Legal regulations of Polish citizenship – what do you need to know?

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Legal regulations of Polish citizenship

Polish citizenship is a very valuable entitlement that more and more people around the world would like to apply for. Unfortunately, not everyone can have this opportunity. This is due to a number of legal regulations which strictly define who is a Polish citizen and who can possibly become one.

We will try to explain these issues in more detail below, outlining the ways in which Polish citizenship may be acquired and who may be considered a Polish citizen. If you would like to find out even more about potentially applying for a Polish passport, or if you have any doubts as to whether you are entitled to one, then we encourage you to visit https://fivetoeurope.com/research/, where you will find a great deal of interesting and very relevant information.

What are the ways of acquiring Polish citizenship?

Polish citizenship can be obtained in several ways. These include:

Acquisition of Polish citizenship by birth to parents at least one of whom is a Polish citizen – the law of blood (Ius Sanguinis)

According to the law, a child acquires Polish citizenship by birth from parents at least one of whom is a Polish citizen, regardless of whether the child was born in Poland or abroad (Article 14(1) of the Act on Polish Citizenship).

Acquisition of Polish citizenship by birth or finding a child on the territory of Poland – rights of the land (Ius Soli)

This rule applies when a child is born or found on the territory of the Republic of Poland and both parents are unknown or have no citizenship (Articles 14(2) and 15 of the Polish Citizenship Act). Consequently, the child acquires Polish citizenship by operation of law.

Acquiring Polish citizenship through full adoption, i.e. adoption

A child adopted by a holder or holders of Polish citizenship acquires citizenship if the full adoption was completed before the child turned 16. In this case, the child is considered to have Polish citizenship from the moment of birth.

Acquisition of Polish citizenship by the President of the Republic of Poland

Pursuant to Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship, the President of the Republic of Poland may grant Polish citizenship to a foreigner, upon their application. The lack of conditions restricting the constitutional competence of the Republic of Poland means that the President may grant Polish citizenship to any foreigner.

In the case of granting Polish citizenship by the President, we still distinguish:

– Granting of Polish citizenship to both parents – covers children remaining under their parental authority.

– Granting of citizenship to one parent – covers a minor remaining under his parental authority where the other parent does not have parental authority or has made a declaration of consent to the minor acquiring Polish citizenship.

The parents of a minor child may over apply for citizenship for the minor only. This happens if the child has not acquired that citizenship for some reasons. On the other hand, if the child is over 16, citizenship may be granted only with the child’s consent.

Who can be recognised as a Polish citizen?

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 30(1) of the Act on Polish Citizenship, a person may be recognised as a Polish citizen:

  •       A foreigner who has legally resided continuously on the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 3 years with a residence permit, an EC residence permit for a long-term resident or a permanent residence permit. In addition, he/she must have a stable and regular income in Poland and a legal title to the dwelling he/she is residing in.
  •       A foreigner who has been continuously residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 2 years with a residence permit, an EC residence permit for a long-term resident or a permanent residence permit. He/she must also be married to a Polish citizen.
  •       A foreigner who has been continuously residing on the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 2 years, having a residence permit obtained with a refugee status granted in Poland.
  •       A minor foreigner, one of whose parents is a Polish citizen, and who lives on the territory of Poland on the basis of a residence permit, an EC residence permit for a long-term resident or a permanent residence permit. The other parent, who is not a Polish citizen, must also consent to the granting of citizenship to the minor.
  •       An alien minor whose at least one parent has renounced Polish citizenship but who resides in the territory of Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit, an EC residence permit for a long-term resident or a permanent residence permit. The other parent, who is not a Polish citizen, must agree to grant citizenship to the minor.
  •       A foreigner who has legally resided continuously on the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 10 years, holds a residence permit, an EC residence permit for a long-term resident or a permanent residence permit, has a permanent and regular income in Poland and a legal title to the dwelling they occupy.

Application for Polish citizenship

An application for Polish citizenship by persons residing in Poland should be filed directly with the relevant voivode, taking into account the place of residence. On the other hand, persons residing abroad submit the application through the relevant consul. The application may be submitted in person or sent by post, provided that it is signed in accordance with official requirements.

In the case of documents in a foreign language, it is also necessary to have them translated into Polish by a sworn translator or a consul of the Republic of Poland.

The full list of documents required to submit an application can be found on the websites of the relevant voivodeship offices or consulates of the Republic of Poland in each country.

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