Polish citizenship

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Polish citzenship
Polish citizenship my Polish passport

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.

dual US Polish citizenship
Dual US Polish citizenship – these are my passports – I mostly live in Poland.

Dual 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.






248 responses to “Polish citizenship”

  1. Paul

    If you are not a lawyer – you can always read and check all translated Polish citizenship Acts in “Polish citizenship” section on this website.


    It could be useful!

  2. James Kosydar

    My grandfather was born in Ropczyce, 1891, how do I secure a birth certificate, he went to the US in 1908 to find his brother. (I do have a copy of his death certificate from Ohio) I am trying to obtain dual citizenship, what other documents will I need. I plan to travel to Poland this summer. Thank you

    1. admin

      You have to either get it from the Polish government in Warsaw if it exists or they can confirm it via the embassy or you can go to the town and get something from the church. I did both. However, legally only the birth certificate counts. But I can tell you right now. You can get dual citizenship but you have to work for it. Do not think you can pick it up. You have to build a case and a lot of paper and it may take years and a lot of work. I did. But most people do not want to do this, they want to just pick on up.
      I moved to Poland and have lived here many years with my family. The reason is it does back so far and there is no direct transmission of citizenship. Work on your green card first maybe, this is easier as your of Polish blood.

  3. Laurence Grabowski-Cramer

    I am looking into my Polish heritage, my great grandfather came over in 1896 from Kraków. the Immigrated to Upstate NY (Utica) and then my grandmother moved out to California. What kind of documents do i need to obtain/where would i find them? My grandmother is the only living relative from this line and she was never taught Polish as a child. How difficult is it to learn polish?

    1. admin

      I learned Polish so can you. Read my post: claritaslux.com/how-i-learned-a-language/

      Citizenship you can not get as there was no Poland in 1896. What you could get is a Polish green card if you live there, no problem, just prove you are Polish, start with the Polish embassy for help, or do the research yourself at the Uząd. I did. I am not citizen in fact. But you have to work with the Polish government or do the research yourself. It is very possible but do not think you can just pick one up. You have to be committed to the process.

  4. Urszula

    Ok. I feel like I’m in a pickle. I have dual citizenship- Polish and US.
    I came to Poland several months ago and crossed the border with my Polish passport, after leaving the US on my American passport (which didn’t get stamped upon exit).
    For my Easter break, I plan on traveling back to the States, however, I’m afraid to cross the border because they could stop me for not having my US passport stamped after leaving the country and entering another country. However, I did apply for temporary residence in Poland and got it until the end of July.

    Basically, what I am wondering is if they will allow me back to the US even though I’ve been out of the country for a little over 6 months and living on my Polish citizenship? Do they have to know that I have a second citizenship?

    Thank you!

    1. admin

      The USA or Poland does not care about dual citizenship. In fact at the US embassy they helped me get the paper for my Polish citizenship. Look you are an American citizen they will not care abut stamps for you.
      Just always be honest, that is all they care about. Really many of my friends are Polish citizens and US citizens and it is no big deal with stamps.

  5. aj

    I have one grandparent that immigrated from Poland to the US.She was a citizen. Can i obtain citizenship from that?

    1. admin

      You can if your parents are determined to be citizens, if not you can get a green card and then work from there to get a citizenship.

    2. admin

      Yes, if you want to do the work. You need to prove that the citizenship is passed to you. If this can not be done then you have to go the long way like I did, that is make a case for citizenship based on Polish jus sanguinis and a real interest and desire to be Polish, including potentially living in Poland and learning the language. If you did this I think you can get Polish citizenship. I think it is worth it.

    3. admin

      Yes, if you want to get all the documentation together for citizenship and wait. I think Polish citizen is worth it.

  6. Martin

    I have dual US/Polish citizenship and am concerned about filing taxes properly. What advice do you have for people filing taxes as Polish residents living in Poland holding dual citizenship? Is there a company that deals with dual citizens tax situation in Warsaw?

    1. admin

      I started a reply to your comment about taxes for citizens and residents but it got pretty long and I changed it into a post so if you have any further questions about taxes, citizenship and residency please reply.

