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Citizenship of Slovakia: Ways of Acquiring Slovak Citizenship

An acquisition of nationality of the Slovak Republic is governed by the Act no. 40/1993 on nationality of the Slovak Republic, according to which there are three possibilities to obtain citizenship:

 

A grant of nationality in the Slovak Republic from 2009 to 2013:

     2009-2013 2009
2010
2011 2012 2013
1 Ukraine 323 84 46 62 61 70
2 Serbia 282 43 64 53 55 67
3 Czech Rep. 204 51 47 45 37 24
4 USA 187 59 45 34 32 17
5 Hungary 178 22 14 26 55 61
6 Russia 90 17 15 13 14 31
7 Romania 78 15 10 18 26 9
8 Vietnam 58 11 15 5 11 16
9 Israel 31 2 11 5 4 9
10 Germany 27 10 7 5 4 1
  Other countries 291 52 47 66 59 67
  Total 1,749 366 321 332 358 372

 

A grant of nationality in the Slovak Republic from 2009 to 2013:

A Grant of Nationality in the Slovak Republic from 2009 to 2013

Among 15 countries whose citizens most of all acquire Slovak citizenship are all neighbouring countries of Slovakia except Austria, instead of which is Germany. Ukraine stands first on the list, but there are other Slavic states on this list: Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus and the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia, Romania and partly Ukraine are on the first places, primarily by means of Slovaks living abroad. The Vietnamese are traditional minority in Slovakia since the Soviet times. Relatively surprising to see among these 15 countries Canada and the United States, besides the USA is on the fourth position and the Slovak citizenship have been granted to twice as many Americans than Russians. On average, one person per day is granted a citizenship in Slovakia over the last 5 years.

 

Acquisition of Slovak Citizenship by Birth

This is the most common way of acquiring citizenship of Slovakia, however, applies only to children whose parents are the Slovaks, and a child acquires a citizenship by birth if:

  • At least one of the parents is a national of the Slovak Republic
  • The child is born in the territory of the Slovak Republic and his/her parents have no nationality, or
  • The child is born in the territory of the Slovak Republic, his/her parents are foreigners and the child acquires none of their nationalities upon birth

Thus, the principle of jus sanguinis is applied in Slovakia, right of blood, when the acquisition of citizenship by birth concerns the Slovak citizens whose children automatically acquire Slovak citizenship. It does not matter where the parents live or where the child was born. If a child was born by a Slovak citizen and a citizen of another country, he/she acquires Slovak citizenship, but if in the future it will become apparent that a Slovak citizen is not his/her natural parent, the child retains Slovak citizenship.

The second principle – jus soli, right of place, means the acquisition of citizenship of the state where the child was born, and is used primarily in North and South America, including the USA. Nevertheless, the limited principle of jus soli is used in Slovakia too and concerns a child who was born in the territory of the Slovak Republic, when the child's parents are apatrides, i.e. stateless persons. The principle of jus soli also applies in cases when a child for one reason or another doesn’t acquire the citizenship of their parents.

Thus, the foreigners who want that their child become a citizen of Slovakia can, for example, obtain a temporary residence in Slovakia, renounce citizenship of their country and have a baby in Slovakia. The child in this case will automatically get citizenship of the Slovak Republic.

 

Acquisition of Slovak Citizenship by Adoption

Acquisition of Slovak citizenship by adoption is possible only if at least one of the adoptive parents is a citizen of the Slovak Republic. By analogy with the acquisition of citizenship by birth, it doesn’t matter where the adoptive parents reside. In this regard, it is important to note that, in contrast to, for example, the Czech Republic, adoption is permitted only with respect to minor children.

 

Acquisition of Slovak Citizenship by Granting (by Conferment)

This method of acquisition of citizenship differs from the first two, as in this case you acquire a citizenship at pleasure. The term “naturalization” or “rooting” also is used. A person who wants to acquire citizenship is required to submit an application, and government authorities should make a decision, having a right to deny a citizenship. 

