General information

Polish legislation provides for the naturalisation of foreigners, but it does not require them to abandon their original citizenship in order to obtain Polish citizenship. Furthermore, a Polish citizen who is also a citizen of another country has the same rights and obligations towards the Republic of Poland as a person who only has Polish citizenship.

The matter of obtaining Polish citizenship is regulated in the act on Polish citizenship dated 2 April 2009 and in the act on repatriation dated 9 November 2000.

Under article 4 of the act on Polish citizenship, Polish citizenship can be obtained through one of the following ways:

  • obtaining it by virtue of the law,
  • being granted it by the President of the Republic of Poland,
  • being accepted as a citizen of Poland by virtue of a decision of a province governor,
  • having Polish citizenship restored by virtue of a decision of the Minister in charge of the Interior.

Entering into marriage with a citizen of Poland does not automatically grant Polish citizenship.
In general, if the parents obtain or lose Polish citizenship, their underage children also obtain or lose Polish citizenship accordingly.

However, if the underage child is 16 years old, his or her consent issued in the form of a declaration is required for the above-mentioned effect to apply. This means that such an underage person decides independently whether or not he or she wishes to obtain/lose Polish citizenship.

Obtaining citizenship
/ Losing citizenship

One of the parents

Also applies to the underage child if he or she remains under the parental authority of this parent and at the same time:

  • the other parent has no parental authority, or
  • the other parent has filed a declaration of consent to the underage child’s obtaining or losing of Polish citizenship.

Both parents

Also applies to the underage child if he or she remains under their parental authority.

The act utilises the definition of an “underage child”, which is understood as a person that is younger than 18 and hasn’t married yet (because an underage person that gets married is automatically considered a major (article 10 of the Civil Code)).

It should be noted that when the act mentions the “place of residence” (“miejsce zamieszkania” in Polish) it is different than the the place of registered residence (“miejsce zameldowania” in Polish). In the case of registration it is the precise address of a person’s residence that is important, but in line with article 25 of the Civil Code the place of residence is the locality where the person is staying with the intent of permanent residence.

The applicant may appoint an attorney to oversee the matters related to the obtaining of citizenship. The power of attorney is attached to the application together with the proof of paying the stamp duty (PLN 17). However, powers of attorney granted to the spouse, parents, children, and siblings of the applicant are released from the above-mentioned duty. The degree of kinship should be proven with documents attached to the application. If the applicant lives abroad and appointed no attorney to oversee the case, then he or she should designate a service agent in Poland, i.e. a person to whose address all correspondence will be sent. Service agency is not subject to stamp duty. If no service agency for correspondence is established, then all letters and decisions remain in the case file and are deemed delivered.


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Project “New law - my new rights” is co-financed by European Fund for Integration
of Third Country Nationals and Polands state budget

 Copyright © by Foundation for Development Beyond Borders, 2015