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New citizenship law

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

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

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

Czech citizens will be permitted to have dual and multiple citizenship.
Former citizens eligible to regain Czech citizenship through declaration
- 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 the citizenship by virtue of Constitutional Decree No. 33/1945 the concerning the Czechoslovak citizenship 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 citizens who became (or would have become) citizens of the Slovak (Socialist) Republic on or after January 1, 1969 and have retained their Slovak citizenship to date (Section 31, paragraph 1).
- Declarations will also be accepted from former Czechoslovak citizens 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, paragraph 2).

  • Declarations will be accepted from those who have lost their Czechoslovak citizenship before March 28, 1990 (except for the categories of ineligible persons listed in Section 31, paragraph 1). The new legislation repeals the rule according to which declarations were not accepted from those who lost their citizenship before February 25, 1948.
  • It will not be allowed to include minor children in the declarations of their parents. Parents (or authorized representatives) will have to make a separate declaration on each minor child's behalf.

- Declarations will be accepted from persons who were citizens of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic on December 31, 1992 but did not have the citizenship of the Czech Republic or of the Slovak Republic. No declarations will be accepted from those who have Slovak citizenship on the date of the declaration (Section 32, paragraph 1).
- Direct-line descendants of the former citizenss specified in the preceding paragraph will also be allowed to make the declaration, provided that they have never had Czech or Slovak citizenship (Section 32, paragraph 2).
- Declarations will also be accepted from persons born outside the Czechoslovak Republic between October 1, 1949 and May 7, 1969, if at least one of the parents was a Czechoslovak citizen and became (or would have become) a Czech citizen on January 1, 1969. These persons must present their declarations before January 1, 2015 (Section 33).
- Slovak citizens will no longer be able to acquire Czech citizenship through declaration. The new legislation repeals the special rules set out in Section 18a, Section 18b and Section 18c of the previous Citizenship Act. However, there will be a transitional period of one year during which Slovak citizens will be allowed to make declarations according to the old legislation. These declarations must be presented beforeJanuary 1, 2015 (Section 72).

Loss of Czech citizenship
- Czech citizens will no longer automatically lose their Czech citizenship upon obtaining foreign nationality. Starting from January 1, 2014, dual and multiple nationality will be permitted.
- Czech citizens will be allowed to make a declaration renouncing their Czech citizenship. The declaration will have to be approved by the competent Regional Office. There is no other way to take away citizenship status from Czech citizens (Section 40).

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

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

Full version of the new Citizenship Act