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Slovak citizenship by descent vote delayed until September

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Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovak descendants will have to continue waiting in suspense.

The much anticipated second reading in Parliament of Slovakia’s new proposed citizenship amendment has been postponed until September 16, 2021.

Lead-up

As we previously wrote, the proposed amendment offering citizenship by descent to the third generation level descendant of Czechoslovaks and Slovaks passed a cabinet vote in late February of this year.

News of the pending legislation has created quite a buzz among diaspora who are eager to connect or reconnect with their heritage homeland, and has spawned a movement to encourage Bratislava to simplify and pass the proposed amendment.

The bill was then given a first reading in Parliament on March 18. The second reading, initially scheduled for mid-May was then postponed until June 15.

Estimated future timeline 

With the most recent news, the second reading has been delayed until September 16. Per Slovak parliamentary procedure, the bill will also have a third reading before coming to a vote. The third reading is often treated as a formality.

Given the new setback, the earliest this bill (if passed) would be effective law would be November or December of this year.

Potential applicants who would like to front-run the legislation may wish to begin the process of gathering the Slovak birth records of their potentially qualifying Slovak or Czechoslovak relative.

Once there is another update, we will publish a follow-up article for our readers.

By Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald and Samuel Durovcik

Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald is a Los Angeles-based immigration attorney at the Law Office of Parviz Malakouti and an adjunct professor of immigration law at Nevada State College.

Samuel Durovcik is a law student at Masaryk University’s Faculty of Law in Brno, Czech Republic studying administrative and citizenship Law. Samuel is a native of Bratislava, Slovakia.

9 comments on “Slovak citizenship by descent vote delayed until September

  1. Thanks for the update about this important legislation for those of Slovakian heritage. How would third-generation be defined under the proposed legislation?

  2. Would this apply to those who have relatives born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire? I have family records proving that my great grandparents were born in modern-day Slovakia, down to the village level. Is the current version of the bill supportive of those in my position?

    • Depends on whether that relative became a Czechoslovak citizen. Feel free to see my article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for a brief mention of that point.

      • Thanks for the reply. Does it help to know that my great grandparents did not become US citizens until 1941? They had left prior to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so I’m not sure if that would have resulted in them having been Czechoslovak citizens, living in the US for the better part of 3 decades, or if they would have been considered stateless individuals residing legally within the US, prior to their US naturalization.

        I’d imagine that should this bill become Slovak law, that there will be a lot of similar situations as to that of my family, but I’m not sure if there would be discretion used by Slovakia in determining these situations, or if they’d use the most literal of legal interpretations.

  3. Nice, I hope at this point they also let ethnic Hungarian Slovak citizens to gain Hungarian citizenship. It would be the ultimate dick move to let people of Slovak descent to gain Slovak citizenship but make it illegal to Hungarians who live in Slovakia to do the same.

  4. Kalina D'Orazio

    My father was born in Slovakia and came to Canada at the age of 6. I’m US born, dual citizen of Canada and US. I’d give up US citizenship to gain Slovakia citizenship…but would like to keep Canadian. Is this possible?

  5. Rosie Weisz Heinegg

    My father was a Jew born in Bratislava in 1888. I have the documentation from Bratislava. He moved to Brno and left from there in 1939 for the US, for obvious reasons (many relatives were killed). He became a naturalized US citizen in 1942. I was born in 1944. His passport is Czechoslovak. I have been trying to get citizenship, but of what country. I went through the Czech process and was told that I needed to prove my father was not a Slovak. The Slovaks don’t accept dual citizenship, so he lost Slovak citizenship when he was naturalized. But, at the time he was Czechoslovakian. I have obtained all the documents. What do you think my chances are? What should I do? I have US citizenship, but want to reclaim my father’s heritage. (Both his parents are listed as Hungarian on my father’s birth registration!)

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