  7. Aleksandra


    I was born and raised in Poland until the age 13 and am a Polish citizen .I also became a US citizen in 1999, now, I’m wanting to travel back to Poland, do I need both a US and a Polish passport or can I just travel on the US one-the Polish one takes 6 months to get as I’m finding out, I’m getting mixed messages from many people.
    thank you very much

    1. admin

      It is very simple. Legally you need a Polish passport to travel to Poland. However, many people just use their USA passport and say nothing. I am not giving that advice. I am just saying people do it. A Polish passport will give you the right to live in the EU forever, so its not a bad thing to have.
      You need your US passport to enter the USA.
      The reason is the passport you enter on affects how the law sees you. If you break the law in Poland then you can not go crying to the US embassy, but rather must be a accountable to Polish law. But do not worry to much. Read what I wrote above and why not just get a Polish passport, I think its very cheap in US dollars, like 40 dollars or something. You can get it at the Polish embassy in the USA.

  8. Laurika

    Our family started the applying process of Polish citizenship about 4 years ago. We got a letter from the Polish embassy in South Africa where we live stating that we are entitled to Polish citizenship.Finally we send all the required paperwork in February 2008 and still wait upon our confirmation. How long does it take normally.

    1. admin

      If you have all your documents in order and you are waiting for confirmation that you are a citizen, rather than an application process, it is faster. It depends on the conditions but if it is just confirmation it should come any day (my friends took 3 months). But if there is some other requirement, it could take years (as mine was a special case it too years). You can call Warsaw directly but you need to speak Polish to the Uząd. Please let me know how you do with the phone call or the citizenship.

  9. michelle

    My grandmother was born in pre-1918 Poland. She moved to the US as a teenager in 1913 to work for an aunt so she could send money back to her parents and siblings who remained in Poland. Since her parents remained in Poland they would have become Polish citizens after 1918. Would she have automatically been considered a Polish citizen since her parents became citizens after the war? It seems that I might be able to claim citizenship through her as my grandparent, as long as I can prove her parents became Polish citizens after WWI?

    1. Mark Biernat

      If your grandmother married an American man under Polish law at that time she would have lost her citizenship. You always have to go back to Polish law at the time, not today. Therefore, I do not think you can get ‘confirmed’ Polish citizenship. However, since you have Polish roots you can get a green card for Poland as written in their constitution and apply after that like I did. It takes much longer, many years of waiting but once you have it is great.
      Start the process by getting all your documents in order. Everything you have any everything you can prove. Next build a detailed family tree in excel. Have the dates of birth and marriage etc on this family tree.
      Next get an application online or go to the Polish consulate they can help you with the process.

  10. michelle

    Thanks for the info. You have been very helpful. My grandfather was also born in Warsaw and left parents back in Poland when he immigrated around 1914. Unfortunately, that is about the extent of the info I have on him. It seems that my next step is to figure out if and when he became a US citizen. I’m assuming he did at some point, so it looks like the green card process is my best bet. Thanks again!

    1. Mark Biernat

      In 1914 Poland did not exist and there was no Polish citizenship, further, many people at that time did not even get American citizenship, they just came off the boat and went to work, the world was different.

      So your best option is to focus on a Polish greencard. It is written in the Polish constitution you can have one if you can prove you are of Polish roots, that is, Jus sanguinis or the right of blood.

      Like I have written create a family tree and organize all the documents you can, if you need to call Warsaw or go to Poland do it. It is worth it. If it takes years, let it take years, nothing in live is just handed to you, including Polish citizenship.

  11. michelle

    You are correct. I just learned that neither grandparent had US citizenship at the time of the 1930 census. Since my grandmother didn’t even obtain a social security number until 1973 (at 78 years of age), it is very likely that they never became US citizens. I will focus on proving my Polish roots and obtaining a green card. Thanks again!

  12. C

    Hi, my father was born in Poland but after moving to Australia after WW II gave up his citizenship to become Australian(a requirement). how can I get Polish citizenship?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Does Poland know he gave up his Polish citizenship? I think you can get Polish citizenship, the long way not their confirmation. However, I would talk to the Polish embassy. All you really need to do if fill out the application and provide the documentation.

  13. C

    I have a cousin and 2 second cousins living in Poland at the moment who are Poles.

