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New legislation concerning the Citizenship of the Czech Republic

(This article expired 08.10.2014.)

New Citizenship Act of the Czech Republic (Act No. 186/2013 Coll.) will take effect on January 1, 2014. It will replace all hitherto valid citizenship legislation and bring significant changes, such as the general acceptance of dual/multiple citizenship.

Children claiming Czech citizenship through their father

The rules have completely changed:

  • Father is determined by a court: a child born to a foreign mother will automatically become a Czech citizen if the father is a Czech citizen (Section 6);
  • Father signs an acknowledgement of paternity together with the child's mother: the child will become a Czech citizen if the father is a Czech citizen and the mother is a national of an EU Member State, or a Swiss national, or a national of a State Party to the EEA Agreement (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein), or a stateless person, or if she has any other nationality and holds a permit to permanently reside in the Czech Republic (Section 7.1);
  • If the mother does not fall within any of these categories, the child will automatically acquire Czech citizenship if the parents present to the registrar a report on the results of a DNA paternity test from a court-appointed expert (Section 7.2);
  • If the child does not qualify automatically under Section 6 or 7, the parents will be able to use the special procedure set out in Section 28.

 

Application procedure

  • Czech language tests will be stricter, and applicants will be required to prove basic knowledge of the Czech Republic constitutional system, state symbols, institutions, history, geography, culture etc. (Section 14).
  • On the other hand, applicants will no longer be required to prove that they have lost or renounced their former citizenship(s).
  • Second-generation immigrants will be able to obtain Czech citizenship by means of declaration.

 

Former nationals eligible to regain Czech nationality by means of declration

  • Declarations will be accepted from former Czech or Czechoslovak citizens who have lost the citizenship before the effective date of the new legislation. No declarations will be accepted from those who have lost their citizenship by virtue of Constitutional Decree No. 33/1945, on Czechoslovak citizenship of individuals belonging to German and Hungarian minorities, the Treaty between the Czechoslovak Republic and the USSR concerning Transcarpathia, as well as from Czechoslovak nationals who became (or would have become) nationals of the Slovak (Socialist) Republic on or after January 1, 1969 and have retained their Slovak citizenship to date (Section 31.1).
  • Declarations will also be accepted from former Czechoslovak nationals who had permanently resided in the Czech (Socialist) Republic until leaving the country, provided that they do not have Slovak citizenship on the date of the declaration (Section 31.2).
  • Declarations will be accepted from persons who were nationals of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic on December 31, 1922 but did not have the nationality of the Czech Republic or of the Slovak Republic. No declarations will be accepted from those who have Slovak nationality on the date of the declaration (Section 32.1).
  • Direct-line descendents of the former nationals specified in the preceding bullet will also be allowed to make the declaration, provided that they have never had Czech or Slovak citizenship (Section 32.2).
  • Declarations will also be accepted from those born outside the Czechoslovak Republic between October 1, 1949 and May 7, 1969, if at least one of the parents was a Czechoslovak national and became a Czech national on January 1, 1969. These persons must present their declarations by January 1, 2015 (Section 33).
  • Slovak nationals will no longer be able to acquire Czech citizenship by means of declaration. The new legislation repeals the special rules set out in Section 18a, 18b and 18c of the previous Citizenship Act. However, there will be a transitional period of one year during which Slovak nationals will be allowed to make declarations under the previous legislation. These declarations must be presented by January 1, 2015 (Section 72).

 

Loss of Czech citizenship

  • Czech citizens will no longer lose their citizenship upon obtaining foreign citizenship. Dual and multiple citizenships are permitted as of January 1, 2014.
  • Czech citizens will be allowed to make a declaration renouncing their Czech nationality. The declaration will have to be approved by the competent regional office. There is no other way of losing Czech citizenship status.

 

Proof of citizenship

  • As of January 1, 2014, the following will be accepted as proofs of Czech citizenship: national ID, travel document, certificate of citizenship not older than one year, document not older than one year proving that Czech nationality has been acquired.