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  • POLISH CITIZENSHIP

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    1. Ways of Acquiring Polish Citizenship

    Acquisition and loss of Polish citizenship is regulated by the Law on Polish Citizenship of April 2nd, 2009 (Ustawa o obywatelstwie polskim z dnia 2 kwietnia 2009 r., z późniejszymi zmianami, Dz. U. z dnia 14 lutego 2012 r.).

                By birth to a Polish citizen:

    A child acquires Polish citizenship if at least one parent is a Polish citizen, irrespective of place of birth (art. 14 pkt 1 of the said Law) - the ius sanguinis rule.

                By birth/being found on Polish soil:

    If a child is born or found on Polish soil and both parents are unknown or their citizenship is unknown, or they have no citizenship (art. 14 pkt 2 and art. 15 of the said Law), a child acquires by law Polish citizenship - the ius soli rule.

                By adoption:

    A minor foreigner adopted by a Polish citizen (by Polish citizens) acquires Polish citizenship if the full adoption had been completed before the child turned 16 years. Thus, the child is considered as possessing Polish citizenship from the moment of his\her birth.

                By granting Polish citizenship:

    Polish citizenship can be granted by the President of the Republic of Poland.

                By restoring Polish citizenship:

    Polish citizenship can be restored by the Minister of Interior.

                By naturalization:

    A foreigner living in Poland can receive Polish citizenship by naturalization. The decision is issued by a proper Provincial Governor (wojewoda). Consul does not accept petitions for naturalization.

     

     

    1. Application for Polish Citizenship

    Polish citizenship is granted by the President of the Republic of Poland.

    Application for the Polish citizenship to the President of the Republic of Poland is being submitted through a Provincial Governor (wojewoda) or a Consul (for applicants residing abroad), or by post with an officially certified signature. A foreigner with a parental custody over children under 18, additionally includes personal data of the latter in the application.

    Granting Polish citizenship to parents is extended to children under their parental custody.

    Children are included in the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland granting the citizenship to one of parents, if:

    - children are under his/her sole custody, or

    - the other parent declared consent before the proper authority (e.g. a Consul) that the children can be granted Polish citizenship.

    Children over 16 should express their consent before a proper authority (e.g. a Consul) before being granted Polish citizenship.  

    In the procedure of granting Polish citizenship, the provisions of the Code of Administrative Proceedings are not applied, excluding provisions concerning the service of a decision of the President of the Republic of Poland.

    Required documents

    Application should be submitted in Polish, dated and signed.

    Original documents should be presented at the Consulate.

    Foreign documents should be translated into Polish and the translation should be certified by a Consul.

    The applicant should submit the following documents:

    • application to the President of Poland for granting Polish citizenship (Appendix 1);
    • documents proving identity and citizenship;
    • other documents confirming the data provided in the application form, e.g.: applicant's marriage certificate or other document proving his/her civil status, documents confirming identity and citizenship of the spouse, documents confirming identity and citizenship of minor children included in the application, documents confirming Polish citizenship (or its loss) of ancestors or descendants, documents confirming professional, political and social achievements etc.;
    • photograph/photographs (no more than 6-months old, passport size) of the person/persons concerned in the application:

    Caution

    The Consulate and the Chancellery of the President of Poland may require additional documents and/or an interview with the applicant.

    Documents submitted at the Consulate are not being returned and cannot be used for other purposes.

     

    1. Renunciation of Polish Citizenship

    According to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, a Polish citizen cannot lose Polish citizenship, unless at own request. The loss of Polish citizenship is possible only after obtaining approval from the President of the Republic of Poland for the renunciation of Polish citizenship.

    Applicants residing abroad submit the application to the President of Poland through a Polish Consulate (within the proper Consular District), or by post with an officially certified signature. After verification, the application is transferred by the Consulate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and subsequently to the Chancellery of the President of Poland.

    The approval for renouncing Polish citizenship by both parents is extended to children under their parental custody.

    The approval for renouncing Polish citizenship by only one parent is extended to children under his/her parental custody, if:

    - children are under his/her sole custody, or

    - the other parent declared his/her consent before the proper authority (e.g. a Consul) that children could renounce Polish citizenship.

    Children over 16 should express their prior consent before a proper authority (e.g. a Consul) for renunciation of Polish citizenship. 

    Required documents

    All applications and statements should be submitted in Polish, dated and signed.

    A copy of enclosed documents should be certified by a Consul.

    Vital record documents (birth and marriage certificate) should be submitted in original.

    A foreign document should be translated into Polish and the translation should be certified by a Consul.
     

