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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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