Slovakia citizenship

How to Become a Slovak Citizen: Navigating the Path to Citizenship

Slovakia, an enchanting European nation boasting rich history and breathtaking landscapes, attracts individuals from across the globe. Whether drawn by its natural beauty, cultural heritage, or economic prospects, the idea of obtaining Slovak citizenship may intrigue you. However, the path to citizenship entails more than crossing borders; it requires a thorough grasp of eligibility criteria, application processes, and benefits. This guide serves as your compass through the intricate journey of Slovak citizenship, providing insights, clarifications, and a clear roadmap to your destination.

To acquire Slovak citizenship, there are several ways outlined in the Slovak Citizenship Act. One can obtain citizenship through determination, acquisition, birth, adoption, or naturalization. For example, a child can acquire Slovak citizenship if at least one parent is a Slovak citizen, or if the child is born in Slovakia and the parents are stateless or foreign nationals.

Foreign nationals seeking Slovak citizenship through naturalization must meet specific criteria, including having permanent residence in Slovakia for at least 8 consecutive years, a clean criminal record, proficiency in the Slovak language, and general knowledge of Slovakia. It is essential to demonstrate a commitment to the country and meet all legal requirements for citizenship acquisition.

Furthermore, Slovakia allows dual citizenship under certain circumstances. Dual citizenship is permitted if acquired at birth, through marriage to a Slovak citizen, or if already holding another foreign citizenship before obtaining Slovak citizenship. However, acquiring foreign citizenship after becoming a Slovak citizen requires notifying the authorities promptly to avoid penalties.

Overall, the process of obtaining Slovak citizenship involves meeting residency requirements, demonstrating language proficiency and knowledge of the country, and adhering to specific conditions outlined in the Citizenship Act.

Exploring the Pathways to Slovak Citizenship

The road to becoming a Slovak citizen is paved with different pathways, each catering to distinct circumstances and individuals. These pathways include:

Slovak Citizenship by Birth

Citizenship by birth is a fundamental way through which individuals become citizens of Slovakia. The eligibility criteria vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the birth:

  • If one of the parents is a Slovak citizen.
  • If the child is born within the Slovak Republic to stateless parents.
  • If the child is born within the Slovak Republic to foreign national parents.
  • If the child hasn’t acquired any other foreign nationality through birth.

An interesting facet of this pathway is that even if one parent is a Slovak citizen and the other is a foreigner, the child retains Slovak citizenship, regardless of any subsequent revelations about parentage.

Slovak Citizenship by Descent

For those with Slovak heritage, the descent pathway offers a route to citizenship. The criteria for eligibility include:

  • At least one ancestor (parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent) being a Slovak citizen.
  • Ancestor(s) having been born before 1990.
  • Ancestor(s) possessing Slovak citizenship at the time of the applicant’s birth.

Recent reforms have introduced the Slovak Living Abroad (SLA) certificate for those who don’t meet the generational limitations. This certificate allows individuals to live in Slovakia and eventually apply for citizenship, provided they contribute to the country or have three years of continuous residence before acquiring SLA status.

Slovak Citizenship by Naturalization

Naturalization serves as a pathway for those who wish to become Slovak citizens through residency and fulfillment of specific criteria. The prerequisites include:

  • Uninterrupted permanent residence in Slovakia for at least eight years.
  • Undergoing a probity check as per the Act on Citizenship of the Slovak Republic.
  • Demonstrating proficiency in the Slovak language.
  • Exhibiting knowledge about the Slovak Republic.

Applicants must submit their application to the relevant authorities and await review and approval before gaining citizenship.

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The Application Process Unveiled

Acquiring Slovak citizenship requires navigating a meticulous application process, composed of distinct phases:

Document Preparation

Prepare essential documents, including identification, residence permit, birth certificate, and the citizenship application form.

Submission of Documents

Submit documents to the appropriate office based on your residence:

  • District Authority office according to your current or last place of residence.
  • Bratislava District Authority for first-time residents.
  • Slovak diplomatic missions or consulate offices abroad.

