: Vehicles drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. Speed limits range from 110 to 130 km/h on highways and motorways and 50 to 90 km/h on urban thoroughfares.

  • A Croatian driver's license is required for drivers who stay longer than twelve months. 
  • Don’t drink and drive. The maximum legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05 percent (0.00 percent for drivers with less than two years’ experience, drivers under 24 years of age, and truck or bus drivers).
  • Police routinely spot-check for drunk driving and administer breath-analyzer tests at the scene of all accidents. Refusal to take a breath test is considered a de facto admission of driving while intoxicated. Penalties may include fines up to 2,000 euros and/or prison sentences.
  • For traffic accidents involving a foreign-registered vehicle, the responding police officer must issue a vehicle damage certificate to the owner of the foreign-registered vehicle; this is necessary to cross the border out of Croatia. Upon written request, the police station in the area where the accident occurred will issue a traffic accident investigation record.
  • Seat belts for drivers and passengers are mandatory. Infants must travel in child-safety seats. Children under 12 may not ride in the front seat. 
  • No right on red at traffic lights unless allowed by an additional green arrow. 
  • Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in designated white-striped crosswalks. You must stop.
  • Headlights must be used all winter, as well as during fog and other inclement weather.
  • It is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free device.

For specific information concerning Croatian driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Croatian National Tourist Board.

Public Transportation: Pay attention to trams (streetcars) in Zagreb, which travel at high speed through the narrow streets.

See our road safety webpage for more information. Visit the websites of the Ministry of the Interior, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, which are responsible for road safety.


Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Croatia’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Croatia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Croatia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Zagreb

Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2400
Fax: +(385) (1) 665-8933
Email: 

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General Information

Croatia and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since December 1, 1991.

For information concerning travel to Croatia, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Croatia.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Croatia.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign central authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website:  travel.state.gov

The Croatia Central Authority (CCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is located in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).  The CCA has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications.  The CCA forwards completed Hague petitions to the competent municipal court and to the social welfare agency within the jurisdiction of the child’s location.  The social welfare agency will attempt to secure a voluntary return of the child, if appropriate.

The CCA can be reached at:

Ministry of Justice
Dezmanova ulica 6 and 10
HR – 10000 Zagreb
Republic of Croatia
Telephone: 385 (1) 371 0666
e-mail address: marija.stojevic@mzss.hr / lidija.budimovic@mzss.hr

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Croatia, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at a the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the CCA.  Translations of the Hague Abduction Convention application and submitted documents into Croatian are not required.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to CCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Croatia central authorities.  The CCA offers free legal aid and other professional assistance to all parties in Hague Abduction Convention proceedings.   Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Croatia.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Croatia.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

The competent social welfare agency will appoint an attorney as a guardian ad litem in order to ensure the protection of the child in Hague proceedings. The Ministry of Social Policy and Youth may appoint an attorney for left-behind parents who are unable to afford an attorney. Parents may also choose to retain private legal counsel in Croatia to handle their Hague case.  A parent who hires private counsel should notify both the Croatian and the U.S. central authorities.   

The U.S. Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The CCA strongly promotes mediation and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Croatia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Croatia.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2014. Read about Transition Cases.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Croatia you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 Immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Croatia obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Croatia:

  • Residency: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 21 old and not older than 35 years old. Adoptive parents must be at least 18 years older than the adopted child. Persons between 18 and 21 years old may become adoptive parents if their spouse is older than 21 years of age. In rare cases and at the discretion of the Central Authority persons over the age of 35 may adopt as long as they are not over 45 years older than the adopted child.

    Exceptions to the minimum and maximum age requirements, as with all aspects of the adoption process in Croatia, are based on a standard that requires decisions “in the best interest of the child” as determined by the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth in conjunction with the Centers for Social Welfare. For example, a married couple who wishes to adopt but would normally be barred from doing so because one spouse is more than 45 years older than the adoptive child could be granted an exception if the other spouse meets the age criterion.
  • Marriage: Married opposite sex couples as well as unmarried individuals can adopt children in Croatia. Same sex marriages are not recognized in Croatia and, as such, these couples are not eligible to adopt.

