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Can I apply for Polish citizenship based on my Pole's Card?

A Pole's Card does not constitute a document that would entitle its holder to be granted Polish citizenship. If you possess this card, then you may apply for a permanent residence permit in Poland. In order to be able to obtain a permanent residence permit based on the possession of a Pole's Card, you must file the following documents at the Voivodeship Office (Department of Foreigners):

  1. 4 copies of a completed application for the permit to settle (1 original and 3 photocopies); the application must be completed in Polish, in block letters or printed from a computer. The foreigner should sign the application by hand and enter their name and surname in Latin alphabet.
  2. 4 recent photographs;
  3. 3 photocopies of a valid passport (all pages containing annotations) and the original for visual inspection;
  4. proof of payment of stamp duty (PLN 640);
  5. the Pole's Card

If you are granted a permanent residence permit in Poland and if you stay in Poland with interruption for at least 3 years basing on the permanent residence permit, then you will be able to apply to be recognized as a Polish citizen, provided that you have documented confirmation of proficiency in the Polish language.

What documents should I file in the procedure of granting Polish citizenship by the President of Poland?

Individuals legally residing in Poland apply to the President of the Republic of Poland to be granted Polish citizenship through the Voivode appropriate for the place of residence of the individual in question. The following documents should be attached to the application:

  1. biometric photo, i.e. a current photo of the alien, not damaged, coloured, 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm, taken in the preceding 6 months;
  2. the original of a valid, i.e. not older than 3 months, copy of the birth certificate issued by a Polish Civil Registry Office, containing the name and surname, date and place of birth, name and surname of the father and name and maiden name of the mother,
  3. the original document confirming the marital status, issued by a Polish Civil Registry Office (e.g. a valid copy of the marriage certificate, a copy of the death certificate of the spouse),
  4. a copy of temporary or permanent permit for residence in Poland or long-term EU-resident permit,
  5. a copy of a valid document confirming identity and citizenship (foreign passport, travel document, or an identity card of EU citizen),
  6. a copy of a valid document confirming the identity and citizenship of the applicant's spouse (foreign passport, travel document, or an identity card of EU citizen),
  7. documents confirming the sources of subsistence of the foreigner,
  8. documents confirming career achievements (e.g. academic titles and degrees, creative works, publications, awards, completed projects),
  9. documents confirming conducted political and social activity,
  10. possessed documents of parents and further ascendants if they were Polish citizens,
  11. possessed documents confirming the possession of Polish citizenship in the past, the loss thereof and the date of obtaining foreign citizenship,
  12. additional documents that the applicant wishes to enclose (e.g. reference letters, children's school certificates).

Does a child born in Poland whose parents are not Polish citizens automatically acquire Polish citizenship?

A child born in Poland whose parents are foreigners (i.e. not holders of Polish citizenship) does not acquire Polish citizenship. The child acquires Polish citizenship only if at least one of the parents is a Polish citizen.

In case both parents are foreigners, a child born in Poland may obtain a temporary residence permit. An application for a temporary residence permit  should be filed with the Voivodeship Administrative Office by the child’s parents.

I am a foreign national married to a Polish citizen. We live together abroad. Can I apply for Polish citizenship? What conditions do I have to meet to obtain it?

Entering into a marriage with a Polish citizen does not constitute a sufficient basis for obtaining Polish citizenship. In order to obtain such citizenship, a foreigner has to meet additional specific conditions concerning their legal and uninterrupted stay in Poland. A foreigner may be recognized as a Polish citizen if he remains married to a Polish citizen for a period of at least 3 years and has stayed in Poland legally and uninterruptedly for at least 2 years under a permanent residence permit, and their knowledge of Polish language is documented. However, in order to obtain a permanent residence permit in Poland, one has first to obtain a temporary residence permit based on marriage to a Polish citizen.

It is possible to obtain a permit for permanent or temporary residence in Poland, provided that you intend to reside in Poland and not in another country. You will not be able to obtain a temporary or permanent residence permit in Poland if you intend to live in a different country.

