There are two basic routes to citizenship for people with Slovak heritage: citizenship by descent (CBD) and citizenship based on a Slovak Living Abroad Certificate (SLAC). This article compares them.
Citizenship by descent is based on having an ancestor who was a Czechoslovak citizen born in the territory of the Slovak Republic, while citizenship based on a SLAC requires the applicant to have national awareness and a direct ancestor who once had Slovak nationality.
Both routes currently require registered residency in Slovakia, with the SLAC also acting as a “green card” for settling in Slovakia. The length of the citizenship procedure and residency requirements vary for each route, with citizenship by descent requiring only residency during the application period, and citizenship based on a SLAC requiring three years of residency prior to application.
Once citizenship is obtained, there is no longer a residency requirement.
Which one is better?
It depends on the individual’s specific circumstances and qualifications. Citizenship by descent may be a more straightforward option for those who have an ancestor who was a Czechoslovak citizen born in the territory of the Slovak Republic, as it only requires residency during the application period. On the other hand, the SLAC may be a more viable option for those who do not meet the requirements for citizenship by descent but have a strong connection to Slovakia through national awareness and a direct ancestor who once had Slovak nationality. In addition, the SLAC also acts as a “green card” for settling in Slovakia, which may be beneficial for those who want to retire in Slovakia. Ultimately, it is best to consult with an expert to determine which route is more suitable for an individual’s specific circumstances.
Which procedure is faster?
For citizenship by descent, the procedure length might vary and could take several months. By law, it cannot exceed two years. The citizenship procedure can be expedited if all the necessary documents are provided, and the application is completed correctly.
For citizenship based on a SLAC, the application process can take up to two years once the application is filed. However, it’s important to note that acquiring a SLAC can be an interim step to citizenship, and it requires three years of residency prior to application, so overall the process will ultimately take longer.