  • Income: No specific income requirements exist for prospective adoptive parents. However, the Center for Social Welfare must be satisfied that the parents have sufficient means to provide for themselves and the child to be adopted. The Center for Social Welfare makes this determination on a case by case basis as part of its pre-adoption evaluation of the prospective adoptive parents.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Croatia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Croatia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Croatia have determined that placement of the child within Croatia has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Croatia’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment: Biological parents may relinquish children for adoption following consultations with the Center for Social Welfare. Once consent to relinquishment of parental rights and adoption is obtained by the Center for Social Welfare no action may be taken towards adoption for 30 days. During this waiting period a biological parent may revoke consent. Once the 30 day waiting period has elapsed, the relinquishment and consent to adoption becomes irrevocable.
  • Abandonment: A child is considered abandoned under Croatian law when no biological parent is identified by judicial and social service authorities within three months from the date the child is found. It is illegal under Croatian law for a parent to abandon a child and these cases are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: A child must be at least three months old before it can be eligible for adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Siblings are encouraged to consider adopting eligible brothers or sisters should they meet all other legal eligibility requirements for adoption.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Special needs children and those with medical conditions are eligible for adoption. Before prospective adoptive parents may be authorized to adopt a child with special needs or a medical condition an expert must find that the prospective adoptive parents’ are able suitably meet the particular needs of the child and/or properly manage the child’s medical condition.

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Once a child is deemed to be abandoned per the above mentioned criteria adoption may occur three months after the date of abandonment. Children in foster care are eligible for adoption. In cases of relinquishment a 30 day waiting period must elapse before an adoption may proceed. During this waiting period a biological parent may revoke the relinquishment.

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How to Adopt

WARNING: Croatia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. You should not attempt to adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Croatia before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.

Croatia’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Social Policy & Youth

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2014 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to Croatia), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Croatia as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases

The Process

Because Croatia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Croatia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Croatia
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt (or obtain Legal Custody) of child in Croatia
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Croatia is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Croatia. The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

Croatia does not allow foreign agencies to provide adoption services inside the country. Instead all intercountry adoptions are facilitated by the Central Authority.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Croatia as part of your adoption dossier. Croatia’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Croatia’s law.

 3. Be Matched with a Child by in Croatia

If both the United States and Croatia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the Ministry of Social Policy & Youth has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests the Ministry of Social Policy & Youth in Croatia may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Croatia. The Ministry of Social Policy & Youth in Croatia will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Ministry of Social Policy & Youth in Croatia. Learn more about this critical decision.

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Croatia. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to Croatia’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Croatia where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform Croatia’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Croatia before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of Child in Croatia

Remember: Before you adopt (or obtain legal custody of) a child in Croatia, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Croatia.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtaining legal custody) in Croatia generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority: The Croatian central adoption authority, the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, oversees all intercountry adoptions. The adoption process is administered by the various Centers for Social Welfare present throughout the country. Determination of the competent Center for Social Welfare is based on the jurisdiction where an adoptee lives.

    The Centers for Social Welfare administers the entire adoption process. Abandonment and relinquishment determinations are made administratively by a commission of experts convened for this purpose by the Centers. Each commission is comprised of four members, a social worker, a psychologist, a lawyer, and the center director. This group also makes suitability determinations regarding prospective adoptive parents based on home studies and other documentation it may propose a match of adoptive parents with a specific child.

    Once the commission arrives at a decision that the adoptive parents are suitable for adoption and the PAPs accept the match, the commission decision is forwarded to the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth which reviews the decision and either confirms or rejects it. If the Ministry concurs with the Center for Social Welfare its approval is returned to the Center which finalizes the adoption.
  • Role of the Court: Courts have no role in the Croatian adoption process.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Adoption agencies are not permitted in Croatia.
  • Time Frame: There is no specific timeframe for the adoption process.
  • Adoption Application: Prospective adoptive parents must submit applications to the Ministry of Social Policy Youth or to the Center for Social Welfare in the jurisdiction in which the prospective adoptive child is resident. Should the application be submitted directly to the Ministry it will be forwarded to a Center for Social Welfare.
  • Adoption Fees: The Croatian government authorities do not charge any fees for the adoption process.
  • Documents Required: The documents needed for the adoption process in Croatia include, but are not limited to:
    • Birth certificate of prospective adopters
    • Marriage certificate
    • Psychological assessment of adopters
    • Home study
    • Statement confirming that adopters have legal capacity
    • Statement confirming that adopters have not been deprived of parental rights
    • Medical assessment
    • Certificate confirming that adopters do not have a criminal record and that there are no current criminal charges against them
    • Proof of citizenship
    • Proof of employment, salary
    • Certificate by the competent authority of the adopters' state of origin confirming that the adoption in the Republic of Croatia is permitted and that it will be recognized in the receiving state.
  • Note: Additional documents may be requested.
  • Authentication of Documents: The United States and Croatia are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.

Note: The Ministry of Social Policy and Youth will most likely request that your submission be translated into Croatian by a court appointed translator.

6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
If you have finalized the adoption in Croatia you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in Croatia

Croatian Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Croatia.

