Act on Acquiring and Losing Czech Citizenship (No. 40/1993)
At the end of 1992, the Czech Republic set out the criteria according to which citizens of the former Czechoslovak Federal Republic would be able to acquire Czech citizenship. The act also laid down the general method of acquiring citizenship. The act provides for a number of ways through which citizenship can be acquired (e.g. by birth). Furthermore, the act stipulates (rather strictly) in what ways should foreigners be able to acquire Czech citizenship. In principal, the act does not allow for dual citizenship, although it does make an exception in two cases: 1) when the second citizenship is Slovak, and 2)if the other citizenship is of a country which does not allow its citizens to give up their citizenship, effectively prohibiting them from accepting Czech citizenship. The act also states that no person shall have an automatic right to citizenship – it is always up to the Ministry of the Interior to decide whether to grant citizenship or not. The act was severely criticized for its restrictive nature as regards granting of Czech citizenship to citizens of the former Czechoslovak Federal Republic. This resulted in many individuals who had long lived on the territory of today’s Czech Republic without Czech citizenship. Because of this, the act was twice amended, in 1996 and 1999, in order to liberalize the way in which citizenship was granted in particular to citizens of the former Czechoslovak Federal Republic.
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