Are you wondering if you’re eligible for Czech citizenship? There are different ways to obtain a Czech passport, including descent, naturalization, and declaration. A Czech passport provides you with many advantages including the freedom to travel to 183 different countries with visa-free access. You would be able to live, work and travel in all 28 member countries of the EU. We have listed requirements for each of the options on how to be granted Czech citizenship.
Since 2013, the Czech government has allowed dual citizenship. This change in the law means that you can keep your current passport of your country of origin and at the same time have a Czech passport – if your country also allows dual citizenship. However, there are several ways to acquire a Certificate of Czech Citizenship (CCC) and it is not always clear where to start. To help you find your way around, we have listed the most commonly taken path.
Czech Citizenship by Birth or Descent
Like many European countries, the Czech Republic uses the principle of jus sanguinis, “right by blood”, as its main nationality law principle. In other words, being born in the country does not automatically give you nationality rights, but you can inherit nationality from your parents or grandparents. If both of your grandparents, on either your maternal or paternal line, are Czech citizens, you can apply for Czech citizenship. The application has to be filled out at a local office of the Ministry of the Interior. You will need to submit the following documents:
- An application form
- Your foreign birth certificate. This document must be authenticated and translated into Czech before submission to the Consulate.
- Czech birth certificate of your parents (if both parents are Czech citizens, birth certificates of both will be required).
- Czech marriage certificate of your parents (in case they were married at the time of applicant’s birth)
If you were born elsewhere and you have been previously issued proof of Czech citizenship, you will still be able to apply for citizenship. If you were born abroad but have a birth certificate issued in Czechia, you will have to present the same document as in the previous case. In case you only possess foreign birth certificates, you will have to authenticate and translate them before submitting the documents to the embassy.
Usually, the process to obtain a Certificate of Czech Citizenship takes between 1 to 2 months if you were born in the Czech Republic and has or previously had proof of citizenship (ie. passport, ID card…). If this is not the case, you should expect about 3 to 6 months waiting period. You may find further information on the website of the Embassy of the Czech Republic.
Czech Citizenship by naturalization
As a person moving to the Czech Republic on a permanent basis, a foreigner has the legal right of becoming a citizen. In order to become a Czech citizen, you will have to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship as stipulated by the Citizenship Act. Once this is completed, you will also be entitled to a Czech passport.
Being a foreigner, you may apply for naturalization, under the following conditions:
- You must have held a permanent residence permit for at least 5 years and have spent most of that time in the Czech Republic or long-term residence status for a period of at least 10 years. This period must be at least 3 years if you are a citizen of an EU Member State, Switzerland, or a country that is a part of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). You will have to prove that you have truly been living in the Czech Republic for at least half of the residence period specified in the previous point
- Parents can apply for their children aged under 15
The first step to obtaining citizenship is passing the Czech language and general knowledge tests. You will also need confirmations not older than 30 days verifying that you don’t owe any money to the Financial Administration of the Czech Republic or to the Czech Customs Authority (excluding any debts where the applicant was given an extension on the payment).
Once all the documents have been submitted, it takes approximately 1 year to get an answer from the Ministry of Interior. If the process is still not clear to you, we recommend you read the testimony of Ian Willoughby, an Irishman living in the Czech Republic for over 25 years who obtained Czech citizenship in 2019.
Some people can also apply for naturalization if they are legally living in the country. This is the case for people who:
- Were born in the Czech Republic or in Czechoslovakia
- Are a former Czech or Czechoslovak citizen
- Have been adopted by a Czech citizen
- Are married to a Czech citizen
- Have stateless or refugee status in the Czech Republic
If you want to apply for Czech Republic Citizenship through naturalization, you will be asked to fulfill the requirements below:
- Prove that you are proficient in the Czech language (interview at the local application office)
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of the constitutional system of the Czech Republic
- Understand the basics of Czech culture, society, geography, and history
- Provide a clean criminal history record
- Prove that you are financially capable and a good contributor
- Show you are well integrated into Czech society through family, social, and professional ties
- Demonstrate that you do not pose a threat to the Czech state
Czech Citizenship by Declaration
You can apply for Czech Citizenship by declaration if you are a former citizen of the Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia who lost citizenship (before January 1, 2014), or if one of your relatives is a former Czech or Czechoslovakian citizen (applies only if your parent or grandparent ceased to be a citizen before December 31, 2013).
In both cases, you will have to prove your relationship with them and explain their loss of citizenship. The process can be long but with some help, it is manageable.
Applying for a Czech Citizenship Certificate involves administration fees:
- Adult: CZK 2000
- Minor child: CZK 500
- Asylum-seeker: CZK 500
How Our Client Zoë Got her Czech Citizenship
We are very excited for our client Zoë from the United Kingdom who finally got her Czech citizenship ceremony in Újezd nad Lesy a few months ago. Due to the Covid-19 situation, the process took 1 year and 7 months long. During the whole procedure, we helped her to apply for her citizenship and supported her. Today, Zoë has Czech nationality and is once again a very happy European Union citizen after years living in Prague and the UK leaving the EU for good at the beginning of 2021.
Zoë is once again a very happy European citizen!
Want to apply for Czech Citizenship?
The process of applying for a Czech Citizenship Certificate is often long and complex. Luckily, we can help you with that! Get in touch with our immigration specialists and they will take a look at your case.