Slovak Citizenship by Descent

This is a complicated topic with many caveats, so each case is different and in many cases only a general answer can be given without digging through the archives of the Interior Ministry.

This article only refers to those who are technically considered to have been born a Slovak citizen. If the “chain of citizenship” was broken in your family, you may still be eligible to apply under the newly approved law.

But don’t despair, if your parents are Slovak, then there’s an excellent chance that you were born a citizen. The fact you (or even they) never held a passport, certificate, weren’t born in Slovakia or never “claimed” this inherited citizenship means nothing.

The key question is whether one of your parents (or both if born before 1969) were citizens at the time of your birth. If you’re unsure, then you need to figure out, whether their parents were citizens at the time of their birth.

Here are some more specific cases:

Slovak Passport

All you need is 1 Slovak parent. If your parent(s) emigrated between 1990(~1997 for those in the US) and July 2010, then they remained citizens, unless they explicitly asked the Slovak government to rescind their citizenship.

Those who naturalized (acquired foreign citizenship) after July 2010, lost their Slovak citizenship – this is only relevant to you, if you were born after July 2010 (but there are certain exceptions).

Again, all that is required is 1 Slovak/Czechoslovak parent. There are no provisions for automatic loss of citizenship(but there are exceptions, see below), but citizenship could have been rescinded by an act of the Interior Ministry. This was quite rare nevertheless – the Ministry stated in response to a 2020 FOIA request that only 196 peoples’ citizenship had been revoked between 1948 and 1989.

Citizenship was only passed automatically to children born abroad if they had 2 Slovak/Czechoslovak parents. Again, there were no automatic loss provisions, but the Interior Ministry had the power to rescind citizenship and certain exceptions apply. In certain circumstances, until 1958, women would lose their citizenship by marrying a foreigner.

One way to preserve citizenship up to 1938 was to report to a consulate

This topic fairly is complicated and involves Hungarian laws from 1879.

Anyone who emigrated before October 1939, lost their citizenship due to absence, if they did not visit Czechoslovakia or renew their passport/report their stay within 10 years according to Slovak authorities. The author of this article believes that this interpretation is incorrect, resulting in an ongoing legal challenge.

There was a number of ways for emigrants to avoid losing their citizenship due to absence even if they remained overseas for over 10 years, such as by visiting a Czechoslovak consulate.

Women who married foreigners would automatically lose their citizenship before 1949.

Contrary to what you may have heard, immigrating before Czechoslovakia became a state, ie. before 1918, does not necessarily mean the emigrant wasn’t a Czechoslovak citizen.