Polish Citizenship Confirmation

Why confirm your Polish citizenship?

During the years we spent working on cases of applying for Polish citizenship, we could see two major reasons for trying to get one’s Polish citizenship confirmed.

The first reason is that a Polish passport equals an EU passport and having Polish citizenship and subsequently applying for a Polish passport means:

– open access to the EU work market
– smaller fees at the EU universities for the EU students
– shorter queues at the EU passport control.

The second reason was the emotional value attached to having back the citizenship of one’s ancestors.

 

How to confirm your Polish citizenship?

To successfully confirm Polish citizenship through one’s Polish ancestry, the following requirements have to be met:

 

1. Polish ancestors are obviously needed.

We need to be aware that until November 11th, 1918 there was no Poland on the map. When Poland was finally reinstated, the first law on Polish citizenship entered into force on January 31st, 1920. This law was granting Polish citizenship to those who met the following conditions:
– whoever lived in Poland (within its borders from 1920) and was registered in the books of inhabitants,
– whoever lived abroad and wanted to confirm their Polish citizenship (on the condition of resigning from their foreign citizenship),
– married women were getting the citizenship of their husbands,
– legitimate children were taking citizenship after the father, illegitimate after the mother (this rule was in force only until January 1951),
– there was a rule of single citizenship.

 

2. There should be no event of loss of Polish citizenship.

The law on Polish citizenship was very developed and has changed several times until today. Below are presented major events that would result in the loss of Polish citizenship:

Until 1951
– Unpermitted military service in a foreign army with the exception of military service in the Allied armies during World War 2.
– Naturalization in a foreign country with the exception of those who were in the age of military service in Poland.
– For women, a marriage with a foreigner.
– Working as a public functionary in a foreign country (ex. policeman, postman, teacher, priest, rabbi, etc.).
– Wives, and children under the age of 18, were losing Polish citizenship with the husband/father.

1951-1962
– Accepting citizenship of a different country.
– Children under 13 were losing their Polish citizenship with their parents.
– Living in the territories lost by Poland after World War 2 and being of Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, or German nationality.
– Choosing foreign citizenship for the children.

1962-2012
– Renouncing Polish citizenship in front of the Polish authorities.
– Children under 16 were also losing citizenship due to the above.

From 2012
– Renouncing Polish citizenship in front of the Polish authorities.

These are the major points that we would like to highlight. They apply in most of the cases, however, the Polish citizenship law is much more complicated and every case needs to be carefully and individually analyzed.

 

3. You need to have documents that will confirm your eligibility.

What is always needed:
– the birth certificate of your Polish ancestor after whom you are confirming your Polish citizenship – the subsequent vital acts that prove your connection to your Polish ancestor.
– the proof that your ancestors had Polish citizenship – such as their Polish passport, military documents, entries in inhabitant books, notary documents, good conduct attestations, etc. Any kind of document issued in Poland can be valuable.
– documents confirming their emigration, such as ship manifests, etc.
– documents confirming the naturalization date of your ancestors or the lack of naturalization.
– more documents might be required by the Polish authorities depending on your specific case.

 

4. All the above requirements are met, am I sure to have my Polish citizenship confirmed?

One has to always be aware that the decision on citizenship confirmation is made based on a set of complicated laws and interpretation of the law can vary in different government offices. Also, the interpretation of the law by the court of justice tends to change from one case to another one (Poland does not use the common law system). Moreover, the office responsible for your case will make their own survey regarding your ancestors during which they may discover facts that you were not aware of.

 

Study case

Adam – a man born in Poland in 1896 in Tarnopol (today in Ukraine), married Jozefa in 1924, they emigrated to the US in 1930 with their four children born in Poland. Adam was naturalized in 1938 as an American. He was a salesman and did not enter military service in the US. Adam had four children born in Poland; his son Franciszek born in 1925 and three girls: Maria born in 1927 and twin girls Ewa and Anna born in 1929 in Poland. Two more boys were born in the US: Stanley in 1931 and Barney in 1934.