Waiting Period

Anticipate a processing period of approximately 24 months, culminating in an official response to your application.

Citizenship Certificate Application

If your application succeeds, apply for your citizenship certificate at the same office, accompanied by a €10 administrative fee.

Taking the Oath

Complete the process by taking the citizenship oath, affirming your newfound Slovak nationality.

Essential Documents and Guidelines

To initiate the application process, ensure you have the following documents:

  • Slovak citizenship application form.
  • Signed Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • Identification document.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Marital status documents.
  • Proof of residence.
  • Criminal record clearance.
  • Relevant certificates (former citizenship, Slovak National Living Abroad, etc.).

All documents must meet specific criteria, including being in Slovak or accompanied by certified translations. Authentication via an apostille stamp or super legalization might be necessary for certain documents.

Navigating the Slovakia Citizenship Test

Although Slovakia doesn’t administer a written citizenship test, proficiency in the Slovak language is vital. The language check comprises an interview and reading and summarizing a newspaper article in Slovak.

Exploring Other Avenues to Citizenship

Beyond the established pathways, there are alternative routes to Slovak citizenship:

Citizenship by Adoption

Children become citizens if at least one adoptive parent is Slovak, irrespective of the child’s nationality.

Citizenship by Marriage

Foreigners marrying Slovak citizens can apply for permanent residence and reduced residence requirements.

Citizenship by Investment

Although Slovakia lacks a formal citizenship by investment program, foreign investors can apply for temporary or permanent residence after contributing to the country for 1-2 years.

Rejection and Appeal

If your application faces rejection, reapplication is possible after two years. In case of an appeal, legal counsel is recommended.

Understanding Citizenship Fees

Prepare for associated fees when applying for Slovak citizenship:

  • Fee for applicants above 18: €700.
  • Children up to 15: €100.
  • Children 15-18: €150.
  • Various fees based on specific scenarios.

Exemptions exist for asylum grantees and displaced individuals.

Dual Citizenship and Its Implications

Slovakia permits dual citizenship in specific cases, such as birth, marriage, or pre-existing foreign citizenship. However, Slovak citizens acquiring foreign citizenship must notify authorities to avoid penalties.

What are the Benefits of obtaining Slovak Citizenship

Obtaining Slovak citizenship offers several benefits, including:

1. Access to a Tier A passport, which allows visa-free travel to 171 countries.
2. The right to live, work, and study in Slovakia and across all 27 EU member states without a visa.
3. The right to vote in Slovakia’s elections.
4. The right to receive consular protection from the Slovak embassy in non-EU countries.
5. The ability to own property in Slovakia.
6. The right to receive social benefits and services in Slovakia.
7. The right to participate in Slovakia’s cultural and social life.
8. The ability to pass Slovak citizenship to future generations.

Overall, Slovak citizenship provides numerous benefits, including the ability to travel freely, live and work in the EU, and access to social and cultural life in Slovakia.

What is the Cost of obtaining Slovak Citizenship

The cost of obtaining Slovak citizenship varies depending on the method of application. For adults, the pricing starts from $6,000 for the first applicant, approximately $5,200 for subsequent adults in the same family, and around $4,800 for minors under 18 years old. There are payment schedules available for individuals and families, with discounts for larger family groups. Additionally, administrative fees for granting Slovak citizenship to applicants above 18 years old are around €700, while children up to 15 years old pay €100 and those from 15 to 18 years old pay €150. Furthermore, in specific cases like acquiring citizenship by descent, the administrative fee is €20 and is paid only after acquiring Slovak citizenship. It’s important to note that additional fees may apply based on individual circumstances and specific requirements during the application process.

 

Becoming a citizen of Slovakia is a significant decision that requires navigating complex pathways, adhering to requirements, and understanding the nuances of the application process. By arming yourself with this comprehensive guide, you’re better prepared to embark on your journey towards Slovak citizenship, unveiling a world of opportunities, experiences, and newfound identity.