Slovakia's Citizenship by Ancestry Bill: Here Are its 2022 Changes

A new law in Slovakia gives people of Slovak heritage the right of ancestry citizenship. They can apply if qualifying ancestors reach up to third generations, those being great-grandparents who were former Slovak and Czechoslovak citizens.

It's a very alluring offer from a member of the EU economic zone. After all, Slovakian citizenship offers a sought after passport that grants visa-free access to 181 nations. Also, the country has shown tremendous economic advancement in recent years, particularly with regard to digital nomad activities.

But perhaps you're wondering if the offer is worthwhile. We'll provide you with its specifics below.

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Slovakia is located in the center of Europe. It's at the eastern border of its previous half, Czechia. It's on Hungary's northern borders, and shares Poland's southern borders. Also, Slovakia and Austria border each other, and Bratislava, the country's capital, isn't far from that line.

Throughout time, Slovakia's territory (and surrounding countries) have experienced their fair share of unrest. Citizenship-related issues have arisen frequently, even recently. Thus, the Slovakia citizenship by ancestry scheme aims to give some individuals (who were displaced by historical social unrest) their citizenship back.

And so far, 800,000+ qualified applicants for Slovakia's new scheme are expected to be from America alone! It’s an advantageous scheme too! In comparison to getting EU citizenship by investment, getting a Slovakia dual citizenship is a timely and inexpensive process.

Excellent Citizenship and Passport

According to our Passport Index for 2022, Slovakia's passport ranks 17th compared to other travel documents. And if your Slovakian descent reaches all the way to great-grandparents, you're eligible for that citizenship. This will give you access to opportunities you never thought possible!

You can even improve your quality of life and wealth management possibilities by obtaining that dual citizenship.

With that, the process will involve digging into your descent line, determining your eligibility, filling out lots of forms, and a few months of patience. In fact, the application process doesn't have its own hurdles and loops to navigate through.

In order to speed up the application and prevent the headaches that might accompany it, it's better to ask for professional help. Global RCG can help you with that. It's our job to make the process as simple and fluid as possible for clients!

Because of this, we have a system in-place that'll manage the entire application process for you. We'll ensure you get citizenship and a passport as fast as possible. We'll handle everything, including eligibility checks and the paperwork!

Slovakia Citizenship by Ancestry: What it is

Ancestry citizenship is typically the most affordable and simple method for obtaining a dual citizenship. It isn't permanent either, and you can give up that citizenship if you decide it isn't the best option for you.

But to whom is ancestry citizenship awarded? It's given to direct descendants of nationals that emigrated to another country, even if the first generation immigrant isn't alive anymore.

Let's assume, for example, that your great-grandfather was a Slovak who immigrated to America in search of a better life. After that, your grandfather gave birth to one of your parents.

If so, you can apply for Slovak citizenship, along with the previous three generations. You'd be qualified for that citizenship too.

For a small administrative fee, you'll become a citizen immediately. You aren't even required to wait the eight years necessary to naturalize in Slovakia. All that's required is you provide the necessary proof, such as a birth certificate and records demonstrating your ancestry.

Ancestry citizenship enables one to regain citizenship that, for a variety of reasons, was lost over time and many generations. People can claim ancestry citizenship in a number of nations globally, not just Slovakia, although most of those programs are offered by European countries.

Slovak History: How its Descent Citizenship Law Was Created

Many Slovaks now reside in other nations as a result of two world wars, the rule of a communist regime, Czechoslovakia’s division into Slovakia and the Czech Republic, as well as migration within Europe.

The Slovak diaspora is one of the largest worldwide per capita, coming second to Ireland. And despite the country having a 5.5 million population, 1.8 million reside outside of Slovakian territory. Around 90,000 live in England, while some 800,000 are located in America.

Starting in 2010, the Slovakian government approved legislation outlawing dual citizenship for all its citizens, excluding citizenship by marriage or birth. As a result, Slovakia's sizable diaspora overseas was forced to decide between remaining a Slovakian and choosing to apply for citizenship abroad. Members of the diaspora were no longer able to live with both identities.

This statute was primarily a response to Hungary, a neighboring country, which had adopted a law enabling descent citizenship.

Fear was the primary motivation behind Slovakia's dual citizenship ban. At that time, Slovakia hosted 500,000 residents of Hungarian descent, and there were fears that the sizable Hungarian community would apply for Hungarian citizenship. As a result, Slovakia established a law stating those who voluntarily applied for citizenship in a different nation would instantly lose their Slovakian citizenship.

Today, Slovakia has established an ancestry citizenship scheme as a way to invite back the numerous Slovaks overseas who may be qualified citizens. The scheme is primarily concerned with helping people regain their citizenship after the 2010 bans, though it does come with a tiny provision that extends citizenship to individuals with Slovak ancestry, and up to their great-grandparents.

Eligibility Requirements

The scheme's requirements are very transparent and easy to understand. The major goal of the scheme is to restore citizenship to individuals who lost theirs via the State Citizenship Act of 2010, which prohibited dual citizenship.

As a result, if someone lost their Slovakian citizenship from 17th July 2010, and while obtaining citizenship in a different nation, they can now petition to recover their lost Slovak citizenship. And they can do so while still maintaining their resident nation's citizenship.

Additionally, the measure offers ancestry citizenship to the great-grandchildren of prior Slovak and Czechoslovak citizens, with ancestors qualifying for the third generation.

You'll be qualified for a citizenship application if you demonstrate (by birth certificates plus other official documents) that your ancestors (up to great-grandparents) resided in Slovakia or the former Czechoslovakia.

You must also be free of any criminal convictions.

