Since 1 April 2022, anyone with a Slovak Republic residence permit and a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent who was born as a Czechoslovak citizen in the territory of Slovak Republic may apply for Slovak citizenship. This citizenship pathway is available regardless of the applicant's place of birth or knowledge of the Slovak language, history, or culture.

Notably, those with ancestors who had lost their Slovak citizenships may also apply to become a citizen of Slovakia if certain conditions are met, making Slovakia one of the most generous EU member states in terms of facilitating a pathway to grant citizenships to foreign-born descendants of its citizens.

Aside from the citizenship pathway, Slovakia allows anyone of Slovak origins to apply for a Slovak Living Abroad ("SLA") certificate to live in Slovakia. In other words, Slovak descendants who do not qualify for the above-mentioned citizenship program due to the generational limit imposed may now have the opportunity to apply for SLA certificates to reside in Slovakia. Additionally, SLA holders may either apply for Slovak citizenship if they can demonstrate with evidence that they have contributed significantly to their respective SLA communities or maintained continuous residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic for three years immediately preceding submission of the citizenship application.

"We have received a spike in queries about the Slovak citizenship-by-ancestry program since the Slovak government announced its decision to relax immigration rules to allow ethnic Slovaks born outside of Slovakia to apply for citizenship or SLA to reconnect with their heritage," said Mr. Jean-Francois Harvey, Global Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group, an international law firm that specializes in investment and business immigration matters.

"The recent surge in queries for Slovak citizenship-by-ancestry is hardly surprising when one considers the advantages and benefits that Slovak citizenship brings," said Mr. Harvey. Becoming a Slovak citizen not only allows one to live, work, and study in Slovakia and across all the 27 EU member states without getting a visa, it also grants access to the Slovak passport, which is the world's sixth most powerful passport in terms of travel freedom in 2022. Holders of Slovak passport enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 destinations around the world, and in times of emergency, such as those caused by COVID-19, they are entitled to call for help from the Slovak government or the embassy of any other EU member states.

Those interested in migrating to Slovakia may also be delighted to learn that Slovakia

currently ranks eleventh in the world in terms on its tax competitiveness, indicating that the country's taxation regime is more favourable in comparison to those offered by popular immigration destinations such as Canada, United States, and United Kingdom.

"With over 800,000 people reported of Slovak ancestry in North America, it is possible that an astonishing number of people could qualify to apply for Slovak citizenship-by-ancestry if they delve deep into their family histories and demonstrate an uninterrupted lineage with a qualifying Slovak ancestor," said Harvey.

To view the original article please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.