How can I get Czech citizenship by descent?
May 28, 2014 10:03 PM   Subscribe

Can I obtain Czech citizenship by descent by way of my Grandmother?

My grandmother (on my mother's side), according to what documentation my family has, was born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia in 1926.

At some point between 1949 and 1951, she left Czechoslovakia, (we are currently lacking documentation as to whether or not her citizenship was revoked by the Communists in power at or just before this point, but believe it happened in this timeframe) and to the best of our records, she received Venezuelan citizenship either shortly before or after my mother was born in the late 1950s. My mother was never declared as a Czech citizen with the Czech embassy of the time, and to our knowledge, my grandmother did not apply for recognition of her own citizenship post-1992, as she died in 1998 following a long illness.

Given the preceding information, I am wondering whether I may have the ability to declare Czech citizenship and whether my grandmother's forced loss of citizenship impacts this, and if so, whom to contact (apart from the embassy, if needed) to help me with the necessary paperwork and documentation.
posted by pipian to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Wiki page actually answers most of this:

I mean, Wiki isn't hundred percent accurate, but the bit about Jus sanguinis is, and you can only apply for Czech citizenship based on a parent, not grandparent.
I don't know if your mother is eligible to apply for citizenship, but you definitely can't, unless/until your Mother has Czech citizenship.

As for your Mother? That's looking pretty sketchy, too.
"The following categories of foreign nationals will be entitled to citizenship (see Articles 31- 36):

A person who lost their Czech or Czechoslovak citizenship before January,1st, 2014 (except for Transcarpathian Ruthenia, the Sudeten Germans and citizens of Slovakia). For example, those who emigrated from Czechoslovakia in the past or those who, after 1993, acquired citizenship of another country, and consequently lost their citizenship of the Czech Republic (their descendants, however, are not entitled, and must apply for naturalisation)."
posted by Elysum at 11:04 PM on May 28, 2014

I keep seeing some mixed responses on the status of those/descendents of those that had citizenship stripped by way of the communists around 1948. A book that I looked through about citizenship policies in Europe seems to indicate that it may be possible, but I can find scant information relating to the laws allowing for former Czech citizens/exiles to have their citizenship reinstated:

Link Here

That said, this is only one data point which may not be accurate at all.
posted by pipian at 11:25 PM on May 28, 2014

It looks like this page (NY consulate) sort of explains what you need. In particular
Direct-line descendants of the former nationals specified in the preceding paragraph will also be allowed to make the declaration, provided that they have never had Czech or Slovak nationality (Section 32, paragraph 2).
However, the "former nationals specified in the preceding paragraph" are "nationals of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic on 31 December 1992 but did not have the nationality of the Czech Republic or of the Slovak Republic". That said "paragraph" is one of those words that sometimes goes awry in translation, so they may mean "direct line descendants of anyone who could reclaim Czech nationality".

And then it gets more complicated--if your mother was born before 7 May 1969 and your grandmother was a Czechoslovak national and "would have become" (whatever that means) a Czech national in 1969, she can declare Czech citizenship before 1 January 2015, which makes your situation much simpler.

It seems like your mother needs to talk to the Czech consulate and work out whether she has a claim to Czech citizenship. You may need to resolve your grandmother's citizenship status first and confirm a) she ceased to be a Czech national, b) when that happened (before or after your mother was born) and c) whether that happened because she emigrated or because she acquired Venezuelan citizenship.
posted by hoyland at 5:07 AM on May 29, 2014

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