Passports are issued by the Croatian Ministry of Interior at a police station in the applicant’s jurisdiction. The passport is issued within 30 days of filing an application.

  • The passport application must be submitted with the following:
    • Identity card or other Croatian citizenship document;
    • Proof of payment of passport issuance fees, including administrative fee stamps;
    • A 3.5 x 4.5 cm photograph (please inform the photographer that the photograph is needed for a biometric passport);
    • The old passport, which will be canceled and returned (if available);
    • For minor children who are requesting their first passport and have no identity card: a copy of birth certificate and a certificate of citizenship (children 12 years and older must be present to sign the application and submit fingerprints that are stored in the biometric passport).

The approximate cost of the passport application is 80 USD to 100 USD depending whether expedited processing is requested.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate,
final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S.  citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Croatia 
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Croatia see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Croatia, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

We urge you to comply with Croatia’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Croatia
Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb
Croatia
Tel: +385-1-661-2200
Fax: +385-1-665-8933
Email: ZagrebACS@state.gov
Internet: hr.usembassy.gov

CROATIA’S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy
Trg Nevenke Topalusic 1
10000 Zagreb
Croatia
Tel: +385 1 555 7111
Web: mspm.hr/

Embassy of the Republic of Croatia
2343 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington DC 20008-2803
Tel: 202-588-5899
Fax: 202-588-8937, 588-8936
Email: washington@mvep.hr
Internet: http://us.mfa.hr/?mv=1047&mh=181

The Republic of Croatia also has consulates in: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Houston.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
 
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months A
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months A
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months A
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months A
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months A
G-3 None One 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months A
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months A
NATO 1-7 10 None Multiple 60 Months
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Visa to be issued with a validity of the duration of the applicant's assignment as indicated in the official note of request but not to exceed 60 months.

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. Birth (Izvod iz matične knjige rođenih) certificates are available from the civil registrar (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over the locality where the event occurred. Prior to May 10, 1946, these records were maintained by church authorities where civil records were kept. Since that date, only civil marriages have been legal. Marriage by proxy is not usual, but is possible.

Death/Burial

Available. Death certificates (Izvod iz matične knjige umrlih) are available from the civil registrar (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over the locality where the event occurred. Prior to May 10, 1946, these records were maintained by church authorities where civil records were kept. Since that date, only civil marriages have been legal. Marriage by proxy is not usual, but is possible.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Marriage (Izvod iz matične knjige vjenčanih) certificates are available from the civil registrar (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over the locality where the event occurred. Prior to May 10, 1946, these records were maintained by church authorities where civil records were kept. Since that date, only civil marriages have been legal. Marriage by proxy is not usual, but is possible.

Divorce

Available copies of divorce judgement are available from the municipal civil court (Građanski općinski sud) which decided the case. A divorce certificate is typewritten and only a divorce obtained through the civil court is legal.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Available. All residents of Croatia who have reached their sixteenth birthday must carry an identity card (Osobna iskaznica) issued by the Police Department (MUP). It contains the photograph, date and place of birth and address of the bearer, serial and registry number and person's signature. For persons under sixteen, parents may apply for identity cards.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A certificate (Potvrda o osuđivanosti) issued by the Ministry of Justice (Ministarstvo pravosuđa Republike Hrvatske, Uprava za kazneno pravo i probaciju, Odjel za kaznene evidencije, Pododsjek za upravne poslove, Vukovarska 49, Zagreb) shows whether the applicant has been convicted of any crimes and the articles of law involved. A second document (Uvjerenje da nije u tijeku istražni postupak, da nije podignuta optužnica, izrečena nepravomoćna osuđujuća presuda ili kazna zatvora) is issued by the Municipal Criminal Court (Općinski kazneni sud) of the district in which the applicant currently resides, and shows whether the applicant is currently under investigation in any criminal matter. Visa applicants who reside in Croatia are required to obtain both documents. Visa applicants whose residence is outside of Croatia can only obtain the criminal record certificate (Potvrda o osuđivanosti).

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

Available. A statement of the time spent in an institution can be obtained from the municipal criminal court (Opcćnski kazneni sud) where the person was sentenced.

Military Records

Available. A certificate issued by the Ministry of Defense (Ministarstvo obrane) according to Article 171 of the Law of General Administrative Procedure(Zakon o upravnom postupku) is acceptable.

Note: Old identity cards (issued under the former Yugoslav government) for Croatian citizens were valid only until October 7, 1993.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Unavailable.

Other Records

Statement of Unmarried Status

The Civil Register (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over a person's birth may issue a certificate (Uvjerenje o slobodnom bračnom stanju) stating that the applicant is not married.