Adam should lose his Polish citizenship in 1938 when he was naturalized but he was in the age of military service in Poland so he was protected from the loss of citizenship until May 1950 when due to the changes in the military service age he lost his Polish citizenship together with his wife and their youngest son Barney who was younger than 18.

Adam’s oldest son Franciszek turned 18 in 1943. He joined the American army in 1944 and was dismissed from military service after World War 2. He kept his Polish citizenship as both his reserve and active duty were limited to the service in the army of an Allied country during World War 2. His descendants can confirm their Polish citizenship.

Adam’s oldest daughter Maria turned 18 in 1945 therefore before her father lost his Polish citizenship. However, Maria married in December 1950 an American citizen and, as a result, she lost her Polish citizenship. Her descendants cannot confirm their Polish citizenship.

Ewa and her twin sister Anna turned 18 in 1947, before the loss of Polish citizenship by their father. Ewa worked as a teacher from September 1950 and married an American in 1952. Working as a public functionary made Ewa lose her Polish citizenship in 1950. Her descendants cannot confirm their Polish citizenship.

Anna was also a teacher but she started her work only in 1952. She married an American citizen in 1953. As the loss of the Polish citizenship due to marriage was in force only till January 1951, Anna kept her Polish citizenship and she passed it on to her children and their descendants.

Stanley turned 18 in 1949, before the loss of Polish citizenship by his father. He worked in a grocery store and married an American citizen in 1950. His descendants can confirm their Polish citizenship.

Please note that your eligibility for the confirmation of your Polish citizenship depends on a much more complicated set of laws that were changing several times during the last 100 years. At the same time, the Polish borders were also changing. We have drawn the major lines to give you an idea of what you can expect. To check your eligibility for Polish citizenship you should always consult a specialist.

 

Is the confirmation of citizenship equal to obtaining a Polish passport?

It is a common confusion to mistake the confirmation of Polish citizenship with the Polish passport as a physical document. Once your Polish citizenship is confirmed, you will have to do the following steps to obtain your Polish passport:
– translate your birth/marriage record into a Polish vital record (this can be done through a Polish consulate)
– apply for the unique PESEL number (this can also be done through a Polish consulate)
– apply personally for your Polish passport through a Polish consulate in your country.

 

What if I’m not eligible for the confirmation of Polish citizenship?

If for any reason the citizenship confirmation will not be possible in your case, you still have two more options that you can consider:

1. The Polish Card (Karta Polaka) – applicable for those who have Polish ancestors, who are connected to Polish culture and heritage, and who speak at least basic Polish.
2. Recognition as a Polish citizen – applicable for those with Polish ancestry or Polish Card who are settled in Poland for at least a year based on a permanent residence permit.

 

Article prepared by Katarzyna Kasia Kacprzak for PolishOrigins’ clients

 

See also: Do you need Polish citizenship to live in Poland?

 

60 comments

  1. I was born in the US in 1950. Seven of my eight great grandparents were born in Poland with one just over the border near Ostrava, in Czechia. Two of my grandparents were born in Galicia, one in Czechia, and one in Chicago, 8 years after his parents immigrated from Poland. My parents were both born in Illinois. Is it possible for me to obtain dual citizenship? It is purely for the feeling of pride in my ancestry. I look forward to your reply.
    John Kalec

  2. I was born in the US. Six of my great grandparents were born in Poland, the other two were born in a village in Slovakia about 4 kilometers from the Polish border. My one grandparent was born in Poland, but today the village is in Belarus. My parents were both born in Pennsylvania. Could I obtain dual citizenship?

  3. Hello John,

    If your grandparents were born before 1920, which is the case as far as I remember from the information you shared with us before, you are not eligible to confirm your citizenship by descent.

    Anthony,

    The same question to you, were your ancestors born after 1920 or did they live in Poland after 1920?

    If not, you both can try to pursue one of the last two options to obtain (not to confirm) citizenship Kasia listed at the end of the article:

    1. The Polish Card
    2. Recognition as a Polish citizen

  4. All four of my grandparents were born in the Polish Partitions.

    On my father’s side, his father was born in 1875 in the Russian Partition according to family tradition. We don’t know much about his origins, even searches via internet haven’t turned up much info. He immigrated to the US in 1890. Dad’s mother was born in Posen (Poznan) in 1878 and immigrated to America in 1886. I learned this via documents: US Census, Ship manifest.

