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. Nelson

    Thank you so much for your webpage.
    I’m a Kenyan and have been married to a polish national now for two years,We are living and working in England with our children that were born in England.
    I would like to know if I am entitle for a Polish citizenship despite that we are living in England and how long do I need to wait before I can be entitle for the citizenship?
    And do you think my children are also entitle for the Polish citizenship because their mother is a polish despite that they were born and living in England?

    Thank you.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Your children are for sure full Polish citizens at birth. You will have to apply, however, I think you need to live in Poland with a visa status.

      1. Laurie

        If I have American and Italian citizenship, can I live in Poland permanently or do I need to obtain green card or visa? So basically does my Italian citizenship give me privilege to stay in Poland permanently, say for retirement.


        1. Mark Biernat

          Italian citizenship is EU citizenship so you can live in Poland like Someone from Illinois can live in New York. Not a problem, no border checks, no one cares. However, to get into the system, for example to rent a flat you have to register, like every Polish person does, even me at the town hall where you live. They are doing away with this but it is one of the through backs from communism.

          But you can live there freely from my undestanding, most people do no even registar franlkly and if you have any problems you can go to the office of foreiger affairs and they are helpful as that is their job.

  2. Mike

    My great grandfather was born and Poland and moved to the USA as a child. I am Canadian, and was wondering if you might know if I would be entitled to citizenship or a green card? If only a green card, do you know how many years of residency it takes before being able to apply for citizenship, and how many months a year is required inside of Poland per year during the residency period? I work in the ski industry and could work 6 months a year in Poland but would have to leave for 5-6 months a year

    Thanks so much,

    1. Mark Biernat

      Green card only and then about 5 years of time in Poland as a resident, if you find your a nice Polish girl to marry it will be 3 years. Great ski resorts in Europe. I think you would have to just set up a residence and spend 6 months a year in the EU while waiting for citizenship.
      The hard thing will be to get all the documents to prove you are of Polish blood. I did and so can you. But it takes determination and patience.

      1. samantha

        I and my husband are Indian citizens, but we gave birth to our baby in Polaand, Now the kid is Polish property and we want to travel India to meet our parents along with our baby. But the govt has granted visa for 1 week for both baby and his mom, now I want to confirm if I travel back to Poland whether I will get extended stay of Poland along with my kid, or I have to leave the country after expiry of my visa.
        Moreover I have applied for extension in Poland, so kindly tell me by what time I will get the extension.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Poland is a wonderful place to live but your son does not have any real rights in Poland beyond the visa issued by the government as place of birth has little to do with citizenship in the EU. Your son is an Indian citizen like his parents and will need a visa. If you have a visa you will have no problem getting one for your son. However, your son’s place of birth has no real impact on your situation.
          Talk to the office for foreigners in Poland and let them guide you on this.

  3. Mike

    Hi, thanks for the quick reply!
    Just one last quick question. From your reply it sounds like maybe you do not have to spend the residency period in Poland, just in the EU itself? I would think that having a green card in Poland would entitle you to work only in Poland, not the entire EU?

    I can get an ancestry visa to the UK that would have the same 5 year restriction before citizenship as Poland, but they don’t have many ski areas in the UK! (at least not good ones like the rest of Europe). My ultimate goal is a EU passport so I can live/work in the Alps.

    I don’t think the documents should be too hard, I’ve asked my grandmother and she seems to think she has a Polish birth certificate for her father. Also, coincidentally I have four good friends that are Polish-Canadians and speak Polish, so that should help with translating documents.

    Again, thank you very much for taking the time to help everyone out. It’s rare to find someone like you on the internet these days!

  4. Stephen

    If I am not Polish by blood or anything could I still possibly get Polish citizenship?

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you live in the country for 5 years with a legal status and reason yes. I do not think it is that hard, but you need to be in good moral and legal standing and be patient and create a case for why you should be a Polish citizen.

  5. Johnny


    I am a US citizen and currently living in Poland. I have obtained a Pesel number and confirmation of my citizenship. Is it possible to get a Polish Passport without going through the headache of getting a Dowod Osobisty? If so please let me know where to go.

    The urzad near Imelin in Waw is a nightmare and I recommend anyone reading this to avoid that place at all costs.

    1. Mark Biernat

      There should be no problem getting a dowod. I am an American and got one in a few weeks if I recall. You just have to go to the Urzad nearest you. Be patient it is not different than if you are an Pole getting a visa for Green Card to the USA. You have have to fill out paper.

  6. Kaye

    I am married to a Polish citizen and we live in Australia. Currently Australians can go to Poland or EU countries on a 3 month visa. We would like to stay longer but Schengen forbids it – in my case. Is there any way I can get something so I can stay with my husband in Poland for a longer period?

    1. Mark Biernat

      100% yes. You are not getting married, you are married. Most people asking questions are people who are going to get married, you are legally married to an EU citizen. Further, you come from a country that has good ties to Poland and the EU.
      It will be no problem to get a visa for living in the EU, then a Polish citizenship if you want to apply latter.
      The first thing is you have to apply for a visa. You have to do this as a Polish Uząd. Go to this page malopolska.uw.gov.pl/default.aspx?page=Issue_of_permits_for_settlement_in_the_Republic_Poland
      I should write a post just on this. But this is visa central in Poland. Let me know how you do or if you have further questions.

  7. Nicole

    My great great grandfather and grandmother were both born in Poland. They came to the US in 1903. They never became US citizens. So doesn’t the citizenship pass on through their children? So if I collect all the birth, death, and marriage certificates for the family line can I get dual citizenship for Poland? How long does it take the paperwork to go through for citizenship?
    Also, where would I be able to go to get birth certificates if they were born in Poland?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I doubt you can get citizenship because there was no Poland at the time. They might have been Polish but were not Polish citizens. Therefore, I would simply put a case together for a green card as step on and then repatriation. This is what I did and I am a Polish citizen today.
      Poland has very good records so you can get their birth certificates.