  14. Piotr

    Hello Mark
    I ‘ve prepared all documents BUT I was surprised by ‘Urząd Miasta staff’ asking me to provide them with a document stating why I want the Polish citizenship.
    And I came out with your website, especially what you wrote:[•Now create a document stating why you want Polish citizenship and all good things about Poland and what you can do for Poland.], and this is exactly what I need.
    Can you plz provide me with some hints how that document should look like(what to write exactely!).
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I know this sounds cliche but it has to come from your your heart. When I was 13 I too my lawn mowing money and bought a Polish flag that I still have today. I have always been crazy about Poland. The reason I wanted to be a citizen was nothing to do with the passport because I already had a US Passport and a Polish visa. It had to do with why I loved Poland and what I wanted to contribute to Poland.
      I wish I could unleash and give you my reasons but I think its better you think of your own as if they ask you in an interview you want it to sound natural. My grandparents were from Poland and escaped Russian occupation as they were patriots and the Russians wanted to send him somewhere. My grandfather always wanted to return to Poland, but it was communist. Now that Poland is free I wanted to come back.

  15. Nathan

    All of my paternal great grandparents were born in Poland and were Polish citizens, but my paternal grandparents were both born in the United States. My mother’s side of the family does not have any Polish. Would I qualify for Polish citizenship? Is there any other requirements other than obtaining all of the necessary paperwork (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.)

    Thanks you, Nathan

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think it is to far removed to get citizenship of Poland confirmed, but you can get a Polish green card. Then from there apply for Polish citizenship. Basically you have to pick up an application for permanent residence from the Polish embassy or Polish consulate website. The details are there. What you have to do is create a full history of your lineage as you have conveyed to me, but in more detail and support it with as much paper as you can, that is legal or even church documents as you can.

  16. Mark Biernat

    Even though your words are nice, I would not live anywhere rent free for 2 years. Maybe you and your family can move to your country where you are a lawyer? Is that not better than living off of some Polish guy for two years? What country are you from? Why can you not get a job? My friend from Tunsia got a job in 2 weeks after coming here and does not speak Polish.
    You have had 2 years?

  17. Patrick

    Hello Mark.

    I’m currently applying for confirmation of Polish citizenship. I know i will receive it as both my parents are Polish born and were married in Poland.
    My question is what are the steps required to receive a polish passport and what documents are required. I am organising everything through the Polish consulate here in Australia.

    Regards Patrick

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need two passport photos and about 30 dollars. You pay less if you are a student and a few other things. You just need your letter that you are a citizen. On the photo you have to be serious, you can not smile. You have have to look straight, not to the side and you do not have to show your ear like in the past.

      Welcome to the club. Poland is a great country.

  18. Naftali

    Hello Mark. I have recently submitted my application
    for Polish Citizenship. My grandfather on my Fathers side was born and raised in Poland and immigrated to America in the late 1920/early 1930s. He married an American women and eventually gained American citizenship. The documents I submitted all prove his Polish background, such as an old US passport,Marriage certificate stating place of birth,as well as American immigration documents stating place of birth as well as A last name change. How long will this process take and how soon can I confirm A Polish passport. Also, is there a way to speed things up, as I am eager to begin my Polish Journey soon. Thank You.

    1. Mark Biernat

      A few years ago people were getting citizenship in months based on confirmation, but there is such a backlog in Warsaw I would say much longer. I think even though you have citizenship though your grandparents, they were all male and under Polish law at that time, Polish citizenship passed easier though the male, so you I think will eventually get it. When? I do not know, what did they say, I think they have a good idea. But I would guess if your case is easy, that is your father has citizenship, less than six months, and you have all documentation. If it is complex, many years. But look you can live and work in Poland now with a visa because you have Polish roots.

  19. Hi Jack zavaty mnie jest zpytanya Urodziłem się w Polska nie perybuvav 3 miesiące ukrayinyi moich rodziców 1918 dukumenty MaB Wiem, że może on świadkiem w neruzumiyus tsemu mogę otrzymać obywatelstwo napisz Polska będzie bardzo wdzięczny

    1. Mark Biernat

      Polish visa and citizenship is based on blood rather than nationality. However, if you can make and argument that you have Polish blood, I think you can get citizenship. You just have to start this at the Polish embassy.