    On my mother’s side, both parents were born in Galicia in 1883 and 1888. They immigrated to the US in 1904 and 1907. I have found records of them in ship manifests. I have a baptismal certificate from Poland for my grandmother.

    I visited cousins in Izdebnik and Bialy Bor in 2015 and still keep in touch. My mother’s sister visited them twice in the 1970s and corresponded regularly with them. I have all the letters.

    I speak fairly basic Polish. Perhaps I might qualify for a Karta Polaka?

    Thanks
    Jasiu

    1. Hi! I saw your post and was curious if you were able to get more info on your eligibility for the Karta Polaka. My husband is in a similar situation but one generation back, his great-grandfather was Polish and came to the US in 1904 and his great grandmother left (at the time) Russia (now Belarus, an area that was occupied by Poland at one point) in 1913. He is interested in the Karta Polaka but probably only has one qualifying great-grandparent, which is not enough. Depending on what is considered Poland for these purposes.

  5. Jasiu,

    So far we were helping people in getting documents and confirming their Polish citizenship. You don’t qualify for confirming Polish citizenship.

    However, the two last options listed by Kasia are fairly new ones. Karta Polaka for a long time was limited to people of Polish descent from the former Soviet Union Republics. But recently it has changed and now it is an option for all people of Polish descent.

    If you want we can try to learn the legal details of the procedure to apply for Polish Card (Karta Polaka).

  6. My grandfather, born before 1920, immigrated to the USA in the early 1900s but never became a US citizen. He filed the paperwork, but died before he was naturalized. I have a copy of his baptism record from Poland/Galicia. If I can locate my great-grandfather’s registration in one of the inhabitant books or have some other Poland-issued document post-1920, could I be eligible for Polish citizenship? Would my grandfather have to have registered as a Polish citizen in some way in the US?

  7. Mary Ann,

    If you can locate any official documents like passport, employment for the Polish government, service in the Polish army or other public institution, registration in a book of inhabitants, issued in 1920 and forward then yes, there is a chance for you (as well as your siblings, cousins, your and their children) to confirm Polish citizenship.

    Before submitting any official applications to the Polish government our experts would assess your concrete case.

    Update:

    After learning more details from Mary Ann and consulting the case with Kasia (author of this article) we have more information which might be useful for all (Mary Ann already received this information).

    Mary Ann’s grandfather left his family in Europe before 1920 when there was no Poland state on the world map. When his parents, who remained in Poland, became Polish citizens in 1920, Mary Ann’s grandfather was already an adult living in the US. It means that his father (Mary Ann’s great-grandfather) couldn’t pass down citizenship to his adult son by default. So, even if we would be able to prove that Mary Ann’s great-grandfather lived in Poland in 1920’s, we do not have the continuity in all generations, all the way to Mary Ann. This is why according to the Polish citizenship and nationality law we cannot confirm Polish Mary Ann’s citizenship by descent.

    Thank you Kasia for straightening out my original comment which might mislead some of the readers.

    1. If Mary Ann’s grandfather had been a minor in 1920, would he have been recognized as a Polish citizen?

      1. If Mary Ann’s grandfather had been a minor in 1920, we would have needed to find his parents’ registration in one of the inhabitant books but if he had been adult, we would have need to find him in these records. If he or/and his parents were found, he would have been recognized as a Polish citizen.

  8. My father was born in Bialystok, Poland, in 1929. His parents were Ukrainian. During the War, apparently all their documents were lost as they ended up in multiple camps in 1943-44, eventually emigrating to Canada by way of Germany, as they feared repatriation to the Soviet Union by Stalin. My father obtained Canadian citizenship in 1954 and remained a Canadian citizen until his death. We have a “Certificate of Birth” issued by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in a parish in Heidenau, Germany in 1947 which stated his birth date, but not birth location. The document is issued on the basis of “civilian documents and confirmed by witnesses.”