Note: Non-residents may apply for these documents through a Croatian diplomatic or consular mission or by writing directly to the issuing office.

Visa Issuing Posts

Zagreb, Croatia (Embassy)

Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb

Tel: (385) (1) 661-2300

Fax: (385) (1) 661-8933

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Croatia, as well as IV and K visas for Slovenian nationals.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 588-5899 ext. 113 or 114 (202) 588-8936

Chicago, IL (312) 482-9902 (312) 482-9987

Los Angeles, CA (310) 477-1009 (310) 477-1866

New York, NY (212) 599-3066 (212) 599-3106

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Zagreb
Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone
+(385) (1) 661-2200
Emergency
+(385) (1) 661-2400
Fax
+(385) (1) 665-8933
Croatia Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Croatia
Republic of Croatia
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Embassy Messages

Zagreb

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Three months after your planned date of departure

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page is required for an entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


No

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Up to 10,000 euros

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Up to 10,000 euros

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Zagreb

Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2400
Fax: +(385) (1) 665-8933
Email: 

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Croatia for information on U.S.–Croatia relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You need a valid U.S. passport to enter Croatia. Croatia requests three months validity on your passport. Croatia is not a member of the Schengen area. If you transit a Schengen country en route to Croatia, your passport should have at least six months of validity to avoid difficulties. For further details about travel into Schengen countries, please see the State Department’s Schengen Fact Sheet. Please be aware that a U.S. citizen traveling on a passport that has previously been reported lost or stolen will NOT be allowed entry in Croatia. Visit the Embassy of Croatia website for the most current visa information.

  • You do not need a visa if you hold a valid U.S. passport and are traveling to Croatia for tourism or business for less than 90 days within a 180-day period.
  • For entry and residence requirements in Croatia, please visit the Embassy of Croatia’s website. The U.S. Embassy is not able to expedite or intervene in the issuance of a Croatian residence permit.
  • Visitors to Croatia must register at a local police station within three days of arrival in country. If you are staying at a hotel, hostel, or vacation rental, this process is generally done on your behalf by the property owner.
  • Foreign documents submitted for residence in Croatia, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, educational records, driver’s licenses, or other documents, must be translated into Croatian and have an Apostille stamp. The U.S. Embassy cannot authenticate documents. For information on applying for Apostille and authentication services, please see the Department of State’s Office of Authentications website.

The U.S Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Croatia.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs  regulations on our websites.

Military/Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Travelers: While active-duty U.S. military personnel may enter Croatia under the (SOFA) with proper Department of Defense (DOD) identification and travel orders, all SOFA family members, civilian employees, and contractors must have valid passports. Active-duty military personnel should obtain a tourist passport before leaving the United States to accommodate off-duty travel. DOD travelers should consult the DOD Foreign Clearance Guide, DOD 4500.54, before leaving the United States.

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Safety and Security

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

  • War hostilities ended in all parts of Croatia in 1995; however, de-mining of areas along former confrontation lines will continue until at least 2019. Mined areas are well-marked with Croatian-language warning signs using the international symbol for mines: a skull and crossbones inside a red, upside-down triangle. Drivers in former conflict areas should stay on paved roads to reduce the risk of encountering unmarked mines and unexploded ordnance.
  • For more information about mine-affected areas and de-mining operations in Croatia, please visit the Croatian Mine Action Center's website.
  • Avoid demonstrations. While civil disorder is rare in Croatia, U.S. citizens should monitor local media coverage, review their personal security practices, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even peaceful demonstrations can escalate into violence with little or no notice. Security messages about demonstrations can be found here on the U.S. Embassy website.

Crime: While violent crime is rare, isolated attacks targeting specific persons or property may occur and be racially-motivated or prompted by lingering ethnic tensions from Croatia's war for independence.

  • Safeguard your belongings in public areas, especially in bus or railroad stations, airports, gas stations, and public transportation. Report incidents of theft to the local police. File a police report if your U.S. passport is stolen.
  • Don’t display outward signs of wealth. It may make you a target for thieves.
  • Avoid "gentlemen's clubs." In the past, such establishments have presented foreign customers with inflated bills and threatened those who refuse to pay.

U.S. business entities are encouraged to read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Croatia.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy at +(385) (1) 661-2200 and check the information on local resources for victims of sexual assault on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112, and then contact the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide information about local resources for victims of crime
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home if you are destitute
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. You can find additional local resources for victims of domestic violence on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some crimes are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Real estate: U.S. citizens should exercise due diligence when considering purchasing real estate in Croatia. U.S. citizens should consult with an attorney before undertaking a real estate purchase, and should be careful to fully understand the implications of all parts of a real estate contract. Working with a translator can help ensure that your rights are protected. There is little the U.S. Embassy can do to assist U.S. citizens who enter into private land or business disputes; you must be prepared to take your case to the local courts. Please review the U.S. Embassy’s website for additional information on buying real estate in Croatia.