  20. zvyrtayus ponownie zaznacza, mieszkam w ukraińskich rodziców visimnatsyat masz lat mnie źle zruzumily więc napisałem Yab obywatelstwa pozhit może zrobić jeszcze raz tylko Polski wie, gdzie zvyrnutys mam takie dukumenty ksiazeczka zdrowia dziecka

  21. Kuba Przedzienkowski

    INteresting article. I lived in Poland in 2006/7 and had a karta pobyta for one year the two years. My wife left me and I came back to the US to divorce her. I am ready to move back to Poland and will restart the process. Both grandparents were born in Poland but I did not get citizenship automatically. I have the akt urodzin from them as well as the ships they traveled to the US on. i still have relatives in the Okalewo and Zatorowizna area where my grandparents came from. I started to build a house but had to stop.
    I am thinking next year of returning. Since I go genealogy research I have lots of documentation.

  22. Kuba Przedzienkowski

    Ah yes, no Poland in 1898 when my grandfather and mother came to the US.
    Back to karta pobyta.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I am very sorry to hear about your wife, I can not believe she did that to you. Anyway, get the green card first and then citizenship will follow pretty easy after. You need to go to the office for foreigners – Its usualy next to the place Polish people pick up their passports.
      With Polish grandparents you should have no problem. Once you have that, just apply for citizenship and wait.

  23. Kuba Przedzienkowski


    Last time I went to Wloclawek and filed and it then went to Bydgoszcz.
    So that is what I will do again. I have a PESEL already.

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you have a PESEL you are in the system and it is a lot easier, you have respect.

  24. Shane

    Hi I am wondering about Polish Citizenship, I have been dating a girl from Poland for 4 years and we have travelled all over back and forth and we want to marry next year. If we marry in Poland does it automatically make me a Polish Citizen and her a Canadian? Is it easy to marry in Poland as far as documentation goes?

    Shane K

    1. Mark Biernat

      After about three years of marriage and living in the country you can apply for citizenship, then you wait for a while.

  25. Alan

    Hi – Both of my paternal grandparents were born in Poland in the 1890’s. My father was born in Poland in 1920. The whole family emigrated to the US in 1922. My grandparents became US citizens in the 1930’s, but my father never did. Do you think that I am considered a Polish citizen? Thanks.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You can get a green card for Poland pretty easy, however, citizenship you will have to wait for 5 years. To be confirmed citizens you need to show a paternal line unbroken of citizenship passed.

    2. Mark Biernat

      I think Poland is a great place to live and have citizenship for, I think you should go for it.

  26. Heloise

    Hi Mark.
    Your page is really interesting.
    I´m brazilian that live in London and are seeking for a polish passport.
    My great grandfather was from Warsaw, he went to Brazil with his parents before 1920, his second marriage was with my great grandmother in 1917, her parents were both polish. My grandmother was born in Brazil in 1919.
    I found my great grandparent´s marriage certificate and they death certificate.
    Do you think I can get the polish citizenship?
    To get a polish green card I need to leave in Poland, don´t I?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Yes, if you can prove it. You can get a green card but not a citizenship directly until you live there. You have to get all the documents birth and marriage officially translated and build a case. This may take 2 years for you to build the case, but I think you can do it. I do not think you can just pick one up of course.

  27. Heloise

    Thanks for your help.
    Should I start the case at the Poland´s Consulate or do I need to go to Poland?
    If I get the green card, is it valid in another European Country?
    And, if I have the green card, howlong do I need to leave in Poland to get the citizenship?
    God bless you!

  28. Divakar reddy

    Hello there

    I am an Indian passport holder. My wife is Polish and we have a 1 year old daughter with a Polish passport. We live in the Czech Republic. Can I get a Polish passport or citizenship? How long will it take? And will this require me to live in Poland for a certain period. ( I have never lived in Poland till date) If I do get a Polish citizenship will I be allowed to work in the UK with it?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need to wait about three and a half years and you can apply, after that it will be about 2 years, I think it will not be a problem if you are married to a Polish citizen.

