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Marriage by U.S. Citizens in Croatia
For the most up-to-date and complete information on marriage requirements, contact the government of Croatia, specifically the records registry (Matični Ured) in the locality where the marriage will take place.
The following is an unofficial summary of the requirements, for which the U.S. Embassy in Croatia assumes no legal liability for accuracy.
For a U.S. citizen to marry in Croatia, Croatian authorities require the following:
- Valid U.S. passport.
- U.S. birth certificate translated into Croatian by a sworn court interpreter (PDF 851 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 is available at the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb upon presentation of a U.S. passport. The fee is $50 payable in cash (dollars or kuna equivalent) or by major credit card.
- The document 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 (approximately $8). Their office hours are from Monday to Thursday from 9 AM to 11 AM and 1 PM to 3 PM and Fridays from 9 AM to noon.
- If a 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 851 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.
U.S. citizens entering Croatia to get married, who do not intend to stay more than 90 days, do not require any special visas. However, if U.S. citizens intend to reside in Croatia longer than 90 days in a six-month period, they must abide by Croatian entry and residence requirements for foreigners, information available at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ website or the Ministry of Interior’s FAQ website.