How to Apply

So far, the specifics of the bill are yet to be known, and this is because the ancestry citizenship bill is being discussed in Parliament. But, it appears that the application procedure will be simplified.

Applicants should begin by completing their citizenship forms. To do that, the following documentation about the applicant must be prepared and submitted with the citizenship application:

  • Short curriculum vitae (with the applicant's signature).
  • Identification documents.
  • Birth certificate for the applicant.
  • Documents demonstrating the marital status of the applicant.
  • Documents showing the applicant has a clean criminal record (document shouldn't be older than six months).

If applicants are former citizens of the Slovak Republic, Slovak Socialist Republic, or Czechoslovak Socialist Republic of Czechoslovak Republic - they're required to get a release certificate from state bond.

A document confirming the application has obtained foreign citizenship (or) a former Slovak Expat Card (Certificate of Slovak Nationals Living Abroad) is required.

You're also required to provide documentation proving your relationship to a direct ancestor (up to great-grandparents) who identified as a Slovak.

Although the specific requirements are still unclear, the following paperwork will be required:

  • The designated ancestor's marriage and birth certificates
  • Pedigree chart, presenting an ancestral tree and family lineage
  • Type of family lineage record maintenance (such as family books) that demonstrate the applicant's ties to the designated ancestor

Each application document submitted requires a Slovak translation that’s sourced from a certified professional (a list of certified translators can be found on the Slovak government website). The translated piece should be accompanied with a copy of the original document attached to its back.

When submitting an application, you will be required to pay certain administrative costs. These costs might change based on your circumstances, but they are normally around €100.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Slovakia Dual Citizenship

Getting dual citizenship has advantages and disadvantages in every country worldwide, and Slovakia is no exception. You should weigh both before making a final decision. And that'll apply to plans such as acquiring a second citizenship, increasing the number of passports you have, or even relocating to a new residence overseas.

Here are some points to consider regarding Slovak ancestry citizenship.

First - Benefits

Tier A passports are the biggest reward for obtaining Slovak citizenship. With a Slovak passport, applicants are granted free entry to the EU plus all its travel, residence, and employment privileges, as well as visa-free access to 181 other nations.

As an illustration, if your kids want to study in France, that'll be possible, and they can do so almost for free. Alternatively, you have the option of using that EU passport for summer vacations.

Basically, you will have unrestricted travel and time rights across the EU. This'll allow you to work and live there lawfully at any time. Because of this, obtaining an EU nation's citizenship (like Slovakia) counts as an excellent investment.

Another advantage of Slovakia is that it outranks other CUNA nations and is among the 25 safest nations in the world to live in (CUNA referring to Canada, America, NZ, and Australia).

Over the past two decades, Slovakia's economy has grown significantly as well. As a result of economic policy reforms that support corporate growth, many limitations have been removed. This has drawn in more international investors, with the country earning the moniker of "Central European Tiger." For the average digital nomad, you can always grow your business in Slovakia.

Tax cuts are another benefit. There are no wealth taxes, gift taxes, dividend taxes, or inheritance taxes in Slovakia. Additionally, Slovak law doesn't place limitations on descendants as many nations do. So, this may be a fantastic way to avoid paying taxes on your assets.

Another perk of getting Slovak citizenship is the non-existence of language requirements or examinations. There aren’t any assessments related to Slovak history or culture.

Additionally, unlike many citizenship schemes that only accept two generations back, or have cutoff dates for eligible ancestors to have been in their nation, Slovakia's CBD scheme allows ancestors up to three generations back. As a result, an applicant has fourteen relatives through whom they can apply for citizenship.

Second - Drawbacks

The specifics of the scheme are yet to be clarified. The program's details are being discussed in Parliament during this time. Specifically, the biggest obstacle for applicants will be the residency requirements. Those will force applicants to go to Bratislava, Slovakia's capital, in order to submit their applications.

Assuming that requirements stay unchanged, you'll have to go there to apply for ancestry citizenship. This might add more time to the already lengthy procedure.

Although applicants tend to be processed within a two year timeframe, there are various instances where an application may be delayed for additional review, or due to a large backlog. This'll make the process considerably longer than the stated two years.

Like other ancestry citizenship schemes, applicants will have to bide their time.

The last disadvantage of Slovak citizenship is having your international income taxed. The rates of corporate and personal income taxes are 19% for earnings below €36,256.38 per year and 25% for sums beyond that level. While moderate, they add a burden if you plan to spend most of your time outside Slovakia.

Is Slovak Citizenship by Descent Worth the Effort?

You might not have thought of pursuing citizenship in Slovakia before. This was due to the ban against dual citizenship up until quite recently. With that, citizenship there is now an excellent idea.

All that's required is to prove that one of your ancestors were Slovak (three generations back is applicable).

Although there aren't many people who speak English there, relocating there does present some possible economic gains, particularly in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

Slovak offers Tier A passports. They're excellent if you don't plan on residing there, yet want to have Slovak citizenship in your possession. You will be able to travel, work, and reside across the EU while accessing hundreds of nations without a visa.

Plus, it's a chance to join an EU member country. You can do so without shelling out a huge investment, and this makes Slovak citizenship by ancestry more cost-effective than a golden visa.

To give an example, Slovak passports are very helpful if you're in Europe for business and would like to stay longer than 90 days consecutively. With a Slovak passport, that possibility increases.

Fortunately, Slovakia is one of the best places to get ancestral citizenship, assuming you have the required heritage. Although it may take several years, the procedure is rather simple and all-inclusive.

But at the end of the day, is a Slovak passport really what you need? And you can manage the entire process alone? If the answer's yes, we can assist. Here at Global RCG, we'll manage the details of your application from start to finish.

Contact us today to confirm your eligibility!