  29. Karthik KrishneGowda

    I am from India,Bangalore. I am going to study my Master Degree, Warsaw University of Technology, in Poland for 22 months from October 2010 and I am an Exchange Student. I am on student Visa (Type D). Is it possible for me to work in Poland after I complete my Course for few years and then get a Poland Citizenship?. Nobody in my family have earlier lived in Poland.Please tell me what I have to do to get Poland Citizenship.

  30. Ed

    I am from Canada
    My Father came from Poland in approximately 1955.
    I am looking to get a Polish citizenship for my son so he may play hockey in Poland. My Father has passed away. What direction should I go to achieve this?


    Ed of Canada

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think you need to go to the Polish embassy and they will guide you. You basically need proof and documentation and this will not be a major problem.

  31. Romayne


    I just returned from travelling Europe, mainly Poland after 3 months. I am a Canadian Citizen and my grandfather was born in Poland in 1902. I have his Polish Passport, his WWI journal issued by the government and a copy of when he landed in Canada in 1929 via ancestry.ca.

    My initial reason for the trip was to find the village he came from and to find if any of his relatives survived WWII. With the help of a lovely family I had met in Krakow they are checking in to this for me (as luck would have it, the ladies best friend is from the same village). I am waiting patiently and I am very hopeful to find my family roots.

    I fell in love with Poland. Europe has always felt like home to me, but the beauty of Poland captured my heart.

    Please help me find a way to make my way “back home”


    1. Mark Biernat

      I love Poland also, it is a very special place. The bottom line is if you have Polish blood you can get a green card. All you have to do is prove it with paper. If you have his passport there is even a chance you can get confirmed as citizen if it is from your father’s side. Go to the Polish embassy and they can start the process or the next time you are in Krakow and I show you where to go here. There is a complex of government offices at the main Rondo in Krakow.

  32. nicolas

    I have Polish bloodlines. Can I apply for citizenship from Poland? And can I get a green card while in Poland (rather than U.S)? What is it called, the green card?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Karta Pobytu is what it is called in the short form. Yes just get all the documents you can in order, mostly birth and marriage and create and family tree. Then you have to apply. I need to expand this post with more detail as I get a lot of questions from people who love Poland like me.

  33. Shay

    I am an Israeli citizen that got his Polish citizenship about two years ago. I have my passport but for now it is still empty because I haven’t been in Poland since I became a citizen.
    I have a question: According to Polish law, is it possible to have another two other citizenships? Let’s say that I will become a Canadian citizen, for example. Will the Polish “side” have a problem with me having additional two citizenships?
    Thank you.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Dual citizenship is no problem. It is just that when you are in Poland you are Polish, when in Israel you are Israeli and in Canada you are Canadian etc. That means you are responsible for the laws of the country you reside. So even if it not recognized officially, it is allowed. I have a dual citizenship and the USA and Poland are aware of it. I just have to pay my taxes.

  34. Jane Malis

    All four of my grandparents were born in Poland in the 1880’s and emigrated to the USA in the 1890’s or early 1900’s. I will be transferring to Poland because of my job. Am I eligible for Polish citizenship?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Where are you moving to? Wow what is your job? Poland is great I think you will enjoy it. If you can document it you can get a Polish green card. I think this will not be a problem for you. You can live and work in Poland forever and this will lead to Polish citizenship if you fill out the paperwork.
      Just show a connection between you and your grandparents via documents. If you have any connection just let me know.

  35. Ohad

    My grandparents were born in Poland, but my parents were both born in Israel and they don’t have Polish citizenship. Do you maybe know I still have a chance to get Polish citizenship and afterwards a Polish passport? I don’t have many papers (my grandfather died and my grandmother has altzeimer) but I’m planning a trip to Poland and hopefully acquire some over there. Do you have any idea how long i would have to stay there to get all these papers? I know where my grandmother was born, so I’m planning to go to her village, but i don’t speak Polish.

    I read on a site of a lawyer that it’s not possible to get Polish citizenship if my parents don’t have any. They said that my parents would first have to apply for their own Polish citizenship (and receive it) before i can do anything. Is this true? I rather not bother them with all this..


    1. Mark Biernat

      Ohad, if you work at it I think you can get citizenship by naturalization or repatriation. You just can not get confirmed as a Polish citizen, but that does not mean you can not get it. Where were they born? What part of Poland because the boarders have shifted. If they were at one time Polish citizens, Warsaw, I think, will have the record, even it is like 100 years ago.
      What part of Poland were they from?

