How to become a Polish Citizen

How to become a Polish citizen, depending on one’s personal situation at birth, or in course of one’s life.

Poland as a European Union Member State enables non-Polish citizens to acquire Polish citizenship in various ways and on various grounds. Becoming a polish citizen depends on your personal situation, if one wants to acquire Polish citizenship, it is necessary to meet certain conditions.

Polish citizenship by birth

First of all, the basic way to acquire polish citizenship is ius sanguinis (right of blood). This rule states that Polish citizenship can be acquired by birth if at least one parent is a Polish citizen. In this circumstances it does not matter where the child was born, whether it was abroad or in Poland.

The second way to acquire Polish citizenship is by being born or being found on the territory of Poland, but only when both of the parents are unknown or have no citizenship.

Polish citizenship by repatriation

Another way of acquiring Polish citizenship is by repatriation. In such cases, a person who comes to Poland holding a state visa for the purpose of repatriation acquires Polish citizenship the day of their arrival in Poland.

A state visa might be issued to a person who is of Polish origin and was permanently residing in the present-day Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, or the Asian part of the Russian Federation.

To establish if a person has Polish origin, it is necessary to prove that the person’s parents or one of their grandparents or both great-grandparents held Polish nationality and that the person has a  connection with Poland or Polish culture.

Polish citizenship by full adoption

Through adoption, a child under 16 years old can acquire Polish citizenship. If the child is adopted by one or both parents who are Polish citizens, the child obtains the citizenship automatically by virtue of law. In this case, it is assumed that the child acquired citizenship from the moment of birth.

Polish citizenship Granted by the President of Poland

A foreigner may be granted Polish citizenship directly by the President of Poland by submitting an application. The application must contain specific information about the person required by a statute and a justification.

Polish citizenship by recognition

This way of granting citizenship through recognition offers various possibilities. Depending on your legal situation, you may apply to be recognized as a Polish citizen if you meet certain conditions.

First of all, you can obtain Polish citizenship on the basis of legal stay in Poland and source of income, when you:

  • have resided legally in Poland for a continuous period of at least 3 years with a permanent residence permit,
  • an EU long-term residence permit or the right of permanent residence,
  • have a stable and regular source of income in Poland, have the right to occupy an apartment in Poland.

Second of all, you can obtain Polish citizenship on the basis of legal stay in Poland and marriage with a Polish citizen or no citizenship, when you: have resided legally in Poland for a continuous period of at least 2 years with a permanent residence permit, an EU long-term residence permit or the right of permanent residence who:

  1. have been married to a Polish citizen for at least 3 years, or
  2. have no citizenship.

The next way of acquiring citizenship is on the basis of a legal stay in Poland and refugee status, when you: have resided legally in Poland for a continuous period of at least 2 years with a refuge residence permit which has been granted in Poland.

Polish citizenship for the minors

A minor may obtain citizenship after meeting the following conditions:

  • is under 18 years old,
  • has resided legally in Poland with a permanent residence permit,
  • an EU long-term residence permit or the right of permanent residence,
  • one of their parents has Polish citizenship,
  • the other parent who does not have Polish citizenship has consented to legally recognize their child as a Polish citizen,

or:

  • is under 18 years old,
  • has resided legally in Poland with a permanent residence permit,
  • an EU long-term residence permit or the right of permanent residence,
  • at least one of their parents regained their Polish citizenship,
  • the other parent who does not have Polish citizenship has consented to legally recognize their child as a Polish citizen.

Polish citizenship on the grounds a long stay and and work in Poland

In addition, you can obtain citizenship on the basis of long stay and work in Poland, when you:

  • have resided legally in Poland for a continuous period of at least 10 years,
  • have a permanent residence permit,
  • an EU long-term residence permit or the right of permanent residence,
  • have a stable and regular source of income and the right to occupy an apartment in Poland,

or on the basis of your Polish origin when you:

  • have resided legally in Poland for a continuous period of at least 1 year,
  • have a permanent residence permit obtained on the ground of having Polish origin or in connection with your status as a holder of the Polish Card (Karta Polaka).

Knowledge of the language

Moreover, a foreigner (with the exceptions of minors with one parent that already has Polish citizenship) applying for recognition as a Polish citizen should know the polish language at least at a B1 level.

The knowledge of the language should be officially confirmed by appropriate authorities or by a Polish or foreign school certificate, which specifies all school subjects were studied in Polish.

Regaining Polish Citizenship

For those who once held Polish citizenship it is possible to recover it. That legal path of reacquiring citizenship is dedicated to those who lost Polish citizenship before 1 st July 1999.

One of the conditions of recovering citizenship, is to officially state that the person held Polish citizenship in the past and then lost it and in what circumstances he or she lost it. Polish Citizenship Law also lists some situations in which a person may not apply for citizenship recovery.

Polish citizenship enables one to legally reside permanently in the territory of Poland. Aside from obtaining polish citizenship, it is possible to legally reside in Poland on the basis of different permits. Depending on one’s personal situation, it is possible to obtain a permanent residence permit, an EU long-term residence permit or the right of permanent residence.

One particular situation when you can also obtain the legal right to reside in Poland is a family reunification case. Depending on your personal situation, you can obtain a legal title to reside in Poland in order to reunite with a member of your family who resides in Poland legally.

If you have any doubts in that matter, or if you need specific advice, do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Department Lawyers. Our lawyers can guide you in case you want to acquire Polish citizenship.

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Calogero Boccadutri
Managing Partner

Calogero Boccadutri is the Managing Partner of Boccadutri International Law Firm. He has trial experience in Forex, Personal Injury and Administrative litigation.

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