      1. David Piekarczyk

        I live in Poznań, an American citizen, but have documented proof of Polish origins on my grandmothers side. I obtained Permanent Resident status in the first year I moved here, 2007. I was told that I could also apply for Polish citizenship. My question is, when applying for Polish citizenship, isn’t it necessary to renounce citizenship in another country? I am retired and live off Social security from the U.S. and renouncing U.S. citizenship there I would lose my Social security. I have talked to several “official” and none could answer the Social security question.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Poland and the United States allow dual citizenship. In no way would I renounce your US citizenship. It has nothing to do with Polish citizenship. Two different worlds. Any US embassy like the one in Warsaw can tell you that you can have a Polish citizenship and US, in fact many people there working are dual citizens.
          It is just that while in Poland you follow Polish law, in the US you follow US law. But you need to report all income to the USA no matter what your resident or citizenship status is.
          So get the Polish passport and collect US social security, you worked for it.
          Stay in touch and let me know about how this works for you.

  8. Simon

    Oh and my great grandpa was russian but born in Poland and I was wondering is my grandpa a Polish citizen even though he is American born.
    Is the Polish language hard to learn.

    Sorry for bombarding you with questions

    1. Mark Biernat

      Read some of my other comments. Basically if you want a Polish greencard you can get one no problem to live in Poland which can be converted into a citizenship after a lot of paperwork. But he citizenship was not Polish even though he was becauase there was no Poland.

  9. Peter Mortimer

    I was born in Poland in 1993, was adopted eight years ago and moved to America. Both of my biological parents are Polish natives(although my father has passed away), and I do have family in the country; including brothers and sisters. I am turning 18 years old in December of this year and am greatly considering obtaining a Polish citizenship, while moving to my motherland. I do have a Polsih passport, although it has experied a year ago. My adopted parents have not chosen a US citizenship for me (I am considered a US citizen, although I have not officialy stated so). I have a few questions for you:
    1. How does Article 6, paragraph 3 in the Act on Polish Citizenship apply to me and my situation? “A child…a cquires Polish citizenship if, after completing sixteen years and before six months prior to attaining full legal age, he or she makes the appropriate declaration before the proper authority and this authority issues a decision accepting the declaration”. Does this mean that I have to make this declaration before I turn 18 years of age to obtain a citizenship?
    2. Do I have to make a declaration for my citizenship with my situation?
    3. If I do, where is the best place to send my citizenship declaration; a Polish embassy or abroad?
    4. If I am granted Polish citizenship, how much time do I have to move into the country?
    5. Does a Polish passport qualify for a EU passport or do you also need a seperate EU passport?

    I would like to thank you for your time and your website; it is very helpful!!!

    Peter Mortimer

    1. Mark Biernat

      Peter, I would for sure get a US and Polish passport but you are already citizen of both countries. Polish citizenship is an EU citizenship. There is only a Polish passport no EU passport. Once you have this you can basically work and live anywhere in Europe. It is like a US citizenship with states. I would make sure I get a US citizenship but I think you have this, passport is secondary, just a document.
      I would start the process of being confirmed a Polish citizen. This means you do not apply, you just are. If you were born in Poland and of Polish blood get your Polish brith certificate from the town you were born in. You are already a Polish citizen at birth. Unless you formally renouce your citizenship, which you did not. You are a Polish citizen and just need paper. Talk to your Polish embassy they will guide you, it does not matter, call them in NYC or any city in the USA (I guess that is where you live). Just tell them your case. It is just paper nd you can get a Polish ID and passport and you are all set. You are already a Polish citizen. You do not have to live in Poland ever. Citizenship is based on blood.
      If this was a special case because you were adopted than I think you still can get citizenship as Europe goes by bloodline.

  10. Joel

    Good day

    I wonder if you, or anyone, could assist me in informing me as to whether or not I am eligible for Polish citizenship by decent.

    My grandfather, aswell as both of his parents (my great-grandparents) were all born in Poland & they came to South Africa around the 1920’s – 1930’s.

    My grandfather became a South African citizen on 14 October 1947, while my great grandmother became South African on 1 November 1951 & my greatgarndfather became a South African on 14 August 1951. None of them ever renounced their Polish citizenship, nor did they ever serve in the South African army, or hold public office.

    I do not have a copy of my grandfather’s Polish birth certificate,, as all of the documents of the Jewish faith from Siemiatycze,Poland had been destroyed during World War 2. However,it indicates on his Certificate of Nautralisation that he was Polish prior to naturalisation and that he was born to Polish parents, hence being a Polish citizen by birth

    Based on the above information, am I still eligible for Polish citizenship?

    Thank you

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think you can become a Polish citizen with time and get a greencard, but to get confirmed will be harder, but possible. I guess the office of foreigner affair needs to check the law at the time and the details around the case to better determine if confirmation is possible, however, regardless, I think citizenship with time is.

  11. lili

    Tell please, I’d like to know if I can get the card Polish or card residence, if my mother in the birth certificate record states that her mother is Ukrainian and her father is Polish. In other words, her father’s nationality is a Pole. And in my grandmothers divorce certificate states that my grandfather is Polish, also my great-grand parents are Polish

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think if you have Polish blood as you do, and not just through marriage but actually a Polish national in your family, getting a green card is not a problem. Just apply at the office or foreigner affairs if you live in Poland or the consulates if you live in Ukraine.

  12. Philip Wilkes

    My grandparents on my mother’s side came from Poland after WWII. My grandfather served in the Polish army during WWII. My great grandparents on my father’s side came from Poland in the 1910’s. Would I be able to gain my Polish citizenship? If, so what should be the first steps in doing so? Thank you.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think you can one way or the other. I would first go for confirmation of Polish citizenship by talking with the Polish embassy. If you can nto get this get a green card though jus sanguinis or right of blood. This is in the Polish constitution. You have to document in full detail everything including a life story and family tree with supporting documents as birth and passport records. If you do this and fill out the application I think you will be welcomed to the club.

  13. Jeanette

    I am married to a Polish citizen and now, waiting for the release of my resident permit this coming month of July. I would like to ask from you if I may, how many months do I need to wait the processing of the Polish citizenship after applying it? I am just curious.

    1. Mark Biernat

      It all depends. How long have you been married? If you are have been married like 3 1/2 years and live in Poland for that time legally and all your documents are in order less than a year. If you just got married and live in Poland you will have it in five years. I need more details.