A foreigner who has uninterrupted permanent residence in Slovakia for at least eight years immediately preceding the filing of an application is entitled to apply for granting citizenship of the Slovak Republic. If eight-year term is not fulfilled, the application for granting citizenship can be submitted by a foreigner who has a temporary or permanent residence in Slovakia and:

  • Is a person who has significantly contributed to the benefit for the Slovak Republic on economic, scientific, technical, cultural, social or sport sphere, or it is in other interest of the Slovak Republic
  • Has an uninterrupted permanent residence in the Slovak Republic for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of an application, and is a minor child whose legal representative or guardian is a citizen of the Slovak Republic or is a legal entity in Slovakia
  • Was deprived of citizenship of the Slovak Republic and has a residence permit for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of an application
  • Has a residence permit for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of an application and at the time of his/her birth, one of his/her parents was Czechoslovak citizen and the other was foreigner and according to Law. 194/1949 Coll. on the acquisition and lose of Czechoslovak citizenship, parent – Czechoslovak citizen did not request the County National Committee for approval to the acquisition of the Czechoslovak citizenship
  • Is a Slovak living abroad and has a continuous residence in Slovakia for at least three years immediately preceding the filing of an application
  • Has a continuous permanent residence for at least three years before reaching 18 years of age
  • Is stateless and has a continuous residence in Slovakia for at least three years immediately preceding the filing of an application
  • Is an asylum seeker for at least four years immediately preceding the filing of an application
  • Is married to a citizen of Slovakia and they both have resided in the territory of Slovakia for at least five years immediately preceding the filing of an application, or
  • Has an uninterrupted residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least ten years, and at the time of filing an application he/she already has a permanent residence in Slovakia

Special terms apply to persons deprived of their citizenship, according to the currently applicable act 40/1993 or previous acts 206/1968, 194/1949, 102/1947 or act valid from 1879.

The fastest way of acquiring citizenship – on the basis of significantly contribution to the benefit for the Slovak Republic, however, it is used very rare, first of all with respect to outstanding athletes (Nastya Kuzmin) or big investors.

Slovaks living abroad can obtain a Slovak citizenship relatively quickly. At first they need to obtain the status of a Slovak living abroad, which is often the most difficult step. Then based on this status you can get a temporary residence in Slovakia, which is easier, and after you have held a temporary residence for three years you can apply for citizenship.

Foreigners who are not Slovaks living abroad and want to acquire citizenship expeditiously, the same as Slovaks living abroad enjoy the right to acquire citizenship within three years. First they need to obtain a temporary residence for any purpose, the most frequently is used a temporary residence for the purpose of business. Then it is necessary to renounce their citizenship, and within three years after obtaining a temporary residence it is possible to apply for a citizenship.

All the rest typically obtain a citizenship 10 years after getting a temporary residence in Slovakia, and at that time already holding a permanent residence.

 

A citizenship of the Slovak Republic is granted by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic in an authorization-based procedure, besides the Ministry considers an application for citizenship and hand over the case to the minister, and only the Minister of Interior, according to the law, makes a decision personally.

During an application processing a committee consisted of three persons conducts an interview with an applicant, which includes the following stages:

  • The interview itself, which contains questions concerning the identity of the applicant, his/her family, history, geography and socio-political development of Slovakia
  • Reading aloud a newspaper article containing at least 500 words, which the applicant will receive immediately before the reading
  • Brief description of the article, that the applicant has read, and for this he is given 30 minutes

The term for taking a decision is 24 months, and this period may be extended. In practice, decisions are made in the first half of a time-frame. A mandatory requirement of acquisition of citizenship of the Slovak Republic is the following oath of allegiance:

"Sľubujem na svoju česť a svedomie, že budem verný Slovenskej republike, budem dodržiavať Ústavu Slovenskej republiky, ústavné zákony, zákony a iné všeobecne záväzné právne predpisy a riadne plniť všetky povinnosti štátneho občana Slovenskej republiky.“

A denial of citizenship does not affect the validity of the temporary residence or permanent residence, and you can submit a repeated application for a citizenship after 2 years of the denial.

 

 

 



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