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New rules for Slovak citizenship proposed

BECOMING a Slovak citizen will take longer, if a bill proposed by the Ministry of the Interior becomes law. The bill proposes extending the period an applicant must wait for a decision on citizenship from the current sixty days to one year.

The extension is justified by the many checks that must be made before citizenship can be granted, not all of which are formalities.

The bill will also limit the right of people with the status of Foreign Slovaks to become citizens. They will now have to reside in the country for two years before applying for citizenship.

The ministry claims that they are receiving more and more applications from people who do not reside in Slovakia at all and that Slovakia's entry into the EU is changing the reasons why people apply for citizenship.

A representative of the ministry told the TASR news agency that the bill, the first amendment to citizenship law since 1993, was not about making the law stricter but about making it more precise.

Compiled by Roger Heyes from press reports
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