I am an American who acquired Polish citizenship. The purpose of this post is to explain the rules of Polish citizenship and how I obtained it. I hope this information will be of value to you.
If your a good hardworking, honest person of Polish decent then here is a chance to get the best citizenship in the world, Polish citizenship and prepare for repatriation.
Rules for Polish citizenship
- Polish citizen by birth – Confirmation by having one parent that is a Polish citizen. This is clear and not a problem no matter where you are born in the world. It is interesting if you were born in Poland but not of Polish blood you might not get a obywatelstwo polskie.
- Polish citizenship by naturalization – This is having lived legally with a permanent karta pobytu (Polish green card or visa) for 5 1/2 years in Poland. This can be accelerated by marriage but do not count on it.
- Polish citizen by descent – If you are Polish blood you are Polish. If your grandfather was Polish, prove it and there is a chance you could get citizenship from Poland. Note is you are from the East like Ukraine or Belurus you can get a Karta Polaka to confirm membership to the Polish nation pretty easy.
How to obtain a Polish citizenship
My simple answer is you have to work for it. It took me a lot of work, but it was fun and the people in the Polish Uzad were great. Poland is a great country and many people want to live in Poland. Therefore, the office of foreigners affairs is over worked with applications.
Do not expect to just pick up a citizenship or visa because you are American or have an Aunt that was Polish. Poland is an Eu country and has a rich legal system. It is like trying to get in the USA, it requires work and patience.
The law and the constitution connected to who is a Polish citizen gets complex for cases with people that came before Poland was a country. However, because of Polish history who is defined as Polish is based on ancestry rather than boarders.
Do some work, do not be lazy, learn Polish (although it is not required it will make your life easier as it is the official language of Poland and the only language they official will speak) and fill out paper.
You might need to get official translations of American documents. And no the US embassy does not care you are applying for another citizenship, they will even help you.
Concrete steps to get Polish citizenship
If you can not get citizenship confirmed because your parents are Polish or if you are not married to a Polish citizen then here are the steps and similar to the steps I followed.
- Polish nationality is based on jus sanguinis. Make a family tree. Do this in Excel and include dates and citizenship information. Be honest and detail, basically tell your family story.
- Put together folder for the important people on your family tree. For example get birth certificates of your parents, marriage certificates, baptismal certificates. If you mention that your grandmother had a Polish passport, if you can get it copy it. Show it to the Polish office. I actually had it from 1921. I went to the priest in my family village and got vital records etc. I backed up what I had on my family tree with everything I could. Put it on paper and prove it, even if you have to fly to Poland. The Polish government has great records and will help you.
- Create your own personal story. Include education, work history.
- Create a document showing your ability to support yourself via bank accounts and income, tax documents anything.
- Now create a document stating why you want Polish citizenship and all good things about Poland and what you can do for Poland.
Make an excel spreadsheet and write all your factual information you have about your family history.
Next go to the Uząd or Polish consulate and pick up and application ask 1000 questions to the people and keep coming back. I was at the Polish office maybe 100 times, no exaggeration, building a case.
Below I have a link to tell you were to get the forms if you live in the US.
Polish citizenship as a legal case
The bottom line is citizenship will be based on some law on paper. If they can not trace a direct line of citizenship then, get a green card, as stated in the Polish constitution for Poles around the world. Then build your case even further. With time they can make a case more based on special consideration, than exact transference of Polish citizenship.
I am a dual US and Polish citizen. When I am in Poland I enter on my Polish passport and obey Polish law. When I am in the US I enter on my US passport and obey US law. I am responsible for taxes and pay taxes to the USA and Poland. However, because I make a pittance and there is an exclusion allowance it is not a major issue for me (For example, the US allows you to exclude 90k USD foreign income or expats). If I was making six figures it would start to be an issue.
Dual citizens are allowed but not recognized by both countries. It means you just have to be a good guy and pay taxes and obey the law and no problems.
Being a Polish national and loving it
It is pretty cool having two passports. Although the main document in Poland is a Dowód Osobisty (Republic of Poland identity card) two passports and a draw full of EU and US currencies makes you feel a little like some international many of mystery or Jason Bourne if you will.
You will also get a you get a PESEL a NIP and a Nasza Klasa account. You will learn about theses latter.
I am very happy and proud that I have a Polish citizenship. Many people say this is an EU citizenship and you can live anywhere. I want to live in Poland.
Here is a good place to start in the USA to apply for Polish Citizenship.
Questions about becoming a Polish citizen
I am waiting for your questions. I am not an expert or a lawyer but I know a lot about the process as I went though it myself. So please leave a question or reply.