CROATIAN CITIZENSHIP ACQUISITION BY JANUARY 1ST 2022
While many are familiar with different ways Croatian citizenship may be acquired under the Croatian citizenship act (Official Gazette no. 53/91, 70/91, 28/92, 113/93, 4/94, 130/11, 110/15, 102/19, hereinafter: CCA), it is important to bring attention to two new provisions of the act that are of special interest to the children of Croatian emigrants.
Keeping in mind that the deadline for the submission of citizenship applications based on these two new provisions is two years of their entry into force (that is, until January 1st 2022) it is pertinent to submit these applications swiftly.
The first of these provisions is article 4 section 2 of the CCA, according to which a person older than 21 who was born abroad can acquire citizenship by origin if at the time of their birth one of their parents had Croatian citizenship, if they submit their application for registration in the Register of Croatian citizens within two years of entry into force of this provision and if there are no legal obstacles as referred to in the article 8 paragraph 1 point 5 of the Act, that is, if they respect the legal order of the Republic of Croatia, if they have paid the due public contributions and if there are no security obstacles to their acceptance into Croatian citizenship.
These applications need to be submitted as soon as possible. Through this provision, the legislator gave a chance to persons older than 21, who up until the amendment of the law haven't had the chance to acquire citizenship for various reasons. This provision is of special interest to the children of Croatian emigrants, especially because the definition of an emigrant has been broadened. Now the definition encompasses persons who emigrated from the territory of the Republic of Croatia before the 8th October 1991 with the intent of living permanently abroad, as well as persons belonging to the Croatian nation who emigrated from territories that were a part of previous states within which, at the time of emigration, was the territory of the Republic of Croatian.
Furthermore, under article 30.a of the CCA, a person is considered a Croatian citizen if they were born between the January 8th 1977 and the October 8th 1991, whose parents, at the time of their birth, had Croatian citizenship, but they were assigned different citizenship in the Register of citizenship at birth, if they apply for the establishment of Croatian citizenship within two years of entry into force of this provision (that is, until January 1st 2022).
It is pertinent to apply based on this provision as soon as possible as well. The goal of implementing this provision into the law was the regulation of citizenship that was assigned to children whose both parents were Croatian, but who were born outside of the territory of the Republic of Croatia, that is, within the territory of a previous state, and so their citizenship was assigned based on where they were born and not based on the citizenship of their parents.
Both of these provisions are commendable from a human rights perspective, as they ease the acquisition of citizenship to Croatian people who lived outside of Croatia, as well as emigrants, who were precluded from acquiring citizenship due to their age or the fact they weren't considered emigrants according to past legal provisions.