Travelers checks are less accepted and exchanged at an unfavorable rate. ATMs are common, and credit cards are accepted. Facilities are available for wiring or transferring money.

Recreational Boating: The Croatian Government requires all recreational captains chartering Croatian-flagged vessels to have a certificate of competence.

Croatia recognizes certain certificates issued by the U.S. Sailing Association and licenses issued by the national authorities of other countries.

Details on classes of licenses recognized by country can be found on the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure’s webpage.

Tourists in Croatia can be certified by passing a test at harbormasters' offices in Pula, Rijeka, Senj, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik, or at the Ministry in Zagreb.

Travelers arriving by private marine craft should refer to the Ministry’s website for information on nautical regulations.

 

Climbing and Hiking: If you intend to hike or climb in the Croatian mountains, seek local guides’ expert advice. For emergencies call 112 and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. Rock climbers in Paklenica National Park should consult a local guide or contact Paklenica National Park prior to their visit.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

 

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions regarding same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Croatia. Although lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals are afforded full rights in Croatia, same-sex couples may face legal challenges in the areas of adoption and next-of-kin determinations. In 2014, Croatia enacted the Law on Life Partnership of Same Sex Couples allowing for formal registration of same sex unions. The LGBTI community is protected by anti-discrimination laws, and there are no legal or governmental impediments to the organization of LGBTI events. However, there have been incidents related to hate towards LGBTI groups, notably during annual pride events, both in Zagreb and Split. Individual cases of attacks on members of the LGBTI community have also been recorded.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section six of our Human Rights Report for further information.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility and accommodation in Croatia are different from those in the United States. Croatian law mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities; however, there is a marked difference in new construction compared to old construction, where access can still be limited. Croatia’s geography is hilly and often steep, particularly along the coast, and presents challenges to some persons with disabilities. Access to public transportation may not always be available. Outside urban areas, accessibility worsens significantly.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Adequate medical care is readily available in Croatia, but the condition of hospital facilities may not be comparable to U.S. standards. Travelers to Croatia may obtain a list of English-speaking physicians on the U.S. Embassy’s website. You may require a prescription to get some medications that you can purchase over-the-counter in the United States.

If you will be in Croatia for more than three months, you may wish to get a tick-borne encephalitis vaccine. This vaccine is not available in the United States, but is available in Croatia from local doctors. Use insect repellent and inspect your body for ticks after spending time outdoors.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers in Croatia accept cash or credit card payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, please visit the U.S. Embassy’s website for information on bringing medical drugs for personal use when traveling to Croatia. Note that Croatian law prohibits the importation of drugs via postal mail.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Croatia may differ significantly from those in United States. Current information about traffic and road conditions is available in English from the Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) or by calling +385 1 464-0800 (English-speaking operators available 24 hours) or +385 1 661-1999.

  • Exercise caution when driving in Croatia. On the highways, be aware of aggressive drivers passing on curves or in oncoming lanes.
  • Highway tolls are higher than those in the United States and can be paid in cash or by credit card. Information on tolls is available from the Croatian Motorways website.
  • Croatian radio broadcasts programs in foreign languages on several frequencies. From mid-June to mid-September, Channel 2 broadcasts foreign news, traffic information, and important information in English and German.
  • Within Croatia, emergency roadside assistance is available by calling 1987. Dial 112 or 192 to speak to the police, and dial 194 for an ambulance.

Traffic Laws: Vehicles drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. Speed limits range from 110 to 130 km/h on highways and motorways and 50 to 90 km/h on urban thoroughfares.

  • A Croatian driver's license is required for drivers who stay longer than twelve months. 
  • Don’t drink and drive. The maximum legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05 percent (0.00 percent for drivers with less than two years’ experience, drivers under 24 years of age, and truck or bus drivers).
  • Police routinely spot-check for drunk driving and administer breath-analyzer tests at the scene of all accidents. Refusal to take a breath test is considered a de facto admission of driving while intoxicated. Penalties may include fines up to 2,000 euros and/or prison sentences.
  • For traffic accidents involving a foreign-registered vehicle, the responding police officer must issue a vehicle damage certificate to the owner of the foreign-registered vehicle; this is necessary to cross the border out of Croatia. Upon written request, the police station in the area where the accident occurred will issue a traffic accident investigation record.
  • Seat belts for drivers and passengers are mandatory. Infants must travel in child-safety seats. Children under 12 may not ride in the front seat. 
  • No right on red at traffic lights unless allowed by an additional green arrow. 
  • Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in designated white-striped crosswalks. You must stop.
  • Headlights must be used all winter, as well as during fog and other inclement weather.
  • It is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free device.

