Receiving Polish citizenship from the President of the Republic of Poland
The President of the Republic of Poland may grant Polish citizenship to any foreigner upon request of the said foreigner. It is a constitutional power of the President, which is not limited by any conditions.
The President grants Polish citizenship in the form of a decision that is arbitrary, final and requires no justification.
This manner of obtaining Polish citizenship is not subject to the Code of administrative procedure, and therefore:
- the deadlines for administrative procedures do not apply; the time required to handle the case may be longer, because of the number of authorities involved in the procedure and their duties with respect to opining or providing information related to the case;
- the decision made by the President is not subject to appeal; however, one may submit another application.
There are no formal requirements to be met by the foreigner in order to obtain Polish citizenship this way.
Applying for Polish citizenship
Foreigners applying for Polish citizenship must ensure that their application meets the formal requirements. Detailed information about these requirements can be found in article 20 of the act on Polish citizenship and the resolution of the President of the Republic of Poland dated 7 August 2012 on the template of the Polish citizenship application form, the requirements concerning the photographs attacked to the application, as well as the templates of the deed of granting Polish citizenship and the notice of refusal to award Polish citizenship. The most important requirements include the following:
- Wniosek musi być złożony na urzędowym formularzu, wypełnionym w języku polskim, oraz zawierać szereg ściśle określonych załączników;
- Dokumenty stanowiące załączniki muszą być złożone w oryginałach lub kopiach potwierdzonych za zgodność z oryginałem;
- Wszystkie dokumenty w języku obcym muszą być przetłumaczone na język polski przez polskiego tłumacza przysięgłego lub polskiego konsula;
- Konieczne jest także załączenie aktualnego zdjęcia osoby objętej wnioskiem;
- Wniosek nie podlega opłacie skarbowej. W przypadku, gdy obywatelstwo polskie ma zostać nadane dziecku, wniosek składają jego przedstawiciele ustawowi, którymi zazwyczaj są rodzice. Jeżeli władza rodzicielska przysługuje obojgu rodzicom, muszą oni oboje taki wniosek podpisać.
If the citizenship is to be granted to a child, the application is submitted by the child’s statutory representatives, usually the parents. However, if the parental authority is vested in both parents, they both must sign the application.
The application for Polish citizenship is submitted to the President of the Republic of Poland via the competent authority, i.e.:
The Polish consul
in the case of applications filed by:
Province governor having jurisdiction of the place of residence of the interested party
in the case of applications submitted by foreigners staying legally in Poland (except for those staying in Poland by virtue of a visa or visa-free traffic).
The application may be submitted personally at the competent office or sent by traditional mail (preferably by registered mail for evidence purposes). In the latter case the applicant’s signatures should be officially certified.
If the application meets all the statutory requirements and all the required documents are attached to it (the list of the documents required can be found here), the authority receiving the application will issue an opinion in the case and forward it together with the application to the Minister of the Interior. The authority has 14 business days to issue its opinion.
Next, the Minister of the Interior also takes a position in the case and forwards the application together with a full set of documents to the President; however, prior to forwarding the application the Minister may apply to the competent authorities for material information concerning the case. The authorities have 30 days to give this information, but this deadline may be extended to 3 months.
As you can see, the proceedings in the case of being granted Polish citizenship by the President can be lengthy. However, this is not the rule, since at each stage of the proceedings the President may decide for the given case to be forwarded directly to him.
The date of the President’s decision to grant Polish citizenship is the date on which the foreigner receives Polish citizenship.
The province governor who received the application for citizenship provides the applicant with the deed of granting Polish citizenship or the notice of refusal to grant citizenship