Descendants of Slovak migrants eye citizenship, see opportunity in a now-debated amendment

Constitutional lawyers warn against too loose of an approach to granting citizenship to non-residents.

(Source: TASR)

Many of the people who have lost their Slovak passport due to the citizenship law that was amended amid a Slovak-Hungarian controversy in 2010 should be able to get it back without much complication. Descendants of Slovaks living abroad see a window of opportunity in the legislative process. They have been pushing to erase the residency requirement from the law, the main obstacle they now see in their access to Slovak citizenship.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

Related article: Planned changes to controversial citizenship law slammed as not going far enough Read more 

Their efforts open the more fundamental question of whether Slovakia should be more liberal in granting state citizenship to people who have never held it before and who do not actually live in the country. The answer that the parliament is about to give is - no.

Under the current law, anyone seeking Slovak citizenship needs to reside at least eight years in Slovakia continuously, among other conditions. People with Slovak ancestry who hold the Slovak Living Abroad certificate only need to legally reside in Slovakia for three years before they can obtain citizenship. The requirement of a two-year residence applies to people who had at least one parent who was a Czechoslovak citizen at the time they were born.

“It’s not necessary to create additional barriers and make people choose their national alliance,“ Zuzana Palovic told The Slovak Spectator. “You can be Slovak no matter where you are, and the Slovak family does not have to be divided by artificial lines, land or water.”

Palovic is behind the One Slovak Family initiative actively embracing those who live outside of Slovakia who want to reconnect with their Slovak ancestry. They are campaigning to change the residency requirement of the citizenship law by reaching out to MPs, the president of the Office for Slovaks Living Abroad, and PM Igor Matovič. They have sent him over 120 e-mails requesting a change in the residency requirement, she said.

Residency condition sticks

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

News digest: Slovakia improved in the corruption perceptions ranking

Slovakia's Security Council met over development in Ukraine. Matúš Vallo will run for re-election as Bratislava mayor.

11 h
Ukrainian soldiers walking near Donetsk.

If the aggression against Ukraine is tolerated, we could be next

Of course Slovakia should be "helping Ukrainian insurgents", if it comes to that.

11 h
Illustrative stock photo

Slovak, Catholic, and aging. But some of the 2021 census is a surprise (+graphs)

The data also revealed that almost 4 percent of inhabitants were not born in Slovakia.

12 h
Ivan Mikloš

Sulík's statements on Russian sanctions cost him an advisor

Ivan Mikloš announced his decision to step down in an opinion piece.

18 h
Skryť Close ad