Czech Citizenship by Descent – Declaration

This path is intended for descendants of former citizens.

Eligibility Rules:

  • Your parent or grandparent was a citizen of Czechoslovakia
  • They lost Czechoslovak their citizenship
  • They weren’t from Slovakia, the Carpathian Rus or affected by the Beneš Decrees
  • You are not a Slovak citizen

You are not required to speak Czech or to live in the Czech Republic.

Commons Ways for Ancestors to Lose Citizenship

  • Emigration before 1922
  • Naturalizing (becoming a citizen) in the United States, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia or Poland
  • Limited to women: marriage to a foreigner before 1949 (or 1958 if the marriage meant naturalization)

How to get Czech citizenship by declaration (Prohlášení o nabytí státního občanství)

You may apply at your local Czech embassy or consulate (map). Required documents:

  1. Declaration form
  2. ID (foreign passport)
  3. Birth certificate
  4. Birth and marriage certificates of parents
  5. Birth and marriage certificates of grandparents (as required)
  6. Proof of loss of parents’/grandparents’ Czechoslovak citizenship
  7. Marriage/death/divorce certificate, if you’re married/widowed/divorced
  8. Declaration that you’re not a Slovak citizen
  9. Other documents, as requested (to prove lineage, citizenship of parents, grandparents, etc.)

Authentication and Translation of Documents

All non-Czech documents must be translated to Czech and all non-EU documents must be either apostilled or “super-legalized”.

25 thoughts on “Czech Citizenship by Descent – Declaration”

  1. Me and my brother and sister had a mother who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1927 and lived there until the war started. She died in 2018. Are we entitled to Czech citizenship?

    1. My father was born in Czech republic in 1924 and I am in the process of the application now. I am eligible by decent. You should be too. They call it Citizenship by decent.

  2. I am a Czech citizen through descent – I have a Passport and Certificate od Citizenship obtained in 2017. I would like to apply for my daughter 24. I have all necessary documents apostilled and in Czech for my application. My daughter and her mother have birth certificates in English. Her mother and I are not married.
    Would you be able to advise me how to go forward with the application for my daughter?

    1. Hi Martin,

      Your daughter’s eligibility would depend on how exactly you have gotten your Czech citizenship. If via descent (you hold an “osvědčení o státním občanství“), then it should be fairly straight forward (though they make ask you for a declaration of paternity). If via declaration (you hold a “listina o nabytí státního občanství“), then you’ll need to make sure she’s also eligible to apply for Czech citizenship, ie. that she fulfils the criteria laid out in this article.

      Samuel – CzechoSlovak Passport

  3. Hello,
    My grandparents were holocaust survivors, my grandma being from Prague and my grandfather from a town that is in todays Slovakia. They were made Israelis. Am I eligible for a Czech citizenship?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Shai,

      This would depend on a multitude of factors, especially your grandparents’ year of aliyah, your parent’s (their descendant’s) year of birth, as well as your year of birth.

      If you’d like to get in touch, please fill out this form:

      Samuel – CzechoSlovak Passport

  4. Hello
    My grandma was born in Czech in gablonz in 1935 and forced to move to Vienna in 1940 due to occupation. She then automatically became a Austrian citizen due to the war etc , she then moved to Australia in 1963 and eventually became a Australian . Am I eligible for a Czech citizenship ?
    Thankyou for your time

    1. Hi Polly,

      Unfortunately, your children are only eligible if they themselves fulfill the requirements. Hence, if your qualifying ancestor was a grandparent, I’m afraid that your adult children wouldn’t be eligible (unless you’ve qualified under Section 32, which is extremely rare). Any children born after acquiring Czech citizenship are Czech citizens automatically.

      Samuel – CzechoSlovak Passport

    2. Hi Polly,

      Congrats on citizenship! My sister and I are currently working on our applications for citizenship by declaration (through our Czech grandparents who immigrated to the U.S.). I was just curious exactly what paperwork you submitted to obtain citizenship?

