Bellow you will find answers to the most common questions you may have on Citizenship by Descent.

Who exactly qualifies for citizenship by descent according to the new rules valid from April 2022?

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 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.

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.

Is residency in Slovakia a requirement under all forms of citizenship by descent?


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. For instance, if the application process takes a year, a stay of approximately six months would be sufficient. During this time, you can stay in Slovakia for various reasons, ranging from studying, working, conducting business, or engaging in research during a sabbatical. Once the citizenship application is successfully processed, you can de-register and leave.

We can assist you with finding local partners who could offer you a research stay, temporary employment or suggest places to study.

Will everyone who is eligible for citizenship by descent automatically obtain residency?

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.

When can I apply?

The effective date is April 1st, 2022. The President of SlovakiFa has signed the bill into law on March 7th, 2022.

Is there a language requirement?

No, there is no language requirement for applicants with qualifying ancestors.

What is the government’s fee?

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.

Do I have to spend any time in Slovakia?

It seems that with the agreement announced by Dr. Vetrák, member of parliament, physical presence in Slovakia is likely not a requirement.

What if I have a criminal record?

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.

What if my ancestor left Czechoslovakia before 1910?

You may be eligible, although the exact details are not yet clear.

My ancestor(s) lost their Czechoslovak citizenship. Am I eligible?

Yes. All that matters is that they were at some point a Czechoslovak citizen.

My ancestor(s) were Slovaks, yet were born outside of what is now Slovakia. Am I elgible?

Unfortunately, only those ancestors born in what is now Slovakia are eligible.

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