  14. Mark Anthony

    Some of the posts stating “Polish Blood” are misleading. Although, the term “jus sanguinis” does mean “by blood”, Polish citizenship is based on having a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent who was a Polish citizen. It’s not based on actually having ethnically Polish blood in your veins.

    I am Lithuanian and Belarusian but many of my ancestors, including my mom and my grandparents were born in Bialystok in northeastern Poland. Because my mother and her parents had Polish citizenship I was able to get it as well. My mother still has a current passport which she got by showing her parents identification documents called “dowut osobisty”.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You are right as the law takes blood but also citizenship into account. The reason the Polish government considers both is because remember there was no Poland for 170 year, but people were clearly Polish, therefore, Jus Sanguinis. But also Polish citizenship is passed legally by parents etc being citizens even if they are from a different ethnic group etc. So the law is pretty open and tolerant.

  15. Katriel

    Hi Mark,

    I am a British national (overseas) who is currently residing in Hong Kong. I have a BN(O) passport and also a HKSAR passport.

    I am planning to get my Vet Med degree in Poland because it’s much cheaper comparing to studying in the UK. To work in Hong Kong as a vet I will need to become a member of RCVS. Although the course in Poland is recognized by RCVS, I would not be eligible to apply for RCVS membership with a EU degree unless I am a EU national.

    So I was wondering if I can apply for Polish citizenship after staying in Poland legally as a student receiving higher education there for 5.5 years, which is the duration of the course. If not, will getting a job during the course do any help?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you are a British Citizen than you can stay in Poland really as long as you want since it is the EU. There is no real advantage to a Polish citizenship from a travel standpoint. However, if you have roots or are connected to the country in some way. I think you can start the application process. However, once you get here just ask at the office of foreigner’s affair and they will consider all your best options and direct you. But I think if you are British and have a vet degree in all honesty not matter what the law says I think you can get one pretty fast after school. Technically the answer is yes.

      1. Katriel

        Thanks for reply. However, I am not a British citizen, we British Nationals (overseas) has no right to reside in British and are neither considered as British citizens nor EU citizens by the British government. But because of the Treaty of Lisbon we are strangely considered as EU citizens in some EU countries… that is why I am considering studying in Poland 😛

        1. Katriel

          Oh I am so sorry for my typos, I was so sleepy when I type that…
          We British Nationals (overseas) have no right to reside in Britain and are neither considered as British citizens nor EU citizens by the British government.

        2. Mark Biernat

          I understand perfectly now. I do not know the exact rule, but international students that have studied in Poland and want to live in Poland after their studies have never in my experience had a problem getting a visa if they had a job after. I see many international students that have stayed on and become Polish citizens.
          The question you are asking is does time as a student quality for citizenship?
          No, you need to reside in Poland with a permanent residence card for five years, not a student visa. But a student visa can lead to a green card eventually if you get a job after your studies and learn Polish etc.

  16. Tanya

    Dear Mr Biernat

    I have a question. I live in Belarus and recently received the Polish Card or they called ‘Karta Poliaka’on the basis that my mother was Polish, so they recognised me as polish national. What shall I do next in order to get polish citizenship?

    Thank you beforehand

    1. Mark Biernat

      You do have right for this and it is curious for my why more people do not obtain one. I mean Poland is an EU country and a Polish passport is gold. You can live in Poland or work and live anywhere in Europe. Poland in itself is a great place and country.
      What you need to do is talk to the Polish embassy about this. It is in the Polish constitution about repatriation or right of return. If you are from Belarus it is even better as the culture and language is similar and Polish population is declining and we need people.

      In every major city from Warsaw to Krakow there is an office or foreigner affairs. This is really the place to go, but I would start with the Polish embassy in Belarus.

      You will just need to provide detailed documentation and a CV or Resume and make a case that you can support yourself economically and that you feel Polish etc and are willing to learn the language.

      I really love living in Poland by the way.

  17. peter vrochopoulos

    Thank you in advance. I am an American citizen married to a Polish girl she also has aamerican green card and is a Polish citizen. we have two children we would love to go to Poland to visit her family and possibly stay a year or longer is this possible for me.

    1. Mark Biernat

      The issue is not with you. You can apply for a visa no problem but you need to apply for a visa. The problem is with your wife’s green card. Just because she has a green card does not mean she can come back to the USA. She needs to convince the USA that she will come back and I would even get a letter of acceptance before she leaves the USA or she could be denied, even with a green card. Take to the department of Homeland security and immigration about all this.
      Your children need to be confirmed Polish citizens if they have not been and they of course can stay.
      You will have no problem getting a visa and I highly recommend the experience of living in Poland.

  18. James

    I am an American living in Warszawa. I recently (May) received my permanent residency card and have no more than 6 months to file for my Polish citizenship (been married to a Pole for 10yrs now). I know that besides all the paperwork again (birth, marriage cert etc…) I have to write a letter why I want to have Polish citizenship. My question is how short or long should I make it and what points should I make? Granted I am learning the language and find it extremely difficult (still can not make full sentences, only single words).

    1. Mark Biernat

      Make a case based on emotion and give examples. Have your wife write it in Polish not you. Tell all the reasons you personally love Poland, feel connected to this great community and society. I personally would make it no less than two pages. You do not have to know Polish to be a citizen but some level is helpful. It is a hard language and people know it so no stress, more important is that you are trying.
      I would be the greatest salesman in the world, trying to basically sell them on the idea that you are Polish based on love of this country and culture and that you can contribute economically or you are educated etc. This is the type of stuff they like and more specific examples the better.

  19. Sean

    My grandmother and grandfather were born and raised in Poland suffered during WWII and after the libereation they moved to Canada in either 1950 or 1951 I’m still waiting to see all the original documents we discovered after my grandmothers passing. I spoke to the Polish Embassy in my city and I am in the process of applying for my citizenship but I am wondering that because there are clauses or statutes that were created that if you left Poland before 1951 your citienship is gone. It also states that if you were effect directly by WWII or your ancestors were that they fall into the 1939, 51, and 61 acts. I am wondering if this is gonna help me in becoming a Polish citizen?

