Slovak citizenship for Slovaks living abroad and descendants of former citizens
For persons of Slovak origin, at least one of their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, the amendment to the Act allows them to acquire Slovak citizenship on their own application. According to the amendment, an applicant may be granted citizenship of the Slovak Republic without fulfilling the condition of continuous permanent residence if he or she was not a Slovak citizen and at least one of his or her parents, grandparents or great-grandparents was a Czechoslovak citizen born in the territory of the Slovak Republic, provided that he or she is a Slovak citizen and has a residence permit in the territory of the Slovak Republic.
Minors are not granted citizenship by descent from their ancestors if neither of their parents is a Slovak citizen.
“For applications under the provisions of Act No. 40/1993 on Slovak citizenship, as amended, it is a condition that the applicant’s great-grandparents were born in the territory of the present Slovak Republic and at any time during their lives held Czechoslovak citizenship. This must also be documented – place of birth in Slovakia and relationship by birth certificates, Czechoslovak citizenship of ancestors e.g. passports of the Czechoslovak Republic, certificate of Czechoslovak citizenship, census sheets from the Slovak National Archives.” (source: District office Bratislava)
At the same time, the descendants of Slovak citizens are entitled to permanent residence, i.e. they can apply for permanent residence for 5 years for reasons of special consideration together with the application for Slovak citizenship. Therefore, there is no need to apply for a certificate of a Slovak living abroad, which will simplify the whole process of obtaining citizenship.
For Slovaks living abroad, the requirement to demonstrate proficiency in the Slovak language in words and writing and general knowledge of the Slovak Republic is removed. Such a person may be granted Slovak citizenship if he or she has resided continuously in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least three years or if he or she is a person who has been granted residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic and has made a significant contribution to the community of Slovaks living abroad, from which he or she comes, in the economic, scientific, technical, cultural, social or sporting fields.
You will only need to provide the following documents with your application for permanent residency for five years:
- A valid travel document,
- 2 photographs of the face 3 x 3.5 cm,
- documents proving entitlement to citizenship from an ancestor, e.g. birth certificate of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, marriage certificate, naturalization papers, etc.
The possibility of acquiring citizenship by granting
The granting of citizenship of the Slovak Republic is governed by Act No. 40/1993 Coll. on the Slovak Republic Citizenship (hereinafter referred to as the “Citizenship Act”). It currently allows for the granting of Slovak citizenship under simplified conditions.
Possibility of acquiring citizenship by birth
The possibility of acquiring citizenship by birth is not excluded for descendants of Slovak citizens. Under the current legislation, it is possible to acquire Slovak citizenship by birth if at least one of the parents is a citizen of the Slovak Republic. If your father or mother had Slovak citizenship at the time of your birth (they may not have known it), you could have acquired Slovak citizenship by birth.
However, this possibility would require a detailed analysis, as the legislation on the acquisition of citizenship on the territory of the Slovak Republic today has changed several times over the past decades. It would therefore be necessary to analyse what the legal regulation was at the time of your ancestors’ emigration. Whether they lost their citizenship, e.g. as a result of sanctions for leaving the republic, during the communist period, or whether they renounced their citizenship when they emigrated, etc. It would then be necessary to analyse the legislation at the time of your birth and assess whether you could have acquired citizenship by birth. The next step would be to assess whether your father still held Slovak citizenship at the time of your birth and whether the legislation at the time of your birth allowed you to acquire that citizenship.
From the information you have provided, it can be assumed that your great-great-grandmother had Slovak citizenship and, in theory, you could have acquired it as well. However, in order to verify the status, it is necessary for you to provide us with the dates of birth of all generations up to your great-grandparents’ parents.
Verification of whether you could have acquired Slovak citizenship can be done by applying for a certificate of citizenship, which we recommend you do:
Certificate of citizenship of the Slovak Republic
The certificate of Slovak citizenship is issued by the competent district office in the seat of the region on the basis of a written application, which may be submitted directly to this district office, but also to a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Slovak Republic abroad.
Pursuant to Section 9a(4) of the Nationality Act, the application must be accompanied by:
- birth certificate
- proof of personal status, which is a marriage certificate, a final judgment or a certificate of divorce, a death certificate of the spouse if the applicant is married, divorced or widowed,
- other documents necessary for the assessment of the application, if he/she is invited by the district office in the seat of the region to submit them and the data contained therein cannot be obtained from the information systems (e.g. the above-mentioned documents of your ancestors).
If your parent is still alive, he or she can apply and then you can apply, depending on the results.
- Based on the information you have provided, you could probably acquire Slovak citizenship by birth.
- You need to apply for a citizenship certificate.
- However, the year of emigration of your great-grandparents’ parents is decisive. If they emigrated before December 1939, then according to the 1879 Law Article on the Acquisition and Loss of Hungarian Nationality (which was in force until 1949), they lost their nationality after 10 years of residence abroad, so consequently their children may not have been granted it if they were born after that period. But there are a number of exceptions where citizenship would be retained, for example by return or by renewal of a passport.
- However, if they left the territory of the Slovak Republic after 1939, according to the Act on Acquisition and Loss of Czechoslovak Citizenship of 1949, they did not lose their citizenship by absence. Thus, if your great-grandparents were born after 01.10.1949 they would have acquired citizenship by birth.
- But on the other hand, between 1969 and 1993, in accordance with Act No. 206/1968 Coll., when determining Slovak socialist citizenship, it was necessary for a citizen born abroad to have a registered permanent residence in the territory of the Slovak Socialist Republic, or if he or his parents had their last permanent residence there before leaving for a foreign country. Children pursue their parents in determining their citizenship. When acquiring citizenship by birth, a child one of whose parents is a citizen of the Slovak Socialist Republic acquires citizenship of the Slovak Socialist Republic.
- The legislation has changed many times, so we recommend checking whether you were able to acquire citizenship of the Slovak Republic by applying for a certificate of citizenship. Your parent can also apply.
- The authorities will look into the citizenship of your great-grandparents, great-grandparents and parents to resolve the question of whether or not your great-grandparents, great-grandparents and parents had Czechoslovak citizenship.
- If the authorities, on the basis of the research, found that you are a citizen of the Slovak Republic, you would be declared by the certificate. And then you can apply for a passport of the Slovak Republic.