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Croatia: Replacement of Yugoslav passports by Croatian passports; issuing procedures; entry requirements for citizens of neighbouring former Yugoslav republics

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 11 July 2008
Citation / Document Symbol HRV102901.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Croatia: Replacement of Yugoslav passports by Croatian passports; issuing procedures; entry requirements for citizens of neighbouring former Yugoslav republics, 11 July 2008, HRV102901.E, available at: [accessed 24 May 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.

In 9 June 2008 correspondence sent to the Research Directorate, a consular official from the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Ottawa indicated that Yugoslav passports were issued in Croatia until 8 October 1991, on which date Croatia began issuing its own passports. Yugoslav passports lost their validity on 8 April 1993 (Croatia 9 June 2008).

On 3 July 2008, the Croatian consular official provided the following information during a telephone interview with the Research Directorate: There is only one standard type of Croatian passport for Croatian citizens; Yugoslav passports are invalid. As of 2000, every Croatian citizen must have their own Croatian passport for foreign travel (before 2000, children could be inscribed in their parents' passport).

In order to obtain a passport outside Croatia, citizens must present themselves in person to the nearest consulate and submit passport photos and proof of citizenship (which they can obtain from the consulate on request). Citizenship of the Socialist Republic of Croatia or birth in Croatia do not constitute proof of Croatian citizenship. Such identification is not required of minors, but both parents – or legal guardians – must apply on behalf of their children in person. In some cases where there is no nearby consulate, an applicant may be allowed to send a notarized letter rather than apply in person, although this option will shortly be unavailable as part of European Union regulations, which require passport applicants to make their requests in person. Many Croatian citizens living abroad find it easier simply to file a passport application in person with the Ministry of Interior in Croatia itself, as the administrative costs are lower. Croatian consulates can assist only Croatian citizens with legal status in their host countries with passport delivery.

According to the June 2008 issue of the Travel Information Manual (TIM) published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina entering Croatia are exempt from carrying passports if they have a national identity card and are not accompanied by minors without their own passports. Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina signed an agreement, which came into effect on 1 January 2004, abolishing requirements that their respective citizens have a passport to enter the other country (AP 5 Dec. 2003). A similar passport exemption applies to travellers entering Croatia who hold a travel document issued to permanent residents of Kosovo by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (TIM June 2008). As of June 2008, citizens of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia require a passport but not a visa to visit Croatia (ibid.). However, as of 1 January 2009, citizens of Montenegro and Serbia will require a visa to enter Croatia (ibid.).

Croatia began issuing new passports in 2000, the year that 300,000 old passports, and one year before a million, were set to expire (Hina 31 Dec. 1999). According to the Hina-Croatian News Agency, citizens were not required to replace their old Croatian passports as long as these were still valid (ibid.). The new passports have soft blue covers, contain 32 pages, are bound by a red, white and blue protective thread, and are machine readable to comply with European Union (EU) standards (ibid.).

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.


Associated Press (AP). 5 December 2003. "Croatia, Bosnia, Sign Agreement on Passports, Economic Cooperation." (Factiva)

Croatia. 3 July 2008. Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Ottawa. Telephone interview with a consular official.
_____. 9 June 2008. Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Ottawa. Correspondence from a consular official.

Hina Croatian News Agency. 31 December 1999. "As of New Year Croatians Get Passports with New Design." (Factiva)

Travel Information Manual (TIM). June 2008. "Croatia (HR)." Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands: International Air Transport Association (IATA) Netherlands Data Publications.

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Ottawa, European Country of Origin Information Network (, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia.

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 Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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