    1. Mark Biernat

      The main thing is if they renounced their Polish citizenship in anyway. However, it it was before 1951 this could include becomming a citizen of another country. If they did not, I think you are OK. If it was your grandfather who was a citizen and never remarried or took citizenship before 1951 in Canada, then Polish citizenship should pass to your parent and then to you. However, even if you do not get it via “Confirmation of Possession or Loss of Polish Citizenship” you will get green card or permanent resident card which can latter be converted to a citizenship, I am sure of it.

  20. Wojciech

    I was unsuccessfully trying to find info regarding the Polish citizenship status of children in the following situations:

    1. The father is a Polish citizen living in Canada, he is married to a lady who is not Polish citizen and who brought in children from her previous marriage. Are the kids Polish citizens?

    2.The father is a Polish citizen living in Canada, he is married to a lady who is not Polish citizen and they adopted two kids from outside Poland. Are the kids Polish citizens?

    Thank you very much for your answer.


    1. Mark Biernat

      They are not confirmed Polish citizens, which is based on blood, but with a process and as long as they are under 18 then they can achieve Polish citizenship, which is a legal or civil process.

  21. gal

    My grandfather was born in a small town in Poland – Siemiatycze.

    I’m coming to Poland on October.

    How can I get his Birth Certificate?

    1. Mark Biernat

      They will have it in the city documents if he was born there. They might also have it in Podlaskie Voivodeship government office. Lastly during and after the war many historic documents were moved to Warsaw. That is were my grandmother’s documents were.
      So try those three places in that order.

      1. gal

        Thanks for the help.

        Where in Warsaw should I look for the documents?

        I need to bring something or just ask for the birth Certificate?

        1. Mark Biernat

          Urzad Stanu Cywilnego Warszawa, you can search it and call them. They will only speak Polish though. You can pay a poor student to help you look on Gumtree. Ask questions if you need help and use an online translate tool also. But maybe call in advance.

          1. gal

            I just dont understand one thing, what I need to bring with me in order to get the birth Certificate? I just know my grandfather name and his year of birth, will it be enough?

          2. Mark Biernat

            Bring as much information as you can that would tie you to him. Your passport and maybe your parents information and any of his. If you have your parents birth certificate it will have their parents name on it and connect you to him. My advice is call ahead, and do not waste a trip. Get the facts and information you need by calling ahead. You can have someone help you with this. If you need help with this my wife can help you by calling for a small fee. But you need to get all your ducks lined up before you go or you will be spinning your wheels. Poland is bureaucratic to say the least. I took the time and created a war chest of documents before I went. You have to help them help you. Also I did not exactly get this directly I applied for citizenship and a Polish visa and through that process they helped me. So I am being honest not a pain in the neck. I am warning you because many people think they can waltz into a Polish government office and get what they need. Poland is a bureaucratic maze and it is improving but not 100% yet. The workers there will tell you with full confidence something they believe to be true but it s wrong.

  22. Ellen

    Citizenship through descent? Immigrated in late 1800’s, early 1900’s.

    Hello – just discovered your site, great info!

    I am an American hoping to work in the EU. I am trying to see if I am eligible for citizenship through descent. Two sets of great grandparents immigrated approx 1890-1900. From census records it says they were born in Poland and Russia – I’m assuming it’s because of territory changes…I don’t have city names for all but am trying to find out. I’m wondering if it’s worth trying to dig for this info or would they not be citizens of Poland because of the timing? I don’t believe they got US citizenship.

    My grandfather was born in Belarus (Minsk) and immigrated in 1907….I read something about Belarus being part of Poland at some time but I’m not sure if it was accurate. I don’t believe he became a US citizen either. Of course my father was born in the US so I’m not sure if that means the bloodlines are broken?

    Do I have any chances on either front? Thanks very much.

    1. Ellen

      Hello again Mark,

      I forgot to mention in my previous post – I am not planning on living in Poland, I am looking to get a job in Spain or France and saw that if you get EU Citizenship by descent, you have a much better chance at finding a job. So I think the only thing that would help me is the confirmation of citizenship (rather that the green card).

      Thank you.

      1. Mark Biernat

        | loved living in Europe and can recommend it highly. The short version of your case is this. You can not get Polish citizenship by confirmation as there was no Poland during those years. Really, I had the same problem. However, you might be able to get a green card, but I think you will need to really pull a lot of paper together. I got mine by living in Poland and applying, if you want to do it remote contact the Polish embassy about this, they can guide you. I personally think all you have to do is prove so connection to the people who were Polish in your family and you with legal documents. For me I was able to find birth certificates and marriage certificates and make a family tree. If you can do this then I am sure there will be little problem if you are persistent.

        Minsk of course was not Polish by the way, just Polish conquered lands, do your relatives might have been white Russian. You need to clarity all these issues and let me know. But if you have a Polish green card basically you can travel anywhere in Europe and the other European countries will not really know how to deal with the visa issue. I think technically you have to be a Polish citizen, not a visa holder, but with patience you can convert the visa to citizenship. Why not live in Poland for a while?

        1. Ellen

          Thanks for your quick reply, Mark. This is very helpful and makes sense. I am going see if I can find birth or marriage certificates to get more specifics. I am not sure if the places they were born were really Russian cities but just Polish occupied, or if they were really Polish but Russian occupied at some points in time….in other words I’m not sure if they considered themselves Polish or Russian. Probably the city names will help narrow that down. I’ll post again if I can find more info.

          Thanks again, your site really helps clarify a lot of the nuances.

          1. Mark Biernat

            I am a Polish patriot, but of course although Poland has had a hard history, it does not mean it did not have an imperial past itself. It actually occupied Moscow for a while and was the largest country in Europe, and with such a small population you do not get that way by being peaceful farmers. So Poland and Russia and Ukraine and Lithuania changed lands often. What really matters is the bloodline not the boarder or boundary. Many Poles are upset when I tell them that 90% of the people arount Lviv were Ukrainian. They say no we were innocent, I do not see it that way. Well it is all a matter of perspective. If there were 1 billion Polish people I think the world would be eating pierogi.

