Changes to Law No. 40/1993 – and their impact on the process of obtaining Slovak citizenship
There are many questions regarding the conditions for obtaining Slovak citizenship, and there are different opinions and versions from various bodies. Our agency refers to the latest changes in citizenship law from 2022. It is important to note that the Slovak citizenship law changes frequently, and the requirements may vary from time to time. Each case is unique, and before making a decision on the application, we carefully check the requirements and necessary conditions in order to submit a proper request and avoid delays in the process. Our agency can assist you in understanding in advance which documents and requirements are important for a specific citizenship application, and can assist you in collecting and preparing the necessary documents prior to submitting the application.
As of April 1st, 2022, changes have been made to Law No. 40/1993, which deals with citizenship in the Slovak Republic, greatly facilitating the process of obtaining Slovak citizenship or helping to maintain it even in cases where, according to the previous legislation, it would have been subject to loss.
These changes may significantly facilitate the process of obtaining Slovak citizenship or ensure that citizenship is maintained in cases where it would have been lost according to the old law.
The amendment refers to three main topics:
- It allows Slovak citizens residing in another country to obtain citizenship of that country without losing their Slovak citizenship.
- It addresses the situation of people who lost their Slovak citizenship due to the 2010 legislation oversight and enables them to regain their citizenship according to the usual European policy for citizenship acquisition.
- The amendment facilitates the conditions for obtaining citizenship for Slovaks residing abroad and for couples born to Slovak families across generations.
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Regarding this article, we will only discuss section 3, the amendment that allows people with Slovak ancestry, at least one of their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, to obtain Slovak citizenship by declaration, without direct proximity. According to the amendment, it is possible to obtain Slovak citizenship without meeting the requirements of a fixed residence in Slovakia, if the person was not a citizen of the Slovak Republic and at least one of their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents was a citizen of Czechoslovakia who was born in the territory of the Slovak Republic, under the condition that they were authorized to reside in the Slovak Republic.
Requests under Act No. 40/1993 concerning Slovak citizenship, in its current version, require that the grandparents or great-grandparents of the applicant were born in the territory of the Slovak Republic and were Czechoslovak citizens at any stage in their lives. This must be proven by documents – place of birth in Slovakia and close relatives in documentation.
Regarding the grandparent’s citizenship certificate, it is important to note that to identify the right to Slovak citizenship, it is important to check the citizenship status of the grandparent or grandparent of the applicant. The right to Czechoslovak citizenship existed only between October 28, 1918, and December 31, 1992, since the Czechoslovak Republic was divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. However, many applicants for Slovak citizenship have a birth certificate of their grandparents but do not have a citizenship certificate. To prove their entitlement to Slovak citizenship, it is essential to check the citizenship status of the grandparent or grandparent, who could only be citizens during the period from October 28, 1918, until December 31, 1992. However, this law was later replaced by Act No. 194/1949 Coll., which defines citizenship by birthplace, stating that in the case of birth on the territory of the Slovak Republic, the applicant is entitled to Slovak citizenship.
In addition, the new Slovak law that came into effect in 2022 distinguishes between those born before and after 01.01.1969. Those who apply for Slovak citizenship and were born outside Slovakia before 01.01.1969 must prove that both their parents were entitled to Slovak citizenship on the day of their birth and did not relinquish their entitlement while they were minors. In certain cases, Slovak citizenship can also be arranged for those whose father had Slovak citizenship (as opposed to the mother). Those who apply for Slovak citizenship and were born outside Slovakia after December 31, 1968, need only prove that one of their parents was entitled to Slovak citizenship on the day of their birth and did not relinquish their entitlement while they were minors. Even those born before December 31, 1968, can obtain Slovak citizenship if one of their parents was a Czechoslovak citizen, and they can prove that they were entitled to Slovak citizenship by showing that their parents were entitled to Slovak citizenship on the day of their birth and did not relinquish their entitlement.