For specific information concerning Croatian driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Croatian National Tourist Board.

Public Transportation: Pay attention to trams (streetcars) in Zagreb, which travel at high speed through the narrow streets.

See our road safety webpage for more information. Visit the websites of the Ministry of the Interior, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, which are responsible for road safety.


Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Croatia’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Croatia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Croatia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Zagreb

Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2400
Fax: +(385) (1) 665-8933
Email: 

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General Information

Croatia and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since December 1, 1991.

For information concerning travel to Croatia, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Croatia.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Croatia.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign central authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website:  travel.state.gov

The Croatia Central Authority (CCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is located in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).  The CCA has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications.  The CCA forwards completed Hague petitions to the competent municipal court and to the social welfare agency within the jurisdiction of the child’s location.  The social welfare agency will attempt to secure a voluntary return of the child, if appropriate.

The CCA can be reached at:

Ministry of Justice
Dezmanova ulica 6 and 10
HR – 10000 Zagreb
Republic of Croatia
Telephone: 385 (1) 371 0666
e-mail address: marija.stojevic@mzss.hr / lidija.budimovic@mzss.hr

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Croatia, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at a the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the CCA.  Translations of the Hague Abduction Convention application and submitted documents into Croatian are not required.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to CCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Croatia central authorities.  The CCA offers free legal aid and other professional assistance to all parties in Hague Abduction Convention proceedings.   Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Croatia.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Croatia.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

The competent social welfare agency will appoint an attorney as a guardian ad litem in order to ensure the protection of the child in Hague proceedings. The Ministry of Social Policy and Youth may appoint an attorney for left-behind parents who are unable to afford an attorney. Parents may also choose to retain private legal counsel in Croatia to handle their Hague case.  A parent who hires private counsel should notify both the Croatian and the U.S. central authorities.   

The U.S. Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The CCA strongly promotes mediation and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Croatia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Croatia.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2014. Read about Transition Cases.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Croatia you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 Immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Croatia obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Croatia:

  • Residency: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 21 old and not older than 35 years old. Adoptive parents must be at least 18 years older than the adopted child. Persons between 18 and 21 years old may become adoptive parents if their spouse is older than 21 years of age. In rare cases and at the discretion of the Central Authority persons over the age of 35 may adopt as long as they are not over 45 years older than the adopted child.

    Exceptions to the minimum and maximum age requirements, as with all aspects of the adoption process in Croatia, are based on a standard that requires decisions “in the best interest of the child” as determined by the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth in conjunction with the Centers for Social Welfare. For example, a married couple who wishes to adopt but would normally be barred from doing so because one spouse is more than 45 years older than the adoptive child could be granted an exception if the other spouse meets the age criterion.
  • Marriage: Married opposite sex couples as well as unmarried individuals can adopt children in Croatia. Same sex marriages are not recognized in Croatia and, as such, these couples are not eligible to adopt.

  • Income: No specific income requirements exist for prospective adoptive parents. However, the Center for Social Welfare must be satisfied that the parents have sufficient means to provide for themselves and the child to be adopted. The Center for Social Welfare makes this determination on a case by case basis as part of its pre-adoption evaluation of the prospective adoptive parents.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Croatia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Croatia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Croatia have determined that placement of the child within Croatia has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Croatia’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment: Biological parents may relinquish children for adoption following consultations with the Center for Social Welfare. Once consent to relinquishment of parental rights and adoption is obtained by the Center for Social Welfare no action may be taken towards adoption for 30 days. During this waiting period a biological parent may revoke consent. Once the 30 day waiting period has elapsed, the relinquishment and consent to adoption becomes irrevocable.
  • Abandonment: A child is considered abandoned under Croatian law when no biological parent is identified by judicial and social service authorities within three months from the date the child is found. It is illegal under Croatian law for a parent to abandon a child and these cases are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: A child must be at least three months old before it can be eligible for adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Siblings are encouraged to consider adopting eligible brothers or sisters should they meet all other legal eligibility requirements for adoption.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Special needs children and those with medical conditions are eligible for adoption. Before prospective adoptive parents may be authorized to adopt a child with special needs or a medical condition an expert must find that the prospective adoptive parents’ are able suitably meet the particular needs of the child and/or properly manage the child’s medical condition.

