Slovak Citizenship by Descent

The most recent change of the Act No. 40/1993 on the State Citizenship of the Slovak Republic as of April 2022 allowed foreigners of Slovak descent (who have, at least one of their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, Czechoslovak citizens born on the territory of the Slovak Republic) to acquire Slovak citizenship in a simplified procedure. According to article 7(2)(j), the applicant may be granted Slovak citizenship without fulfilling the condition of 8 years of continuous permanent residence, provided that he/she is not a Slovak citizen and at least one of his/her parents, grandparents or great-grandparents was a Czechoslovak citizen born in the territory of the Slovak Republic. They are also absolved from the obligation to demonstrate fluency in Slovak and the general knowledge of the Slovak republic (political and social past and history).

Still, the law requires that these applicants have a residence permit in the territory of the Slovak Republic at the time of the application for citizenship. As applicants for citizenship by descent they may apply for permanent residence for 5 years for reasons of special consideration. Therefore, there is no need to apply for a certificate of a Slovak living abroad, neither prove specific length of their stay/residence in Slovakia, which makes the process of obtaining Slovak citizenship for this category of people more accessible. Nevertheless, it is not anticipated that these applicants must have established their life or physical presence based on the residence in Slovakia. In order to preserve the residence they must travel to Slovakia at least once within 180 days after they had been granted the residence.

In order to be eligible for a foreigner to apply for Slovak citizenship by descent, he/she must show one of his/her ancestors was born on the territory of the current Slovak Republic and at any time during his/her life was a Czechoslovak citizen (key ancestor). Most often it is necessary to document the place of birth of the key ancestor in Slovakia and the family tree by chain of birth certificates. Czechoslovak citizenship of the ancestors can be shown by e.g. passports of the Czechoslovak Republic, certificate of Czechoslovak citizenship, census sheets from the Slovak National Archives,certificates of the home right to a certain municipality etc.

For application for permanent residence for 5 years, which can be submitted at the Slovak embassy or consular office, applicant shall submit:

  • application
  • valid travel document/passport
  • 2 photographs 3x3,5 cm in colour
  • administrative fee - 170 EUR
  • documents proving that the key ancestor was a Czechoslovak citizen born on the territory of Slovak republic, including your own birth certificate, birth and marriage certificates of your ancestors etc. 

Documents issued by foreign authorities must be in original or a certified copy, apostilled or superlegalised in order to be recognised and used in procedures in front of the Slovak authorities, accompanied with their official translation to Slovak language.

Still, the applicant for Slovak citizenship must comply with further conditions:

He/she must be of a good character/reputation. He/she is not of a good character/reputation, if

  • he/she has been finally convicted of an intentional criminal offence and five years have not elapsed since the expungement of the conviction (erasing the criminal offence from the criminal registry,
  • also if he/she was prosecuted for an intentional criminal office, but his/her prosecution has been validly stopped on a conditional basis and five years have not elapsed since the probationary period expired
  • whose criminal prosecution for an intentional crime was discontinued by a court or prosecutor´s decision approving a settlement and five years have not elapsed since the final date of this decision.

Together with the application for citizenship he/she must submit also the extract from the criminal registry not older than six months from each country of which was or is a citizen and the extract from the criminal registry of each country in which he/she was allowed to reside in the last 15 years prior to the application for citizenship of the Slovak Republic.

Also each applicant must show that

  • he/she has not been sentenced to deportation by a court,
  • there are no criminal proceedings pending against him/her,
  • there are no extradition proceedings or proceedings for the execution of a European arrest warrant pending against him/her
  • there are no administrative deportation proceedings against him/her conducted,
  • there is no procedure for revocation of asylum against him/her.

The administrative fee for granting citizenship in this case is 20€. This fee is paid only after acquiring the citizenship of the Slovak republic. State citizenship of the Slovak Republic is granted by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic by delivery of a certificate of granting of state citizenship of the Slovak Republic and after declaration of the oath of the citizen in front of the Slovak authorities.

The application is submitted at the relevant district office in Slovakia or abroad at the Slovak embassy or consular office. The written application for granting Slovak citizenship should contain:

  • 1. name, surname, maiden name, birth number, if assigned, date and place of birth of the applicant,
  • 2. address of permanent residence of the applicant,
  • 3. reasons for applying for the granting of citizenship of the Slovak Republic and
  • 4. date and signature of the applicant.

The following must be submitted together with the application:

a) brief biography,
b) proof of identity,
c) birth certificate,
d) proof of personal status, which is a marriage certificate, a valid judgment or confirmation of divorce, death certificate of the spouse, if the applicant is a married man or a married woman, divorced or widowed,
e) proof of integrity not older than six months, already mentioned above,
f) a certificate proving the status of a Slovak living abroad, if he has this status,
g) the following other documents:

  • confirmation from the tax office, customs office and municipality about the payment of taxes and fees,
  • extract from the commercial register or extract from the commercial register,
  • employer's confirmation of the employment relationship and a copy of the employment contract,
  • confirmation from the health insurance company about the payment of premiums for public health insurance and the duration of the insurance relationship,
  • employer's confirmation of payment of income tax and payment of insurance premiums for public health insurance, social insurance and old-age pension savings,
  • confirmation of studies,
  • confirmation of pension receipt,
  • confirmation of the job applicant's registration,
  • confirmation of the source of income sufficient to finance the stay of the   applicant and persons close to him in the territory of the Slovak Republic, if he is voluntarily unemployed. 

For applicants who have not yet resided in the territory of the Slovak Republic it shall be sufficient if they submit the proof of employment or business in the state of residence and also proof of health insurance in the state of residence, other documents concerning him/her property or income. The rest of the documents may be replaced by a sworn affidavit. 

An applicant who submits a separate application shall also fill in the "Questionnaire of the Applicant for the Grant of Slovak Citizenship" issued by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic when submitting the application. The questionnaire of an applicant who has not yet reached the age of 18 shall also be signed by the applicant's parents. If it is signed by only one of the parents, the consent of the other parent with an officially certified signature must be attached. The Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, which then examines the application, may also invite the applicant for a personal interview, in particular for the purpose of explaining a fact concerning his/her person.

The office that received the application will then send the applicant's entire file, including the statement of the relevant police department, to the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic for a decision.

There is no legal entitlement to residence neither granting of the citizenship of the Slovak Republic. If the Ministry has not granted the citizenship of the Slovak republic, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision. He/she may submit a new application for the granting of the Slovak republic citizenship of the Slovak at the earliest after two years from the date of the entry into force of the decision on the refusal of the application for the granting of the SR citizenship of the Slovak republic.

Once all the conditions required by law have been fulfilled, the Ministry of the Interior may - but does not have to - grant citizenship to the applicant. In making its decision, it shall take into account the interests of the Slovak Republic, in particular in terms of state security, internal order, foreign policy interests, the obligations of the Slovak Republic towards third countries, the socio-economic situation, as well as the opinions of the state authorities and the Police Force concerned. The Ministry shall decide on the application for the grant of citizenship within 24 months (plus minus) of the receipt of the application by the Ministry at the latest. If the opinion of other State authorities is required for the decision and the decision depends on them or if the Ministry requests additional documents, the procedure shall be suspended and the time limit of 24 months do not run during the suspension.