Slovakia Citizenship by Ancestry: Are You Eligible? Here’s a Guide to Get You Started!

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Are you the descendant of a Slovak national who left Czechoslovakia decades ago?

If so, you might be looking to reconnect with your Slovak heritage. Getting Slovakia citizenship by ancestry might be a goal you’re striving for.

And good news, the process is easier than you think! Recent legislation by Slovakia’s government is allowing Slovak descendants to get ancestry citizenship!

The legislation just went into effect April 2022. This makes it a new program, which comes with a fair share of legal hurdles and paperwork.

And this is where we can help!

Our firm’s goal is to manage the process for you from start to finish. With our help, you’ll avoid errors that’ll lead to months of delays and lost expenditures!

But First - More on Slovakia’s History

Slovakia has a rich history and excellent living standards. And this makes getting a citizenship there worthwhile.

Let’s start with history and the environment. Slovakia is a tiny country in the center of Europe.

It’s considered Europe’s geographical center by many scientists. In fact, that center is marked by the Church of St. John the Baptist (located in Kremnické bane).

Slovakia isn’t just a geographical center. Historically, it has been a meeting point of many historical battles and famous civilizations. Those include the Ottoman Empire, the Mongol Empire, and the Roman Empire!

Besides its geography and history, Slovakia has one of the world’s most beautiful natural sights dominated by the High Tatras, the world’s smallest alps. But what appeals the most about Slovakia is its rich history.

Slovakia’s history is outlined by its ancient architecture, specifically the old castles spread throughout its lands. Those include the Spi Castle, considered the largest (and based on tourist preferences), the most seen sight in Central Europe.

And while explorers will surely enjoy their time in Slovakia, its ancient history isn’t all what makes it special. The most vital aspect of Slovakia’s history is its recent establishment as a Republic and its declaration of independence.

Slovakia’s History of Political Conflict

The Slovak Republic was established after four decades of conflict against communist regimes.

But how brutal was communism on the Slovakian population? It was harsh, with repression during the 1950s. Later came the Warsaw Pact invasion of the prior Czechoslovakia in 1968 in an attempt to further spread communist values.

Communist influence wouldn’t last long though, with the 1989 Velvet Revolution that removed its rule.

Since then, Slovakia has been faring well, and in many regards competing with the living standards of most Western nations!

In fact, the end of Communism in Czechoslovakia was the start of a new area. It ushered in a new democracy in the midst of modern, prospering European countries.

Slovakia Joins the Modern World

It starts with the Slovak Republic’s membership in the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). Not much after, the Republic would  join the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) in 2000, an international body of the world’s best economically performing countries operating by a free-market and democratic system.

However, being a member of those organizations wasn’t a guarantee of Slovakia’s entry into the West’s most powerful organizations, whose membership requirements are quite high.

Slovakia had to assert its reliability to its neighbors within the following years. And that it did, eventually joining the European Union and NATO in 2004!

And that’s not all. Slovakia also joined the 2004 Schengen Agreement in 2004, allowing it access to areas in Europe including the Schengen area. This expanded further by 2007, where Slovakia had become a recognized crossing point for goods and travelers, even without Schengen border controls!

So far, so good. Slovakia’s regional recognition makes it a viable option for residing there, correct?

Absolutely! Yet, Slovakia’s membership in NATO, the European Union, and the Schengen area was insufficient for the Slovaks. The country would soon adopt the euro in 2009, something many Eastern European nations had not done yet. And this has allowed Slovakia to maintain a strong and secure economy throughout the following decade.

Slovakia’s inclusion in Western organizations, allowing holders of Slovak passports to freely travel through the European Economic Area with no visa requirements. That area includes Norway, Iceland, the EU, and Liechtenstein.

As a result, the Slovak passport ranked 9th (along with the Lithuanian passport) from 199 passports by Henley & Partners for 2002. Slovak passport holders can travel through 182 countries.

It Was Not an Easy Attainment Though…

Slovakia has witnessed turbulent events throughout the past century. This has led to mass immigrations from the area over time. And as a result, Slovakia was in political and economic ruin by the late twentieth century.