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Once a child is deemed to be abandoned per the above mentioned criteria adoption may occur three months after the date of abandonment. Children in foster care are eligible for adoption. In cases of relinquishment a 30 day waiting period must elapse before an adoption may proceed. During this waiting period a biological parent may revoke the relinquishment.

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How to Adopt

WARNING: Croatia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. You should not attempt to adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Croatia before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.

Croatia’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Social Policy & Youth

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2014 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to Croatia), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Croatia as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases

The Process

Because Croatia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Croatia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Croatia
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt (or obtain Legal Custody) of child in Croatia
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Croatia is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Croatia. The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

Croatia does not allow foreign agencies to provide adoption services inside the country. Instead all intercountry adoptions are facilitated by the Central Authority.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Croatia as part of your adoption dossier. Croatia’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Croatia’s law.

 3. Be Matched with a Child by in Croatia

If both the United States and Croatia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the Ministry of Social Policy & Youth has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests the Ministry of Social Policy & Youth in Croatia may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Croatia. The Ministry of Social Policy & Youth in Croatia will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Ministry of Social Policy & Youth in Croatia. Learn more about this critical decision.

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Croatia. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to Croatia’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Croatia where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform Croatia’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Croatia before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of Child in Croatia

Remember: Before you adopt (or obtain legal custody of) a child in Croatia, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Croatia.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtaining legal custody) in Croatia generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority: The Croatian central adoption authority, the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, oversees all intercountry adoptions. The adoption process is administered by the various Centers for Social Welfare present throughout the country. Determination of the competent Center for Social Welfare is based on the jurisdiction where an adoptee lives.

    The Centers for Social Welfare administers the entire adoption process. Abandonment and relinquishment determinations are made administratively by a commission of experts convened for this purpose by the Centers. Each commission is comprised of four members, a social worker, a psychologist, a lawyer, and the center director. This group also makes suitability determinations regarding prospective adoptive parents based on home studies and other documentation it may propose a match of adoptive parents with a specific child.

    Once the commission arrives at a decision that the adoptive parents are suitable for adoption and the PAPs accept the match, the commission decision is forwarded to the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth which reviews the decision and either confirms or rejects it. If the Ministry concurs with the Center for Social Welfare its approval is returned to the Center which finalizes the adoption.
  • Role of the Court: Courts have no role in the Croatian adoption process.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Adoption agencies are not permitted in Croatia.
  • Time Frame: There is no specific timeframe for the adoption process.
  • Adoption Application: Prospective adoptive parents must submit applications to the Ministry of Social Policy Youth or to the Center for Social Welfare in the jurisdiction in which the prospective adoptive child is resident. Should the application be submitted directly to the Ministry it will be forwarded to a Center for Social Welfare.
  • Adoption Fees: The Croatian government authorities do not charge any fees for the adoption process.
  • Documents Required: The documents needed for the adoption process in Croatia include, but are not limited to:
    • Birth certificate of prospective adopters
    • Marriage certificate
    • Psychological assessment of adopters
    • Home study
    • Statement confirming that adopters have legal capacity
    • Statement confirming that adopters have not been deprived of parental rights
    • Medical assessment
    • Certificate confirming that adopters do not have a criminal record and that there are no current criminal charges against them
    • Proof of citizenship
    • Proof of employment, salary
    • Certificate by the competent authority of the adopters' state of origin confirming that the adoption in the Republic of Croatia is permitted and that it will be recognized in the receiving state.
  • Note: Additional documents may be requested.
  • Authentication of Documents: The United States and Croatia are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.

Note: The Ministry of Social Policy and Youth will most likely request that your submission be translated into Croatian by a court appointed translator.

6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
If you have finalized the adoption in Croatia you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in Croatia

Croatian Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Croatia.

Passports are issued by the Croatian Ministry of Interior at a police station in the applicant’s jurisdiction. The passport is issued within 30 days of filing an application.

  • The passport application must be submitted with the following:
    • Identity card or other Croatian citizenship document;
    • Proof of payment of passport issuance fees, including administrative fee stamps;
    • A 3.5 x 4.5 cm photograph (please inform the photographer that the photograph is needed for a biometric passport);
    • The old passport, which will be canceled and returned (if available);
    • For minor children who are requesting their first passport and have no identity card: a copy of birth certificate and a certificate of citizenship (children 12 years and older must be present to sign the application and submit fingerprints that are stored in the biometric passport).

