Granting Nationality of the Czech Republic
It is possible for foreign nationals permanently residing in the Czech Republic to apply for the acquisition of Czech nationality. An application for granting Czech nationality may also be lodged by stateless persons permanently residing in the Czech Republic.
The Ministry of the Interior may (but is not obliged to) grant nationality of the Czech Republic only to persons satisfying all of the following conditions:
- he/she has been lawfully permanently residing in the Czech Republic for a period of at least five years as of the date of application and whose residence was more or less continuous;
- he/she proves that by being granted nationality of the Czech Republic he/she will lose their current nationality or proves that they have lost his/her current nationality - unless the person is a stateless person or a recognised refugee; a document proving loss of nationality is obtained after the Ministry of the Interior issues to the applicant a promise to grant Czech nationality;
- he/she has not been within the last five years sentenced for wilful criminal offences (this is proved by submission of an extract from the Criminal Records Register of the Czech Republic);
- he/she proves in interview at the relevant authority their knowledge of the Czech language (this does not apply to an applicant who is or who was a citizen of the Slovak Republic), and
- he/she meets all obligations arising from the provisions of a special legal regulation governing the entry into and residence in the Czech Republic (Act No. 326/1999 Coll. on the Residence of Aliens in the Czech Republic and on the Amendment to Some Other Acts, as amended) as well as obligations resulting from special provisions regulating public health insurance, social security, pension insurance, taxes, and other mandatory fees.
Waiver of conditions for granting Czech nationality stipulated by law
Continuous five-year residence in the Czech Republic may be waived if an applicant has been permitted permanent residence in the Czech Republic and he/she
- was born in the Czech Republic, or
- has been residing in the Czech Republic continuously for a period of at least ten years, or
- had in the past nationality of the Czech Republic or nationality of the former Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, or
- was adopted by a national of the Czech Republic, or
- his/her spouse is a national of the Czech Republic, or
- at least one of his/her parents is a national of the Czech Republic, or
- moved to the Czech Republic before 31 December 1994 on the basis of an invitation by the Government, or
- is a stateless person or was granted the status of recognised refugee in the Czech Republic.
- the legal regulations of the country of which the applicant is a national do not allow release from nationality or if such country refuses to issue a document on releasing an applicant from nationality, or
- if such release of an applicant from nationality is connected with unreasonable administrative fees or other conditions unacceptable in a democratic country, or
- the applicant, by submitting an application for release from nationality, could put in jeopardy her/himself or close members of his/her family resulting in their being potentially discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a certain social group, or
- granting such nationality would mean the benefit for the Czech Republic, in particular if taking into account scientific, social, cultural or sport benefits, or
- if such person lost in the past nationality of the Czech Republic or nationality of the former Czech and Slovak Federal Republic unless he/she is an applicant who is a national of the Slovak Republic.
- Meeting this condition may be also waived for an applicant whose permanent residence was permitted in the Czech Republic for a period of at least five years, who has a genuine relation to the Czech Republic and who has been legally residing in the Czech Republic for a period of at least twenty years.
Where to lodge
- completed questionnaire attached to the application for granting nationality of the Czech Republic (a prescribed form which is available from and filled in by the applicant at the authority competent to receive the application);
- birth certificate (or the certificate of birth and baptism);
- certificate of marriage (if the applicant has entered into marriage), or
- certificate on divorce or certificate of death of a spouse;
- certificate proving that by being granted Czech nationality the applicant will lose his/her current nationality or which proves that has he/she has lost his/her current nationality - unless the applicant is a stateless person or a recognised refugee; a document proving loss of nationality is obtained after the Ministry of the Interior issues to the applicant a promise to be granted nationality of the Czech Republic;
- extract from the Criminal Records Register not older than six months, if the applicant is over 15 years of age; and
- Curriculum Vitae.
- the birth certificate of the child;
- a document proving that by being granted Czech nationality the child will lose its current nationality or which proves that has the child has lost his/her current nationality - unless the child is a stateless person or a recognised refugee; a document proving the loss of nationality is obtained after the Ministry of the Interior issues to an applicant a promise to be granted nationality of the Czech Republic!
- If an application is lodged only by one parent the consent of the other parent to the change of nationality of the child is required unless his/her execution of parental responsibility has been restricted or suspended, or he/she is no longer legally competent (which must be supported by court declaration even where the parents are divorced) or if the residence of the other parent living abroad is not known. If both parents of the child concerned have been deprived of parental responsibility or execution of their parental responsibility has been restricted or suspended or if they have been incapacitated or if the residence of parents living abroad is unknown, an application may be submitted by a court appointed guardian or the guardian of the child.
If an application is decided positively the applicant is issued with the Certificate on Granting Nationality (if the applicant proves that he/she has satisfied the condition requiring proof that he/she has lost his/her nationality or that if this condition has been waived), or the applicant receives a promise that Czech nationality will be granted, for the purpose of obtaining a document proving that the applicant has lost his/her nationality, which is in the form of a decision on interruption of the procedure. Nationality of the Czech Republic is acquired on the day of swearing an oath to the Czech Republic (unless, in exceptional cases, the oath is waived – in such cases Czech nationality is acquired on the date when a decision on waiving the oath comes into force). On this occasion applicants receive their certificate on Granting Nationality of the Czech Republic.
Minors under 18 years do not swear an oath. A child included in the application of its parents will acquire Czech nationality on the date when at least one of the parents acquires such nationality. If a child was granted Czech nationality independently of its parents this will come into effect on the date on which a statutory representative receives the Certificate on Granting Czech Nationality.
An oath shall be sworn in the presence of the secretary of a municipal authority or a municipality of extended scope of competencies (in the capital city of Prague in the presence of the secretary of the relevant borough, and in Brno, Ostrava and Plzeň in presence of the secretary of the city authority of these municipalities) which is competent according to the place of permanent residence. Abroad, the oath shall be sworn in the presence of a Head of an embassy or a consulate of the Czech Republic.