Conditions for losing Slovak state citizenship will ease up

Nearly 3,400 people have lost Slovak citizenship so far based on the law adopted in 2010.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Nearly 3,400 people have lost their Slovak citizenship after gaining the citizenship of another country by late July 2020. This is still possible based on 2010 legislation adopted by the first Robert Fico government in response to a Hungarian law, enabling ethnic Hungarians in other countries the right of dual citizenship.

The incumbent has now prepared an amendment to the law that moderates conditions for losing Slovak citizenship. The draft has already been submitted for an interdepartmental review, the SITA newswire reported.

“We’re gradually fulfilling the governmental programme statement where we pledged to enable Slovak citizens living in another country to gain citizenship of one country without losing the Slovak one,” said Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO), as quoted by SITA.

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If approved in the parliament, the amendment may come into force in February 2021.

What should change

Under the proposed rules, people who have lost their Slovak citizenship will be able to ask for its renewal not based on an exception from the Interior Ministry (like now), but in a proper proceeding and without registration at the Foreigners’ Police. The applicants will have to be irreproachable.

Also people whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents are of Slovak origin will be able to apply.

“The law defines exceptions preventing the loss of citizenship,” said Peter Drábek, head of the state citizenship department at the Interior Ministry, as quoted by SITA.

This means that people will not lose their Slovak citizenship if they are granted another citizenship during a marriage with a citizen of this country, by birth or by adoption, and if a minor was granted a citizenship of another country.

The law will also enable Slovaks to be granted the citizenship of another country if they have some kind of residence in this country for at least three years and submit documents proving so, Drábek added.

The exception for speaking Slovak will apply to not only Czech citizens, but also applicants with the valid status of a Slovak living abroad.

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