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Born in Poland, moved to US as a baby - What do i need to get a PL passport?

16 Sep 2011 #1
I was born in Plock, Poland. I speak fluent Polish (naprawde) ;)

My family left Poland in 84 when I was 6 months old. I only have a birth certificate from Plock and an old old polish passport that expired almost 20 years ago when I was a kid. Other than that, pretty much all my documentation is U.S. stuff.

I'm in Plock right now, and I know I want to stay in Poland for longer. I want to get a passport so I can stay indefinitely...

Does anyone know if I can handle this in Plock? If not, then i'm assuming warsaw...

What documents do I need to have sent over here so that I can accomplish this? I have my U.S. passport only at the moment - I'll have to ask the parents to ship over any other stuff (if i need it).

. Rafal
antheads 13 | 355
16 Sep 2011 #2
If you were born in Poland you have automatically been assigned a PESEL number, this number is key to getting anywhere with polish beucracy. But basically there are two ways of doing things, one is in poland where u have to run around to 3-4 different goverment departments, the other is overseas where u go to your polish embasy and they take care of it all but you have pay more. I have done both so can guide you through the torture that is the first choice if you want :). The end of the road of this process is the dowod osobiesty and you are a bonafide polish citizen when u have this card. Getting a passport is easy afther this. The old polish passport may have the PESEL number, in fact i'm pretty sure it does, the next step after your birth certificiate and your pesel number is your citizenship certificiate and then is the meldunek.,. and it goes on :)
Olaf 6 | 955
16 Sep 2011 #3

What you should do in these circumstaces is verify your citizenship. It is a fairly simple procedure done at your Urząd Wojewódzki. Costs 58 PLN and you wait about up to a month and it seems in your case you would be considered as Polish national according to the law. Then you can apply for a new passport and any other document.
antheads 13 | 355
16 Sep 2011 #4
Olaf, thats not how i remember it ! You can't get your citizenship certificaite without your pesel and birth certificiate and overseas passport, you cant get a passport in poland without a dowód osobisty (not applicable overseas) , you can't get a dowód osobisty without your pesel, citizenship certificiate, birth certificiate and the all important meldunek (place of residence) document
Olaf 6 | 955
16 Sep 2011 #5
Not really. I did such a thing. No PESEL, no documents, born in the US, with US passport, but Polish mother. And after this procedure it was clear that Polish nationality applies. It wouldn't make much sense if you couldne confirm your Polish citizenship if you don't have the document and numbers that you mentioned. In most cases people don't have them when they do it, that's why they do it...
antheads 13 | 355
16 Sep 2011 #6
You got your polish passport (in poland) without a dowód ,a Pesel and meldunek? i find this very hard to beleive, sure you can prove your citizenship but that is only one link in the beurocratic chain.
Olaf 6 | 955
16 Sep 2011 #7
It is one link, of course! But it is the first also. Bear with me: after that (or even in the meantime, doesn't matter here) you go with your foreign passport to register your address. You can only do it for a period up to 3 months which gives you almost nothing. You do it anyway, and soon comes the decision that you are Polish. So you can prolong your registration of addres for period longer than 3 months (non-Polish citizens would have to show their residence card or registration of stay, but you've been just confirmed Polish, so you don't need it, right?). You register address and then the PESEL is being generated automatically because you shift the application duty to your local gmina and you don't care, just wait about 3-4 weeks and call them about your PESEL. Now, you have PESEL, registered address and you can apply for the rest of documents, especially dowod osobisty, in the meantime you can apply for passport if you show or even say that you don't have the other because you are in the progress of getting it... It works, I have done it.
OP plockguy
18 Sep 2011 #8
I'll ask my parents to ship over the documents. Do you think I won't be able to pull this off in 2 months? I don't want to have to fly back to the US and pay for a plane ticket just to come back again...

If I have the PESEL, i'll find it out. I have the birth certificate... so I'll get the dowod osobiesty. But I need an address too? Can I get a dowod osobiesty without explicitly stating my address (I'm getting getting a long-term apartment)?

