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New Nationality Legislation of the Czech Republic

New Czech nationality legislation will take effect on 1 January 2014 and will replace all previous nationality legislation. Czech nationals will be permitted to have dual and multiple nationalities. The following is an overview of the most important changes that will take effect on 1 January 2014.

New Czech nationality legislation will take effect on 1 January 2014. The long title of the new act is “Act No. 186/2013 concerning the nationality of the Czech Republic and amending certain acts”; the short title is “Czech Nationality Act”. 

The Czech Nationality Act replaces all previous nationality legislation (Act No. 40/1993 concerning the acquisition and loss of nationality of the Czech Republic as amended, and Act No. 193/1999 concerning the nationality of certain former Czechoslovak nationals as amended).

The following is an overview of the most important changes that will take effect on 1 January 2014:

Czech nationals will be permitted to have dual and multiple nationalities. In line with the trend prevailing in the EU, the Czech Republic will no longer insist on single nationality.

Authorities responsible for nationality matters

The Ostrava, Brno a Pilsen City Halls will no longer be responsible for matters related to nationality. The responsibility will be transferred to the relevant Regional Offices.

Children claiming Czech nationality through the father

The rules have completely changed:  

Father signs an acknowledgement of paternity together with the child’s mother: the child will automatically get Czech nationality if the father is a Czech national 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, Liechtenstein), or
  • a stateless person, or
  • if she has any other nationality and holds a permit to permanently reside in the Czech Republic (Section 7, paragraph 1).

If the mother does not fall within any of these categories, the child will get Czech nationality if the fatherhood of a Czech national is determined by court (Section 6) or if the parents present to the registrar a report on the results of a DNA paternity test from a court-appointed expert (Section 7, paragraph 2).

If the child does not qualify automatically under Section 6 or Section 7, the parents will be able to use the special procedure set out in Section 28.

Application procedure

The Act defines new conditions for the acquisition of the Czech nationality:

  • Czech language tests will be stricter, and applicants will be required to prove basic knowledge of the Czech Republic’s 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 nationality.

Second-generation immigrants will be able to obtain Czech nationality through declaration.

Former nationals eligible to regain Czech nationality through declaration

Declarations will be accepted from former Czech or Czechoslovak nationals who have lost the nationality before the effective date of the new legislation. No declarations will be accepted from those who have lost the nationality by virtue of Constitutional Decree No. 33/1945 concerning the Czechoslovak nationality of persons of belonging to German and Hungarian minorities, the 1946 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 1 January 1969 and have retained their Slovak nationality to date (Section 31, paragraph 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 nationality on the date of the declaration (Section 31, paragraph 2).

Note:

  • Declarations will be accepted from those who have lost their nationality even before 25 February 1945 and after 28 March 1990, with exceptions stated above.
  • Contrary to current regulation, it will not be allowed to include children, who have never been Czech nationals, in the declarations of their parents. For children who lost their nationality, their parents (or authorized representatives) will have to make a separate declaration on each child’s behalf.

Declarations will be accepted from persons who were nationals of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic on 31 December 1992 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, paragraph 1).

Direct-line descendants of the former nationals specified in the preceding paragraph will also be allowed to make the declaration, provided that they have never had Czech or Slovak nationality (Section 32, paragraph 2).

Declarations will also be accepted from persons born outside the Czechoslovak Republic between 1 October 1949 and 7 May 1969, if at least one of the parents was a Czechoslovak national and became (or would have become) a Czech national on 1 January 1969. These persons must present their declarations before 1 January 2015 (Section 33).

Loss of Czech nationality

  • Czech nationals will no longer automatically lose their Czech nationality upon obtaining foreign nationality. Starting from 1 January 2014, dual and multiple nationalities will be permitted.
  • Czech nationals will be allowed to make a declaration renouncing their Czech nationality. The declaration will have to be approved by the competent Regional Office and not by diplomatic missions and consular offices. There is no other way to take away nationality status from Czech nationals (Section 40).

Proof of Czech nationality

Starting from 1 January 2014, the following documents can be presented as proof of Czech nationality:

  • a national ID card of the Czech Republic,
  • a travel document of the Czech Republic,
  • a certificate of nationality not older than one year,
  • a document not older than one year, proving that Czech nationality has been acquired by or granted to the bearer

Consular fees

For issuing the Czech nationality certificate or for accepting a declaration, a fee is charged.