  23. Kamila Lucka Rauch

    Hi Mark!
    It’s Kama again. I’ve just wanted to ask you about Polish green card. If my husband (he’s American) applies for a green card in Poland will he be allowed to work in Poland ? If not, what kind of documents will he need to apply for in order to start working in Poland. We will be moving to Poland first and then looking for a job.
    I’m Polish so I hope my husband will be allowed to get his green card because he is married to me and he’s the father of our children.
    My second question is related to paying taxes. You’ve mentioned before that you pay taxes both to the USA and Poland. I’m Polish and I have the American Citizenship and my husband is American with no Polish Citizenship. Living in Poland, are we both responsible for paying taxes to both countries? Can you give me more advice on that?
    Thank you Mark 🙂

    1. Mark Biernat

      Do not worry about taxes in Poland or the USA. It seems scary but unless you are making a lot of money you should only have to pay a little.

      Here is my complaint. The USA is one of the few countries that require taxes from it citizens no matter what, even if you give up your citizenship and are a Polish citizen you must file for US taxes for 10 years or something.
      You have to report income or it is a major violation of the US tax code. You remember Al Capone and all. I think the tax office does not care if you make the money illegal, income generation needs to be reported.

      Report all income you make in Poland to the USA. Also all bank accounts over 10k. I would report even money I make with students in you flat as a tutor or money you make on eBay or money as a consultant and you get via paypal.

      You need to be clean and square with the US tax office. Although they really do not care about little money, I always reported everything. Once you report it you have a 90k exemption. So basically, if you are making under 90k in Poland USD you do not have to pay US taxes.

      You as a Polish citizen need only to report income to the US government if you file a joint return. Your husband could just file married filing separate. He gets less deductions but it does not matter and does not complicate things. If you move to the USA then you as a Polish citizen with a greencard in the USA can file taxes but being married to an US citizen only obligates you to file and report if you are filing married and joint on the tax return and there is no real reason to at this point.

      Your children get US citizenships and social security cards and they can be deductions on his return. But you need social security numbers like in Poland you need NIP and PESEL.

      I use TurboTax but you can use any program and it will guide you on foreign income. If you are living in Poland you should not have to pay state taxes either.

      I had a legal job so I just paid Polish taxes on my income in Poland and reported but excluded it on my US income.

      A Polish greencard gives you full rights as a Polish citizen except voting. So you can work and live legally. Most people work at language schools or call centers or in IT. The company you work for takes care of the taxes. So do not worry it is all easy. There is not stress. Neither government is looking to get anyone. They just want you to report the money you earn.

      In reality you will pay Polish VAT every time you buy something.

      To start working you need a PESEL and Green card. That is it you are in the system. Everything is ready to go and any office manager knows what to do. You focus on getting the job and they will tell you want to do.

      I am no expert and if you need help I can recommend firms in Poland or the USA. But basically the laws are pretty clear and I call the IRS in the USA a lot. They are not trying to get you, the laws are already in place, they just guide you.

      The Polish tax office I have been to many times. They often do not know the rules themselves. But ask me I can guide you the best I know, but again I am not an expert.
      Let me know if you have any questions about work or taxes in Poland.

  24. H. Shane

    My great grandfather was a Jewish Pole who died in the Holocaust, his son (my grandfather) was also born in Poland but later obtained US residency, before the war.

    What are the issues?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think if you put together documentation, you would have no problem getting a greencard for Poland which could lead to citizenship. But to be confirmed as a Polish citizen it is too hard under Polish law in this case. It has nothing to do with you being Jewish as Jews and Poles were Polish. Just like Jews that live in the USA are American. There is a shared history in central Europe and the Jewish people were an important part of Polish history.

  25. Rbertson

    Hello my name is Ringson from France. I lives with my Polish girl and we have one kid, is possible me to have Polish citzenship and our kid?

    1. Mark Biernat

      The child is a Polish citizen, just needs confirmation, the mother can take care of this with the Polish office by presenting her and the child’s birth certificate.
      You can not get Polish citizenship unless you are married, you having a child has nothing to do with anything under the law. You need to be legally married, which I recommend if you have a child. I mean you bring someone in the world, you can not marry the girl?
      So many player guys out there that think having an innocent child is cool, but will not marry the mother.

  26. Fleur

    Hi Mark,

    My husband and I are American citizens, but my husband was born in Ukraine. Would you suggest that we pursue our Polish residence through this channel? Or moving there on the basis of American citizenship? Which is easier? Thanks.

  27. Agnieszka

    How does a Polish national become a British citizen? Im married to british citizen and I will like to become British but still stay Polish?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Live three years in the UK and take a cultural exam on the UK and then apply.

  28. Ania


    I have Polish citizenship and an American green card (through marriage) and we live in US. I would like to become a dual citizen but I am not sure what will happen to my(unborn) future children? Are they going to be able to have dual citizenship as well, they will be born in the US? Can they have a dual citizenship forever or they will have to give up one at certain age? What would provide my children more options for dual citizenship: for me to live in US on a green card or became an US citizen?

    Thank you for your help.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You have zero worries. Poland and the USA do not have a big problem with dual citizens. I mean I have one and so does our daughter. Your children will be at birth both Polish and American citizens and not worries. Just use your US passport to enter the USA and your Polish passport to enter the EU. For the Polish citizenship for your children you just fill out a form at the embassy. By Polish law they will be Polish at birth because you are their Polish mother. And they will be American at birth because they are born on American soil.

  29. Robert Leja

    Hello and thank you for sharing and helpping everybody with this subject.

    In my case my father was Polish, flied a spitfire during the war. He then stayed in England where he married my mother and then they imigrated to Canada where I was born.
    I moved to Spain and lived most my life here, I have a permanent residency card here but not a passport. My x wife and son are Spanish but it is a real painstaking and long process to try to get the nationality. The problem is that I would realy like to get an E.U. passport so I could have the freedom to work and move around Europe, here in Spain it has been terrible for quite a while.

    Thanks for your time, Bob.

    So my question is, ” Can I apply for a Polish passport due to the blood line of my father? How long would you think this process might take if possible?”
    B.T.W. My father passed away in 2006.

