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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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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);
  4. 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
  5. 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

The Ministry of the Interior may (but is not obliged to) waive the aforementioned applicants’ obligations for being granted Czech nationality under points 1, 2, 4 and 5, for reasons stipulated by the relevant act (see below). Applicants’ obligations cannot be waived for reasons other than those stipulated by the relevant act. Conditions specified under point 3 cannot be waived.
 
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.  
It is possible to waive only the missing duration of continuous residence, not permanent residence itself. In all cases the applicant must have been permitted permanent residence in the Czech Republic. It is the Alien Police who decide on permitting permanent residence in the Czech Republic under Act No. 326/1999 Coll. on the Residence of Aliens in the Czech Republic and on the Amendment to Some Other Acts, as amended.  
It is possible to waive conditions with respect to proving that the current nationality has been lost if the applicant was permitted permanent residence in the Czech Republic and has lawfully resided in the Czech Republic for a period of at least five years, has a genuine relation to the Czech Republic, and
  • 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.
 
It is possible to waive the condition of proving knowledge of the Czech language, and also the condition specified under point 5, in cases worthy of special consideration. The fact that an applicant is not able to prove knowledge of the Czech language may be for example because of the applicant’s health condition, high age, and so forth. The necessity to meet the conditions under which Czech nationality is granted cannot be waived for reasons other than those stipulated by law. Neither the Minister of the Interior nor any other public official is authorised to make an exception.
 

Where to lodge

Applications for Czech nationality should be lodged at the respective Regional Authority (in Prague at the authorities of individual boroughs, and in Brno, Plzeň and Ostrava at the municipal authorities of these cities) competent according to the place of permanent residence of the applicant. An official of such an authority fills in together with the applicant a questionnaire and verifies through an interview the applicant’s knowledge of the Czech language, and sends the application for Czech nationality furnished with the authority’s own opinion, the opinion of the municipal authority of the place of applicant’s residence, and other relevant documents through the Alien Police also enclose their opinion to the Ministry of the Interior, who makes the final decision on the application. The Ministry of the Interior may invite the applicant for interview.
  
The below defined documents must be attached to the application for granting Czech nationality, written in the form of a letter (no legal regulation stipulates its content, however it should be obvious who is the applicant, what is the matter, what is requested, and to which authority it is addressed; furthermore, it should be signed and dated and it is appropriate to provide a brief justification): 
  • 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.
Documents issued by foreign authorities must be furnished by ‘higher authentication’ (a super legalisation clause - the so called apostille), unless an international agreement stipulates otherwise, and must be officially translated into the Czech language if they are issued in a foreign language (as regards documents issued by authorities of the Slovak Republic, translation into the Czech language is not required). The Ministry of the Interior may require from the applicant further documents concerning for example his/her working or business activities (employment contracts, extract from the Companies Register, trade licences, tax returns and so forth), public health insurance and meeting tax obligations, social security and other mandatory fees.  
 
A married couple can submit a joint application for Czech nationality. Parents, or one parent, can also include in their application for Czech nationality a child under 18 years. If a child is included in an application for Czech nationality the following documents must be attached:
  • 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. 
A minor under 18 years may be granted Czech nationality independently (i.e. a special application may be submitted) on the basis of an application lodged by a statutory representative. The procedure is identical to the procedure for applications including a child lodged by parents.
 

Forms

A prescribed form – a questionnaire attached to the application for Czech nationality - is available at the relevant authority where it should be completed by the applicant. 
 

Fees

A fee amounting to CZK 10, 000 is charged for granting Czech nationality (the number of persons stated in the granting certificate is not decisive: always only one administrative fee is paid for each certificate granting nationality). The Ministry of the Interior may in specially justified cases of state interest decrease the fee to the amount of CZK1,000. The administrative fee is paid only if the application in question is decided positively, i.e. if the Certificate on Granting Nationality of the Czech Republic is issued. The application for Czech nationality itself is not charged for
 

Time Limits

The authority competent for receiving an application will send the application for granting Czech nationality within 30 days of its submission through the Alien Police to the Ministry of the Interior, which, within 90 days of delivery, will make the final decision. In the case that a Certificate on Granting Nationality is issued the relevant authority is obliged to invite the applicant to swear an oath to the Czech Republic within six weeks.
 

Other Activities

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.

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