Easier path to citizenship proposed for descendants of Czech emigrants

The current amendment would apply mainly to descendants of compatriots living in the United States, South America, and Great Britain.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 30.11.2023 13:08:00 (updated on 30.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A proposed extension in the citizenship amendment by a group of MPs from the coalition parties would make it easier for the great-grandchildren of emigrants who lost Czechoslovak or Czech citizenship in the past to obtain Czech citizenship.

According to the model, relatives of those compatriots who did not lose their citizenship could also acquire Czech citizenship by declaration, in a direct line up to the fourth generation. This possibility, limited by generation, lasted for only one year in the past.

"The new regulation will enable the acquisition of citizenship of the Czech Republic even for the descendants of citizens or former citizens in the fourth generation, thereby eliminating the inequality of access to individual types of declarations, respectively to individual groups of declarants," stated the proponents of the change, led by Roman Bělor, in an explanatory memorandum of the amendment, which will first need to be assessed by the government.

Czech citizenship by declaration: You can apply for Czech citizenship by declaration if you are a former citizen of the Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia who lost citizenship (before Jan. 1, 2014), or if one of your relatives is a former Czech or Czechoslovakian citizen (applies only if your parent or grandparent ceased to be a citizen before Dec. 31, 2013). In both cases, you will have to prove your relationship with them and explain their loss of citizenship. Applying for a Czech Citizenship Certificate involves administration fees ranging from CZK 500-2,000. Source: Foreigners.cz

Those in support of the expansion justified the renewal of the simplified acquisition of citizenship by direct descendants of compatriots who did not lose their citizenship with the fact that in the past such an option lasted for an "extremely" short time. According to the authors of the draft, those who could have used the option in 2014 may not have learned about it at all.

"The determination of such a short effectiveness was not only misunderstood by the addressees but was perceived as an insincere or hostile political signal," the proposal states. The authors of the extension proposal pointed out that in some cases people find out whether their ancestors lost their Czech or Czechoslovak citizenship or not only when searching for the necessary documents.

The expansion of the range of persons who could simply obtain Czech citizenship concerns mainly the descendants of compatriots living in the United States, South America, and Great Britain. At the same time, proponents of the change argued that many potential applicants for the simplified acquisition of citizenship already find it difficult to find the necessary documents, i.e. birth or marriage certificates of parents or grandparents and original naturalization certificates.

Do you think you have a citizenship claim? Czech embassies may be able to advise you. You will also find FAQs about obtaining Czech citizenship here.

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