    1. Mark Biernat

      If your father was Polish with a Polish citizenship, you can get confirmed as a Polish citizens in a matter of months if you get all your paperwork in order. You need to apply for confirmation of Polish citizenship with the Polish embassy in your country. That is it.

      1. Robert Leja

        So this is posible even if I am not currently living in Poland? My father obviously got a Canadian citizenship. I talked to my mother on the phone today and she said that she has his papers of baptism etc….
        I live in Marbella, Malaga, I think there is a consul somewhere but from what I see the nearest embassy would be in Madrid. Would my best bet be to contact them in Madrid directly to find out the papers and proceedure or do you recomend somewhere else?
        The two problems I might forsee if it is posible is if they require you to have a residency in Poland and also my economic status. I have been struggling the last few years and almost all the work I could find was “Under the table”, no contracts or declared work.
        Have you any idea of the requirements for these two subjects.I might be able to contact some cousin to try and put a place of residency or something if required.

        Thanks so much for your comments, Bob.

  30. Andrew Zysk

    Is it much harder to obtain citizenship from a grandparent? I would also like to know if I would be allowed to move about and work in Europe freely, considering that Poland is a part of the EU.

    1. Mark Biernat

      It depends on many factors but you can at least get a greencard, which I highly recommend so you can live in Europe. With Polish citizenship you are free to work and live anywhere.

  31. Theresa

    Hello Mark,

    Your article was concise and very informative. I am in the beginning stages of confirmation of my Polish citizenship. My maternal side my great grandparents emigrated from Poland. They are from a small town near Suwalki called Kaletnik. We still have family(cousins) who live in the area. My mother (who speaks Polish) has visited them several times since the break-up of the USSR. On my paternal side, my grandmother was born in Poland too, of Polish blood, but I do not know the name of the town.
    Can my Polish relatives be part of my documentation? I have US documents that show Poland as birthplace,but what kind of Polish documents do I need? I will be Poland this summer to learn Polish, will this help?



    1. Mark Biernat

      It is a case and you have to dump as much proof and papers and see what they accept. I think all information you can give them will help. I highly recommend you create a family tree in excel and then support that tree with as much legal documents next to their name. Write something like (see document abc). They will connect the dots and make a determination. But I think it is not an either or, but rather an argument that you have to see if they are will to accept. It is a human decision with the support of the law. They try to help in my experience.

  32. Marianne

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your information! I recently applied for UK citizenship and would have loved a blog like this to help me with my questions.

    But getting to my reason for my comment….
    My parnter and I have recently moved to Europe for work and he is going through the process of applying for a visa.
    From what I know, his father is of Polish decent but was born in Germany in a camp (during WW II). I believe my partners grand father was born in Poland and his grandmother in Ukraine.
    Altough his grandparents were in a German camp when his father was born and later migrated to Australia (were my partner was born) does that still mean he could apply for a Polish citizenship/passport through his grandfather?


    1. Mark Biernat

      If you can make a clear lineage family tree with names and dates and events on an excel spreadsheet. Then provide legal documentation like birth and marriage records with official stamps, I think he has a chance of getting of a visa which could lead to citizenship with time. It depends when he was born also as there was no Poland before WWI and if he was born then, he was not born in Poland.

      I would pursue this with the Polish embassy. But you need documentation. A story will do nothing without legal papers. I hear stories like this all the time and they are interesting for me as I love Polish history. However, the government offices need paper of course to support the story, and that means government issues documents.

  33. Mike

    Hi Mark,

    I was adopted as a baby. Though I have an excellent relationship with my biological mother. I found out my biological grandmother is Polish but married my Greek grandfather in Germany when they were young (after surviving the holocaust). Then they came to the U.S. shortly after getting married and have been here ever since, even though my grandmother died recently. Do I have a chance in getting a Polish citizenship and what steps should I take?


    1. Mark Biernat

      My friend Rachel has almost the exact same situation. I believe if you are of Polish blood, legal adoption can be looked over for cases of citizenship or visa. I do not think you can get Polish citizenship confirmed. It is too complex. However, if you can provide all the documents to support your lineage and your connection you might have a chance at a visa. The reason is in Poland citizenship was transmitted though the male, but it depends on the dates. I think her marriage to a non-Polish citizen cancelled the transmission of citizenship.

  34. Miro botan

    Hi Mark, Sorry My english is not very well hope you will understand me. İ was born in Turkey I have got aTurkish pasaport. İ meet with My polish wife in Turkey 2007 and we been married in 2010. İ got eea VISA in My passsaport. Because My wife was working in england that is why and we still live in England. So my question is how can I have Polish citizenship?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need to hold a Polish residency permit for at least 3 years. That is you have to live in Poland legally, really 3 1/2 years. It is the same thing in the USA. I have been married to my wife for a while but she can not get citizenship unless she lives in the USA with me for at least 3 years.

  35. sylvia

    I was told I am not eligible for Polish citizenship as my father came to Canada in the early 30’s, became a Can. citizen in 1944 and never went back to Poland, although I was born to a Polish citizen in the early 40’s (my father was considered Polish), because he never went back prior to 1950, he lost his citizenship, so I cannot apply. My mother was born in Poland and they told me it has to be my father’s nationaly, not my mothers.
    Does this sound right?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Depending on the year, citizenship is transmitted to though the male. That law change latter. I think you were born a Polish citizen though your father. The rule is what happend at time of birth and what the law was at time of your birth. If he lost citizenship it might have affected your ability to get confirmed citizen. I am not sure if the fact that he did not go back has anything to do with it. I never heard of this and I have had many detailed conversations about this. I think you need a lawyer to guide you on this maybe or research the law. Sounds funny. I am not sure now. But for sure you wre born a Polish citizen. I use to know this. The Polish office will tell you things that are not true because they get confused. You have to research the codex yourself. I think there is a way you can get citizenship.
      However, even if you can not get confirmed Polish citizen, I know for a fact you can apply for naturalization if you want to go through that. It takes a longer process but you can do it as well as get a visa for Poland relativity fast.

