Chance to regain Czech citizenship

A new law regarding Czech citizenship was enacted in the beginning of 2014. The law was approved by the Czech parliament and designated Citizenship Act No. 186/2013 Coll. Notably, one section of the law will only be valid until the end of 2014. The law concerns former citizens of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic who lost their citizenship and enables them to resume this status. It is an opportunity for many emigrants and their descendants to obtain citizenship in a modern European country.

Aside from the positive emotional aspects, renewed citizenship has many other benefits as well. Czech citizenship provides access to Czech healthcare, education and social systems. As a Czech citizen you can easily do business in Czech & Europe, work and live in the heart of Europe while enjoying many other potential possibilities. The Czech Republic is a member state of the European Union and the Schengen Area, which makes it a perfect base for activities in other countries in the region. A Czech passport is also very convenient for travelling around the globe, often with no visa required. The good news is that the Czech Republic has now decided to allow dual and multiple nationalities.

Acquiring citizenship by declaration

Gaining citizenship in the Czech Republic is normally a long and complicated process for foreigners. However, this does not apply to those eligible for citizenship by declaration based on historical roots in the country. Acquiring citizenship by declaration is a much more straightforward process than acquiring citizenship from scratch. All the conditions are specified in the sections of the recently enacted law. Czech emigrants and their descendants who are considering resumption of their Czech citizenship may find interest in Citizenship Act No. 186/2013 Coll and its sections, such as § 31-33.

Three sections of the law (§ 31-33) address three groups of former Czechoslovak/Czech citizens and their descendants. People belonging to these categories can acquire Czech citizenship by declaration:

  1. Former citizens who had lost their Czechoslovak or Czech citizenship before the end of 2013. Exceptions are former citizens who lost their citizenship by virtue of the Benes Decrees, or as a result of the Treaty between the Czechoslovak Republic and the USSR concerning the Zakarpattia Oblast. The Benes Decrees concern people who belonged to German and Hungarian minorities or were considered traitors following World War II. Declaration is also not an option for people who became or would have become citizens of the Slovak Socialist Republic or the Slovak Republic after January 1st 1969 and who have kept their Slovak citizenship. The declaration is only valid for children born while their parent was a citizen of the Czech Republic.
  2. People who were citizens of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic on December 31st 1992 and who became neither Czech nor Slovak citizens. This second category also includes lineal descendants of these people; they too can acquire citizenship by declaration. This possibility is not valid for people who are current citizens of the Slovak Republic.
  3. Descendants of Czechoslovak and Czech citizens born from October 1st 1949 to May 7th 1969 outside the Czechoslovak Republic. On January 1st 1969, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic became a federation of two states – the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic. At least one parent has to be a Czechoslovak citizen who became or would have become a Czech citizen on January 1st 1969. Descendants included in this third category must submit their declarations by the end of 2014!

Necessary documents

Each section of the law lists the required documents. These include relevant birth/marriage/divorce/death certificates and other documents confirming validity of claims. In the event that the documents were not issued by a Czech authority it is necessary to provide certified copies officially translated into the Czech language. If the issuing country is a member state of the Hague Convention all documents must be authenticated by an apostille seal (Israel is a member state). Otherwise, the documents must go through a super legalization process.

For more information about issuing Czech passport