Homepage Polish citizenship How to obtain Polish citizenship?

How to obtain Polish citizenship?Print

Polish citizenship can be obtained:

  • By virtue of law
  • By granting Polish citizenship
  • By recognition of a Polish citizen
  • By restoration of Polish citizenship

By virtue of law

By virtue of law, a minor acquires Polish citizenship if:

1) at least one of the parents holds Polish nationality at the moment of the child’s birth (right of blood), or

2) he was born on the territory of the Republic of Poland and his parents are unknown, hold no citizenship or their nationality is undefined (right of soil)

A child acquires Polish citizenship if found in the territory of Republic of Poland and his 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.

 

Granting of 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, regardless of how long he has stayed in Poland.

Granting Polish citizenship takes place at the request of the foreigner. The application for granting Polish citizenship to a person residing legally in Poland shall be submitted to the President via the Voivode competent for the place of residence of the applicant. If the foreigner lives abroad, the application shall be filled via the competent consul. Addresses to the Provincial Offices and to consular departments of the Republic of Poland are available here

The application shall be filed in person or by mail. Documents issued in a foreign language shall be submitted with their translation into the Polish language drawn up by a sworn translator or by a Polish consul.

An application for Polish citizenship is available here->

It should be remembered that the procedure for granting citizenship by the President may take time as the provisions of the Code of Administrative Proedure do not apply in such cases. This means that even if the case could be resolved on the basis of evidence presented by the applicant, it does not have to be resolved immediately, as is the case for the procedure of recognition as a Polish citizen. An applicant for citizenship is obliged to justify his application and to present an important reason for granting him Polish citizenship.

Refusal to grant Polish citizenship does not require justification and is not contestable.

Recognition as a Polish citizen

A foreigner can be recognized as a Polish citizen.

Recognition as a Polish citizen shall be granted to:

  1. a foreigner residing continuously in Poland (what is an uninterrupted stay?->) for at least 3 years on the basis of a permanent residence permit -> or a long-term EU resident permit -> and who has a stable and regular source of income in Poland and legal title to the occupied dwelling->;
  2. a foreigner residing continuously in Poland (what is an uninterrupted stay?->) for at least 2 years on the basis of a permanent residence permit -> or a long-term EU resident permit  -> and who has been married to a Polish citizen for at least three years or holds no citizenship;
  3. a foreigner residing continuously in Poland (what is an uninterrupted stay?->) for at least 2 years on the basis of a permanent residence permit -> which was obtained in connection with refugee status granted in Poland;
  4. a minor foreigner with one parent who is a Polish citizen residing in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit -> or a long-term EU resident permit ->, and the other parent who does not hold Polish citizenship has agreed to this recognition;
  5. 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 permanent residence permit -> or a long-term EU resident permit -[gt] and the other parent who does not have Polish citizenship has agreed to this recognition;
  6. a foreigner residing continuously and legally in Poland for at least 10 years (what is an uninterrupted stay?->) who meets all of the following conditions:

(Unlike point 1, it is not specified on what basis a foreigner should reside in Poland for at least 10 years. It may be a visa or a temporary residence card. This means that upon submission of the application for recognition as a Polish citizen, the foreigner must have a permit to settle or a long-term EU resident permit. For example: a foreigner was residing legally and continuously in Poland for 9 years on the basis of a temporary residence card; after 9 years, the foreigner received a long-term EU resident permit and has lived in Poland for 1 year - in this case the foreigner may submit a request for recognition as a Polish citizen)

7. a foreigner residing continuously in Poland for at least 2 years on the basis of a permanent residence permit -> which was obtained in connection with the foreigner's Polish ancestry.

Recognition as a Polish citizen takes place at the request of the applicant. An application for recognition as a Polish citizen shall be submitted to the Voivode with jurisdiction over the foreigner’s place of residence (i.e. the place where the foreigner’s primary life interests are focused), not necessarily in the foreigner’s registered place of residence. Consequently, a foreigner is obliged to indicate in his application the place of residence where his primary life interests are centered, and not the registered place of residence. Addresses of Voivodeship authorities are available here->  A decision on recognition of a foreigner as a Polish citizen is issued by the Voivode with jurisdiction over the foreigner's place of residence. 

Important: to be able to be recognized as a citizen of Poland - except for a foreigner referred to in section 1 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).