  36. Patrick Sweeny

    I am British, born in Scotland in 1957. I have been married for seven years to my wife who is a Polish national. We wish to relocate to Poland and start a new life there. We have approximately £20,000 to perhaps open a business with in Poland. I have a criminal record from 1983 when I was sentenced and served 9 years in a British prison. Will this criminal record stop me from residing and starting a new life in Poland?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I do not know, but I think you are OK. I know they ask about things like this, but only if you are applying for citizenship which you do not need. I think if you are married and have servered your debt to society so to speak you should be free to live there, espcially as a EU citizen. You are an EU citizen, this is the EU it is like one large country for the most part.

      The reality is if you have a UK passport I can not imagine they would ever check you or care you are living there, you do not need a visa or Polish citizenship.

  37. Krystyna

    My older sister was born in 1950 in the uk and claims she has dual passport so could claim Polish land as inheritance.Is this true. if so what would she have needed to do to claim the land as inheritance in Poland although she has lived all her life in the uk. My parents came to the UK in 1948 after the second world war we were all born and lived here all our lives but have visited Poland many times for holidays.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Not enought details. Are you saying someone has gifted her land? Or does she want to reclaim Jewish property lost?

  38. Tara

    Hi Mark,

    I was wondering if you can help.

    I was born in Australia, however am wondering if you think I should try for Polish citizenship.

    My Father was born in Germany, Frille in 1947, however had Polish citizenship. My Grandma was a citizen of the USSR, prior to being interned by the German Forces, Grandpa was a Polish Citizen before his internment. They Came to Australia under the International Refugee Organization from Fallingbostel Germany 1950, Father became anAaustralian citizen in 1961.

    A bit complicated, but just wondering your thoughts.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think it is straightforward. If your father was a Polish citizen then you can get confirmed a Polish citizen. Just contact the Polish embassy and they will do most of the work if you can present records. You can give them all this over information but the main think is you are born to a Polish father. I know they have seen these complicated family histories all the time, this is what the office of foreigners told me when they were working on my case as Polish history is complex.

  39. jax

    My grandmother’s parents were born in Poland and moved to the US–I’m still working out the exact year. If my grandmother gets a Polish passport/citizenship, then my mom, I heard from a few people that I’m eligible as well although I’m third-generation American. What do you think?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Too many variables here you have to talk to the Polish embassy. I had this situation and I got a green card and then a citizenship after living there, but it depends on the years and if they married a non-Polish citizens as citizenship generally is carried through the male in times gone by. I would talk to the Polish embassy about this one.

  40. Animesh Roy

    I have a very unique problem.
    I am Indian (from India) and my wife is Polish.
    I have been issued in Dec. 2011 a ‘permanent Karta Pobytu’ to be renewed after 10 years etc.
    Now I want to apply for a Polish citizenship.
    I don’t have a ‘hospital’ DOB. I have what is called a ‘school certificate date of birth’ this is accepted as DOB in India/UK. If you were born before 1986.
    There is no way I can produce a ‘Hospital DOB’. Can you help? Many Thanks, Animesh

    1. Mark Biernat

      Animesh here is the thing, the people in the Polish Uząd do not know what to do when presented with such a case. They just know the rules. Further, Poland is Roman law based not case law so they are not good with exceptions. They just know what is on paper and that is it. What you have to do is this, dump as much paper you can on them. Make a strong argument that the paper you are presenting is acceptable. Get official Indian documents and law to support this. Give this to them with translations. Ask them other departments like the Office of foreigners which is very helpful udsc.gov.pl/MAIN,PAGE,264.html – get help from these people, do not write them, go there with your wife and sit there day after day until you get people to help, but you need to learn some Polish or your wife has to be there. They will have seen such cases. Work with the office of foreigners. It is calleded Urząd do Spraw Cudzoziemców. Either than or hire a lawyer but this will cost too much so go to Urząd do Spraw Cudzoziemców.

  41. John

    Hello, My name is John, I have been living in Poland since 2006 (I’ve been studying all the time) and I met my wife the first day I entered Poland, got married in 2009, now I just got my permanent residency card last week that will last for 10 years, am wondering if I am entitle to apply for citizenship now, I just saw on TV yesterday in Kujawski Pomorski where they give about 15 foreigner citizenship at the weekend and some people are talking about the law changes that I must be married for 5 years to be able to get citizenship or use two years out of the 10 years permanent residency card I just got, please tell me what do you think.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I would apply after being married for and with a green card for 2 years. I had a green card for almost 5 years and I was married before I got my citizenship, but I really got citizenship based on my green card. The clock does not start until you are on a green card or married.

      I am with you man, I could not wait until I got my Polish citizenship, and they did accelerate it for me as I made a very strong case because I have Polish ancestors and just missed getting confirmed Polish citizen.

      I would get the paperwork started right away but the law is the law and I think it is basically 3 years of marriage if you have a green card and been living for a while in Poland. Which is not really a long time to wait.

  42. CoolGuy

    Got confused regarding to apply polish citizenship.
    Here are the details.
    I am a non EU national, got married with my Polish wife on dated 05/06/2009 in Poland and since than I am living in poland continuously. After that I have received card for 1 year stay in Poland, Before ending that card I applied and received resident card for 2 years.
    And now i apply and got the third card which is a permanent resident card, start date of that card is from 06/12/2012.
    The question is
    1)Am I entitled to apply for a Polish citizenship?
    2)If yes,then how long it would take in decision after submit my polish citizenship application?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Yes apply for Polish citizenship today and in like three years you can get it as the system is so backed up. I am not being rude it is the reality. Your wife should know and help you with this. But it is a long process of waiting.

  43. Kelly Olszewski

    All of my great-grandparents and one grandmother came from Poland. My grandmother became a US citizen by virtue of her Father’s naturalization (though she lived in Poland). Great-grandmothers also became citizens once their husbands became naturalized, the law did not require that they do anything on their own behalf.

    The purpose of my question is genealogical, not looking to obtain dual citizenship. How would the Polish government know if your one and only Polish ancestor ever lost his/her Polish citizenship (e.g., prior to 1951)? Was this information recorded in Polish records when people requested their Polish birth records for purposes of becoming a naturalized citizen in the US. Curious because it could lead to clues about my ancestors.

