For the most up-to-date and complete information on marriage requirements, please contact the records registry office (Matični Ured) in the locality where the marriage will take place. The following is an unofficial summary of the requirements for a U.S. citizen to marry in Croatia (the U.S. Embassy in Croatia assumes no legal liability for the accuracy of this information). You will need:
- Valid U.S. passport.
- U.S. birth certificate translated into Croatian by a sworn court interpreter (PDF 249 KB); the U.S. birth certificate must bear the Apostille seal of the competent authority of the issuing U.S. state and must be a new copy issued within the past 90 days. Obtaining the Apostille and/or new birth certificate may require several days or weeks, depending on the state. For addresses of relevant state apostille authorities, click here .
- A sworn statement, made by the U.S. citizen before a U.S. Consular Officer, stating that the person in question is a U.S. citizen, that he/she is free to marry, and that the marriage contracted in Croatia will be regarded as valid by U.S. authorities. This document (“Free to Marry” affidavit) and notarial service are available at the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb by appointment only. The U.S. citizen must bring his/her U.S. passport to the appointment. The fee is $50, payable in cash (dollars or kuna equivalent) or by major credit card. The document (“Free to Marry” affidavit) supplied by the U.S. Embassy also must be authenticated by the International Legal Assistance Service of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, located at Petretićev trg 2, 10000 Zagreb. The contact number at the Ministry is +385-1-4599-410. The government fee (biljeg) is 60 kunas. Their office hours are Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 11 AM and 1 PM – 3 PM and Fridays 9 AM – 12 PM.
- If the U.S. citizen does not speak Croatian, he/she will have to obtain the services of a court-appointed translator for the marriage ceremony. A list of court interpreters is available by clicking here (PDF 249 KB).
- If one of the marriage partners is divorced or widowed, proof of the dissolution of previous marriage (i.e. divorce decree or death certificate) is required; similarly, an Apostille is required on those documents.
Marriages in Croatia are performed before an appropriate local official (Matičar) associated with each municipality. That is the only ceremony recognized as valid by Croatian authorities and, in turn, by U.S. authorities. A church or other religious ceremony can be performed later if desired.
A U.S. citizen entering Croatia to get married, who does not intend to stay more than 90 days, does not require any special visa. However, if a U.S. citizen intends to reside in Croatia longer than 90 days in a six-month period, he/she must abide by Croatian entry and residence requirements for foreigners. Additional information is available at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ website or the Ministry of Interior’s FAQ website .
SAME-SEX CIVIL PARTNERSHIP
Same-sex couples can enter into a civil partnership which allows them to enjoy most benefits extended to married opposite-sex couples. You can read more on the Government of Croatia Information on Civil Partnership webpage.