Understanding the Path to Polish Citizenship: A Step-by-Step Guide for EU Citizens

Many people dream of becoming a Polish citizen. After all, the Polish passport is one of the most valuable documents and a ticket to not only Europe, but the whole world! Understanding the process of obtaining Polish citizenship for EU citizens can often be complicated. That is why we have prepared a detailed step-by-step guide below that explains all the necessary steps and requirements. Here you will find everything you need to know. However, if you want even more knowledge or you simply have doubts about applying for Polish citizenship, we encourage you to visit https://fivetoeurope.com/polish-citizenship-consultations/, where you can contact specialists free of charge, who will clear up any doubts you may have.

What is Polish citizenship anyway?

Citizenship undoubtedly constitutes a fundamental bond between an individual and the state, defining their mutual rights and obligations. Indeed, the history of mankind is not only the history of societies and nations, but also the history of the emergence of states, which served as a tool to ensure security and establish social norms. Citizenship developed in the context of these processes as a special bond of legal obligation and belonging.

In today’s world, the concept of citizenship, including, of course, Polish citizenship, refers to a legal relationship between the individual and the state, which confers on the individual certain rights and obligations towards the state, but on the other hand also gives the state corresponding rights and obligations towards the individual. Issues related to citizenship, including the procedures for its acquisition and loss, are regulated by state law. In ancient times, in the Greek polis, the concept of citizenship was associated with full rights and duties within the urban community.

In Greek communities, the idea of citizenship was associated with the freedom of the individual, his or her right to participate in the social and political life of the city-state. The citizen had both rights and duties towards the community, which was the foundation of ancient Greek democracy. He or she was a free person, free to choose where to live and actively participating in public life, engaging with the state and devoting his or her time and effort to it.

The ancient Greek citizenship model, based on the participation, wisdom and involvement of the individual in public life, therefore remains an inspiration even today. Citizenship still means not only the possession of certain rights, but also active participation in social life, concern for the common good and responsibility for the fate of the state.

Ways of acquiring Polish citizenship

Although Poland is governed by the rule of blood law, there are other ways in Polish law by which Polish citizenship can be acquired. As we mentioned at the very beginning, the principle of the law of blood, according to which a child automatically becomes a Polish citizen if at least one of his or her parents has Polish citizenship, regardless of the place of birth, is universally applicable.

In addition, there is also the principle of the law of the land, which covers the situation when a child is born on the territory of Poland and his/her parents are unknown or do not have a specific citizenship. In such cases, the child automatically acquires Polish citizenship.

Acquisition of Polish citizenship is also possible through full adoption, or adoption. If a child has been adopted by one or both persons holding Polish citizenship, the child also automatically becomes a Polish citizen, provided that the adoption took place before the child turned 16. Otherwise, the child’s own consent must be asked first.

The President of the Republic of Poland also has the relevant power to grant Polish citizenship to foreigners upon their application. Such an application may be filed by a person residing in Poland through the competent voivode or by a person residing abroad through the competent consul. For foreigners who have previously resided in Poland, it is possible to shorten the procedures and obtain Polish citizenship through recognition.

Recognition as a Polish citizen is a process whereby foreigners residing on the territory of Poland may apply for Polish citizenship based on specific criteria and prerequisites. In this context, integration into Polish society and fulfillment of certain conditions play a key role.

What conditions must be met in order to obtain Polish citizenship through recognition?

According to Polish law, foreigners may be recognised as Polish citizens if they have resided legally on Polish territory for at least 3 years on the basis of a permanent residence permit, a residence permit for a long-term resident of the European Union or a permanent residence permit. However, mere residence in Poland is not enough – foreigners must also demonstrate that they have integrated into Polish society, speak the Polish language, have a regular source of income and an assured place to live, as well as respect Polish law and do not pose a threat to state security.

The procedure for obtaining Polish citizenship by recognition is therefore quite complicated and requires an application to be submitted by the interested person through the competent voivode or consul in the case of persons residing abroad. At the same time, there are a number of prerequisites that must be met by a foreigner in order for his/her application to be granted.

Indeed, Polish law provides for specific cases in which foreigners may apply for recognition as a Polish citizen under statutory provisions. These include

  •   foreigners residing in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit who are spouses of Polish citizens,
  •   foreigners residing in the territory of Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit, who have obtained refugee status,
  •   minor children of foreigners, one of whose parents is a Polish citizen.

At the same time, there are also situations in which foreigners are refused recognition as Polish citizens, e.g. when they do not meet the required criteria or their presence in Poland constitutes a threat to state security. The final decision on granting Polish citizenship is made by a Province Governor, who examines the application under an administrative procedure.

Application for Polish citizenship

To submit an application for Polish citizenship, persons residing in Poland must go to the competent voivode according to their place of residence. On the other hand, persons living abroad submit the application through the competent consul. The process may take place in person at the office or by post, with the signature certified by the office.

If the documents submitted with the application are in a language other than Polish, it is worth remembering that they need to be translated into Polish by a sworn translator or by the Polish consul.

A detailed 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 a given country. Adherence to the documentation requirements is crucial to ensure that the citizenship application process goes smoothly.

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