  36. Bronislaw

    Please let me know if I can get a Green card and what does it entitle me to?
    I am in the process of applying for citizenship as I was born in Poland (Sosnowiec) and my parents were both Polish but it is taking forever and getting documents is proving difficult e.g. grandparent’s documents. I have supplied my birth certificate and citizenship certificate (Australian)and marriage certificate but they require more and when I ask what more they say “nie wiem”.
    I left Poland for France at the end of the WWII with a false passport because the Bolshevics were occupying Poland and I was young and wanted to study abroad. I never renounced my Polish citizenship as I never had any certificate or documentation to confirm that I was Polish but I am jus sanguinis

    1. Mark Biernat

      In my mind you are a Polish citizen just need confirmation. I am pretty sure you are already a Polish citizen, just get your birth document and they can confirm it. Actually I do not think you even need to apply, just get your birth certificate from Poland and get a passport of Dowód Osobity like a normal Polish guy.
      The benefits of a green card or citizenship? You can basically live and work and retired (very cheap) anywhere in the EU including Poland. Your have many countless benefits. The world is yours with an EU citizenship. I love Poland and for me it is a real privilege.
      You have to push them. They have never seen anything like this. You have to really be on them or they will give you nie wiem all day as they are just government office workers. Call sosnowiec.pl/urzad_miejski/ and just get your Polish birth act. Call Warsaw, I think it is very simple, I think you are Polish citizen and do not even need to apply. They will have your birth certificate. If you have your Polish birth certificate they do not care about your marriage or Australsian citizenship. You are already a Polish citizen. Just pick up an ID or passport. I would push them and not be persistant as they are just government clerks and have no power other then to stamp things. The law is the law you are a citizen if you have a Polish birth certificate in my opinion.

  37. Bronislaw

    Thank you for your advice. I just remembered to check out your site today. In the meantime I have been sitting waiting for some bureaucrat to contact me but no luck. I will be persistent and chase them as you suggest. My wife keeps telling me I am entitled to citizenship as I am a Pole but they don’t want to recognise me and my visa will run out on 29th of this month. Should I perhaps contact a member of parliament and would you know who that would be?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I was checking into it. You are not entitled to citizenship, you are a Polish citizen. Unless I do not know something. This is crazy. I would not go under the idea of ‘please help me get my citizenship’ from the Uząd workers. I would say I am a Polish citizen, born here. Here is my birth certificate. They do not care about Australia. You are Polish and born in Poland. Confirmation of citizenship is more like if you were born in Australia. Your a Polish guy. You have your birth certificate. Just go to the Urząd and be persistent. Really, workers do not know anything. You have to tell them, that you are Polish, here is your birth certificate and you want a Dowód. Is there any reason, you can not pick it up? Talk to Warsaw. Ask them for a number. Call them. Really get on them.
      Go to – Wniosek do dowodu osobistego – fill in this document. 2 fotos for your dowoód. Its 35 pln. And go to the Urząd where he is now. If you do not have an official residence, go to a major city. If you do not have an address. But Nie Mam. Which means you are homeless. Nothing wrong with that, you are Polish. My friend did this.
      You are Polish. Make it their problem. Come to Krakow or a major city where they know what they are doing.

    2. Mark Biernat

      These are big cities and they see a lot of these cases. Call them.
      Wydział Spraw Cudzoziemców

      ul. Długa 5, 00-263 Warszawa
      tel. (22) 695 65 75
      tel. (22) 695 69 51

      Wydział Spraw Obywatelskich i Cudzoziemców
      Kraków, ul. Przy Rondzie 6
      adres do korespondencji:
      ul. Basztowa 22, 31-156 Kraków

