Who is citizen? Guide to Czech citizenship in 1969 - 1992
25.10.2012 / 16:00
(This article expired 05.09.2013.)
Who is citizen? Guide to Czech citizenship in 1969 - 1992
Please note that the following information is only a guide.
A child born between May 8, 1969 and December 31, 1992, became Czech citizen if one of the parents was a Czech citizen. As of 1969, Czechoslovakian citizenship ceased to exist and was replaced by either the citizenship of the Czech Republic or the Slovak Republic. Many situations arise from this provision. Some information is given below, but due to the complexity of determining who became a Czech citizen and who became a Slovak citizen, it is best to request an expert inquiry through the Embassy. Agreements preventing dual citizenship with the USA, the USSR, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, and Mongolia also play a role in determining the citizenship of a child whose one parent was/is a citizen of one of these countries. After the fall of communism, persons who were stripped of their citizenship by the communists, were able to regain their citizenship. This option is still open and requires making a declaration at the Embassy.
In the period between 1969 and 1992, Czech citizenship was governed by Act No. 39/1969 Coll., on acquiring and loosing citizenship of Czech (Socialist) Republic. This law brought several important changes in comparison to the previous one. First, requirement that both parents had to be Czechoslovakian citizens in order for the child to follow was relaxed. As of 1969 onwards, Czech (Czechoslovakian) citizenship by birth is determined by Czech (Czechoslovakian) citizenship of one of the parents. Second, citizenship of republics - the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, was instituted. That means, that as of 1969, there is no longer Czechoslovakian citizenship, but either a Czech or a Slovak one. More information is given below. With the fall of communism, those provisions of the citizenship law, which were manifestly undemocratic and bore a totalitarian signature - namely the provisions stripping citizens of their citizenship as a form of punishment for emigrating, were abolished. More information is given below.
Between 1969 and 1992, Czech citizenship was obtained by one of the following:
- child, whose both parents were Czech citizens, became Czech citizen;
- child, whose one parent was Czech citizen and another parent was foreign national, became Czech citizen;
- child, whose one parent was Czech citizen and the other parent was Slovak citizen, became Czech citizen, if s/he was born in the Czech part of Czechoslovakia;
- child, whose one parent was Czech citizen and the other parent was Slovak citizen, and was born abroad, became Czech citizen if the mother was Czech citizen.
Note: Determining Czech or Slovak citizenship may be difficult. The situation is more complicated for persons born between January 1 and May 7, 1969, due to collision of the citizenship law and the law on establishing the republics. Expert citizenship search is necessary - file an application at the Embassy.
- Slovak citizen married to a Czech citizen obtained Czech citizenship, if s/he made a declaration to this effect within six months after the marriage;
- foreign national, if s/he requested the citizenship within six months after the marriage at a regional council.
Restoration and conferment
Act No. 88/1990 Coll., which changes and supplements regulations on obtaining and loosing Czechoslovakian state citizenship, in force since March 28, 1990, rendered decisions on removal of state citizenship by the communists null and void. If a citizen had his/her citizenship taken away as a result of provisions in laws no´s 194/1949 Coll., and 39/1939 Coll., it was considered that s/he was released from the citizenship. If this person communicated in writing to the Ministry of the Interior by the deadline of December 31, 1993, that s/he wishes to remain a Czech citizen, it was understood that this person de facto never ceased to be a citizen. This deadline has since been reopened, first from September 2, 1999 to September 2, 2004, and then again from June 1, 2005, indefinitely. If a person makes the declaration in the renewed time period, s/he regains his/her relationship upon receiving a citizenship certificate.
Determining Czech or Slovak citizenship of persons, who were born before 1969
- person who had Czechoslovakian citizenship and was born in the Czech part of Czechoslovakia, became on January 1, 1969 Czech citizen;
- person who had Czechoslovakian citizenship, was born abroad, and had permanent residence in the Czech part of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1969, became Czech citizen;
- person who had Czechoslovakian citizenship, was born abroad, did not have permanent residency in Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1969, became Czech citizen if s/he or his/her parents had the last permanent residency in the Czech part of Czechoslovakia. If the person or his/her parents had the last permanent residency in the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia, that person became Slovak citizen.
These criteria applied to parents and their children younger than 15.
If the person is a Czechoslovakian citizen, it is not possible to determine Czech citizenship by these criteria, and the person did not become a Slovak citizen, it is possible to choose Czech citizenship by declaration.
Agreement between Czechoslovakia and the United States of America on prevention of dual citizenship was in force from November 14, 1929 until August 20, 1997. The agreement was suspended between September 17, 1938 and May 7, 1957, when one of the parties was in the state of war (i.e. from the first Czechoslovakian mobilization until establishment of diplomatic relations with Japan). The agreement prevented dual citizenship of Czech (Czechoslovakian) citizens, who became naturalized in the United States, and vice versa, of United States citizens, who became naturalized in the Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia).
In addition to the agreement with the United States and agreements with the USSR, Poland, and Hungary, which entered into force in the 1950s and 1990s, agreements on preventing dual citizenships were concluded with East Germany, Bulgaria, and Mongolia during this time period. This means, that if one parent was born in one of these countries, it needs to be determined first, whether that parent held this country´s citizenship upon the child´s birth. If an agreement between the parents on the citizenship of the child was concluded, citizenship is determined accordingly. If no such agreement was concluded, the child´s citizenship generally follows the citizenship of the mother.