      We’re getting hung up on whether we need to submit birth certificates for both of our parents, considering our Czech lineage falls through our father.


  5. Hello. I am curious whether I, and my children, qualify for Czech citizenship by descent. I am a US citizen by birth, born 1969. My father was born in Nova Cerekev, Czechoslovakia, in 1920 and escaped Communist-occupied CZ in 1948, living in a refugee camp in Germany until he emigrated to the US in 1951. (Nova Cerekev is in Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic). He became a US citizen and married an American in 1957, and renounced his Czechoslovak citizenship around 1970-1971. He had hisCzech citizenship reinstated sometime after 1993, thereby acquired dual CZ/US citizenship and held both US and Czech passports (CZ passport issued 1995). He died in 2001. Thanks for any insights!

  6. Hello, my grandmother was born in 1920 in Pirk, Czechoslovakia (Brezi) – Bohemia. I believe, her and her family were ethnically German. As the borders were established through 1918 and 1919 they were citizens Czechoslovakia, which is the place of my grandmothers birth. She immigrated to the US in 1935 and became a naturalized citizen in the following years. Would I potentially be eligible for citizenship by descent?

    1. Hi Marie,

      A plain meaning reading of the law would suggest that you would be eligible. While the law does explicitly exclude persons affected by the Beneš Decrees (among them, ethnic Germans), the actual verbiage is such that it only excludes persons (and their descendants) if they had lost their Czechoslovak citizenship pursuant to the Beneš Decrees. Assuming your grandmother had naturalized prior to September 1938 and did so through the naturalization of her parents (ie. not on her own), her loss of Czechoslovak citizenship would have occurred pursuant to a Treaty between Czechoslovakia and the United States. Hence, she would not have been affected by the Beneš Decrees.

      In practice, it is hard to estimate whether Czech authorities, incl. the courts, would accept the above interpretation.

      Have a good one!

      Samuel – CzechoSlovak Passport.EU

  7. Hi,

    I have been working my way through the process of gathering, translating and apostillizng documents to apply for Czech citizenship by descent.

    My grandfather was born in Prague in 1930, migrated to Australia in 1950 and became an Australian citizen in 1959. Australia did not allow dual nationals until 2002, and at the time he naturalized new citizens were required to “renounce their allegiance to their former countries before swearing allegiance to the Queen”. However, I believe formal renunciation was not particularly enforced.

    When I started this process the advice on the website of the Czech embassy in Sydney for “loss of Czech citizenship” was “a document proving the date and manner of loss of Czech or Czechoslovak citizenship … (eg Australian Citizenship Certificate)”. This page no longer appears on the website.

    I have his citizenship certificate, however after reading more recent information (such as above), I am now doubting that this is sufficient to show loss of citizenship.

    Have you dealt with any successful applications from Australia? and do you know if an Australian citizenship certificate is sufficient, or do I also need a document showing that he formally told Czechoslovakia that he had renounced citizenship?


    1. Hi Renee,

      Becoming an Australian citizen did not in and of itself lead to loss of Czechoslovak citizenship. In fact, there was no such thing as “renouncing” one’s Czechoslovak citizenship at the time. One could, however, apply to be “released from citizenship,” which was akin to renouncing citizenship. This application would have to have been approved by the Czechoslovak government. If you have no documents suggesting that your grandfather applied to the Czechoslovak government to give up his Czechoslovak citizenship, then he almost certainly retained his citizenship for the rest of his life.

      The above is a bit of a double edged sword because between 1949 and 1969, one would need 2 Czechoslovak citizen parents to become a citizen if born abroad. It appears to me from your comment that this wasn’t the case for your parent (his descendant). If so, then you unfortunately wouldn’t have a path to Czech citizenship at this time, although this may change, as the Czech government is working on an amendment that would give people in your position a path.