      tel. 12 4223105

  38. Bronislaw

    Thanks once again. Today I have been in 2 places – firstly I should tell you I am in Warsaw. I went to Urzad Miasta in Nowogrodska 43 to see about a PESEL. I was informed the Urzad Wojewwodzki have to approve my application first – it was submitted to them 2.5 months ago along with my birth certificate,(which I got with no problem from Sosnowiec) a CV and 2 photocopies of my passport (Australian).
    After a month or so a letter came from them with the following requests:
    1.Certificate of wedding of my parents
    2.Detailed information of my domicile prior to 1939
    3 Documents stating Polish citizenship of my father e.g. passport or identity card (he died in 1942)
    4.Document about my change of name to Henri Andre
    5.Document about my life in France 1945-1950
    6.Documents about duty in General Anders Army
    7.Document showing my arrival to Australia in 1950
    All this was due to be delivered by the 10/9/2010 – Of course it won’t be as I cannot get these things.
    Seems they don’t take any notice of my birth certificate. Do you think I should get a lawyer (as much as I don’t like them) Thank you for your patience with me.
    My wife of almost 50 years is applying for a visa extension at ul Dulga 5 as she says she doesn’t want to go through all this bureaucracy to get citizenship. I finished Baccalaureat in Paris and in Sydney I did Bachelor of Science (mathematics, physics & statistics) and then Medicine – a 6 year course but they treat me like a serf!

    1. Mark Biernat

      Again, I think you are a Polish citizen, even without the paperwork and they will not kick you out of Poland. You can get a lawyer for sure to help you with it if you can afford it. I think there are many places that specialize in these things.
      Like I said even if you have no home or no ID, does not mean you are not a citizen. There are many homeless guys like this. Does it mean they are not citizen? Of course not.
      I would talk to firm that knows about this. Keep trying.
      Just based on that process they started I think they can grant you a visa until they clear things up. For me I was granted a visa until my case came up. They should know all this.

  39. Kat

    Hello! Do you know anything about CK and Partners law firm that says they will help people sort out their Polish citizenship?

    I think I should qualify, as my great-grandmother was born in Poland and did not renounce to my knowledge. However, I’m not sure whether my grandmother still has her documentation (if she even left Poland with it, as she fled during World War I). I am just now starting my process to see whether I qualify.


    1. Mark Biernat

      You can not get citizenship even if you pay a law firm, too much time went by. However, you can get a Polish green card I think by doing it yourself. This will lead to Polish citizenship. I would start with the Polish embassy and the application. Either way you are the one who has to collect the documents. I did it alone and so can you.

  40. Richard

    Hi Mark. Thanks for your wonderful site about getting a Polish Passport. I would like to tell your readers my experience. I was born in Australia but had Polish parents. So i was able to apply based on bloodline i guess. Like you say it is not a 3 to 6 month process – mine took nearly 2 and a half years. All the documents had to be translated into polish, all my application forms and answers had to be in polish everything. I highly recommend getting a qualified translator to help you out. It cost me about Aus$1200 to get everything done but it was well worth it! Otherwise i would still be trying to get it now. I applied for my passport about a year after Poland entered the EU. So it was a new red tape nightmare. But be patient, never get angry or upset, it does not help your cause. It takes time but just think of the huge benefit it will bring to you. I have an Australian Passport – I can live and work in Australia and New Zealand. I also have a Polish Passport and i can live and work in Poland as well as most of the European Union countries as well as Norway. This is a fantastic thing to be able to have in this day and age of uncertainty. But the application has to be done with plenty of preparation and patience.
    If i can do it , so can you!

  41. Miltos

    hi there!
    I am a citizen of the E.U. (Greece) and I have studied in Poland (4 years). They informed me that I have the right to apply for Polish citizenship after living in Poland for 5 years. Is this true? As an E.U. citizen and since I have studied here for 4 years , I can apply for it in 1 year? what are the benefits (since i am already an E.U. citizen)? Someone told me that the years of studying count as half, so my 4 years will count as 2.Is this true?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I do not think the years of study count as half, I never heard of this but it might be true. I am sorry I do not know. The law is after 5 years you can start the application process. You could even start it now, but they will not look at it until after year 5.
      I think having two passports are great. You never know when they will come in handy. It will not give you any unique advantage in terms of work or travel, since you are already an EU citizen, but again, you never know. If you want to stay in Poland I think it helps. If you want to switch countries, as many people do for tax or political reasons, people like to have two passports. But I think it would be more for fun.

  42. Paul

    Thank you for your webpage.

    My great-grandfather was born in Poland and his family left to America because of persecution(they were Jewish). Is this grounds for Polish descent?