    His Polish documents may no longer exist due to the destruction that occurred during the war, and his moving around to different refugee camps. How would I check to see if there are any official POLISH documents in existence? I understand some official Polish documentation would be required for me to claim Polish citizenship by descent.

    1. Olivia,
      I have sent you an email. Could you please send us more information: What was your father’s name? How do you know he was born in Białystok? What were the names of his parents?

      I will try to check what can be done in your case.

      All the best,

      Agnieszka Pawlus

  9. My Grandfather was born in Muzyliw in 1921. My father was born in Austria in 1949. They went to Australia in 1950 and were naturalized in 1965. Would my Dad, myself and my children be eligible for Polish Citizenship?

    1. Vicki,

      As Katarzyna wrote in the above article, there was one citizenship rule, so if they were naturalized in Australia, it means they automatically lost Polish citizenship. However if you would be interested in researching your roots in today’s Western Ukraine, feel free to contact us.

      Best regards,
      Agnieszka

      1. But that’s not necessarily true based on the “military paradox” rule: his is referred to as a ‘military paradox’. This article is the most important in many cases, especially from 1920-1951, which legalized Polish citizenship by descent. As article.1 clearly establishes, one cannot be a double citizen, but Polish citizens obligated for military service in Poland (i.e. men between the ages 18 – 50) did not lose their Polish citizenship after they emigrated to and naturalized in another country if they were not permanently released from military duty in Poland. In practice, this almost never happened. If not for this article in the Polish citizenship statue of 1920, 90% of Polish descendants would not be eligible for citizenship today. (N.b.: men who were over 50-years-old lost their Polish citizenship if they naturalized in a foreign country, as did their minor children). ]

    2. You may be elligible based on the “military paradox” rule: his is referred to as a ‘military paradox’. This article is the most important in many cases, especially from 1920-1951, which legalized Polish citizenship by descent. As article.1 clearly establishes, one cannot be a double citizen, but Polish citizens obligated for military service in Poland (i.e. men between the ages 18 – 50) did not lose their Polish citizenship after they emigrated to and naturalized in another country if they were not permanently released from military duty in Poland. In practice, this almost never happened. If not for this article in the Polish citizenship statue of 1920, 90% of Polish descendants would not be eligible for citizenship today. (N.b.: men who were over 50-years-old lost their Polish citizenship if they naturalized in a foreign country, as did their minor children). ]

  10. My great-grandfather was born in Michálkovice (Ostrava, Czechia) in 1903, but indicated in all subsequent documentation in the US that he was Polish and born in Michałowice. I’m working with a Polish document service to get any proof of his Polish citizenship. He emigrated to the US in 1905 with his parents, both of whom were born in Poland (father in Wieliczka and mother in Bochnia). My great-grandmother was born in Bialystok in 1907, and emigrated to the US in 1921. They got married in the US in 1925. I found that my great-grandfather filled out a draft card for World War II, but it seems he was never drafted nor served in the US military. I’ve read that even submitting one’s name for potential military service in a foreign country nulls the “military paradox” rule for Polish citizenship, but I’ve also read that WWII is specifically exempt.

    My grandmother was born in 1927 in the US.

    My great-grandparents both naturalized as US citizens in 1943, when my grandmother was 15.

    My grandmother married my US citizen grandfather in 1953.

    My mom was born in 1956 and married my US citizen father in 1986. I was born in 1987.

    My great-grandfather died in 1972, and my great-grandmother died in 2000. Their daughter, my grandmother, died in 2018.

    Is there any chance I may qualify for Polish citizenship by descent? I heard back from one of the Polish law firms I reached out to that I am not eligible because my grandmother, born in the US, reached the age of majority before 1951 and therefore lost her Polish citizenship. Is that the case?

  11. Hannah,

    I consulted your case with one of our lawyers specializing in the Polish citizenship law.

    He said the key here is the male ancestor. If he left after 1919 then we could pursue. But your grandfather left Poland in 1905. Your grandmother who left in 1921 doesn’t count, unfortunately…

  12. My great-great grandparents were born in Galicia (Dabrowa Tarnowska), present-day Poland, in the late 1850s/early 1860s to parents also born in Galicia/Tarnow in the early 1800s.