Someone told me once that I can actually have my US address to get the polish passport - is that true?
antheads 13 | 355
18 Sep 2011 #9
Someone told me once that I can actually have my US address to get the polish passport - is that true?

Yes if you apply for the passport in america.
plockguy 1 | 7
18 Sep 2011 #10
Sounds like i'm better off handling all of this stuff over at the NY consulate - do you think I can handle everything via email and phone... or will I have to visit in person...
BBman - | 344
18 Sep 2011 #11
I did it in person (in Canada) - i would suggest you take care of this in the US. Polish bureaucracy is a tough cookie to crack, so i went to the Polish consulate in person. They will need to see a lot of documents, not only yours but your parents' too. Basically take every piece of ID you have.
antheads 13 | 355
20 Sep 2011 #12
Can I get a dowod osobiesty without explicitly stating my address

I did it but would not recomend it , basically i went to the local gmina where i was born and got the dowod there as that was my last meldunek. So the back of my dowod was blank for the address field, the polish police didin;t like that :)
Olaf 6 | 955
20 Sep 2011 #13
I did it but would not recomend it

I'm surprised you managed to get such - it is against the law act concerning Polish IDs and Population Register Act. And this ID without address would not be fully functional.
20 Sep 2011 #14
I can actually help you to obtain a Polish passport.

Free legal advice:
BBman - | 344
20 Sep 2011 #15
I'm surprised you managed to get such - it is against the law act concerning Polish IDs and Population Register Act. And this ID without address would not be fully functional.

It is not illegal to not have an address on a dowod osobisty! The only problem it could cause is finding a job. I didn't have an address on my DO during my last several months in Poland.
plockguy 1 | 7
9 Dec 2011 #16
Just wanted to update everyone with the results.

So... I decided not to try to get my polish passport in Poland. Since I only had about 60 days left on my schengen stamp, it was too risky considering all i've heard about the beaurocracy in warsaw and how slow things can move there.

I went back to USA and went to the Polish Consulate in NYC.

The polish consulate in NYC (and you CANNOT do this in poland) actually considers your previous passport valid for renewal as long as it isn't expired over *20* years. I simply handed in my passport which expired in 1994 along with 1 birth certificate from Plock (really old piece of paper). I explained that I was in a rush to the woman at the consulate, and she wrote a letter and included it in my application to "Speed things up" in warsaw for me.

I got my polish passport in 1.5 months... no hassles!

Now I can go back to Poland as a polish citizen, and get my dowod and possibly name change.

Please consider getting this kind of stuff done at your consulate VS in poland... it's much easier.
amcapol - | 12
11 Dec 2011 #17
You really puzzle me. Why you want to go back to Poland. I can understand going for vacations...but permanently????
USA gives us unlimited opportunity. I came to USA not speaking one English word and is beter than I could ever imagined. My son ( about your age) has great a carrier , satisfaction etc he could never dream to have in PL.

Majority preferred to go to USA. You go in opposite direction...funny.
Pierdolski - | 31
11 Dec 2011 #18
I know 'Americans' that moved to Poland to nice places and nice neighborhoods. They like is better than the US.
plockguy 1 | 7
11 Dec 2011 #19
Hey amcapol,

It actually started out as just a visit, but things can unravel quickly when you're looking for new opportunities. I'm opening a company there with my cousin. It's actually aimed at Poles like myself (and you) who still have strong ties to Poland, but live abroad. Hopefully, many of you guys will end up using it ;)

I've lived in the US my whole life. I admit i'm lucky - I got the great education, I've got (or, had, since I decided to stop working) a bunch of great paying jobs too. I've saved enough money up where i'm travelling and trying new things out. Prior to this decision, I spent a year travelling and living in various places in Southeast Asia. Living there, for financial gain, is much worse than Poland, but i'm strongly considering moving there after I spend a year in Poland.

When you have the means to escape, and you've had the taste of escaping, living in one "place" gets very stale. Whether it's Poland, San Diego, San Francisco, NYC (i've lived in all those), I want to see more. I'm only 28, but it's an important lifestyle decision for me.

So to better respond to your comment, I don't plan on living there forever ;-). I'm just trying new things out and want to launch this thing and see how it turns out.

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