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Slovakia Citizenship by Descent

Slovakia Citizenship by Descent

Foreign citizens who live in Slovakia for several years are entitled to apply for citizenship by naturalization. However, there are also other ways of acquiring a passport in this country, one of them is descent. Obtaining Slovakia citizenship by descent is not complicated, however, it implies meeting specific requirements, such as having origins in this country. Even so, one needs proof of his relationship with people who were born here.

Below, our immigration lawyers in Slovakia explain the main conditions to obtain citizenship by descent. If you are foreign citizen who want to settle here indefinitely, we can also help you with the naturalization procedure. You can rely on us on a wide range of legal services, including if you want to move to Slovakia through permanent residency.

What does Slovakia citizenship by descent imply?

Descent or ancestry is the simplest of obtaining citizenship in Slovakia, as it implies having Slovak origins. Those who have Slovak parents but moved abroad or were born abroad can be eligible to become Slovak citizens based on a few documents.

There are several advantages linked to citizenship by descent in Slovakia, however, the conditions are more stringent when compared to obtaining a Slovak passport by naturalization or investment, for example.

 Quick Facts  
  Means to acquire citizenship in Slovakia

– Naturalization,

– birth,

– adoption,

– descent/ancestry.

Special requirements to get citizenship by descent

Yes, citizenship by descent is awarded based on kinship. 

  Access to citizenship based on the relation with Slovak parents (YES/NO)

 Yes.

  Access to citizenship based on the relation with other Slovak ancestors (YES/NO)  Yes, grandparents and great-grandparents.
  Authorities in charge of the issuance of Slovak documents

Ministry of Interior. 

 Permanent residence requirement (YES/NO)

 No, one is not required to apply for residence prior to obtaining citizenship.

  Option to search for Slovak ancestors (YES/NO)

 Yes, with the Slovak National Archives.

  Special procedure to complete to gain citizenship by ancestry

Documents attesting to the relationship with at least one Slovak citizen must be presented. 

  Degree of difficulty in obtaining citizenship

 It is not difficult to obtain Slovak citizenship by ancestry.

  Option to apply for citizenship by other means (YES/NO)  Yes, naturalization is also an option for those who cannot prove their Slovak descendence.
  Requirement to live in Slovakia (YES/NO)

Yes. 

  Possibility to pass on citizenship to descendants (YES/NO)

 Yes, citizenship can be passed to descendants.

 Citizenship application processing timeframe (approx.)

 Approx. 2 years.

  Support in applying for citizenship by descent (YES/NO)

 Yes, we offer support to those seeking to obtain citizenship by descent in Slovakia.

 Other immigration services (if any)

– Support in applying for residency,

– assistance in renewing residency papers,

– support in applying for citizenship by other means.

Our Slovak lawyers are at the service of foreign citizens who want to file their papers for obtaining citizenship by ancestry.

We can also assist foreign citizens interested in immigration to Slovakia from other countries.

Slovakia’s citizenship by descent new requirements

In 2022, following the election of a new parliament, the requirements for citizenship by descent have been amended. The new conditions imply:

  • Slovak citizenship by descent can be obtained by an individual who has authorization to live in Slovakia;
  • the applicant must have at least one direct ancestor who was born in Slovakia and was a Czechoslovak citizen, up to the third generation (parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent).

If neither of these requirements is satisfied, the candidate must either get a Slovak Living Abroad certificate or live in Slovakia for a minimum period 3 years. Alternatively, they must show that they have made a significant contribution to the Slovak diaspora. Should the candidate be unable to fulfil a continuous 3-year Slovak residency requirement, they must provide a reason for their absence. Our lawyers in Slovakia can explain the new conditions to secure citizenship by ancestry.

These requirements for obtaining citizenship by descent may differ from one country to another, for example in Poland one may obtain citizenship by descent if:

  • he/she has Polish parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents; or
  • he/she has ancestors who were born and had lived in Poland after 1920; or
  • he/she has ancestors who have left Poland before 1920 but whose address exists in local registers; or
  • they have ancestors who kept their Polish citizenship by the day of the birth of the foreign applicant.

In case you want to obtain citizenship by descent in Poland, this reliable team of immigration lawyers can help you – Immigration-Poland.com.

Is it possible to obtain a Slovak passport by descent if the new conditions are not met?