    My great-great grandfather left Galicia in 1892 and arrived in the United States to work with his son who had already arrived a few years prior. His wife followed him roughly 5 years after (1897) with the remaining children. Neither ever became naturalized US citizens before their deaths in the late 1920s.

    My great-grandmother was born in mid-1899 in the United States, and would have been under the age of 21 at the time of the 1920 decree and formation of Poland.

    My grandmother was born in 1920 in the United States, my father in 1949, and myself in 1990.

    Do either my father or I have a case that could be presented for citizenship or even a Karta Polaka?

    1. Will, I have to write you that probably you could not apply to confirm the polish citizenship by descent – your ancestors were abroad when Poland regulated this case (in 1920), however if you would like us to look closer on this case and have someone study all the nuances, feel free to contact us to [email protected].

  13. I’m interested in finding out if I may qualify for Polish citizenship.
    My grandfather was born in Rycice in 1891. Here is a Polish webpage about him:
    https://www.konskie.org.pl/2018/08/stefan-mydlarz-starosta-swiecianski-i.html
    My grandmother was very active in the Polish Girl Scouts. Here is a Polish webpage about her:
    http://www.zhppgk.org/organizacja_harcerek/egazetka_5/Nasze%20Instruktorki/mydlarzowa.htm
    My father Jan was born in Poland in 1927. He was a member of the Szare Szeregi in Warsaw during the Uprising, participating as a “sewer rat” in Zoliborz, 227 Platoon, Zyrafa II. At the end of the Uprising, he was placed in a German prisoner of war camp. When liberated at the end of the war in 1945, he eventually ended up in England where he stayed until 1956. That year, he emigrated to the USA and became a naturalized citizen in 1966.
    Would I qualify for Polish citizenship?
    Thank you!

    1. Hello Donna,

      Basing on your information, the chances that you qualify for Polish citizenship are indeed quite high!

      Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like further assistance in your case.

      Kind regards,
      Aleksander

  14. Carl Kozlowski was my paternal great grandfather, born in 1895 in Micholofka. Came to america in 1905. Petitioned for intent to naturalize in 1922. Naturalization completed 1924. I do have a WW2 draft card record on him but I don’t believe he actually served, as he was 46 at the time.
    He married a polish-descent (2 Polish parents) Sophie Brzezinski, who was born in Dickson City, Pennsylvania USA in 1894.
    Their daughter, my grandmother was born in 1930. My father born. 1956. I was born 1989. All in America.

    I was researching the Karta Polaka and reached out to the NYC consulate who said I should consider applying for confirmation of possession of Polish citizenship.

  15. My grandparents were born in Poland before WW2. My grandpa was born in 1932, my grandma in 1928. Both were displaced during WW2 but emigrated to America with help of the Red Cross during WW2. On condition of my grandpa’s immigration, he had to serve in the US Army in the South Korean War to become naturalized. He did not rescind his Polish citizenship though. Is there any loophole to serving in a foreign army if it was necessary due to trying to escape during WW2? I have his prisoner documents that were issued by the Nazi’s as well. My grandma never served in the army, so if I am ineligible to claim citizenship through my grandpa can I claim it through her? Thank you!

    1. Hello Angela,

      It would be important to know:
      – when did your grandparents marry?
      – when were your parents born?
      – when did your grandparents leave for the US?

      Kind regards,
      Aleksander Zawilski

  16. My great grandfather was born on December 26, 1881, in Poland and my great grandmother was born in 1889 in Austria. My grandfather was born in the US in 1911 when they immigrated to the US – would I qualify?

    1. Hello J Furgal,

      Sadly, based on this information, you are not eligible to obtain Polish citizenship.

      Kind regards,
      Aleksander Zawilski

  17. My wife was born in NYC to Polish immigrants in 1989. She proceeded to get her Polish Citizenship and passport. I am a US citizen only. What does this mean for our children?

    1. Hi Nicholas,

      It would be important to know when your children were born.

