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  • POLISH CITIZENSHIP

  • On this page, we explain how one can gain and lose Polish citizenship, how to obtain a certificate of citizenship, as well as who can seek to receive or regain Polish citizenship and how.

     

     

    HOW CAN ONE GAIN POLISH CITIZENSHIP?

    Polish citizenship can be gained through:

    • birth, if at least one of the parents has Polish citizenship at the moment of the child's birth.
    • It is not important whether the child was born in Poland or abroad, or whether the parent or parents have proof of Polish citizenship at the time of birth. Nationality held by parents extends to children, grandchildren and further descendants, insofar as they do not lose their Polish citizenship in the interim.
    • restoration of Polish citizenship to persons who in the past had Polish citizenship but have lost it before 1 January 1999, on the basis of certain provisions of previous laws about Polish citizenship.
    • granting of Polish citizenship by the President of the Republic of Poland.
    • birth on the territory of Poland, if both parents are not known, or nationality is not specified, or if the parents do not have any citizenship or if the child is found on the territory of Poland, and parents are unknown;
    • adoption, if at least one of the parents has Polish citizenship at the time of  adoption, and the child's adoption takes place before the child is 16 years old;
    • recognition as a Polish citizen of an alien permanently residing on the territory of Poland.

    Marriage with a Polish citizen or birth on the territory of the Republic of Poland do not lead automatically to the acquisition of Polish citizenship.

     

     

    HOW CAN ONE LOSE POLISH CITIZENSHIP?

    Based on current regulation, Polish citizenship can be lost only through the citizen's renunciation of citizenship and after obtaining the consent of the President of the Republic of Poland. No one can be deprived of Polish citizenship without their consent.

    In the past, it was possible to lose Polish citizenship in a different way. Persons who have lost their Polish citizenship on the basis of certain regulations of the nationality laws in force before 1 January 1999 may apply for restitution or granting of Polish citizenship.

     

     

    CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP

    If you meet the eligibility criteria but do not have documents confirming directly your Polish citizenship such as passport or identity card, you can apply for a certificate of citizenship.

     

    How to apply?

    The application shall be submitted on a special form, which can be downloaded from our website, and then printed and filled out. Instructions for filling out the form are located on its last page. The application must be filled out in Polish.

    If you live outside Poland, you should submit your application at the nearest consulate or consular division of the Embassy of Poland.

    You can apply for a certificate of citizenship for yourself, or on behalf of another person, if you can prove your legal interest or obligation to obtain it.

     

    What documents are necessary?

    In addition to the application form, you will need to submit the following supporting documents:

    • expired or valid documents confirming your Polish citizenship (Polish passport, other travel document, identity card, certificate of citizenship, official documents in which your Polish citizenship is listed, etc.);
    • valid document confirming your citizenship of another country, if applicable (passport, ID card);
    • civil status certificates (birth certificate, marriage, divorce certificate, etc.), if you have changed your last name and/or gained a foreign citizenship through birth;
    • your certificate of naturalization (citizenship) if you gained a foreign citizenship not through birth;

    If you do not have documents confirming directly your Polish citizenship, you will need to submit documents of your ascendants (parents, grandparents, etc.), such as the abovementioned, in which their Polish citizenship is listed as well as civil status certificates confirming your family connection.

    Only original documents or official certified copies will be accepted.

    All documents in a foreign language, except for passports and Canadian certificates of citizenship must be translated into Polish, and the translation must be certified by a consul or a sworn translator registered in Poland. The consulate does not provide translation services. You can translate them yourself or use the services of a translator.

    The more complete the documents included in the application, the easier and faster the application will be processed. However, you may be asked at any time to provide additional documentation that may be required to confirm your Polish citizenship.

    Every application is only verified by the consul and processed individually by the citizenship service in Poland. The process and the decision cannot be accelerated, influenced or changed by the consul.
     

    How long does it take?  

    The citizenship service in Poland shall issue your certificate of citizenship or a decision refusing to certify your Polish citizenship within 30 days from the reception of all the documentation necessary to evaluate and process your application. If you are asked to submit any additional documentation, that period is extended accordingly.

    Your certificate or decision refusing to certify your Polish citizenship will be eventually available at the diplomatic post in which you have submitted your application or will be sent to your agent in Poland, if you decide to appoint one.

    If your application is refused, you will receive a written decision explaining in detail the reasons of the refusal. If you do not agree with the decision, you have the right to apply for a formal review. If you find additional documents that may be useful to confirm your Polish citizenship, you can resubmit your application at any time.

