How to Get Polish Citizenship in 9 Steps (Updated for 2020)
The process to claim your Polish citizenship can be challenging and complex. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it could also end up costing you thousands more than you need to pay.
That’s why Polish Citizens aims to simplify the process, by giving you all the information you need to manage the process on your own.
Follow these 9 steps to claim your Polish Citizenship by descent and you’ll be on your way.
1) Citizenship Eligibility Test
First, take the FREE citizenship test. Before we go any further, we need to make sure you qualify for Polish citizenship by descent under Poland’s citizenship law.
The test is easy and only takes 5 minutes. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions about your family history.
Take it here: Free Citizenship Test
After you submit your Citizenship Test, we’ll analyze your answers, assess your case, and tell you if you qualify! We’ll also send you your free assessment by email.
2) Documents / Archive Search
This is the most important step. In order to confirm your citizenship you must have the correct documents.
Before you start the procedure, you need to review all of the documents that you will need and confirm what you do and don’t have.
The more Polish documents you have, the better. According to Polish law, if an application is not supported with relevant documents, it will not be accepted by the authorities.
What does this mean for you?
1.1) If you already have sufficient documentation proving your ancestor’s Polish citizenship, you can move on to Step 3 immediately.
1.2) If you do not have any Polish documents, you just need to do an “Archive Search” first, before moving on to Step 3.
Not everyone requires an archive search. So if this is something you need we can help put you in touch with archival search services in Poland. After you retrieve your documents from the government archives, you can move on to Step 3.
3) Personalized Case File
After you confirm that you are eligible and verify the documents you need, service providers will prepare a personalized case file, which includes clear step-by-step instructions, costs, timeline, and everything you need to move forward!
4) Confirmation of Citizenship
You need to confirm your Polish citizenship with Polish authorities before you can be officially recognized as a Polish citizen and collect a Polish passport.
The official 11-page application needs to be prepared in Polish, including supporting documents and sworn translations of foreign documents.
After the application is filed, it is processed by the Head of Province in the last place of residence in Poland. The authorities will assign a government inspector to investigate details of your family’s case and verify your documentation and lineage. Sometimes an inspector will request additional documents or explanations, which we handle.
Working with a service provider is especially beneficial in this instance. They will manage the entire process, maintain direct contact with Polish authorities and the inspector assigned to your case. They will also closely monitor your case from start to finish – from submission, day to day correspondence and requests, processing until final decision is made and a citizenship certificate is issued.
Service providers also respond to the authorities when issues and questions arise. And they provide additional supporting documents and explanation letters in Polish, as requested. Some issues are resolved by phone, while others require in-person meetings.
Polish citizenship law also requires each applicant to have a registered Polish address for all official correspondence from the authority, which service providers typically provide.
You should choose a service provider with a strong, long-standing relationship with the Masovian Voivoda’s office in Warsaw and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of Foreigners.
These relationships and the ability to communicate in Polish with the authority directly is especially useful when case-related issues and special situations arise that require immediate attention, legal or procedural advice, or further explanations.
When the confirmation process is complete, the Polish authority will issue a citizenship confirmation certificate which confirms that you are officially a Polish citizen.
This is the most important document you will receive from the Polish government. It will be also needed to obtain your Polish passport.
According to Polish law, all documents must be translated into Polish and certified by a Sworn Polish Translator in Poland or by a Polish Consul abroad.
Polish Citizenship Advisors can introduce you to translators for your documents originating in all languages. You can choose to translate your documents using your own translator, but you must also get them certified by a Polish Consul at a Polish Consulate.
Overall, it’s faster, less expensive, and higher quality if a professional handles the translations for you in Poland.
According to Polish law, all civil acts must be be officially registered in the Polish Civil Registry.
This means, if you were born and/or married outside of Poland, you must submit translated foreign birth/marriage certificates to the Polish Civil Registry Office and obtain the Polish version of each of those records.
This process is called transcription and takes about 3-4 weeks.
Transcription is important because you will need to present your Polish vital records and your citizenship confirmation certificate to obtain a Polish passport.
If you’re from the US or Canada, you know how important your Social Security Number is. Poland has something similar and it’s called a PESEL. Every Polish citizen must have a PESEL number.
You’ll need a PESEL before you can receive a Polish passport, a Polish identification card, open a Polish bank account, or access government services available to Polish or European Union citizens.
8) Official Name Change
If you previously changed your official name(s) in a foreign country, you also need to register that name change again in Poland, after you receive your PESEL.
It takes about 2 months, you can do it at any Polish Consulate, and you’ll need a PESEL number to do it. The procedure is painless and very simple.
9) Polish Passport
Getting your Polish passport is the final (and most exciting) step of the process!
The last step is submitting your completed Polish passport application, PESEL, citizenship confirmation certificate, Polish vital records, and current ID in person, at any Polish consulate in the world.
Simply contact the Consulate via their official website and make an appointment. If you do not make an appointment, the Consulate may not accept your application.
Learn more about Polish Passports.
How To Obtain Polish Citizenship
The laws and procedures for obtaining Polish citizenship can be complex and there are many details that often get overlooked, even by Polish consulates and law firms, resulting in unnecessary denials when citizenship should have been awarded.
The best way to get started is with our Ultimate Guide To Obtaining Polish Citizenship, which is available for download right now.
Do You Have The Necessary Documents to Get Started?
The procedures for obtaining Polish citizenship can be complex and there are many details that often get overlooked. One of the most common failures is not having the right documents from the beginning, this can be a costly and time consuming mistake to fix.
That’s exactly why we created the Polish Citizenship Applicant Checklist, to breakdown all of the documents you need so you can save money from the outset.
Click the link below to take a closer look at the Polish Citizenship Applicant Checklist and to get started on your journey of claiming Polish citizenship!
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