I am currently having a hard time finding a long form version of this law in English, but I have some basic information about my mother if y'all can help. Here's a list of facts followed by a list of questions.

  • One side of my mother's family is Czech, through her father.

  • My mother's great grandparents were born in Czechia in 1863, 1859, 1862,and 1865. These great grandparents were married in Czechia in 1884 and 1880. We have records of these births and marriages that are all displayed in Czech archives. We have immigration records to the United States from one group, and death records from another.

  • My mother's grandparents on the Czech side of her family were born in Czechia in 1886 and 1880, and were married in 1905 before immigrating to America in 1906. There are census records and births in the United States, along with immigration records that confirm this. They died in the 1940s in the United States, after living there for 40 years. The grandfather applied for US Citizenship, whereas the grandfather did not.

  • My mother's father was born in 1913 in the United States. Her mother gave birth to her out of wedlock in 1959, and our family was aware of the father and his family for quite some time. His brother was born in Czechia in 1906 and was naturalized in the USA later.

  • Basically, my mother was born out of wedlock in 1959 and genetics tests prove the fact as well, proving her relationship to her Czech grandparents. My mother's mother is irrelevant, her family was is from the USA for a very long time.

  • As stated, we have extensive records of all of this.

The questions are:

  1. Does she qualify for Czech citizenship under this new law?

  2. If not, why?

  3. If yes, could this citizenship be passed to her children and grandchildren?

Thank you for your time.

1 Answer 1


I am not a lawyer, but I speak Czech.

The law you linked amends § 31 of the Law on Czech Citizenship 186/2013. This allows former Czech and Czechoslovak citizens who lost their citizenship, and their children and grandchildren, to acquire Czech citizenship. There are some exceptions for ethnic Germans and Hungarians, residents of Carpatho-Ukraine and for Slovak citizens that should not be relevant in your case.

Your great-grandparents were born before 1918, at a time when the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia did not exist. They were therefore Austrian subjects by birth. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, they automatically became Czechoslovak citizens under Czechoslovak law 236/1920 § 1(3) if they were still Austrian subjects, effective retroactively from 28 October 1918. If your mother's grandfather was naturalized as an Austrian, he probably lost his Austrian citizenship under the US-Austrian Naturalization Convention, and never held Czechoslovak citizenship. If he lost his Czechoslovak citizenship by naturalizing (according to the Czech Embassy in the USA, this was generally the case after 14 November 1929, but I do not know the relevant legal basis), your mother would qualify for Czech citizenship under Law 186/2013 § 31(3). Your mother's children and their descendants would not be eligible for Czech citizenship by descent from your mother, as she was not a Czech or Czechoslovak citizen when she gave birth to them. If your grandfather retained his Czechoslovak citizenship after naturalization, your mother is not eligible as no loss of citizenship occurred.

You and your mother are also not eligible for Czech citizenship by descent from your ancestors who didn't naturalize. Even if your grandfather inherited his parents' Austrian citizenship when he was born in 1913, he did not automatically acquire Czechoslovak citizenship in 1918 under Czechoslovak law 236/1920 as he was neither born nor resident in Austria-Hungary. Even supposing your grandfather later applied for Czechoslovak citizenship, your mother would not have inherited it automatically unless her parents applied to the Czechoslovak authorities within one year of her birth (see this question) and their request was approved.

In addition, because of the paternity issue, I suggest that you contact the Czech Embassy or a Czech consulate and explain your situation. Even if your mother is in theory eligible, she may not be able to obtain citizenship in practice because of the lack of a marriage certificate and sufficient proof of paternity.

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