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American Marries Polka-Want to move to Poland-but-past mistakes-felony???

22 Mar 2009 /  #1
My wife (a Polish citizen) and I are possibly looking to move to Poland in the next 5 or 10 yrs (I'm American) and I'd be wanting to get residency then later citizenship. Unfortunately I made some major mistakes in college and ended up with a felony (battery) conviction and two misdemeanor DUI's five years ago... have been sober since, gotten my master's degree, and have worked in state government for last 3 yrs. Any idea on if I could ever obtain residency? Polish law seems to indicate I'd be fine (Article 57 of Act of June 13th 2003 on foreigners), but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website says if you were "sentenced for common crimes" outside of Poland you couldn't legally enter the country. Anyone have experience in this area?
22 Mar 2009 /  #2
I do no have experience with it, but I know that you would be fine. No worries. Polish law doesn't care so much about you driving UI in the past.
23 Mar 2009 /  #3
Thanks chris1912pl. My wife tells me the same that you do, that the law is pretty relaxed... I noticed you mentioned the DUIs are not such a big deal (those are misdemeanors or lesser "common" crimes), but what about the felony (a more serious "przestepstwo")? Of course in the end I might try to contact a Polish attorney to be sure, was just wondering if anyone had known someone who had to deal with a similar issue...
plk123 8 | 4,142  
23 Mar 2009 /  #4
call a PL embassy/consulate and ask. :)
mafketis 36 | 10,791  
23 Mar 2009 /  #5
I'm not about to say this:

Chances are if you don't tell them, they'll never find out.

I didn't say that.
23 Mar 2009 /  #6
Haha yes that is prob true mafketis :) but I don't want it to haunt me years down the line if something ever does come up. I called and spoke w/someone at the embassy and he basically said that if I submit an app for residency it will be denied, but I also asked if there was an appeals process and he said yes, there is. That might be the best I can do without an attorney. It might be worth mentioning my grandfather's parents came over from Poland to Canada in 1905 then the US around 1910. Not sure if I have a claim to citizenship, but if I can round up records, maybe.
24 Mar 2009 /  #7
You can apply for citizenship through the presidental procedure.
25 Mar 2009 /  #8
Thanks for the tip-- looks like I'd have 14 days from receipt of the denial in which to appeal the decision with the President of the Office for Repatriation and Aliens.

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