How to obtain a Slovak Living Abroad certificate

 
MILESTONE 1/3
 

Important Update on the Recent Parliamentary Election in Slovakia

Created: Bratislava, October 3, 2023; Updated: October 20, 2023

As you may have heard, a parliamentary election recently took place in Slovakia. Many clients have been asking us about any potential implications it may have on the citizenship program and/or their individual cases/applications (both pending and upcoming).

Q&A 1/10: Who qualifies as a Slovak living abroad?

Slovaks living abroad are individuals whose direct ancestors were of Slovak ethnicity and retain Slovak national/cultural awareness. One of the essential requirements is to show the direct line of descent between the applicant and a Slovak ancestor using vital records (e.g., birth or baptismal certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates). There is no generational limit, so the applicant may use any Slovak ancestor, even from a distant generation (e.g., a great-great-grandparent). If you qualify as a Slovak living abroad and have children, they are also eligible as your direct descendants.

Q&A 2/10: How can I prove my ancestor's Slovak ethnicity?

There are no specific rules to proving your ancestor's Slovak ethnicity. Note that ethnicity doesn't equal nationality or citizenship. Locating the correct records and determining which ones should be used in the SLA certificate proceedings is one of the most challenging tasks. The applicant should collect all the available official documents containing a record of Slovak ethnicity, for example: 
  1. A birth certificate;
  2. A baptismal certificate;
  3. A civil registry extract;
  4. A marriage certificate;
  5. A certificate of citizenship or a certificate of permanent residence; 
  6. A passport;
  7. A deed of release from the state union of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Slovak Socialist Republic, or the Slovak Republic;
  8. A school certificate;
  9. A military book;
  10. A working book;
  11. A house book;
  12. A certificate of ethnicity from the Slovak National Archive, the National Archive of the Czech Republic, or the State Archive of the Transcarpathian Region in Uzhhorod;
  13. A passenger manifest;
  14. A census sheet if it contains a record of nationality/ethnicity;
  15. Naturalization documents (e.g., a declaration of intention, a certificate of arrival, or a petition for naturalization).

Q&A 3/10: How can I obtain Slovak ancestry records?

Locating them may be challenging, but we can help. Many records are in online databases, but we recommend hiring a genealogist if we cannot find sufficient evidence and complete the search ourselves. One of the best in Slovakia is our partner firm Slovak Genealogy Assistance.

Q&A 4/10: How can I demonstrate my national/cultural awareness?

National/cultural awareness can be defined as an active manifestation of the values representing the Slovak nation, language, cultural heritage, and traditions. This awareness should be demonstrated by the applicant’s statement of the results of their public activities or the written testimony of a Slovak expatriate organization operating in the applicant’s country of residence. This testimony cannot be older than six (6) months. If no organization can supply this for you, the written testimony of at least two Slovaks living abroad who reside in the same state as the applicant is also acceptable.

National/cultural awareness can also be demonstrated by mastery of the Slovak language. This can be proven by a certificate of attendance at a school taught in the Slovak language or a school certificate issued by a school taught in the Slovak language; in such a case, it is not necessary to submit any written testimony.

Q&A 5/10: Can you recommend a Slovak expatriate organization?

Some well-known expatriate organizations for Slovaks living abroad include:
  1. +421 Foundation (New York, NY, USA)
  2. Global Slovakia (Sandy, UT, USA)
  3. Slovak American Cultural Center SACC (New York, NY, USA)
  4. Slovak Institute (Cleveland, OH, USA)
  5. Czech and Slovak Association (Boston, MA, USA)
  6. First Catholic Slovak Union of the USA and Canada (Independence, OH, USA)
  7. First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association of the USA (Beachwood, OH, USA)
  8. Canadian Slovak League (Mississauga, ON, Canada)
  9. British Czech and Slovak Association (London, United Kingdom)
  10. Slovak Centre Ireland (Dublin, Ireland)
  11. Slovak Community Sydney (Lidcombe, NSW, Australia)
  12. Sokol Sydney (French Forest, NSW, Australia)
  13. Australian Slovaks Living in Victoria (Kew, VIC, Australia)
  14. Slovak Social and Cultural Club "Ludovit Stur" (Laverton, VIC, Australia)
  15. Czechoslovak Club in South Australia (Brompton, SA, Australia)
  16. Slovak Club of South Australia (Thebarton, SA, Australia)
  17. Czech and Slovak Association of Western Australia (Innaloo, WA, Australia)
  18. Uzhhorod Slovak Association (Ukraine)
  19. Union of Slovaks (Croatia)
  20. The National Council of the Slovak National Minority or Slovak Matica in Serbia (Serbia)
 

Q&A 6/10: How do I apply for a Slovak Living Abroad certificate?

