Czech citizenship can be passed from parent to child even if the child is born abroad. However I've struggled to find out if that can apply to grandchildren (my mom) or great-grandchildren (me).

  • My great-grandmother was born in what is now the Czech Republic in the 1900s.
  • My grandfather was born in the USA in the 1920s. He died young and I don't know if he ever claimed or used Czech citizenship, or how to find out.
  • My mother was born in the USA (within wedlock, since Czech officials care about that distinction) in the 1950s.
  • I was born in the USA in the 1980s.

I've been thinking about moving to Europe and I'm trying to explore my options. I'm genuinely interested in the Czech Republic and my heritage and I'm wondering if there is any way that my ancestry could help me get long-term residency or citizenship.

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    I don't know how it works in Czech law, but in Dutch law you need to establish that each person received the nationality from his or her parent, which means that the parent can't have lost it before the birth of the relevant child. So you'll need to look at loss of nationality as well as acquisition.
    – phoog
    Apr 6, 2018 at 21:54

2 Answers 2


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor do I have any other official capacity, so please take everything here with a grain of salt. All the following translations are mine, not in any way official or binding.

Permanent Residency

Foreign nationals that have proven Czech origins, may apply for a permanent residence permit for reasons worthy of consideration …, without meeting the condition of prior continuous residence in the Czech Republic. The spouse or minor child of the given foreign national may also apply for the same kind of residence permit. (Source: Ministry of the Interior)

You may thus be eligible to apply for permanent residency based on your Czech ancestry. Of course, you will have to make your reasons convincing enough (explain your motivation, your potential contribution to the Czech economy, etc.).


First of all, Czech citizenship does not depend on the place of birth at all (the only exception being when a child of two stateless persons is born on Czech soil).

Your own Czech citizenship is determined by § 8 clause 4 of the Act No. 39/1969 Sb.:

A child, whose one parent is a foreign national, acquires (Czech) citizenship by birth if its other parent is a (Czech) citizen.

It thus all depends on your mother, whose Czech citizenship would arise from § 1 clause 2 of the Act No. 194/1949 Sb.:

A child born abroad, whose one parent is a (Czechoslovak) citizen, acquires (Czechoslovak) citizenship upon approval by a Regional National Council (KNV) on request of the parent who is a (Czechoslovak) citizen. The request for approval can be filed within one year of birth.

Your grandfather would thus have to:

  • be a Czechoslovak citizen himself AND
  • file the application for your mothers citizenship in Czechoslovakia in time AND
  • have the application approved

Even then, your mother's citizenship would not be 100% certain, as the mentioned Act contained a provision allowing the Czechoslovak authorities to unilaterally revoke the citizenship of dual citizens living abroad.


The Czech Republic laws in regards to Czech ancestry are quite complicated and antiquated. My mother tried to regain her citizenship in 2010 and the Czech Republic denied her case. We had all documents, but apparently the law for women is very different. Women of Czech descent would lose their citizenship upon marriage to non-Czech citizen. Furthermore, my mother had been born in 1918 just before the existence of Czechoslovakia, so the laws that applied were those of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. We even hired a lawyer and appealed the decision, but it was rejected. She has since passed away. Her brothers, however, all were able to regain their citizenship. The Czech Republic is in my view a country where women are openly discriminated against men !