      Kind regards,
      Aleksander Zawilski

  18. My father got his citizenship and passport as a descendant of Polish parents.
    I and my partner are not married and we have 4 kids.
    My partner is written on the kids birth certificate as their father. This was done right after they were born.
    Do we also need to present proof of paternity from my partner even if the kids inherit the citizenship right from me?
    Thanks

  19. Hi Roni,

    You only need to prove the relationship between you and your father, and you and your children. Vital records should be enough. It does not matter that you and your partner are not married.

    Kind regards,
    Aleksander Zawilski

  20. My grandfather was born in Ulanov in 1907. In 1914 the family fled to W Germany, then came back to Galicia in 1916. After the 1918 independence, because of religious persecution, the family moved to Berlin. Some of the family (including my great grandparents) moved back to Poland in 1926, but my grandfather didn’t. He came to the US in 1939, and never served in a military service. My great grandparents perished in the Holocaust in 1944. Would we (my sister and I) qualify for Polish citizenship based on our great grandparents or grandfather?
    Thanks.

  21. It would quite difficult process to confirm your Polish citizenship but it could be possible if there was found documentation for your great-grandfather listed them as permanent residents in Poland in the 1910’s or/and in the 1920’s.
    Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like further assistance in your case.

  22. My mom was born in Poland in 1947 to polish/ Jewish parents. They emigrated to the us in 1963. She was naturalized in the us in 1970– while pregnant with me. Would my kids (9 and 14) and I be eligible for polish citizenship?

  23. This site is very helpful! I have been reading a lot of information here and elsewhere trying to find a situation comparable to mine. I was born in Białystok in 1959 and my parents, two older brothers and I emigrated to the U.S. in 1960. I do not have a Polish birth certificate but do have a certificate of my christening. I became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1971 with my parents. I grew up speaking Polish but my language skills today are quite limited. I’d like to get my Polish citizenship and a Polish passport if possible.

  24. My great grandfather was born in Poland in November 1921, captured in Normandy in 1944 and lived in Scotland as a prisoner of war. We believe he was part of the Polish Army under British command. He stayed in Scotland until his death in 1978. I do not know if he was naturalized but he did change his surname at one point. I was born in 1993 in England – would I qualify for Polish citizenship?

  25. My grandfather was born near Lublin Poland in 1905. His family had lived in this area for more than 3 generations. The entire family fled to Canada in 1924 due to religious persecution. All members carried Polish passports issued out of Chelm Poland. My grandfather was naturalized in Canada in 1938. He never did any military service / farmed his entire life). My mother was born in 1947 in Canada, and I was born in 1970. (The other side of the family is Mennonite of southern Ukrainian ancestry). Would I meet the criteria for Polish citizenship… would I have to have my mother confirm / obtain proof of citizenship first.

  26. Hi, I found this page, like many others, searching for information on eligibility for Polish citizenship based on ancestors who left Poland prior to 1920.

    I have 4 great-grandparents on the paternal side of my family (so both of my Polish great-grandmothers were married to Polish men) who were all born in the 1890s within the borders of what is now modern-day Poland, and all of them moved to the UK at some point between 1900 and 1920 (I don’t have dates for when they arrived here). One of my great-grandfathers chose to naturalise some time in the early 30s (based on census data). The other three did not, to my knowledge. I don’t know about military service.

    Is this something worth exploring? Is there a possibility I might be eligible for Polish citizenship?

  27. Hi,

    Firstly, great page, it is very informative.

    I have a question regarding the section “There should be no event of loss of Polish citizenship” header “Until 1951” and “1951-1962”. There are two bullet points:
    – Naturalization in a foreign country
    – Accepting citizenship of a different country.
    Are these the same thing or different?

    My Grandfather was born in Poland in 1921, and was naturalized as an Australia citizen in 1958. Would I still be eligible for citizenship?

    Also, can you help me to confirm if this is the right form?
    https://www.gov.pl/web/mswia-en/confirmation-of-possession-or-loss-of-polish-citizenship

  28. My great-grandfather was born in Bielitz, Austria (now Beilsko Poland) in 1874, immigrated to the US in 1879, and became a naturalized US citizen in 1925. My grandfather was born in 1901, so he was under the age 21, when the 1920 law became effective. Did he become a Polish citizen at that time?
    My father was born in 1949, and myself in 1981. All children born to married parents. Do I have a chance to claim citizenship by descent?

