Can I get Polish Citizenship thanks to my Polish ancestry?

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Polish Citizenship Confirmation procedure is one of three ways of securing Polish Citizenship – which is also European citizenship. The other two are Presidential grant and residency. As the grant has, especially nowadays, very low success rate and the residency is most often brushed aside due to the requirements linked to it, the confirmation is the most efficient way to secure one a Polish-European citizenship. The only requirement is having Polish ancestry.

Who can apply for Polish citizenship?

The theory behind Polish citizenship is that it is automatically inherited from parents to children – the so-called Rule of Blood (Ius Sanguinis). This means that your family could still hold Polish citizenship after many generations, without living in or visiting Poland, knowing Polish or even confirming the citizenship previously.

It is a birth right – one just has to be wary of possible loss of citizenship due to various legal regulations being in force in the 20th century. Navigating through them could be quite a challenge – this is why most applicants often choose the assistance of Polish-based firms that assist with building the applications. They employ specialists that not only know each of the citizenship laws (1920, 1951, 1962 and 2012) from memory but also are familiar with all recent judicial decisions that could have a serious impact on the final decision made by the clerk working for the government.

Polish citizenship confirmation documents

Presenting proof of ancestors being Polish citizens is the most important step. This requires an original document issued by the Polish central or local government that either states citizenship or confirms residency. It could be old and expired – even better if it is! It just has to prove one of your ancestors held citizenship in the past or lived permanently in Poland, which up to 1945 was almost always equal to having citizenship. If such documentation cannot be found in the family archives, we are here to help. Many state archives in Poland still have just the right documents to prove citizenship status – population censuses, domicile records, tax and military records, voters lists, indexes and questionnaires related to old Polish passports and IDs.

Final steps – getting Polish passport

If the loss of citizenship did not happen and the main proof is ready, the journey forward becomes much less intimidating. Citizenship application, consisting of gathered documentation and filled-in government forms is brought forward. At the same time, birth and marriage (for married applicants) are being registered in Poland. The process is quite time consuming, mostly on the part of the Polish government, but once the review is completed the Polish Citizenship Certificate is issued. It is final proof that one is a citizen of Poland, and consequently, the EU. With this document remaining steps become a formality, as no one can deny you a Polish passport. The certificate, along with registered vital records and filled-in PESEL and passport forms can be exchanged for the passport at any Polish consulate. This means you can choose the one that is closest to you – please just remember you will have to collect the passport at the same spot, 4 to 5 weeks after.

Having the Polish/EU passport in your hands is a moment for celebration – you can now enjoy all the privileges reserved for European citizens!