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Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

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  • Writer's pictureParviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

4 Relatively New European Citizenships by Descent


Map of European Union Countries


Are you an American looking to become a dual citizen?


If so, and your ancestry comes from the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, then you have some great prospects. This article will cover the possibility of acquiring European citizenship by descent opportunities, specifically the Visegrad Four region: Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary.


Article Outline:


The Austro-Hungarian Empire, now known as Central Europe, is home to the Visegrad Four: Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary. These four countries are members of the European Union which allows citizens to reside and work in any one of the 27 member states. Therefore, gaining citizenship in any of these nations will grant the individual access to explore and experience all that Europe has to offer.



In the past 10 years or so, these countries have been expanding eligibility for the descendants of former citizens, with some countries offering New European Citizenships by Descent

up to the great-grandchild level, or even further.


Let’s dig deeper:


1. Poland: Offering Citizenship and Pole Card


Warsaw, Poland


Poland offers citizenship by descent if your parent, grandparent or great-grandparent was born in Poland and left Poland after 1919. Poland also offers a Pole card for descendants of Polish nationals, which grants the right of residency and work and allows naturalization after one year of residency, a reduced residency requirement. Pole cards are part of an uncommon phenomenon of some countries offering “semi-citizenships” to descendants of their dominant ethnic group.


2. Czech Republic: Expanding Eligibility for Descendants


Prague, Czech Republic


In 2019, Czechia expanded eligibility for descendants of former Czechoslovakia and Czech citizens. Children and grandchildren of former citizens qualify for citizenship. Despite the law change, as of 2021, it appears not many people have applied or been approved for citizenship, making it a hidden gem among citizenship by descent programs.


3. Hungary: A Different Program with

No Generational Limit

Budapest, Hungary


Hungary has two citizenship by descent programs. First, Hungary’s simplified naturalization program requires applicants to speak Hungarian and pass an interview in the language. There is no generational limit to this program, which means that applicants could have ancestors who were Hungarian citizens many generations ago. By contrast, Hungary’s citizenship verification program for descendants requires applicants to prove that Hungarian citizenship has been passed down in an unbroken chain of citizenship from your Hungarian-born ancestor down to you. As a result, much fewer people qualify for Hungarian citizenship by verification.


4. Slovakia: Brand New Citizenship by Descent Law


Tatra Mountains, Slovakia


As of April 1st, 2022, Slovakia now has an expansive citizenship by descent program offering eligibility to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Czechoslovak and Slovak citizens. There is no language or cultural familiarity requirement. There are a few small wrinkles to the eligibility. First, the applicant must be in a period of stay (i.e. residency) in Slovakia to qualify. Second, the applicant’s qualifying ancestor must have been a citizen of Czechoslovakia or Slovakia, and not just Slovakia’s predecessor state - Hungary.



5. Video Explainer


Note: The video was recorded before Slovakia passed its citizenship by descent law. The Slovak law is now in effect!


6. Request a Consultation with Malakouti Law


Central Europe offers a hidden gem of citizenship by descent opportunities, with eligibility expanding in the last decade. If you have ancestry from the Visegrad Four countries, it may be worth exploring your EU Citizenship options in these countries.


If you're looking to obtain citizenship in a new country, why not enlist the help of an expert? Here at the Law Office of Parviz Malakouti, we guide you through the process to give your application a greater chance of success. We are experts in this. Book a consultation here to get screened, and started.


Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.

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