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Conditions for granting Slovak Citizenship (Naturalization)

A foreigner may acquire Slovak citizenship by naturalization after fulfilling the conditions set by law.

A foreigner who wishes to apply for citizenship must first of all:

Permanent Residence

Slovak citizenship may be granted to an applicant who has had continuous permanent residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least eight years immediately preceding the submission of the application for Slovak citizenship.

Exceptions

The law grants an exception to the length of residence requirement to an applicant who has been granted residence in Slovakia but has not had continuous permanent residence for eight years, for example, if:

  • he/she has contracted a marriage with a Slovak citizen, the marriage has been ongoing and he/she has been living in a common household in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least five years immediately preceding the application for citizenship;
  • is a person who has made a significant contribution to the Slovak Republic in the economic, scientific, technical, social, cultural or sporting fields, or for any other reason in the interest of the Slovak Republic;
  • has continuous permanent residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic beginning at least three years before reaching the age of 18;
  • is a minor child whose legal representative or guardian is a citizen of the Slovak Republic or a legal entity appointed by a court of the Slovak Republic, and has had continuous residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least two years immediately preceding the application for Slovak citizenship; the length of residence does not apply to minor children under the age of two;
  • has been an asylum holder for at least four years immediately preceding submission of the application;
  • was born in the territory of the Slovak Republic and has been a permanent resident here for at least three years immediately preceding the application for citizenship;
  • has resided continuously in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least ten years and has already been granted a permanent residence permit at the time of the application for Slovak citizenship;
  • is stateless and has resided continuously in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least three years immediately preceding the application for Slovak citizenship;
  • has been released from the Slovak citizenship;
  • was not a citizen of the Slovak Republic and at least one of his parents, grandparents or great-grandparents was a Czechoslovak citizen born in the territory of the Slovak Republic.

The exception also applies to a person who has been granted the status of a Slovak living abroad and has either:

  • continuous residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic for at least three years immediately preceding the application for citizenship, or
  • he/she has been granted residence in the territory of Slovakia and has made a significant contribution to the community of Slovaks living abroad from which he/she comes in the economic, scientific, technical, cultural, social or sporting fields.

The condition is that the person holds a certificate of a Slovak living abroad at the time of applying for citizenship. The certificate loses its validity on the date of obtaining permanent residence (long-term residence) in the territory of the Slovak Republic. Therefore, if you wish to apply for citizenship, you must do so during a valid temporary stay. Otherwise, you will have to fulfil the general condition for granting citizenship.

An exemption from the eight-year permanent residence requirement also applies to an applicant who has lost Slovak citizenship by acquiring foreign citizenship in the period from 17 July 2010 to 31 March 2022, if he or she has acquired citizenship of the state in which he or she has been permitted or registered to reside for at least five years. 

Integrity

An applicant is considered to be of good repute:

  • who has been finally convicted of a deliberate criminal offence, if at least five years have elapsed since the conviction was overturned;
  • whose prosecution for a deliberate criminal offence has been finally suspended and at least five years have elapsed since the expiry of the probationary period;
  • whose prosecution for a deliberate criminal offence has been discontinued by a decision of the court to approve a settlement or by a decision of the public prosecutor to approve a settlement and five years have elapsed since that decision became final. 

Knowledge of the Slovak language and general knowledge of Slovakia

Compliance with this condition is verified directly when applying for citizenship by filling in the 'Applicant's Questionnaire'. According to the law, the authority responsible for examining the applicant is the one who receives his/her application, i.e. the district office in the seat of the region, the diplomatic mission or the consular office of the Slovak Republic. 

Proficiency in the Slovak language is verified in a manner appropriate to the applicant's state of health, the applicant's education and the applicant's age. In the case of a minor child, proficiency in the Slovak language is usually verified in the presence of a legal representative, guardian or custodian.

For this purpose, a three-member commission appointed by the head of the district office in the seat of the region, the ambassador or the consul shall be set up. At the interview, the applicant shall be asked questions concerning his/her person and persons close to him/her and questions of a general nature, in particular on the history, geography and socio-political development of the Slovak Republic. 

The applicant must read aloud a randomly selected Slovak-language press article of at least 500 words. After reading it, he/she has 30 minutes to write what he/she remembers about the article. 

The applicant's state of health shall be taken into account when verifying his/her knowledge of Slovak. A record of the process and outcome of the Slovak language proficiency test is made on the same day so that there is a written record of the outcome of the interview.

Exceptions

Knowledge of the Slovak language and general knowledge of the Slovak Republic does not have to be demonstrated by an applicant who:

  • is under 14 years of age or over 65 years of age,
  • is/was a citizen of the Czech Republic,
  • has a valid certificate of a Slovak living abroad,
  • has successfully passed the secondary school leaving examination in the Slovak language, the state language examination in the Slovak language or the state examination at a higher education institution in a study programme conducted in the Slovak language within the last ten years,
  • has made a significant contribution to the Slovak Republic in the economic, scientific, technical, cultural, social or sporting fields,
  • has been released from Slovak citizenship or his or her Czechoslovak citizenship has been terminated under previous legislation,
  • was not a citizen of the Slovak Republic and at least one of his parents, grandparents or great-grandparents was a Czechoslovak citizen born in the territory of the Slovak Republic; or
  • lost the citizenship of the Slovak Republic by acquiring foreign citizenship between 17 July 2010 and 31 March 2022, if he or she acquired the citizenship of the State in which he or she had been a legal, registered or otherwise registered resident for at least five years at the time of acquisition. 

Specific conditions

The following conditions must also be fulfilled in order for citizenship to be granted:

  • the applicant has not been sentenced by a court to expulsion;
  • the applicant is not the subject of a criminal prosecution;
  • the applicant is not the subject of extradition proceedings or of proceedings for the execution of a European arrest warrant;
  • the applicant is not the subject of administrative expulsion proceedings;
  • the applicant is not the subject of an asylum procedure.

The applicant is also obliged to prove in the proceedings that he/she fulfils the obligations arising from the provisions of the legislation governing the residence of foreigners in the territory of the Slovak Republic, public health insurance, social insurance, old-age pension savings, taxes, levies, fees, employment of foreigners and other obligations arising for foreigners from the legal order of the Slovak Republic.

However, it should be borne in mind that there is no legal entitlement to be granted Slovak citizenship, even after the conditions laid down by law have been met, which means that the Ministry of the Interior may reject the application.

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You are here: Home Citizenship Conditions for Granting Slovak Citizenship (Naturalization) Conditions for granting Slovak Citizenship (Naturalization)