    Many Thanks,

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you can prove it yes. Jews were Poles and under Polish law are just like everyone else. You can get a green card if you can prove it. It is in the Polish constitution.

  43. serwad

    I was wondering if you could answer a question, I am married to a polish national and we have a child together,both my child and wife have Polish citizenship,can I get Polish citizenship whilst we are leaving in the UK or does it require me to be in Poland before I can get the Polish citizenship.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You have to live in Poland for 3 1/2 years with a visa, before you can apply.

  44. Justyna Pazera

    Hi there.
    I have a South African and a Polish passport. I want to travel to Dubai to I need a VISA and what are the requirements? Which passport will be better to travel on?
    Kind regards

    1. Mark Biernat

      It does not matter as long as the Passport is valid for 6 months from time of entry. Other than that either way. For requirements you have a lot, including, hotel, financial and confirmed airline ticket etc. Check their website as there are about a dozen little things you need.

  45. Aga

    What countries can you live in without a visa with a Polish passport? I live in England for the past 4 years and i have a polish passport , on summer i want to travel to South Korea and do I Need Visa to get there?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think you need a short term tourist visa, which is good for 90 days. It should be no problem to get this.

  46. bronislaw

    Finally I can tell you I have been called a Polish citizen and have a piece of paper which says ‘posiada obywatelstwo polskie’. However I have not been able to get a polish passport in the 6 months I have been here trying for one. There are a couple of problems but I have a ‘mopountain’ of paper work that I will show to the customs when I exit Zurich in a few days time. I have overstayed my free 90 day visa by 90 days beacuse I was told ‘be patient, just wait, everything will be fine’ Do you have any clue as to how the Zurich authorities will treat me? My wife is OK as she has a Karta Pobytu.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I do not know. You have to explain your situation to them. I think ultimately no matter what the rule is, people are the ones that give you flexibility if it is in order. If you are Polish citizen and explain all this, it might be OK. If not, I think they will just tell you not to come back to Switzerland for a year or something. Some people ‘lose’ their passport and do things like that. But I would just be honest.

  47. elias

    Tell me please what kind of taxes do man have to pay? Do I have to pay taxes if I am living in other country?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Basically you have to pay taxes to the place you are physically present 180 days out of the year. It is a physical presence test. However, some countries like the USA you are responsible for reporting world wide income regardless and although there is an exclusion for about the first 90k of income, you will have to pay double taxation after that. So it depends on your country and which passport you have and where you live and how much you make etc.

  48. Eddie

    Hi Mark, I’ve been married to a polish lady now for two years and Im South African. We currently live in England but want to move to Poland to raise the kids when they do come round.Ive been getting a visa to work and study here in England which costs me a small fortune and Ive been around to various websites but they do not state anything specifically for my needs. What would you think would be a good plan of action as I would like to get a Polish passport so I can live in peace

    Yours thankfully.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I do not understand. You want to live in Poland? Than it is easy. Move to Poland get a visa via the Urząd. In about 5 years of living legally in Poland you will get a Polish citizenship. But you need to live in Poland and the Police will of course check you. Like they checked me. Also you need to show that you have medical coverage and you can support yourself before they will give you a visa.

  49. Tuesdei

    My grandmother was born in Poland in 1890 and lived there until about 1910. My grandfather was Russian/Polish. I’m not sure if he was born in Poland, or Russia but came to America at the same time. I don’t believe my grandparents ever renounced Poland as their homeland and that their American citizenship was based on their children being native born Americans. If my grandparents never renounced Poland thus making all their children Polish citizens then wouldn’t that mean all that all of my siblings and cousins, on that side of the family, are all Polish Citizens? I’m just connecting the dots. I’m not asking if I can get citizenship. I’m asking if we already are Polish Citizens.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Polish citizenship at that time is transferred by the male. Your father would have to claim it than maybe you. Also there was no Poland until after WWI. So this is also an issue and depending on what passport they had when they immigrated. I recommend starting a case for a greencard or visa based on repatriation rather than simply confirmation which I think is less likely. From there you can get citizenship like I did after living in Poland.

  50. Dale

    Hi Mark.

    I have just been given my PESEL number. From the date that I apply, how long should it take to get my passport?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I went to the passport office and got mine in less than a month.