EU Citizenship part deux: How to gain Czech citizenship by birth
May 3, 2007 12:00 PM   Subscribe

EU Citizenship part deux: My mother was born to Czechoslovakian Citizens in the US before they were naturalized. Should I try to get Czech dual citizenship (pros & cons?) and what is the process involved?

Part 1 is here and Katemonster's relevant answer is about halfway down (marked as best answer).

Short summary:
Grandparents are both holocaust survivors, and were citizens of Czechoslovakia (in very disputed Carpathain Ruthenia territory, now part of the Ukraine) who came to the US while pregnant with my mother. She was born, and eventually they got US citizenship.

I'm about to move to Austria for 2 years of graduate school. I'm hoping to eventually to pursue an international career in music. What are the benefits and/or problems with establishing my Czech citizenship? (For example, I've heard that there is a 600 Euro/month cap for student visas (which might become restrictive eventually), but I believe that's 600 Euros/month tax free.)

How do I establish my citizenship if I choose to do so? Can I do it without involving my grandparents personally? (My reconnecting with the place that sent them off to the Nazis is probably going to be a less than comfortable idea for them)

I'm getting married to another musician with similar goals. It seems like I can choose between Czech and Slovak citizenship, if I theoretically was a citizen from birth, and citizens of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic as of the 31st of December, 1992 can now declare citizenship of either the Czech Republic or Slovakia. She might learn Czech eventually but probably not Slovak. Should we go for Czech or Slovak citizenship? What's the difference?
posted by anonymoose to Law & Government (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Every nation has different laws governing citizenship, so I'm afraid I can't speak to the Czech process. I did, however, pursue Swedish citizenship a few years ago as my father was born in Sweden and emigrated to the US as a boy.

I'll spare you all the details, in favor of the upshot. Sweden has an age limit for the children of emigrants who wish to claim citizenship. Had I acted before the age of 25, I could have gotten in. But as I was 27 when I tried, I was out of luck. Had I only acted a bit sooner . . .

Point being: You need to check in with the nearest consulate or embassy and get the lowdown. There are undoubtedly technical details and minutiae that you need to know about before making a decision.

Some helpful links: A list of Czech Embassies and Consulates and Slovak Embassy addresses.

They both have offices in New York, LA and DC. The Czechs also have a branch in Philadelphia.

Good luck!
posted by aladfar at 12:21 PM on May 3, 2007


Responses might be more constructuve if you could clarify how this question is different from the last one, which seems to me at least to have gotten some good answers.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 2:33 PM on May 3, 2007


Response by poster: Last one was very helpful in identifying which country has claim to Carpathian Ruthenia and in identifying the possibility of passing that on to my mother and to me.

Now that there is a decent possibility that I might be able to claim citizenship, I mostly could use a few details. Things that would be helpful:
-personal experiences (thanks, aladfar!),
-details on marriage to EU Citizens (difference between Slovak and Czech in that regard, how my citizenship will effect my wife)
-documentation I might need (what sort of papers do I need to get from grandparents)
-pros and cons to doing this (do student visas really allow tax-free income? etc)
posted by anonymoose at 2:54 PM on May 3, 2007


Here's the NY Czech consulate's website on this issue. Looks like your mother will need to submit her birth certificate and proof of a parent's citizenship (doesn't matter which, so she can pick whichever's easiest to prove). Then she'll get confirmation of her citizenship, lather rinse repeat for you and you're in. Other than obtaining the proof of grandparental citizenship (birth cert., marriage license, passport, and the like are all listed on the website) it doesn't sound like your grandparents need to be involved at all.
Plus it sounds like the embassy is pretty helpful and accustomed to operating in English -- this is not the case for certain other consulates I could name. You can email them and chances are pretty good they'll walk you through the steps you need to take.
posted by katemonster at 3:16 PM on May 3, 2007


Also, message board with others trying to claim their Czech citizenship.
posted by katemonster at 3:18 PM on May 3, 2007


EU Citizenship part deux: My mother was born to Czechoslovakian Citizens in the US before they were naturalized.

As far as I know the US does not like it if you take another citizenship when you already _HAVE_ US citizenship but I am not sure about this. Taking US citizenship and keeping your old is not a problem.

Should I try to get Czech dual citizenship (pros & cons?) and what is the process involved?

As far as I know you would have to put down your US citizenship since the Czech Republic does not allow dual citizenship. They do this because they want to avoid that all the Sudenten-Germans claiming/reclaiming Czech citizenship. You would have to speak Czech too by the way to get Citizenship.

You should also read this:

http://ask.metafilter.com/61205/Holocaust-survivors-EU-Citizenship-to-descendants

posted by yoyo_nyc at 5:34 PM on May 3, 2007


PS:
Taking US citizenship and keeping your old is not a problem.
At least not for the US but maybe for your home country if they don't allow dual citizenship.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 5:35 PM on May 3, 2007


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