The applicant may only submit an SLA certificate application in person, at the Office for Slovaks Living Abroad in Bratislava (currently unavailable until further notice), or at the Slovak Embassy/Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence. The SLA Office may reject an incomplete application. If an incomplete application is accepted, the applicant is ordered to supplement the missing documents within a specific deadline. The application must be accompanied by the following:
  1. Two (2) identical color photographs measuring 3.5 x 4.5 cm (photographs from booths are not accepted);
  2. A photocopy of the applicant's passport (the original must be presented for verification);
  3. The applicant’s birth certificate;
  4. Birth certificates of the applicant’s direct ancestors up to the ancestor with proven Slovak ethnicity;
  5. Confirmation of the applicant’s national/cultural awareness (typically a written testimony of a Slovak expatriate organization operating in the applicant’s country of residence);
  6. A photocopy of an SLA certificate of the applicant’s direct ancestor or descendant, if it was issued in the past;
  7. A criminal background check, not older than three (3) months, issued by the country of which the applicant is a national and the country in which the applicant resides unless the applicant is under 14 years of age (e.g., an FBI Identity History Summary Check in the USA, an RCMP Criminal Record Check in Canada, or an ACRO Police Certificate in the UK);
  8. Proof of payment of an administrative fee of EUR 10 (payable by cash or a credit/debit card at the Slovak Embassy/Consulate).

Q&A 7/10: Are there any special requirements for the documents?

All documents must either be originals or certified true copies. In addition, official documents issued in any jurisdiction other than the Slovak Republic, i.e., all foreign documents, must be apostilled (applicable for the USA, Canada after January 11, 2024, UK, Israel, and all other Hague Convention countries) or authenticated and then super-legalized (applicable for Canada until January 11, 2024, and all other countries that are not a party to the Hague Convention). The SLA Office used to require that the date of issuance of the certification clauses not exceed six (6) months. 

All foreign documents must be officially translated into Slovak by a sworn translator registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic or an officially registered foreign translator. Official translation by a foreign translator must also be apostilled or super-legalized unless the Slovak Embassy/Consulate confirms the translator’s competence on a cover letter submitted to the SLA Office.

Q&A 8/10: What about my children?

If your child is 14 to 18 years old, the application must be accompanied by written consent of both parents (legal guardians) with notarized signatures, as well as photocopies of their identity documents presented during the signature notarization. In addition, your child, who is 14 to 18 years old, must apply in person (i.e., they cannot be represented by a parent or another legal guardian). 

If your child is under 14 years of age, the application must also be accompanied by a photocopy of a passport of the parent or legal guardian applying on their behalf (the original must be presented for verification); a photocopy of an SLA certificate of the child’s parent or another direct ancestor, if issued; written consent of the second parent (legal guardian) with a notarized signature, and a photocopy of their identity document presented during the signature notarization.

Q&A 9/10: How does the SLA Office proceed?

If the application is submitted at a Slovak Embassy/Consulate, the file is transferred to the SLA Office to start the proceedings. A Slovak Embassy/Consulate doesn't have the jurisdiction to conduct the SLA certificate proceedings or decide on your application. The SLA Office may request additional documents, if necessary, to determine the actual state of affairs. One example of this could be for clarification of any fact concerning the applicant or the applicant’s direct ancestors. If the SLA Office finds discrepancies in the submitted documents, the applicant may be required to explain and justify them. The SLA Office may also summon the applicant to an interview to determine, for example, the applicant’s national/cultural awareness, emotional ties and relationship to the Slovak nation, and knowledge of Slovak traditions.

Q&A 10/10: When do I get a Slovak Living Abroad certificate?

The SLA Office shall decide within 60 days of receiving a complete application. If the application was submitted at a Slovak Embassy/Consulate, the 60-day period starts from the delivery of a complete application to the SLA Office. If the application is approved, the SLA Office issues an SLA certificate, valid for an unlimited time. In the case of minor children, an SLA certificate is issued for three (3) years, five (5) years, or up to the age of 18.

 

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