For detailed information about the exam, dates and current fees, contact the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language.

http://www.buwiwm.edu.pl/ (website only in Polish). Important information about the exams are available on the website www.certyfikatpolski.pl

The application for recognizing a foreigner as a Polish citizen shall include:

  1. a completed application for recognition as a citizen of Polish drawn up in Polish - the application form is available here->
  2. 1 photograph - photo guidelines are available here-> 
  3. the original or a certified copy of the applicant’s  birth certificate. There is no obligation to submit a copy of a Polish civil register act. Foreign acts shall be submitted together with a sworn translation into Polish.
  4. a certified copy of a document confirming the foreigner's identity and citizenship (foreign passport, travel document)
  5. a certified copy of a permanent residence card in Poland, settlement permit or residence permit for a long-term EU resident
  6. a certified copy of a permanent resident card issued by a Voivode,
  7. an official certificate of Polish language competence

    Note: Polish language skills must be documented at not lover than the level of communicative. Documents certifying Polish language skills are, among others, a school-leaving certificate obtained in Poland, a school-leaving certificate obtained from a school abroad with Polish as the language of instruction, or a certificate issued by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language,

  8. a statement concerning the dates of departures from and returns to Poland as well as places of residence abroad during the required periods of uninterrupted stay (i.e. 10, 3 or 2 years, depending on what basis the foreigner is applying for recognition as a citizen of Poland) together with documents confirming the uninterrupted stay in Poland (e.g. passport with stamps, tickets). If the applicant does not remember the specific dates of departure from Poland and there is no possibility of obtaining such information (for example, currently in Ukraine and Belarus citizens do not receive entry and exit stamps when crossing Polish boarder), he may submit a statement that he does not remember the specific dates of the departures and can provide only approximate dates. The application form for a statement of uninterrupted stay is available here->
  9. documents confirming professional achievements (e.g. scientific or professional degrees and titles) or pursued political and social activity,
  10. a document confirming the citizenship of the foreigner’s spouse (e.g. passport),
  11. documents confirming the foreigner held Polish citizenship in the past, or has applied for it,
  12. proof of payment of stamp duty for issuing the decision on recognition as a Polish citizen,

    A foreigner applying for recognition as a Polish citizen on the basis of points 1 and 6 (read above) shall additionally submit: 

  13. evidence of a stable and regular source of income in Poland (e.g. certificate of employment, a PIT form for the previous year, a certificate of owning a farm with information about its size from the municipal office, a decision concerning the granting of a pension),
  14. evidence of legal title to residential premises ->

Fees

Stamp duty for the decision on acquiring Polish citizenship is 219 PLN. In the case an application is refused, the payment shall be refunded at the request of  the applicant.

Duration of the procedure

If it can be concluded on the basis of the evidence presented by the applicant, the case should be resolved immediately, If a case requires an investigation, it shall be dealt not later than within a month. If the case is particularly complicated, a decision should be delivered within two months (the aforementioned deadlines do not include the periods of delays arising from the fault of the applicant or for reasons beyond the control of the authorities).

Appeal procedure

An appeal against a decision of the Voivode can be submitted to the Minister of the Interior, via the Voivode, within 14 days of the date on which the negative decision is served.

An appeal against a decision of the Minister, however, may be filed at the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw.

Restoration of Polish citizenship

Foreigners who previously held Polish citizenship but lost it before 1 January 1999 can apply for restoration of Polish citizenship. The foreigner must submit an appropriate application to the Minister of the Interior.

A foreigner residing outside Polish territory shall submit an application for restoration of Polish citizenship via the consul appropriate for the foreigner’s place of residence.

The application for restoration of Polish citizenship must contain, among other information, the foreigner’s personal data, address of  residence, statement on holding Polish citizenship in the past, information about the circumstances of its loss, and also a resume.

The application for the restoration of Polish citizenship shall be accompanied by:

  1. documents proving the foreigner's identity and citizenship;
  2. documents confirming a change of name and surname, if such occurred;
  3. documents proving the loss of Polish citizenship;
  4. a photograph of the applicant.

Applications, statements and documents drawn up in a foreign language shall be submitted with their Polish translation drawn up or certified by a sworn translator or by a consul.

The acquisition of Polish citizenship shall happen on the day on which the decision restoring Polish citizenship has become final.

Duration of the procedure

If it can be concluded on the basis of the evidence presented by the applicant, the case should be resolved immediately, If a case requires an investigation, it shall be dealt not later than within a month. If the case is particularly complicated, a decision should be delivered within two months (the aforementioned deadlines do not include the periods of delays arising from the fault of the applicant or for reasons beyond the control of the authorities).

Fees

Stamp duty for submitting an application in Warsaw to the Minister of Interior is PLN 219. Stamp duty for submitting an application at a Polish consulate depends on the country of submission. For information about the fee, please contact the consulate with jurisdiction over the foreigner’s place of residence.

Appeal procedure

As a part of an appeal against a negative decision from the Minister of Interior,  a request for reconsideration by the same authority can be submitted. The application must be submitted within 14 days of the date of notification of the decision and refusal to restore Polish citizenship.

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