    The applicant should submit the following documents:

    • application to the President of the Republic of Poland (Appendix 1);
    • valid documents confirming Polish citizenship (passport, ID);
    • document proving possession of another citizenship or a declaration of foreign authorities of its granting;
    • birth certificate issued by a Polish vital records office (urząd stanu cywilnego);
    • birth certificate of a child issued by a Polish vital records office (if a child is included in the application);
    • marriage certificate issued by a Polish vital records office, or other document confirming civil status of an applicant;
    • photograph/photographs (no more than 6-months old, passport size) of the person/persons concerned in the application:

    Caution

    The Consulate and the Chancellery of the President of Poland may require additional documents and/or an interview with the applicant.

    Documents submitted to the Consulate are not returned and cannot be used for any other purposes. 

     

    1. Confirmation of Polish Citizenship

    Individuals who do not have valid documents proving their Polish citizenship (a Polish passport or ID) or whose personal data and citizenship cannot be ascertained may apply for confirmation of Polish citizenship.

    The decision regarding confirmation of Polish citizenship or its loss is issued by a Provincial Governor (wojewoda). A foreigner living outside Poland may submit a request through a Polish Consul, within the proper Consular District. A decision issued by the Provincial Governor is forwarded to the applicant through the person residing in Poland authorized by the applicant to receive correspondence from the Provincial Governor (Pełnomocnik do doręczeń).

    In the procedure of the confirmation or the loss of Polish citizenship, the provisions of the Code of Administrative Proceedings are applied.

    Required documents

    Application forms should be submitted in Polish, dated and signed.

    Original documents should be presented at the Consulate. The documents will be copied and certified at the Consulate.

    Foreign documents should be translated into Polish and the translation should be certified by a Consul.

    The applicant should submit the following documents:

    • application to the Provincial Governor for the confirmation of Polish citizenship or its loss, providing personal data, ancestors of the 1st and 2nd generation, and any information essential to determinate the factual and legal status (Appendix 1);
    • documents confirming the data provided in the application, e.g.: applicant's birth certificate with parents' names, documents confirming Polish citizenship of parents or grandparents of the applicant (their Polish passports or IDs), marriage certificate of applicant's parents, applicant's marriage certificate or other document proving applicant's civil status, previous Polish passports held by the applicant, military documents held by the applicant or his/her ancestors, a certificate of the official name change (if applicable), Certificate of Naturalization or other document proving foreign citizenship, etc.
    • name and address of the person in Poland, authorized by the applicant to receive correspondence from the Provincial Government (Pełnomocnik do doręczeń - Appendix 2).

    Caution

    The Consulate and the Provincial Governor Office may require additional documents and/or an interview with the applicant.

    One can search for documents in vital records offices (urzędy stanu cywilnego) and archives. In case of problems with locating documents, one can address to the Head Office of the State Archives, the Central Unit of the Archival Information (00-950 Warsaw, ul. Długa 6, skr. poczt. 1005, Poland).

     

    1. Restoration of Polish Citizenship

    On May 15th, 2012 the provisions of the Law on Polish Citizenship of April 2nd, 2009, came into force introducing a new institution in Polish law - the restoration of Polish citizenship. 

    The Polish citizenship may be restored to foreigners who used to hold Polish citizenship in the past, but lost it before January 1st, 1999 based on the events referred to in the said Law:

    • Article 11 or 13 of the Law on Polish Citizenship of January 20th, 1920;
    • Article 11 or 12 of the Law on Polish Citizenship of January 8th, 1951;
    • Article 13, 14 or 15 of the Law on Polish Citizenship of February 15th, 1962.

    Polish citizenship will not be restored to a person who voluntarily joined - in the period between September 1st, 1939 to May 8th, 1945 - military service or held public office in the Axis countries or their allies, or acted against Poland, especially its independence and sovereignty, or participated in human rights violations. Polish citizenship will not be restored if it constitutes a threat to national defense, national security or public order.

    Polish citizenship is restored by the Minister of Interior by decision on request of the person concerned. A foreigner living outside of Poland submits a request through a Polish Consul.

    In the procedure of the restoration of citizenship, the provisions of the Code of Administrative Proceedings are applied.

    Required documents

    Applications should be submitted in Polish, dated and signed.

    Original documents should be presented at the Consulate. The documents will be copied and certified at the Consulate.

    Foreign documents should be translated into Polish and the translation should be certified by a Consul.

    The applicant should submit the following documents:

    • application to the Minister of Interior for the restoration of Polish citizenship (Appendix 1);
    • documents proving identity and citizenship;
    • documents confirming the data asserted in the biography;
    • documents certifying the name change, if any occurred;
    • documents confirming the loss of citizenship (if available);
    • name and address of the person in Poland, authorized by the applicant to receive correspondence from the Ministry of Interior (Pełnomocnictwo do doręczeń - Appendix 2).

    Caution

    The Consulate and the Ministry of Interior may require additional documents and/or an interview with the applicant.

    One can search for documents in vital records offices (urzędy stanu cywilnego) and archives. In case of problems with locating documents, one can address to the Head Office of the State Archives, the Central Unit of the Archival Information (00-950 Warsaw, ul. Długa 6, skr. poczt. 1005, Poland).

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