FALATH & PARTNERS, based in Bratislava, Slovakia, with a branch office in Manhattan, New York, USA, is a leading law firm for Slovak citizenship. We are the first to provide full service for the citizenship by descent program. We also provide a variety of other legal services to foreign clients.
We help the descendants of Slovak nationals who emigrated, either from the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Czechoslovakia, to acquire Slovak citizenship and revive their ancestors’ heritage. Thanks to new legislation introduced on April 1, 2022, Slovak citizenship by descent has become more attainable. Although the acquisition of citizenship remains a legally demanding process, the major obstacles preventing or discouraging applicants from pursuing citizenship were revoked.
Slovaks living abroad are individuals whose direct ancestors were of Slovak ethnicity and retain Slovak national/cultural awareness. They are eligible for Slovak citizenship if at least one of their relatives in the last three generations (parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent) was born within the territory of present-day Slovakia and had Czechoslovak citizenship. Acquiring Slovak citizenship by descent typically consists of completing three (3) milestones: obtaining a Slovak Living Abroad certificate (not essential in specific cases), obtaining a residence permit in Slovakia, and obtaining Slovak citizenship.
The first step is obtaining an SLA certificate. At least one of the applicant's direct ancestors (regardless of the generation) must be of Slovak ethnicity. Additionally, the applicant must demonstrate their Slovak national/cultural awareness, but they are not required to prove their knowledge of the Slovak language. The time required to obtain an SLA certificate depends on the specific circumstances of each case and is highly individual; however, it usually takes about 5-6 months, including research and the collection of documents.
A permitted residence in Slovakia is a prerequisite to an application for Slovak citizenship by descent. The applicant, who now holds an SLA certificate, can obtain a five-year renewable temporary residence permit. Their spouses can also obtain a temporary residence permit (derived from the SLA-based one), even if they don't qualify for an SLA certificate and Slovak citizenship by descent. Some applicants may apply for a permanent residence permit instead of an SLA-based one. The applicant is not required to reside in Slovakia and can travel freely within the European Union without worrying about exceeding the 90-day Schengen visa. An SLA-based temporary residence permit is usually received within 1-2 months, while the issuance of a permanent residence permit typically takes up to three (3) months.
After obtaining a residence permit, the final step is applying for Slovak citizenship. The applicant must have at least one direct ancestor in the last three generations (parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent) who was a Czechoslovak citizen born within the territory of present-day Slovakia. If either of these criteria isn't met, the applicant must reside in Slovakia for three (3) years, demonstrate a significant benefit/contribution to the Slovak diaspora or the Slovak Republic, or prove that granting citizenship is in Slovakia's interest for any other reason. Citizenship proceedings are quite time-consuming. Processing regular applications may take up to 24 months; however, granting citizenship by descent should be faster, possibly within 12-18 months of receiving an application.
Please click below to read about the Milestones on your path toward Slovak citizenship.
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FALATH & PARTNERS is a leading law firm for Slovak citizenship, the first to provide full service for the citizenship by descent program. We also provide a variety of other legal services to foreign clients.
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