The approximate cost of the passport application is 80 USD to 100 USD depending whether expedited processing is requested.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate,
final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S.  citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Croatia 
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Croatia see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Croatia, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

We urge you to comply with Croatia’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Croatia
Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb
Croatia
Tel: +385-1-661-2200
Fax: +385-1-665-8933
Email: ZagrebACS@state.gov
Internet: hr.usembassy.gov

CROATIA’S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy
Trg Nevenke Topalusic 1
10000 Zagreb
Croatia
Tel: +385 1 555 7111
Web: mspm.hr/

Embassy of the Republic of Croatia
2343 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington DC 20008-2803
Tel: 202-588-5899
Fax: 202-588-8937, 588-8936
Email: washington@mvep.hr
Internet: http://us.mfa.hr/?mv=1047&mh=181

The Republic of Croatia also has consulates in: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Houston.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
 
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months A
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months A
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months A
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months A
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months A
G-3 None One 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months A
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months A
NATO 1-7 10 None Multiple 60 Months
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Visa to be issued with a validity of the duration of the applicant's assignment as indicated in the official note of request but not to exceed 60 months.

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. Birth (Izvod iz matične knjige rođenih) certificates are available from the civil registrar (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over the locality where the event occurred. Prior to May 10, 1946, these records were maintained by church authorities where civil records were kept. Since that date, only civil marriages have been legal. Marriage by proxy is not usual, but is possible.

Death/Burial

Available. Death certificates (Izvod iz matične knjige umrlih) are available from the civil registrar (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over the locality where the event occurred. Prior to May 10, 1946, these records were maintained by church authorities where civil records were kept. Since that date, only civil marriages have been legal. Marriage by proxy is not usual, but is possible.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Marriage (Izvod iz matične knjige vjenčanih) certificates are available from the civil registrar (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over the locality where the event occurred. Prior to May 10, 1946, these records were maintained by church authorities where civil records were kept. Since that date, only civil marriages have been legal. Marriage by proxy is not usual, but is possible.

Divorce

Available copies of divorce judgement are available from the municipal civil court (Građanski općinski sud) which decided the case. A divorce certificate is typewritten and only a divorce obtained through the civil court is legal.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Available. All residents of Croatia who have reached their sixteenth birthday must carry an identity card (Osobna iskaznica) issued by the Police Department (MUP). It contains the photograph, date and place of birth and address of the bearer, serial and registry number and person's signature. For persons under sixteen, parents may apply for identity cards.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A certificate (Potvrda o osuđivanosti) issued by the Ministry of Justice (Ministarstvo pravosuđa Republike Hrvatske, Uprava za kazneno pravo i probaciju, Odjel za kaznene evidencije, Pododsjek za upravne poslove, Vukovarska 49, Zagreb) shows whether the applicant has been convicted of any crimes and the articles of law involved. A second document (Uvjerenje da nije u tijeku istražni postupak, da nije podignuta optužnica, izrečena nepravomoćna osuđujuća presuda ili kazna zatvora) is issued by the Municipal Criminal Court (Općinski kazneni sud) of the district in which the applicant currently resides, and shows whether the applicant is currently under investigation in any criminal matter. Visa applicants who reside in Croatia are required to obtain both documents. Visa applicants whose residence is outside of Croatia can only obtain the criminal record certificate (Potvrda o osuđivanosti).

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

Available. A statement of the time spent in an institution can be obtained from the municipal criminal court (Opcćnski kazneni sud) where the person was sentenced.

Military Records

Available. A certificate issued by the Ministry of Defense (Ministarstvo obrane) according to Article 171 of the Law of General Administrative Procedure(Zakon o upravnom postupku) is acceptable.

Note: Old identity cards (issued under the former Yugoslav government) for Croatian citizens were valid only until October 7, 1993.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Unavailable.

Other Records

Statement of Unmarried Status

The Civil Register (Matični ured) having jurisdiction over a person's birth may issue a certificate (Uvjerenje o slobodnom bračnom stanju) stating that the applicant is not married.

Note: Non-residents may apply for these documents through a Croatian diplomatic or consular mission or by writing directly to the issuing office.

Visa Issuing Posts

Zagreb, Croatia (Embassy)

Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb

Tel: (385) (1) 661-2300

Fax: (385) (1) 661-8933

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Croatia, as well as IV and K visas for Slovenian nationals.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 588-5899 ext. 113 or 114 (202) 588-8936

Chicago, IL (312) 482-9902 (312) 482-9987

Los Angeles, CA (310) 477-1009 (310) 477-1866

New York, NY (212) 599-3066 (212) 599-3106

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Zagreb
Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone
+(385) (1) 661-2200
Emergency
+(385) (1) 661-2400
Fax
+(385) (1) 665-8933
Croatia Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.