Polish law contemplates the following ways of acquiring Polish citizenship:
By descent from parents, where at least one of them is a Polish citizen/Ius Sanguinis
A child acquires Polish citizenship by birth (regardless of the place of birth) when:
1. Both parents are Polish citizens, or
2. One of the parents is a Polish citizen. However, the parents are entitled, in a declaration made in conformity before the proper authority within the course of three months from the day of the birth of the child, to choose for the child the citizenship of the foreign state of which one of the parents is a citizen, if according to the law of that state the child acquires its citizenship.
By birth on the Polish territory
A child who was born or found within the territory of the Republic of Poland acquires citizenship when both parents are unknown, whose citizenship cannot be established, or who are stateless.
By declaring a stateless person as a Polish citizen
A stateless person can be declared Polish if:
- The applicant resides in Poland for at least five consecutive years
- The stateless person applies to a governor of a province (Wojewoda) of her/his place of residence in Poland.
Acquisition of Polish citizenship can be extended to applicant's children if they reside in Poland. Each child over sixteen years of age needs to agree to the acquisition of Polish citizenship.
By marriage with a Polish citizen for aliens residing in Poland
An alien can acquire Polish citizenship following a simplified procedure, if she/he:
- has been married for at least three years to a Polish citizen, and
- obtained a residence permit in Poland.
Such an applicant needs to apply to the Province Governor (Wojewoda) of her/his place of residence in Poland and declare an intention of becoming a Polish citizen. Application needs to take place within 6 months from obtaining the residence permit.
By regaining the citizenship lost in childhood by Parents declaration
By signing an affidavit executed before proper Polish authorities within 3 months after the birth of the child, parents can choose foreign citizenship for the child, on the condition that the laws of the foreign country grant the child citizenship based on descent from the foreign parent. Such a child loses Polish citizenship by its parents' declaration.
However, she/he can regain Polish citizenship if he/she executes an affidavit expressing the will of becoming a Polish citizen in front of proper Polish authorities after turning 16, but before 6 months into her/his legal age.
By regaining Polish citizenship lost pursuing marriage to a foreign citizen
A Polish citizen who lost Polish citizenship by marrying a foreign citizen can regain his/her citizenship if the aforementioned marriage ceases to exist. Such a person needs to apply to the Province Governor (Wojewoda) of her/his place of residence in Poland, or to a Polish consul if residing abroad.
By naturalization by the President of the Republic of Poland
A foreigner may be granted Polish citizenship at his or her own request, if
- He or she has resided in Poland for at least five years on the basis of a permanent residence permit;
- In particularly justified cases a foreigner may be granted Polish citizenship at his or her request even though he or she does not meet the requirements defined above.
The granting of Polish citizenship may be dependent on a submission of proof of the loss of or dispensation from a foreign citizenship.
The granting of Polish citizenship to both parents extends to the children remaining under their parental authority. (Art. 8)
The matter of obtainment or loss of citizenship by Poles who found themselves outside territory of Poland in the effect of or in relation to the Second World War is subject to three Citizenship Acts dated 1920, 1951 and 1962.
The provision 11 of the Act dated 1920 stated that:
"Loss of citizenship takes place:
1.When a person obtains foreign citizenship,
2. When a person accepts public office or joins the army in a foreign country without prior approval of the Polish Government.
Persons compelled to active military service may acquire foreign nationality after obtaining permission from the Minister of Military Affairs, otherwise they are deemed to be Polish citizens."
The above mentioned provision means that a man compelled to active military service could lose his Polish citizenship only if he got the permission to obtain the foreign citizenship issued by Minister of Military Affairs. In case of women the situation was different - they lost their Polish citizenship automatically, because they were not compelled to military service.
The provisions of the said Act apply to all circumstances essential for a person in the matter of his/her citizenship which took place in the period between 1920 and 19.02.1951 when a new Act came into force.
The provision 4 of the new Act stated:
"A person is not a Polish citizen, even though he/she had Polish citizenship on the 31 of August 1939, but he/she resides permanently outside Poland and:
If due to the change of Polish borders he/she obtained foreign nationality in accordance with the international agreements or
If a person is of Russian, Bielarussian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian nationality or
If a person is of German nationality unless the spouse of such person has Polish citizenship and resides in Poland.
After reading the above provision many people come into conclusion that they lost their citizenship because they did not return to Poland after 1939 but stayed outside the country. It is mistake, because to lose the citizenship a person should reside abroad and fullfil one of the above mentioned conditions /1-3/.
The provisions of the Citizenship Act of 1951 apply to all circumstances essential for a person in the matter of his/her citizenship which took place in the period between 19.02.1951 and 15.02.1962 when a new Act came into force.
The new Act does not provide that a person can lose his/her Polish citizenship unless he/she applied to renounce his/her citizenship to the Polish Authorities. It also does not provide that a person can lose citizenship without being informed that he/she lost her Polish citizenship.
It necessary to add that meanwhile also other acts concerning citizenship were issued. On their basis Polish citizenship were lost by persons who emigrated to Federal Republic of Germany and Israel.
INFORMATION FOR PERSONS WISHING TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATE OF POLISH CITIZENSHIP
(CONFIRMATION OF POLISH CITIZENSHIP)
in order to apply for Polish passport
The following documents need to be produced and presented in Polish Consulate:
- application form (in Polish),
- personal documents, or parental documents issued by the Polish authorities (passport, identity card, certificate of birth, school records), in their original form,
- document, or a certificate of foreign citizenship (date should be included), or a document stating that another citizenship was not acquired,
- birth certificate,
- certified copy of valid travel document / photo ID.
- the consular fee for this service is 118 CAD
- in addition, applicant must authorize a person residing in Poland to receive the official correspondance or decisions regarding his citizenship confirmation case (Polish Voivodship offices do not send those documents abroad). *
All forms need to be completed in Polish and all documents need to be translated to Polish by the certified translator.
All documents submitted must be presented in their original format.
We kindly request that all correspondence be submitted along with a self-addressed, pre-paid Canada Post Xpresspost envelope, to ensure a prompt return of the originals to the sender.
* In connection with the amendment of the Administrative Procedure Code (APC), which came into effect on 11th of April 2011, a person applying in the case related to the APC, eg. application for a confirmation of Polish citizenship, is obliged to appoint an attorney residing in Poland to carry on the case or to receive the official correspondence or decisions (indication of postal address of the person authorized is essential). In case of lack of such information, the correspondence and decisions will be retained in the case file (at the Voivodship office in Poland) and considered as effectively delivered. If you do not know anybody in Poland to act as your attorney you can use paid services of these lawyers
If certificate is sought by descendant of a person deemed to be Polish birth and marriage certificates of ancestors reflecting the blood link between the applicant and his Polish ancestors must be produced together with their biographies and information on their citizenship status (as in declaration of the applicant).
Upon analyzing the content of the application the consular officer may request additional documents.SEE MORE