    1. Mark Biernat

      There is no way they would know. Believe me there is not way the US or any other country notifies anyone about those times. It is assumed they are still citizens. Of course I was an Orc and told them while I was being considered for citizenship. I was able to get Polish citizenship but it took a couple of years longer. I presented documents to show them of US naturalization and marriage to a US citizen. Normally that would not have mattered but way back then it did matter as citizenship was passed via the male.
      So they will not know unless you tell them.

  44. irene

    My parents came to Canada from Poland in 1961. (I was 3 years old born in Poland also). In 1971 my father sponsored his brother from Poland, and was told he had to give up his Polish citizenship for Canadian citizenship. (which he did). Does that mean I am no longer a Polish citizen because my parents renounced there’s? I have my Canadian citizenship.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You are a Polish citizen. I would just confirmation of that. You did not renounce anything. Your were a child and acquired Canadian citizenship under a different set of rules as a child. You need your Polish birth certificate, which they have at the Urząd in the area you were born, to get a Dowód. The Polish embassy can help with that. I would not complicate things with mentioning too much about renouncing or complicated stories. Just get the Polish birth certificate and apply for your Dowód.

  45. Brian

    Great blog and happy to see you are enjoying your life as a dual citizen.
    I have my grandmother’s original passport. She was born in 1905 in Łobżenica (Lobsens) but her passport is an old German.
    I also have her marriage certificate that states in German,
    Stating she was born in Lobsens, Posen and married in 1927.
    She left for Canada in 1930. Canadian citizenship was not available for immigrants until after 1950s.
    1. Is she considered Polish or German blood?
    2. Could I take Polish citizenship by descent based on my grandmother being Polish (if this is the case).

    1. Mark Biernat

      Passports means something but national identity means more. If she was speaking Polish and Catholic and identified herself as Polish she is most likely Polish.

      1. Brian

        Thank you Mark.
        I have done further research into her originals and like many in the 1930s, they really didn’t have many choices.
        She spoke Polish but her German resiepass states she was born in Łobżenica (Lobsens) but was a German citizen when she left Hamburg port for Canada and passenger records indicate she was born in present day Poland but was a German citizen due to her passport upon entering Canada. Her husband, my grandfather was born in Russland (Russia) but was also given a German passport.
        Not sure what the next step is here. All of their lives pre-Canada were in Elblag (Elbing) Poland and both my parents were born in Canada. Not sure what step I should take next as she did speak Polish and was a Catholic.

  46. Ellen

    Great site, very informative. I posted a while back and am revisiting trying to look into citizenship. i am wondering what breaks the bloodline – I am pretty sure one of my great grandparents on my father’s side was Polish and possibly others; and would have emigrated to the US in the late 1890’s. I think that one or both of my grandparents became US citizens – if they did, does that break the bloodline for me? Also my father was in the US Army during WWII – and does that break the bloodlines?I

    Also if the bloodlines are broken, is there any chance to gain citizenship or does that eliminate it?

    Thank you,

    1. Mark Biernat

      For purpose of a green card nothing breaks bloodline. For purpose of citizenship confirmation, an act of marriage by a female to a non-Polish citizen during certain years would break citizenship transmission but not bloodline.

  47. Jacob Sznajdman


    What do you think is the best way to get residence permit/citizenship
    given that
    1) I’m a Swedish citizen (EU), and want to move to Poland.
    2) Both parents Polish but moved to Sweden a long time ago
    3) I want to start a one-man-company, probably mostly doing business with other countries.

    From what I tried to understand from the rules of temporary residence permits, it seems to be a catch 22? I.e. you need permit to open company and vice versa. Moreover, you need to prove that the company contributes to polish economy, you need to hire polish people etc.

    Or is it possible to apply for work-permit without applying for jobs?

    Best regards,
    Jacob Sznajdman

    1. Mark Biernat

      Welcome to Poland. If you are an EU citizen you can live and work and start a business in Poland no problem. If you want to also get Polish citizenship it would be a matter of about three months. Just contact the Polish embassy and get confirmed as a citizen because your parents were born there.

  48. Johnny

    I am foreigner married to Polish citizen we are in 3rd year of our marriage I am about to apply for my permanent resident card, but about Polish law that change recently that it will be 5 years after marriage before apply for citizenship and must know how read and write Polish, my question is if I can’t pass language course this can deny me to get Polish citizen,because where I work is with English and in my house I communicate with English language very difficult for me to learn Polish language

    1. Mark Biernat

      The Polish language is not a requirement for citizenship or residence. So you do not have to worry unless they change the law.

  49. Jerry

    Hi Mark,

    I am a US citizen by birth with a Polish mother. I have already proven Polish citizenship, and received my passport from the Polish embassy in NYC. I reside in the US, and I would like to obtain my Dowod Osobisty, but I hear that I have to travel to Poland to do so.

    Can you tell me what I need to do to get my Dowod Osobisty? My birth is registered in Warsaw. If I travel to Poland on vacation, can I submit an application for the Dowod Osobisty? If it takes 30 days to obtain it, will they send it to me in the U.S, since I don’t reside in Poland? Am I obligated to go to the office in Warsaw, or can i go to any office in Poland? Will I have to pay a fee to have the Dowod mailed to me?

    Please provide any details that you can. Thank you for your help.


  50. Marc Glovina

    Hello Mr. Mark

    My case is that my great grand father came from Poland passing by turkey to Lebanon between 1930 and 1940 and till my family live in Lebanon except me i’m working in Qatar. Anyway I do have documents that would be helpful in my case which are the original passport of my great grand-father issued from Poland and the passport of my grand-father issued from the Poland Embassy in Lebanon on 1990. Also I have the baptismal certificates of my great grandfather from Poland and the one for my grandfather but in Lebanon. also I have all documents that mention the relation between me and my grandfather, I have birth certificates of my parents and marriage certificates. Now my question is to know if I can have the nationality with these paper or no and also if I can do this through the embassy here in Qatar? Today I talked with the konsul of polosh embassy in Qatar and he told me that he need the paper to be sent by email to him and than he will send to the ministry in Poland. Now i’m preparing all the papers to send them but now i’m asking you if there’s anything else I should send also which will be more helpful for me.

    Thank you in advance