    1. Hi Jo. For your grandfather to become a Polish citizen, he would have to reside in Poland at that time, if he was born in the US and stayed there in 1920, then we cannot prove your eligibility for Polish citizenship.

  29. My great grandfather was born in 1907 in Horodenka Galicia (present day Ukraine) which was under Polish control when he lived there (they took control in 1921 and he was there until 1927). I have a document from the Canadian government from when he immigrated which says he was a Polish citizen at the time (also have his baptism document). He also served in the Canadian military during WWII – I believe I read that having served with Allied forces during the war helps preserve his citizenship. Would I be eligible for Polish citizenship based on this?

  30. Hello- my grandmother was born in Korczyn, Poland in 1918. Her 4 siblings were also born there. (My great aunts/uncles) Her father , ( my great grandfather) was born in Podzimierz, Sokal, Galicia in 1886. The whole family left for Canada in 1926. My grandmother married my grandfather (a Norwegian/ Canadian) in the 1930’s. I have read that the marriage to a foreign husband might sever my ties to Poland. Is that always the case? Do I have any chance to get citizenship through descent? Many thanks in advance.

  31. Hi,
    I recently got my positive decision of Polish citizenship by decent. I know the next step is to register my birth certificate and marriage certificate. My representative in Poland is advising me that it is not necessary to register the marriage certificate and it’s a bit expensive. I think he said over $400 USD. He said that when I go to the consulate in my country and apply for a passport I can put down “single” as my status. He said there is no way I can get in trouble for this. I.e. it’s not considered a crime. Has anyone done this? i.e. not registered their marriage cert and still got a passport? Also, I’m wondering if this has any affect on my wife as I know spouses of EU citizens have certain rights. Some example I can think of is if we ever live in an EU country, do we need that “Polish marriage certificate”, or can we always use our original one from outside of Europe to prove our marriage and be able to get residency for my wife? What if we ever decide to live in Poland in the future and we need a residency visa for her? What will happen at the consulate? Will they insist we register the marriage first in Poland and then apply for the residency visa?

    My representative is making lite of this, but as you can see, some concerns have come to my mind, and if by not registering the marriage now, there could be problems in the future, I’d rather just register it and get it over with.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Did you ever get a reply on this? I am in similar situation and didn’t even know that the registration was so expensive!

      1. My rep said that we should register the marriage certificate if we ever have plans to live in Europe in the future, so my wife can live in Europe too.
        He strongly advised against filling out the passport application as single, getting the passport now, and then later trying to register the marriage certificate, because that will show up as an outright lie for when I got the passport (putting down single when I know I am married). Not sure how that would go down. Maybe nothing would happen. But, wouldn’t want to get into any legal troubles.

        1. Thanks Alan,
          So you got different advice from two different reps? Ideally it would be great to do everything by the book although it seems to me the consulate seems to be more interested in getting massive paperwork than in the interest of the applicant. Either way, best not to delay the pain unless you’re really in a bind and need a passport quickly.
          I think I’ll look into getting some professional advice on this before I proceed.
          Thanks again for replying.

          1. It was the same rep. It’s just that when I queried him more on the topic mentioning how maybe one day I’d like to live in Europe and have my wife be with me, then he changed his position. Not sure why he originally assumed I would not ever want to live in Europe with my wife. Go figure. Good luck .

            1. Proves how important it is to cover everything with them. Mind you, things are complicated these days. I wonder if even the consulate people have to learn on the job.
              Good luck to you as well!

  32. Hello. My grandfather was born in Galitzia/lvyv region in 1909 during austro hungarian empire. He stayed there until 1930 when he left the country. Could I apply for a polish citizenship by descent??
    Which documents should i look for? Paperworks of his emigration?? Because place of birth would be austria… in which kind of doc would figure as polish?

