Polish citizenship can be obtained via:
- virtue of law;
- granting Polish citizenship;
- recognition as a Polish citizen;
- restoration of Polish citizenship;
In some cases there will be needed to obtain (especially if you are a child or grandchild of Polish emigrants):
- confitmation of having Polish citizenship.
1. Obtaining Polish citizenship by a virtue of law.
If one of the parents held Polish citizenship while the child was born, then the child obtains Polish citizenship by a virtue of law (right of blood). This rule also is used when a child is born in Poland and the parents are unknown. If a minor foreigner before reaching the age of sixteen is adopted by a person or persons holding Polish citizenship, it is assumed that the foreigner acquired Polish citizenship on the day of his birth.
2. Granting Polish citizenship.
Polish citizenship is granted by the President of the Republic of Poland. The President shall not be restricted by any conditions that must be met by a foreigner to grant him Polish citizenship. This means that the President can grant Polish citizenship to any foreigner.
Please remember that generally no law rules apply in this procedure, especially about conditions that should be met or proceeding time. This way of obtaining Polish citizenship can be used while the other procedures (recognition as a Polish citizen or restoration of Polish citizenship) can no be used in your case. An applicant for citizenship is obliged to justify his application and to present an important reason for granting him Polish citizenship.
3. Recognition as a Polish citizen.
Recognition as a Polish citizen is an administrative procedure, based on code of administraion proceeding. Please find below the list of applicants who can apply to be recognized as a Polish citizen:
- a foreigner residing continuously in Poland for at least 3 years on the basis of a long term EU resident permit or permanent resident permit and who has a stable and regular source of income in Poland;
- a foreigner residing continuously in Poland for at least two years on the basis of a long term EU resident permit or permanent resident permit and who has been married to a Polish citizen for at least three years;
- a foreigner residing continuously in Poland for at least 2 years on the basis of which was obtained in connection with refugee status granted in Poland;
- a minor foreigner with one parent who is a Polish citizen residing in Poland on the basis of a long term EU resident permit or permanent resident permit and the other parent who does not hold Polish citizenship has agreed to this recognition;
- a minor foreigner with at least one parent whose Polish citizenship has been restored, if the minor resides in Poland on the basis of a long term EU resident permit or permanent resident permit and the other parent who does not have Polish citizenship has agreed to this recognition;
- a foreigner residing continuously and legally in Poland for at least 10 years who has got a permanent resident permit or EU long term resident permit and has a stable and regular source of income in Poland along with legal title to the occupied dwelling;
- a foreigner residing continuously in Poland for at least 2 years on the basis of a permanent resident permit which was obtained in connection with the foreigner’s Polish ancestry.
To be able to be recognized as a citizen of Poland – except for a foreigner referred to points 4 and 5 – the foreigner is obliged to have a command of Polish language. Language proficiency must be confirmed with an official certificate obtained after passing a State examination, a school-leaving certificate (e. g., elementary, secondary or tertiary school) in Poland or a school-leaving certificate obtained from a school abroad with Polish as the language of instruction.
Certificates for Polish language skills are issued by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language. Currently, to receive a certificate the applicant must pass an exam organized by the Commission at the basic communication level (level B1).
4. 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 shall 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 a 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.
5. Confirmation of having Polish citizenship.
Citizens who do not have documents proving Polish citizenship (a Polish passport or ID) or whose personal data and citizenship can not be ascertained, may apply for confirmation of Polish citizenship.
Citizens over 18 years old, who were born outside of Poland and/or have never possessed documents proving their Polish citizenship (a Polish passport or ID), prior to applying for the Polish passport at the Consulate must obtain a certificate confirming their Polish citizenship. It is needed to prepare required documents of your ancestors in this procedure, in many situations it is required to make a search at Polish national or church archives (my law office helps in all of the grounds).
If you are interested in granting Polish citizenship, then my law office provides proffessional legal services in all of the grounds. Having me as your representative in Poland, means that the case is being proceeded by a registered lawyer (advocate), listed on an official Minstry of Justice list – so you can be confident that the case is in right hands.