      Samuel – CzechoSlovak Passport.EU

  8. Hi Samuel, I have a question regarding documentation: My grandparents (father’s parents) left Czechoslovakia approx. 1948 and were naturalized in the U.S. in 1965. For my application, am I required to submit documentation for both of my parents and grandparents (even though my mom has no Czech relations) – or can I just submit for my father and one of my grandparents? Thanks, Emily

  9. I’ve done a bit of work through the Czech consulate in Los Angeles on getting my citizenship by descent through my grandfather but there are complications. My grandfather was born in 1898 in Olomouc. He emigrated from Vienna, Austria, to Canada in 1927 (after receiving an Austrian passport) in 1926. My father thinks he was living in Vienna, Austria, from around the end of WW1 (1918). I do not know the exact date he became an Austrian citizen and I do not know the exact dates that he resided in Austria. Did he lose his Czechoslovak citizenship when he became an Austrian citizen? And if so, is that date important? The other question … if he left Olomouc for Austria before 1922 does that mean that he lost his citizenship automatically and I would no longer qualify for citizenship by descent?

    1. Hi Robert,

      This is a fairly complicated topic and it’s impossible to give you an exact answer without knowing the details and seeing what the archives have on file.

      There are essentially two ways that your grandfather could’ve obtained Austrian citizenship – either automatically upon the break-up of Austria-Hungary in 1918 or through naturalization/option after 1918. The former possibility would be based on a concept called the “right of residence” (Heimatrecht), which was like a town-level citizenship and was a separate status based on the person’s patrilineal origin. This status was decisive in determining the post-break-up citizenship of former Austro-Hungarian citizens. If your grandfather acquired his Austrian citizenship this way, then he was never a Czechoslovak citizen, making you ineligible to apply for Czech citizenship. If, however, your grandfather became a Czechoslovak citizen upon the break-up of Austria-Hungary and later naturalized/opted for Austrian citizenship, ie. the latter option, then you would be eligible, so long that your grandfather also applied to be “released” from Czechoslovak citizenship (which was something that the Austrians required, as far as I know) or so long that he’d naturalized in the United States.

      Please note that loss of Czechoslovak citizenship is actually a good thing as far as eligibility to apply for Czech citizenship is concerned.

      In any case, this would require further research at the Czech and (possibly) Austrian archives.

      Samuel – CzechoSlovak Passport

  10. My parents were Holocaust survivors born in Czechoslovakia (Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia) in 1920 and 1023 respectively. After the war, they were “adopted” by the Czech government and repatriated to Czechoslovakia. I have copies of their Registration Certificates issued in 1945 by the Repatriation Office. They met in Prague and married in Usti nad Labem in 1947. I was born in Usti in December 1947. In 1949, we immigrated to the United States on a Czech passport on which I am listed. I was 1 year old at the time. My parents obtained US citizenship through Naturalization in the mid 1950s and I obtained derivative citizenship through my father’s naturalization. Did I lose my Czech citizenship when I obtained derivative US citizenship? What is the process for me to obtain a Czech Certificate of Citizenship? Your response would be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Hana,

      Based solely on the information in your comment, it appears that you likely acquired your US citizenship derivatively pursuant to Section 321 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This would mean that you’d lost your Czechoslovak citizenship under the 1929 Czechoslovakia-US Citizenship Treaty. The terms of the treaty have been interpreted to mean that your loss of citizenship would occur in May 1957 (if you’d naturalized prior to that date). This assumes that your parents retained their Czechoslovak citizenship after the cession of Subcarpathia, which it appears that they did.

      In any case, as a former Czechoslovak citizen, you, as well as your children and grandchildren are likely eligible to apply for Czech citizenship under Section 31 of the Czech Citizenship Act. You can do so at your local Czech consular office (honorary consulate/consulate or embassy). If you would like my help with the process, you may contact me through the contact form.

      Samuel – CzechoSlovak Passport

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