  33. My great grandparents were both born in Ropczyce, Poland and a friend obtained official Polish baptismal certificates issued from the church. I also have an official Republic of Poland document for their marriage in Ropczyce, Poland.
    My grandfather was also born in Ropczyce and I have his original paper baptismal certificate that is full of creases and has some tears with it’s original stamp + obtained an official Republic of Poland document for his birth.
    They left Poland 30apr1929 and arrived in Canada 24may1929.
    I have pieces of my great grandmothers and great grandfathers passports (it is not intact)
    I am told that without proof they were residents/citizens that I cannot obtain Polish citizenship through ancestry?
    How do I prove they were residents/citizens of Poland? The passport was issued in Warsaw but I do not believe they have any records available due to fires and floods that have occurred during the years. I have discovered that there may be records relating to my ancestors in the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv. The last name and house number listed is the same and many of the church records I have obtained all reference to the same house number.
    It states:
    This record comes from the Ropczyce Landowners (1849) database, fond 126, series 4, scan IMG_0293. The original records are held in Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv (TsDIAL) and were added to this search engine on 21 April 2017. The Gesher Galicia unique record ID is GG-ropczyce_landowners_1849-278.
    Does anyone know why the records are in Ukraine and does anyone know if “land records” would help me to prove they were residents?
    Does anyone know of any ways to prove citizenship / residence for my grandfather and grandparents?
    I have copies of church records that date back to the birth of my great, great, great, great grandfather.
    Thanks in advance for any ideas, databases, researchers etc. that you might have!
    Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I’d say you have an extremely good chance of confirming your citizenship. Maybe 95%. There are some fine details that a lawyer will have to confirm, but assuming they left in 1929 and with those documents you already have, you are probably a Polish citizen right now. My grandfather left Lwow in 1929 and a geneology company got many documents in the Lviv archives which made my case solid. Luckily the Lviv archives survived the war very well.

  34. I recently confirmed my Polish citizenship and found out that in order to get a passport I also need to present my Polish registered foreign marriage to the Polish consulate in addition to my Polish birth certificate. Currently, I have not registered the marriage in Poland as the marriage took place in an Asian country and now we need to go to the Polish consulate in that country in order to certify the original marriage certificate is valid (this will be an onerous task). Only then can I take that and register it in Poland. And, only then can I apply for my Polish passport. This is going to take some time. My question is – Why does Poland require their citizens to present a registered Polish marriage certificate in order to obtain a Polish passport? I believe many countries don’t do this at all. If I am a citizen of Poland, why does anything about my marriage status matter? Is there any way to obtain a Polish passport as a citizen in an emergency if you don’t present your Polish marriage certificate? Thank you very much in advance to anyone that can shed some light on this rule. I was told that one way I could do this is to put down I am single on the application, but that would be lying and I don’t want to do that. Furthermore, I want my wife to be able to live with me in the future in Europe if we ever decide to do that.

    1. If you get a reply to this please post. I’m in a similar situation and also find it strange that a marriage certificate is necessary for a passport, the marriage status does not impact your citizenship you either are a citizen or you’re not.

  35. Hi Steven,
    Thanks for your comments. I am glad you posted about the difficulties with the location of your marriage. I was married in Carribean so this will definitely make me re-think the application process. Can I ask which company you used for your confirmation of Polish citizenship?
    Cheers,
    Michelle

    1. Michelle, to clarify, your citizenship can be confirmed without the marriage registration, the problem only arises if you want a passport.

  36. My father was born in the us but has a polish passport. I’m now 23. Can I apply for polish citizenship with just that passport, or will I need additional documentation?

  37. Hi,
    My great grandfather were born in Poland, Bednarka and his wife was born in Hurko, Poland. I have
    – his passport which was issued on 1956 and the nationality there is Ukrainian while place of birth is Poland.
    – birth day information from Księgu urodzeń
    – wife’s certificate of graduation from polish school.
    While searching more I discover that all ancestors started from my great grandfather were in Wietlin Poland started from 1800 maybe even more (with documental proofs from Księgu urodzeń)
    Is there a chance with such case to apply for Karta Polaka?
    Thanks!

  38. So my husband and sons qualify for Polish citizenship, but right now I am more worried about conscription in the Polish army. They have never lived there or speak the language. I know they don’t have conscription now, but…..

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