Slovakia Citizenship by Descent: Guide For People With Slovak Origins

It is stated that good things come to those who patiently await them. Slovak descendants all around the world have been waiting for this excellent thing for a long time.

Slovak citizenship by descent will be extended to the children, grandkids, and great-grandchildren of Slovak and Czechoslovak citizens who were born in the modern-day territory of Slovakia. It provides easy, affordable and fast way citizenship to people of Slovak ancestry.

Since May 2021, the Slovak parliament has been unable to pass its new Slovakia Citizenship Act, which was ultimately passed on February 16 in a key second vote and a nondescript third vote. Just waiting on President Zuzana aputová’s signature will complete the process.

The new law could be applicable as early as April 1, 2022.

The measure was enacted with its broad eligibility for the third generation (great-grandchildren) intact and even certain improvements, as mentioned further below.

Who Will Be Eligible To Apply For Slovakia Citizenship by Descent?

Around 800,000 Americans, as well as 1.5 million others around the world, will be able to get Slovak citizenship as a result of the provision for Slovakia citizenship by ancestry. There are more Slovak Diasporas living in neighboring nations, including Serbia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Having Slovak citizenship gives you the freedom to live and work anywhere in the European Union, including popular American destinations like the Czech Republic and Hungary.

There are 182 countries in which a Slovak passport holder can enter without a visa or with a visa on arrival with their passport.

Applicants will be able to apply if they are the offspring, grandkids, or great-grandchildren of Slovak or Czech citizens who were born on the current territory of the Slovak Republic. In order to qualify as a Czechoslovak ancestor, this person must have lived there at some point in time.

If an applicant’s ancestor lost his or her Slovak or Czech citizenship, the ancestor would still be considered for the purposes of this bill because ethnicity is not a criterion.

Candidates in the above-mentioned Slovak descendent class are not required to have an understanding of the Slovak language or culture. Similar to what happened in Czechia, where the culture requirement was removed in the most recent revision of the country’s citizenship laws in 2019.

However, unlike the Czech citizenship by descent clause, the new Slovakian act does not legally entitle its qualified applicants to Slovak citizenship. Naturalization applications in Slovakia are still subject to a degree of discretion by the Slovak government.

Has The Residency Issue Been Resolved?

To add insult to injury, applicants to this Slovak parliamentary floret must be residents of the country. Only those with a residence permit in Slovakia are able to apply for citizenship by descent. Some have lobbied hard to abolish this rule through meetings with legislators, social media campaigns, written petitions, media appearances, and the power of the pen.

The modification retains the language of the residency requirement, but there is a massive concession to applicants. With the help of Milan Vétrak, a Member of Parliament, Slovak immigration authorities have agreed to ease some administrative burdens related to the process of applying for residency in Slovakia.

To expedite the citizenship process, the Slovak embassy in the nation of the applicant will be able to issue temporary residence permits to those who qualify. A two-step process (first residency, then citizenship) would be eliminated, and applicants would no longer be required to have a physical presence in Slovakia as part of their application.

According to the claimed rationale, preserving the shorter residence requirement would allow for a more thorough screening of possible candidates.

Can Non-Qualifying Slovak Descendants Apply For Citizenship?

It is important to know that a small number of ethnic Slovaks will not be eligible for citizenship by ancestry under the proposed amendment because there was no sovereign Slovak state during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Slovak Living Abroad Certificate (SLA) is a lesser-known option for Slovak descendants who do not meet all of the eligibility conditions above but still want to return to Slovakia and become a citizen.

The authorities did not set any limit on the number of generations of qualified ancestors, unlike the new Slovak citizenship reform. A candidate with Slovak great-great-grandmother (or even further back) is therefore likely to be eligible for an SLA application. SLA applicants must prove that their qualifying family was of Slovak ethnicity rather than a citizen of Slovakia or Czechoslovakia. This is another option to qualify for Slovakia citizenship.

Positive Changes in The Slovakia Citizenship Bill

The Slovakia Citizenship by Descent Bill added a sudden change to Slovak citizenship eligibility for some outstanding Slovaks residing overseas, which was unexpected but a good last-minute decision.

Citizenship by descent from a Slovak ancestor will be available to SLA holders who have made “exceptional contributions” to their particular diasporic communities.

SLA approval of an application for consideration must be obtained by way of a letter of recommendation first.

The new Slovak Citizenship Amendment helps citizens obtain Slovak citizenship by descent through their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

How To Get Slovak Citizenship By Ancestry: Prepare The Application and Meet Eligibility Requirements

The legislation is still in the works and hasn’t been put into effect, so the Slovak government hasn’t provided any recommendations on how to identify whether an ancestor is a Czechoslovak or a Slovak citizen.

A Czechoslovak or Slovak passport or birth certificate, on the other hand, would be solid evidence of a qualifying ancestor’s Czechoslovak or Slovak citizenship.

Although Slovak authorities will have the final judgment, it is widely accepted that showing the required conditions (i.e., birth in modern-day Slovakia and subsequent emigration in 1910 or later) is sufficient.

To qualify for Czechoslovakian citizenship in absentia, an ancestor must have left modern-day Slovakia at least one day prior to 1910, according to the citizenship treaties of Czechoslovakia’s predecessor, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which established the 1910 cutoff date. You will notice a few minor exceptions to this generalization.

Slovak law, according to the experts, may provide for citizenship by descent for descendants of eligible ancestors who departed modern-day Slovakia as early as 1904 if they meet certain criteria.

Finally, as with any legal subject, potential Slovak citizens should seek out a consultation with a specialist who can address their particular circumstances.

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