The Polish passport is undoubtedly one of the most valuable documents in the world. This is why so many foreigners residing in our country apply for citizenship. There is also a good chance that a Polish passport will be issued to family members.
The rules on obtaining Polish citizenship for family members are an important aspect of migration law. Therefore, below we will try to discuss issues related to obtaining Polish citizenship for family members, discussing the rules, requirements and procedures. If you need even more information on this issue, please go to https://fivetoeurope.com/faqs/family-members-of-a-polish-citizen/.
Who may apply for citizenship?
Any adult foreign family member may acquire Polish citizenship on general principles by being granted citizenship by the President of the Republic of Poland. These persons include, for example:
– Spouses of Polish citizens
One of the most common cases of obtaining Polish citizenship is attempted by spouses of Polish citizens. The process is usually simplified, but there are still some requirements to be met, which will be mentioned below.
– Children of Polish citizens
As in the case of spouses, children of Polish citizens also have the right to obtain Polish citizenship. It is worth noting the differences depending on the age of the child and the need to fulfil certain conditions.
– Other family members
Apart from spouses and children, there are other categories of family members who may apply for Polish citizenship. These include foster families or parents of adult Polish citizens.
Conditions for Obtaining Polish Citizenship
The main conditions that predispose one to apply for Polish citizenship include:
– Period of residence in Poland
One of the basic conditions for obtaining Polish citizenship is the period of residence in Poland. Depending on the category of applicant, the required period may vary.
– Knowledge of the Polish language
Knowledge of the Polish language is one of the key elements of obtaining citizenship. There are language tests, the results of which are taken into account when assessing the application.
– Social and cultural integration
Assessment of the applicant’s social and cultural integration also plays an important role in the process of obtaining citizenship. Therefore, active participation in the social and cultural life of Poland is advisable.
– Earning an income on the territory of Poland
Another factor affecting the possibility of acquiring Polish citizenship is the ability to earn a living and demonstrate this on the territory of Poland.
Ways of acquiring Polish Citizenship
Issues concerning the ways of acquiring Polish citizenship, but also of losing it, are regulated by the Act of 2 April 2009 on Polish citizenship. It stipulates that the main ways of acquiring a Polish passport are:
- Inheritance of citizenship by blood (Ius Sanguinis principle): Obtaining Polish citizenship by virtue of being born to at least one parent who holds Polish citizenship is the principle of blood. Regardless of the place of birth of the child – whether in Poland or abroad – he/she is granted Polish citizenship by virtue of law (Article 14 point 1 of the Act on Polish Citizenship).
- The principle of territory (Ius Soli): If a child is born or found in Poland and both parents are unknown, have undetermined citizenship or are stateless, the territory principle applies. In such a case, the child acquires Polish citizenship by operation of law (Articles 14(2) and 15 of the Polish Citizenship Act).
- Full adoption – adoption: a child adopted by one or more persons holding Polish citizenship becomes a Polish citizen if the process of full adoption takes place before the child reaches the age of 16. In such a situation, the child is assumed to have acquired Polish citizenship from the moment of birth.
- Granting by the President of the Republic of Poland: The President of the Republic of Poland has the power to grant Polish citizenship to a foreigner at his/her request (Article 18 of the Citizenship Act). The President is also not subject to constitutional limitations in this respect and may grant citizenship to any foreigner.
Accordingly, the granting of citizenship to both parents also covers children subject to their parental authority. If one parent has been granted citizenship and a child under his or her parental authority is also granted citizenship, provided the other parent does not have parental authority or has agreed to grant citizenship to the child. It is also possible to apply for citizenship only for a child, for example, if the parents have Polish citizenship and the child did not acquire it for some reason, e.g. the adoption took place before 15 August 2012. However, when the child reaches the age of 16, the granting of citizenship requires the child’s consent.
Application for Polish Citizenship
Before anyone is granted Polish citizenship, they are first obliged to apply for it. Such an application in Poland is filed through the Provincial Governor competent for the place of residence of the person interested in obtaining a Polish passport. On the other hand, if one is not currently residing on the territory of Poland, the role of the voivode in this case is performed by the competent consul, and it is to him/her that the application for citizenship should be submitted.
The application should be submitted in person or by correspondence with an officially certified signature. Furthermore, if the application contains documents in a foreign language, the applicant is obliged to have them translated into Polish – the translation must be made by a sworn translator or a consul of the Republic of Poland. A list of all documents which must be submitted with the application can be found on the website of the Polish consulate or on the websites of individual voivodeship offices.