Family reunification

What is family reunification?

According to Croatian legislation, if you have been granted international protection (asylum or subsidiary protection) your family members have the right to come to Croatia and continue living there.

Who is entitled to family reunification?

Your family members who are entitled to be reunited with you in Croatia are:

  • Your spouse or a non-marital partner or same-sex partner (if you have several wives or husbands, only one wife or one husband will be granted the right to family reunification);
  • Your minor (biological or adopted) child; a minor (biological or adopted) child of your partner who exercises parental care over the child;
  • Your adult child who, due to illness or health condition, is unable to take care of himself or herself;
  • If you are a child, your parents or other legal representatives;
  • Your parents with whom you have lived in a common household, if they are found to be dependent on your care

Under the Foreigner’s Act, exceptionally, some other relative may also be regarded as a member of the immediate family, if there are special personal or serious humanitarian grounds for family reunification in Croatia.

How to prove family relationship?

A family relationship is proven by official documents, for example, a certificate of marriage registration, an extract from birth records etc. If you cannot obtain official documents to prove a family relationship, other circumstances, which could prove such a relationship, will be considered.

If you are a child, your special guardian will take all necessary actions, contact ministries, other state and foreign bodies and non-governmental organisations in order to reunite you with your family if this is in your best interest.

The decision to reject an application cannot be based solely on the fact that there are no official documents proving a family relationship.

What is the legal position of family members when they come to Croatia?

If you are a child who has not started his or her own family, you will have the same legal position as the person with whom you are reuniting in Croatia, that is, you will be granted asylum or subsidiary protection.

Other family members will be granted a temporary stay in Croatia.

What are the legal conditions for family reunification?

For the purpose of family reunification, a temporary stay will be granted to a member of your immediate family if you have been granted international protection under the following conditions:

  • If he or she proves the purpose of the temporary stay,
  • If he or she holds a valid travel document,
  • If he or she is not prohibited from entering and staying in Croatia,
  • If he or she is not considered to be a threat to public order, national security or public health.

Having means for subsistence and holding health insurance is not required.

The right of family reunification applies to a spouse or a common law partner or persons in a union, a minor child, an adult child incapable of caring for himself/herself due to a health condition, parents who had lived in the same household with you, if they are dependent on your care. A child has the right to reunification with his/her parents or other legal representative. Family reunification is realized in a way that the person who you wish to reunite with applies for a temporary stay at the nearest Croatian Embassy.

For further information about family reunification in Croatia please visit the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Ministry of the Interior web pages.

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs –

Ministry of the Interior –

Croatian Law Centre information: 

Family tracing service

The International Committee of the Red Cross and Croatian Red Cross Red can help you to get in contact with missing family members. Find your nearest Red Cross or Red Crescent office in the country you’re currently living in. Provide as much information as you can about your missing family member. CRC / ICRC will fill in a form using that information and share it with those who can help find your family and put you back in touch. Please visit the following links:

See also

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