Slovakia’s citizenship by descent new rules also implies a few exemptions. For example, if an applicant has made a major contribution to the Slovak economy, they may still be eligible to apply for citizenship. Family reunion could be one of these factors. A foreign family member, such as a spouse or the applicant’s children, may use this exemption if their Slovak ancestor dates from the fourth generation or later.

If you are wondering what the best way to obtain citizenship in Slovakia is, you should note that naturalization remains the safest option. Ancestry carries a risk of denial when applying for a passport, which is why we invite you to discuss your choice with our Slovak law firm.

Here is also an infographic on this subject:

Eligibility for citizenship by descent in Slovakia

The following conditions must be met by those seeking to obtain Slovakia citizenship by descent:

  • they need to have at least one parent who is a Slovak citizen;
  • the parent must have been born before 1990;
  • the parent must have still had Slovak citizenship at the time of the applicant’s birth.

People who were Slovak citizens until December 1992 but lost it or gave it up can also reclaim it.

All applications must contain specific documents that attest to the origin of the person requesting the Slovak passport.

Our law firm in Slovakia can offer support in drafting the necessary documents and filing them with the Ministry of Interior.

If you want to relocate to Slovakia, our specialists can offer support in filing for various types of residence permits.

Documents to prepare for citizenship by ancestry in Slovakia

People who want to apply for citizenship by descent must prepare various documents. Among them, the passport and the papers indicating their Slovak origins. These can take the form of the parents’ birth certificates.

However, there are cases in which such documents can be difficult to find, which is why one may need to search through various records. These can often be found with local registries. It should also be noted that documents issued abroad must be translated into Slovak and certified before being filed.

Our Slovak lawyers can offer guidance in preparing the paperwork for obtaining citizenship by ancestry.

The Living Abroad Certificate

The new bill for Slovakia’s citizenship by descent application implies for candidates to obtain a Living Abroad Certificate if they currently live in other countries.

The applications for Living Abroad Certificates must be filed in person and should be submitted by at the Slovak Embassy or Consulate in the country they live in. The following documents need to be included with the application:

  • two recent photographs;
  • a copy of the applicant’s passport;
  • the birth certificate of the applicant;
  • birth certificates for each direct ancestor of the applicant up to the point where Slovak ethnicity is established;
  • a written testimonial from a Slovak expat organization proving the contribution of the applicant to the community;
  • a criminal background check, no more than 3 months old;
  • proof of payment of the administrative charge.

You can rely on our solicitors in Slovakia for support in with the application.

Advantages of obtaining a Slovak passport by descent

There are several advantages linked to being eligible for Slovakia citizenship by descent, and the most important is that compared through naturalization, the applicant is no longer required to live in this country for the necessary number of years to obtain a passport. On the other hand, finding out all the details about one’s ancestors can be difficult.

Applying for Slovak citizenship by ancestry is subject to fewer requirements in terms of paperwork and according to recent news, the procedure will be simplified in the near future, as the project is already being analyzed by the government. Moreover, the new law provides for granting citizenship by descent to the third generation of citizens of Slovakia and the former Czechoslovakia, as the division of the country has led to many nationals living abroad.

Expected to be passed in December 2021, the new law is awaited by many people with Slovak descent who want to reconnect with their origins.

You can obtain updated information about from our immigration lawyers in Slovakia.

Can Slovak citizenship by descent be passed on?

Citizenship by descent can be directly issued to applicants’ children. They can do so by filing their birth certificates that contain details of their parents’ citizenship. If not, they have to fulfil one or more of the following conditions:

  • reside in Slovakia for 3 years before submitting an application, regardless of the child’s age;
  • live in Slovakia for 2 years prior to their application (only if the one of the parents currently holds Slovak citizenship and the child is under 18);
  • show that they made a major contribution to the Slovak diaspora or that they apply for citizenship for family reunion purposes.

However, there is no need to live in Slovakia if one already holds Slovak citizenship and the child is under 2 years old.

Our lawyers in Slovakia are at your disposal with complete information about the new requirements related to citizenship by descent. Here is also our video presentation:

Statistics on Slovakia’s population

At the level of 2021, Slovakia’s population was made of 5,463,335 inhabitants. Also:

  • 53.7 % of them lived in urban areas;
  • the median age of the population is 41.2 years;
  • by 2025, it is expected for the number if inhabitants to register a decrease of 0.04% and reach 5,449,599;
  • this trend is predicted to continue by 2030, when the decrease is expected to drop by 0.17%.

If you are interested immigration to Slovakia or in applying for citizenship by descent and need guidance, please contact our local law firm. We can also help you apply for residency by investment.