Last Updated: Wednesday, 07 December 2016, 12:47 GMT

Serbia and Croatia: Whether a Croat may acquire Serbian citizenship; procedure, and reasons that could lead to a refusal

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 21 February 2013
Citation / Document Symbol ZZZ104312.FE
Related Document Serbie et Croatie : information sur la possibilité pour un Croate d'obtenir la citoyenneté serbe; la marche à suivre et les raisons qui pourraient entraîner un refus
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Serbia and Croatia: Whether a Croat may acquire Serbian citizenship; procedure, and reasons that could lead to a refusal, 21 February 2013, ZZZ104312.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/524bcb5c4.html [accessed 7 December 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Dual Citizenship

In a 15 February 2013 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, an official of the Consulate General of Croatia in Toronto stated that Croatia allows its citizens to have dual citizenship, including with Serbia (Croatia 15 Feb. 2013).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an official of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Ottawa stated that Serbia allows its citizens to have dual citizenship (Serbia 18 Feb. 2013). Similarly, a report of the European Union Democracy Observatory (EUDO), published by the European University Institute, indicates that Serbian law allows dual citizenship (Rava Jan. 2013, 22-23).

2. Serbian Citizenship

According to Article 23 of the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia,

[translation]

A member of Serbian or another nation or ethnic group from the territory of the Republic of Serbia who is not residing in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, can be eligible for citizenship of the Republic of Serbia if they are 18 years old, if they are not incapable of working and if they submit a written statement considering the Republic of Serbia their own state.

Subject to conditions defined in para. 1 of this Article, a person born in another republic of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia who had citizenship of that republic or is a citizen of another state created in the territory of former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who residing in the territory of the Republic of Serbia as a refugee, expatriate or displaced person or who exiled abroad, can be eligible for citizenship of the Republic of Serbia. (Serbia 2008, Art. 23)

In 18 February 2013 correspondence with the Research Directorate, in response to the question as to whether a citizen of Croatia may acquire Serbian citizenship, the official of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia also referred to Article 23 of the law.

3. Procedure to Apply for Serbian Citizenship

According to Article 24 of the law, to apply for Serbian citizenship, an individual must submit to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to a diplomatic mission or to a consular office of Serbia the following two documents: a [translation] "written statement [in which the applicant recognizes] that they consider the Republic of Serbia as their state", and the application for citizenship to the Republic of Serbia (Serbia 2008, Art. 24). In addition, the official of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia stated that an individual must also submit the following documents to the consular section of the embassy:

Application for citizenship duly completed. Form must be completed by each member of the family. Signature of the applicant must be legalized by a notary;

A signed written statement in which the applicant recognizes the Republic of Serbia as their own state. Each family member must submit such a statement. Signature of each applicant must be legalized by a notary

Original birth certificate, issued within six months;

Original marriage certificate (verified by a Deputy Registrar General and translated into Serbian, if the marriage was celebrated in Canada);

Identity documents [...] Photocopies of the documents must be legalized by a notary;

Original proof of citizenship from another country in the territory of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or a republic belonging to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia [Croatia was part of Yugoslavia until 1991 (L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde 24 July 2012)];

Children between 14 and 18 years old must sign, before a notary, a statement in which they state that they agree to have their parents submit an application for citizenship in their name [...];

For children born in Canada, a certified copy of their birth certificate must be provided, and it must be verified by a Deputy Registrar General and translated into Serbian;

A money order or certified cheque [...] covering the taxes. (Serbia 18 Feb. 2013)

The official of the Embassy of Serbia pointed out that the applications for citizenship are studied on a case-by-case basis (ibid.).

No information on the reasons that could lead to a refusal could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde. 24 July 2012. Jacques Leclerc, Associate member at the Trésor de la langue française au Québec (TLFQ), Université Laval. "Croatie." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2013]

Croatia. 15 February 2013. Consulate General of Croatia in Toronto. Telephone interview with an official.

Rava, Nenad. January 2013. Country Report: Serbia. Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute. (RSCAS/EUDO0CIT-CR 2013/9) [Accessed 14 Feb. 2013]

Serbia. 18 February 2013. Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Ottawa. Correspondence sent to the Research Directorate by an official.

_____. 2008. Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia. [Accessed 14 Feb. 2013]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact officials and professors of the following organizations were unsuccessful: Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Ottawa, Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in Toronto, European University Institute, University of Graz, University of Toronto.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Balkans Business News; Balkan Insight; Blic; Canada - Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Citizenship in Southeast Europe; Croatia - Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Ottawa, Ministry of the Interior; ecoi.net; European University Institute; Factiva; Freedom House; Legislationline; Minority Rights Group International; Serbia - Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in Toronto, Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Ottawa, Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in Chicago, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior; United Nations - Human Rights Council, Integrated Regional Information Networks, United Nations Development Program, Refworld; United States - Embassy in Serbia, Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld

Countries