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Law changes for making Croatian citizenship easier to obtain open for consultations

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On Wednesday, 24 October 2018, the Ministry of the Interior opened consultations with the interested public regarding the draft law on amendments to the Croatian Citizenship Act. 

The amendments are aimed at making the acquisition of citizenship to descendants of Croatian emigrants easier. 

“Inclusion of Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia into the social and political life of the country is one of the strategic goals of the Croatian government and its 2016-2020 plan. The Croatian government, with the support of the Council of the Croatian Government for Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia, is continuously working on the improvement of policies and programmes for Croats living outside the borders of Croatia. The proposal of the draft law on Amendments to the Croatian Citizenship Act seeks to help resolve demographic issues through an easier process of obtaining citizenship for Croatian people abroad and Croatian emigrants,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Some of the main proposed changes include increasing the age limit to 21 when registering a child whose parent is a Croatian citizen, the removal of generation limitations, and abolishing the Croatian language and culture examination. 

Currently, only those whose parents or grandparents have Croatian citizenship can apply, but the amendment will see those generation restrictions removed, whilst the deadline for registration of Croatians born abroad with at least one parent who is Croatian would increase from 18 to 21 under the new law.

It is also proposed to simplify the process of producing evidence for Croatian people who do not have personal proof being Croatian but whose parents have undoubtedly established being Croatian. 

In the period from 1 January 1992 to 31 December 2017, 1,088,662 people were born into Croatian citizenship, of which, according to Article 16 (on the basis of belonging to the Croatian people), 679,482 people gained Croatian citizenship, while 20,489 people obtained Croatian citizenship pursuant to Article 11 (emigrants and their descendants and emigrants’ spouses).

The Ministry of the Interior invites representatives of the public who are interested to submit their comments and suggestions via the electronic e-Savjetovanja application until November 3, 2018.

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