Citizenship in Slovakia
Very often, our clients ask questions: “How to obtain citizenship of Slovakia?”, “How to obtain citizenship of the European Union (EU)?”, “Is it possible to obtain citizenship of Slovakia for investments?”, “What is the price / cost of obtaining citizenship of Slovakia?” Let’s try to understand these difficult issues.
What is Slovak citizenship?
Citizenship is a stable legal relationship between an individual and the state of the Slovak Republic, the contents of which are mutual rights and obligations in accordance with the legal norms of the Slovak Republic. From the moment citizenship of the Slovak Republic is acquired, the laws governing the stay of foreigners in Slovakia cease to apply to the holder. For example, you should no longer renew your residence permit.
There are several reasons for obtaining Slovak citizenship:
Acquisition of Slovak native citizenship
Perhaps this is the most frequent way to obtain Slovak citizenship, a child acquires citizenship by birth if:
- At least one of the parents is a citizen of the Slovak Republic;
- A child born in the territory of the Slovak Republic and his / her parents do not have any citizenship;
- The child was born on the territory of the Slovak Republic, the parents are foreigners and the child does not acquire their nationality at birth.
If the child was born from a citizen of Slovakia and a citizen of another country, he / she acquires Slovak citizenship. Even if in the future it turns out that the citizen of Slovakia is not his own parent, the child retains the citizenship of the Slovak Republic.
Thus, foreigners who want their child to become a citizen of Slovakia can, for example, obtain a temporary residence permit in Slovakia, renounce the citizenship of their country and give birth to a child in Slovakia. Children in this case automatically receive citizenship of the Slovak Republic.
Acquisition of Slovak citizenship as a result of adoption
Acquisition of Slovak citizenship as a result of adoption is possible only if at least one of the adoptive parents is a citizen of the Slovak Republic. By analogy with the acquisition of citizenship by birth, it does not matter if the adoptive parents live outside Slovakia. In this regard, it is important to note that, unlike, for example, the Czech Republic, adoption is allowed only for minor children.
Acquisition of Slovak citizenship by naturalization
This method of acquiring citizenship is different from the first two, as in this case you acquire citizenship at will. A person who wishes to acquire citizenship is required to submit an application, and public authorities must make a decision having the right to extradite or withdraw citizenship.
A foreigner who has a permanent permanent residence in Slovakia for at least eight years before submitting an application has the right to apply for citizenship of the Slovak Republic. A prerequisite is the absence of a criminal record, a decision on deportation, or a criminal case. You also need to pass an exam, oral and written, in the Slovak language. In addition, it is necessary to fulfill the duties of a foreigner according to the rule of law of the Slovak Republic.
If the eight-year period has not expired, an application for citizenship can be submitted by a foreigner who has temporary or permanent residence in Slovakia and:
- Married a citizen of the Slovak Republic and has been in this marriage for at least 5 years;
- made a significant contribution to the benefit of the Slovak Republic in the economic, scientific, technical, cultural, social and sports spheres, or this is in other interests of the Slovak Republic;
- this is a minor child, has continuous permanent residence in the Slovak Republic for at least two years, immediately before the application is submitted, and his legal representative or guardian is a citizen of the Slovak Republic or a legal Slovak person;
- This is a Slovak residing abroad and having a permanent residence in Slovakia for at least three years immediately preceding the application;
- Has permanent residence for at least three years before reaching the age of 18;
- He has been living in Slovakia for at least 10 years continuously and has already received permanent residence;
- Does not have citizenship and a permanent residence permit in Slovakia for at least three years immediately preceding the application;
- Is an asylum seeker for at least four years immediately preceding the application;
The fastest way to obtain citizenship is on the basis of a significant contribution to the Slovak Republic, however it is used very rarely, primarily in relation to outstanding athletes or very large investors.
Slovaks living abroad can obtain Slovak citizenship relatively quickly. First, they need to obtain the status of a foreign Slovak, which is often the most difficult step. Then, based on this status, you can get a temporary residence permit in Slovakia, which is easier, and after you have been temporarily living for three years, you can apply for citizenship.
Foreigners who are not Slovaks living abroad and want to obtain citizenship in a short time, like Slovaks living abroad, have the right to acquire citizenship for three years. First, they must obtain a temporary residence permit for any purpose, the most commonly used is temporary residence for the purpose of entrepreneurial activity. Then you must renounce your citizenship, and within three years after obtaining a residence permit, you can apply for SR citizenship.
All the rest, as a rule, receive citizenship 10 years after receiving a temporary residence permit in Slovakia, and have already received a permanent residence permit.
The issuance of citizenship of the Slovak Republic is carried out by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic on a permit basis, in addition, the ministry considers applications for citizenship and transfers the case to the Minister, and only the Minister of the Interior, according to the law, decides in person.
During the consideration of the application, a committee of three people conducts an interview with the applicant, which includes the following steps:
The interview itself, which contains questions regarding the identity of the applicant, his family, history, geography and socio-political development of Slovakia.
Reading aloud a newspaper article containing at least 500 words, which the applicant will receive immediately before reading.
A brief description in the article that the applicant has become acquainted, and for this he is given 30 minutes.
The time limit for making a decision is 24 months, and this period may be extended. In practice, decisions are made in the first half of the term. A prerequisite for acquiring citizenship of the Slovak Republic is taking the oath.
The denial of citizenship does not affect the validity of temporary residence or permanent residence, and you can apply for citizenship again 2 years after the denial.
How to obtain citizenship of Slovakia for investment?
Slovakia is very different from many European countries that provide citizenship for investments, such as, for example, Spain, Latvia, Estonia. Citizenship of the Slovak Republic is granted in exceptional cases to persons who have made a huge contribution to the country’s economy. It could be hundreds of millions or even billions of euros. So from a practical point of view, this option may not be useful.
What is the price of Slovak citizenship?
You must pay for this service when you personally accept your citizenship certificate at your local county office. The fee is 700 euros.
Children under 15 years pay 100 euros, young people aged 15 to 18 years – 150 euros.
People are exempted from payment: asylum seekers, migrants from Chernobyl (Ukraine) foreigners over 65 years of age, people with disabilities, citizens who have lost their Slovak citizenship after January 1, 1993.
We hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have questions about moving to Slovakia with subsequent legalization, obtaining a residence permit and possibly citizenship in Slovakia, call our company, our specialists will be happy to advise you.