Polish Citizenship by Descent | Residence Permit in Poland

In case you have ancestors who hold Polish citizenship you might be eligible for obtaining Polish citizenship by descent. There are several ways to obtain Polish citizenship by descent, which are described below. The first step one could take is to check whether they possess Polish citizenship. The procedure can be started in Poland or at one of the Polish consulates abroad.

If you know that your ancestors were of Polish origin or hold Polish citizenship but you do not have supporting document – an archival research may be required.

I. Confirmation of possession of Polish citizenship: required documents

  • completed application form for the confirmation of Polish citizenship (in Polish)
  • birth certificate
  • passport of other ID
  • other documents confirming Polish ancestry (e.g. ancestors’ birth, baptism, marriage certificates, copies of Polish passport, archival documents)
  • marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • applicant’s old Polish passport (if applicable)
  • power of the attorney for a person residing in Poland to act on behalf of the applicant (receiving correspondence etc.)
  • consular fee

Documents should be translated to Polish language by a translator registered in Poland.

II. Polish citizenship by descent: Restoration of Polish citizenship

Foreigners who used to hold Polish citizenship but for some reason lost it before 1 January 1999 may restore it on the basis of Art 38 of Polish citizenship law:

Article 38. 1. Polish citizenship shall be restored to the alien at his/her request if Polish citizenship had been lost before 1 January 1999 under the following regulations:
1) Article 11 or 13 of the Citizenship of the Polish State law of 20 January 1920 (Dz. U. lvl. 44, from 1932 lvl. 896, from 1934 lvl. 976, from 1938 lvl. 548 and from 1946 lvl. 106),
2) Article 11 or 12 of the Polish citizenship law of 8 January 1951 (Dz.U. lvl. 25),
3) Article 13, 14 or 15 of the Polish Citizenship law of 15 February 1962 (Dz. U. from 2000 lvl. 353, with later amendments)

2. Polish citizenship shall not be restored to the alien who:
1) voluntarily joined, in the period from 1 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the military of the countries of the Axis Alliance or their allies;
2) accepted, from 1 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, a public office in the services of the countries of the Axis Alliance or their allies;
3) acted to the detriment of Poland, especially to the detriment of Poland’s independence and sovereignty, or participated in violation of human rights.

3. Polish citizenship shall not be restored to the alien if such a restoration constitutes a threat to the external security or defense of the state or to the public security and public order.

Restoration of Polish citizenship: required documents

  • application to the Minister of Interior for the restoration of Polish citizenship
  • passport or other ID
  • biography
  • documents confirming all the facts stated in the biography
  • name change documents (if applicable)
  • documents confirming the loss of citizenship (if applicable)
  • power of the attorney for a person residing in Poland to act on behalf of the applicant (receiving correspondence etc.)

III. Polish citizenship by descent: Repatriation to Poland

On 7 April 2017, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland passed the law amending the Repatriation Act of 9 November 2000. The purpose of the law is to simplify the procedure of returning of persons of Polish origin who were deported by the communist authorities to the Asian part of the former USSR, as well as their descendants, to Poland. The law came into forth on 1 may 2017.

According to the amendments, the government commissioner for repatriation will issue decisions on allocation of a place in the adaptation center. Repatriates will receive financial assistance, which, however, can not exceed PLN 25,000 per repatriate.

The applicant shall acquire Polish citizenship upon the entry to the Republic of Poland based on a repatriation visa. Repatriation visa can be granted to a person, who meets all the following requirements:

  • is of Polish origin
  • he/she or their ancestors were deported by the communist authorities
  • before 1 January 2001 has been permanently residing in the following territories: Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Georgia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkmenistan, Republic of Uzbekistan, the Asiatic Russia.

Repatriation visa can also be granted to the spouse and descendants (children, grandchildren) up to the 4th generation of the applicant, who meets all the requirements.

IV. Polish citizenship by descent: recognition as a Polish citizen

Recognition as a Polish citizen – here we consider only the case of obtaining Polish citizenship by descent – is regulated by the Art 30. 1. 7) of the Polish citizenship act:
A foreigner is recognized as a Polish citizens if he/she has been living in Poland for at list one year on the basis of a permanent residence which he/she had obtained based on Polish origin or possession of a Pole’s Card (also Polish Card, The Card of the Pole).

In this case the applicant must also provide a state certificate of proficiency in Polish language, or a graduate certificate obtained in Poland, or a graduate certificate from a school with Polish language classes abroad.

An application for recognition as a Polish citizen is submitted to the Voivode (Article 34 of the Citizenship Law).

A lot of useful information about Poland can be found on the website of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.

We provide a full range of services regarding obtaining Polish citizenship by descent through various procedures. If you have any questions or if you need to conduct an archival research in order to prove that your ancestors were of Polish origin or hold Polish citizenship please contact us anytime.