Polish citizenship may also be obtained in the course of the procedure of granting Polish citizenship by the President of the Republic of Poland. The decision of the President is not limited by any conditions that the foreigner should meet in order to be granted Polish citizenship. This means that the President may grant Polish citizenship to any foreigner, regardless of such conditions as the duration of his stay in Poland. It is worth noting that the procedure for granting Polish citizenship by the President may take quite long, because the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Code do not apply to such cases. This means that even if it is possible to review the case based on the evidence presented by the applicant, it does not have to be considered immediately as in the case of recognizing a foreigner as a Polish citizen. Individuals applying for citizenship are obliged to substantiate their application and to provide important reasons why they should be granted Polish citizenship.

I would like to apply for a permanent residence permit based on my Polish heritage. When will I be able to apply for Polish citizenship?

If you are of Polish descent and you possess documents confirming this fact, then you may apply for a permanent residence permit based on your Polish descent. If you obtain a permanent residence permit, after 2 years of uninterrupted stay in Poland with the permanent residence permit you will be able to apply at the Voivodeship Office to be considered a Polish citizen. Another condition that you will have to meet in order to obtain Polish citizenship is documented proficiency in the Polish language.

The stay in Poland is considered uninterrupted if none of the breaks during the required two-year period exceed 6 months and the total duration of the breaks does not exceed 10 months.

In order to be able to be recognized as a Polish citizen, a foreigner is obliged to know the Polish language. Such proficiency has to be confirmed by a language skills certificate obtained as a result of passing the national examination, a certification of graduation from a school (e.g. primary, secondary or tertiary school) in Poland or a certificate of graduation from a school with classes conducted in the Polish language abroad.

Certificates confirming knowledge of the Polish language are issued by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language. At present, in order to obtain such certificate one must pass an examination organised by the Commission at the intermediate level (B1). The website of the Commission: http://certyfikatpolski.pl/

I am planning to apply to be recognized as a Polish citizen, based on my two-year legal and uninterrupted stay in Poland pursuant to a permit to settle.

How will the authorized institutions check whether my stay was uninterrupted? In the passport, I do not have stamps of entry and exit from Poland.

If you apply to be recognized as a Polish citizen based on 2 years of legal and uninterrupted stay in Poland pursuant to a permanent residence permit, "uninterrupted stay" means that during the 2 years preceding the filing of the application to be recognized as a Polish citizen you did not travel abroad for a single period exceeding 6 months, and that the total duration of all journeys abroad during these two years did not exceed 10 months.

When you file the application to be recognized as a Polish citizen, you will also have to file a statement concerning the dates of leaving and returning to Poland and about the places you stayed abroad during the required periods of uninterrupted stay. If you do not remember the exact dates of leaving Poland, you may declare that you do not remember the specific dates and that you can only provide approximate dates.

In spite of filing the statement confirming your uninterrupted stay, the Voivodeship Office will still request the Border Guard Service to provide information about your entrances into and exits from Poland. If you cross the Schengen Area border, the National Border Guard Service records the dates of entering and leaving, although you do not receive a stamp in your passport. If the Voivodeship Office receives information stating that your stay abroad exceeded 10 months, then the decision on recognizing you as a Polish citizen may be negative.

I am a Polish citizen, but my son was born abroad. How can I obtain Polish citizenship for my child?

If at least one of a child's parents is a Polish citizen, the child obtains Polish citizenship regardless of his place of birth. In order to confirm your son's Polish citizenship, you have to register his foreign birth certificate at the local Civil Registry Office at your last place of residence in Poland. It is possible to register a foreign birth certificate directly at the Civil Registry Office in Poland, but you may also register it via the Polish consulate abroad. The waiting timefor the issuance of a Polish copy of the birth certificate at the consulate is much longer than in the case of registration directly at the Civil Registry Office.

Below is a list of documents required for the registration of a foreign birth certificate that have to be filed at the Civil Registry Office:

  1. Original of the foreign transcript of the certificate, issued by a competent authority.
  2. Translation of the document into Polish by a sworn translator or a Polish consul.
  3. Application to the Head of the Civil Registry Office for registration of a foreign certificate in Polish civil registry office records.
  4. Proof of payment of stamp duty (PLN 50);

The procedure for registration of a foreign birth certificate at the Polish Civil Registry Office lasts from 1 to 30 days.

 

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