Eligibility for citizenship by descent is limited to those whose parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were born inside modern day Slovakia's territory.
Slovakia is an EU country with one of the world's best passports.
Over 800,000 Americans are eligible to apply for Slovak citizenship by descent
Those whose links are further than great-grandparents can apply for simplified naturalization after three years of residence.
Amendments to the citizenship legislation became effective April 1st, in 2022.
What is it?
Obtain residency permit approval by Slovakia's
Ministry of the Interior.
How do I meet it?
Sequence your application in the correct way and thus,
eliminate the need to physically reside inside Slovakia for an extended period of time.
In 1920, Slovakia gained the right to citizenship in Czechoslovakia
At that time, citizenship applicants had to meet two key requirements:
Must be citizens of the Kingdom of Hungary.
Must have earned the "right of residence" in a municipality that became Czechoslovakia.
In practice, these two prerequisites meant that by 1910, those who had left the Kingdom of Hungary for ten years or longer lost their Slovak citizenship as a result of this policy.
In 1920, Slovakians acquired the right to citizenship in Czechoslovakia, regardless of their geographic location. For this to occur, they had to have possessed the "right of residence" within a municipality that later became Czechoslovakia, and in order to have that right, they had to be Kingdom of Hungary citizens. Thus, since Citizenship was lost if one left the Kingdom for more than ten years, anyone who left prior to 1910 wouldn't have had the right to Citizenship in 1920; hence the 1910 Rule.
Your “anchor ancestor” was the last member of your direct family line (parent, grandparent, etc.) to have been born in inside of modern day Slovakia's territory.
The Slovak Republic updated its Citizenship Act on April 1, 2022, to make it easier for the ancestors of Slovak citizens who had immigrated abroad to recover their ancestral rights to Slovak citizenship. The Bureau for Slovaks Living Abroad issues the Slovak Living Abroad Certificate to members of the Slovak Diaspora and their descendants. This certificate is required as the initial step in obtaining Slovak nationality.
To qualify for a Slovak Living Abroad Certificate, the applicant must meet at least one of the two criteria below:
1. Is a citizen of the Slovak Republic; or
2. Is not a citizen of the Slovak Republic but retains national/cultural awareness, and enjoys a direct line to Slovak nationality through ancestry.
Mastery of the Slovak language; OR
A track record of public accomplishment in raising awareness of Slovak national and cultural issues; OR
At least two Slovaks living abroad have provided written testimony; OR
Written evidence from an expatriate group headquartered in your home country attesting to your positive contributions to the local Slovak community.
The application for granting Slovak citizenship is submitted in person at the competent district office in Slovakia, the diplomatic mission, or the consular office of the Slovak Republic.
Learn about all the benefits for you
Try our online tool to find out if you are eligible.
There are two basic routes: A) option for individuals with a Certificate of a Slovak Living Abroad, or B) option for individuals without the SLA Certificate. Although both routes have different legal requirements for ancestors and applicants, they substantially overlap. Many people with Slovak heritage will be eligible for citizenship through both routes. However, there are cases where only one of the routes is available to applicants (eg too distant ancestors). If your goal is to gain EU citizenship, you might be eligible for Czech or Hungarian citizenship.
Option A) concerns individuals with a certificate of a Slovak Living Abroad who can convert it into Slovak citizenship under some circumstances. In order to obtain an SLA Certificate, you have to fulfil different requirements for ancestry. Generally, your direct ancestor must have self-identified as being of Slovak nationality. There is no explicit requirement that your ancestors were citizens, or that they ever lived in Slovakia or Czechoslovakia.
Option B) concerns individuals whose parents, grandparents or great grand-parents were at some point Czechoslovak citizens and were born in today’s territory of Slovakia. The law does not require that they were citizens or lived in Czechoslovakia their entire life. The fact that they gained citizenship at any point in their life will suffice. If your ancestors do not qualify (eg because they were born outside the territory, or were not Czechoslovak citizens), you can still gain citizenship through a certificate of a Slovak Living Abroad.
Yes. Despite the political signals that this might change, the law still requires residency during the application process for citizenship by descent. However, residency does not mean a long-term stay, and in-fact, there is no legally defined length of physical presence in regards to citizenship by descent applicants. Global RCG sequences its members’ applications in order to eliminate the need to physically reside inside Slovakia for extended periods of time.
No. Residency has its own rules. Generally, unless you are an EU citizen, you need a justification for an application for residency (eg work, study, business, research, family reunion, etc.). Simply staying in Slovakia as a resident without any local engagement, eg for the purposes of retirement, is not possible. However, if you have a certificate of a Slovak Living Abroad, you can gain residency in Slovakia regardless of the purpose of your stay.
The effective date is April 1st, 2022. The President of SlovakiFa has signed the bill into law on March 7th, 2022.
No, there is no language requirement for applicants with qualifying ancestors.
Fees are only collected for successful applications.
Those with qualifying parent(s) or grandparent(s) will pay 20 Euros.
The fee for those with qualifying great-grandparent(s) is not yet clear – in the absence of a “discount”, the standard fee is 700 Euros.
Holders of the Slovak Living Abroad Certificate (unless they qualify for a lower fee, as per the above/below) will pay 400 Euros.
Children under the age of 18 pay 150 Euros and children under the age of 15 pay 100 Euros (unless they qualify for a lower fee, as per the above).
Persons above the age of 65 pay no fee at all.
It seems that with the agreement announced by Dr. Vetrák, member of parliament, physical presence in Slovakia is likely not a requirement.
Essentially, good character means that a person has not been convicted of an intentional criminal offense. If over 5 years have elapsed since expungement, such an applicant may be eligible, although such applications are likely to be given extra scrutiny.
You may still qualify to apply for Slovak Citizenship by Descent. Many of our clients had ancestors who left prior to 1910, however there a few variables that need to be considered. Please contact us for a free evaluation to determine whether you are eligible.
Yes. All that matters is that they were at some point a Czechoslovak citizen.
Unfortunately, only those ancestors born in what is now Slovakia are eligible. Unfortunately, only those ancestors born in what is now Slovakia are eligible. However, if they were born in a territory within the Austro-Hungarian empire, there is a good chance that you could potentially be eligible for another EU countries Citizenship by Descent program.