     

     

    RESTORATION OF POLISH CITIZENSHIP

     

    Who is eligible?

    Anyone who has lost their Polish citizenship before 1 January 1999 on the basis of certain provisions of laws related to Polish citizenship. This includes persons who have lost their Polish citizenship:

    • on the basis of the 20 January 1920 law on citizenship of the Polish State, and who have gained foreign citizenship, or have accepted a civil service role without the approval of the Polish government, or who have joined the army of a foreign country;
    • on the basis of the 8 January 1951 law on Polish citizenship, following a change of citizenship authorized by the government of Poland, so-called “breach of duty of fidelity to the Polish State or acting to the detriment of the vital interests of the People’s Republic of Poland”, illegal departure from Poland after 9 May 1945, refusal of return to Poland following authorities’ orders, refusal of performing military duty, or conviction abroad for a common or repeated offense.
    • on the basis of the 15 February 1962 law on Polish citizenship, following a change of citizenship authorized by the government of Poland, obtaining of foreign citizenship as a consequence of marriage to a foreigner (women only), losing previously acquired citizenship through marriage with a Polish citizen (women only), so-called “breach of duty of fidelity to the Polish State or acting to the detriment of the vital interests of the People’s Republic of Poland”, illegal departure from Poland after 9 May 1945, refusal of return to Poland following authorities’ orders, refusal of performing military duty, or conviction abroad for a common or repeated offense.

    You are also eligible if you have lost your Polish citizenship before turning 18 as a result of your parents’ decision to do so.

    Restoration of citizenship shall not extend to your children, grandchildren or further descendants, even when they are minors.

    Polish citizenship may not be regained by persons who have voluntarily joined, from 1 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the military forces of the Axis powers or of their allies, or acted against Poland's interest, and especially against its independence and sovereignty, or have been involved in human rights violations. Furthermore, Polish citizenship may not be restored if the restoration of citizenship poses a threat to the defense or national security or to the protection of public safety.

    If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for restoration of Polish citizenship, you can request for granting of Polish citizenship by the President of Poland.

     

    How to apply?

    The application shall be submitted on a special form, which can be downloaded from our website, and then printed and filled out. Instructions for filling out the form are located on its last page. The application must be filled out in Polish.

    If you live outside Poland, you should submit your application at the nearest consulate or consular division of the Embassy of Poland

    You can apply for restoration of Polish citizenship only for yourself.

     

    What documents are necessary?

    In addition to the application form, you will need to submit the following supporting documents:

    • original documents confirming the loss of Polish citizenship;
    • your valid piece of identity (passport, identification card);
    • one passport photo;
    • documents confirming a change of name and/or surname, if applicable (marriage certificate, administrative document attesting to such changes).

    All documents in a foreign language, except for passports and Canadian certificates of citizenship must be translated into Polish, and the translation must be certified by a consul or a sworn translator registered in Poland. The consulate does not provide translation services. You can translate them yourself or use the services of a translator.

     

    How long does it take?  

    The Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Poland shall issue the decision on restoration of your Polish citizenship within 30 days from the reception of all the documentation necessary to evaluate and process the application.

     

    GRANTING OF POLISH CITIZENSHIP

     

    Who is eligible?

    The President of the Republic of Poland can grant citizenship to any foreigner upon request. The President is not in any way restricted in his constitutional competence and can grant citizenship to any foreigner.

    Granting of Polish citizenship to both parents is extended to dependent children who are still under parental authority. Granting of Polish citizenship to one of the parents extends to any minor under this parent's authority, in the case where the second parent does not have parental authority or if he/she consented to the acquisition of Polish citizenship by the minor in question.

    Minors aged 16 or over need to express their consent in order to be granted Polish citizenship on the basis of their parents’ application..

     

    How to apply?

    The application shall be submitted on a special form, which can be downloaded from our website, and then printed and filled out. Instructions for filling out the form are located on its last page. The application must be filled out in Polish.

    If you live outside Poland, you should submit your application at the nearest consulate or consular division of the Embassy of Poland

     

    What documents are necessary?

    In addition to the application form, you will need to submit documents proving the information provided in the application. All documents in a foreign language must be translated into Polish, and the translation must be certified by a consul or a sworn translator registered in Poland.

    All documents in a foreign language, except for passports and Canadian certificates of citizenship must be translated into Polish, and the translation must be certified by a consul or a sworn translator registered in Poland. The consulate does not provide translation services. You can translate them yourself or use the services of a translator.

     

    How long does it take?  

    There is no statutory deadline for a decision regarding granting of Polish citizenship the President of the Republic of Poland has to meet.

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