Mass immigrations dated as far back as the late 1900s. Rife with unemployment, economic downturns, and national oppression, thousands of individuals left for Hungary in an attempt to start a new life.

Following that were World Wars 1 and 2, widespread communism, the Warsaw Pact invasion, all leading to widespread immigration.

The resulting exodus wasn’t a small number. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of Slovaks over the past two centuries have left the country…

Slovaks migrated primarily to the United States. Later on, they’d choose Canada and other Western countries. And while many eventually came back to Slovakia with their earnings, the vast majority settled permanently abroad.

Fortunately, Slovak immigrants did not abandon their roots. They actively partook in their ancestors’ culture, passing that on through time..

And the newly formed Slovak Republic didn’t forget about the descendants of immigrated Slovak nationals abroad. By April 2022, the country modified its Citizenship Act  allowing those descendants easier access to Slovak citizenship.

That recognition even extends to national holidays. In 1993, Slovakia set July 5th as a National Day for Slovaks Living Abroad.

More on the Slovakia’s Citizenship Act

Titled “The Act on Slovaks Living Abroad”, it defines a Slovak living abroad as an individual who lacks permanent residency in Slovakia and:

(1) is a Slovakian citizen (or)

(2) isn’t a Slovakian citizen, but is still culturally/nationally aware, and has direct ancestors of Slovak nationality

The best part about Slovak citizenship by ancestry is its flexibility. Slovakia dual citizenship is allowed, so you never have to abandon your original citizenship!

 

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Obtaining Slovakia Citizenship by Ancestry: What's the Process?

Getting citizenship by ancestry involves three steps. We’ll discuss each in detail below.

They are:

Step 1: Acquiring a Living Abroad Certificate

This is the first step of the process. Applicants must fit one of two requirements to be eligible. 

They are:

Time required to get the certificate is case dependent.

Beyond the previous requirements, applicants must also show cultural/national awareness. This may take a few months if that awareness isn’t yet developed.

As a result, a static timeframe is hard to set. Developing the required awareness is case-dependent, highly dependent on the applicant’s volition.

With that, getting the certificate shouldn’t require more than 3-4 months.

Step 2: Getting a Residency Permit

That’ll be the next milestone after getting a living abroad certificate .

Slovak living abroad certificate holders can file for a 5 year permit. And they can do so without demonstrating the purpose of their stay.

Permits for Slovaks living in a different country can be obtained within 30 days of applying. However, exceptions do exist where the process is slightly extended.

A residency permit can be renewed repeatedly, each renewal lasting for five extra years.

Step 3: Obtaining the Ancestry Citizenship

This is the final milestone after getting a residency permit. But what are the conditions for getting citizenship?

First, applicants must show that they’re a significant benefit to the Slovak community living abroad. They can do so through scientific, cultural, economic, technical, sporting, or social achievements.

Those applicants aren’t required to have a minimum residency period prior. They’re also exempt from demonstrating Slovak language fluency.

Citizenship is easier to obtain if any of the applicant’s direct ancestors was a Czechoslovakian citizen and was born on current Slovak Republic territory. Those applicants are exempt from demonstrating their contribution to Slovak communities abroad.

Citizenship procedures take time though. The Slovak Republic’s Ministry of Interior reviews all citizenship applications. The Office for Slovaks Living Abroad and assigned state bodies are usually consulted per application. 

Those bodies then decide the applicant’s eligibility, sending their evaluation back to the Slovak Republic’s Minister of Interior for a verdict.

Currently, the Slovakian Republic’s government hasn’t announced a formal timeframe to finish processing applications. Regardless, the process is expected to be much shorter than that of a regular citizenship application (which takes up to 24 months to process).

Want to Obtain Slovakia Citizenship by Descent?

You can get started today. It’s a much cheaper pathway than citizenship by investment or getting a golden visa.

And it offers you residency and travel advantages that few worldwide can boast.

Contact us now, and get a consultation for your case!

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