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Waiting for confirmation of citizenship through Grandfather - have birth certificate


PolishQuartus
24 Feb 2015 #1
Hello everyone,

I'm very happy to find this forum and talk to people who know about my situation or have maybe been through the same experience of trying to regain their family's Polish citizenship.

My grandfather was Polish. He was born in 1924, a prisoner during WWII, and didn't leave Europe until 1951, and did not give up his citizenship until 1995, so I don't think I have any problems there.

I started the process of confirming my citizenship over 2 years ago. Its taken a long time due to the difficulty of finding proof of my family's long term history in Poland. I don't speak Polish, but I have been working with a researcher/notary in Poland and she has found many documents for me in archives and through document traces. Recently the most important document turned up in the search, my grandfather's original metric birth certificate, which his extended family's names and locations registered on it, and we have submitted the confirmation request to the Voivodeship in Warsaw. In addition to this I have his war documents, his immigration documents, and copies of his naturalisation documents in the US, and I've done the submission of all documents for myself and my father from our country of origin etc. I already received my Polish birth certificate in the summer.

My questions are these:
- If I have already received my Polish birth certificate, does that imply that I have a good chance of succeeding in my application?
- How long does the confirmation stage take? I have read varying accounts from 2 months to 2 years, but I'm not sure if that includes all of the stages, or just this one?

Thanks everyone for your comments and thoughts.
Harry
24 Feb 2015 #2
He was born in 1924, a prisoner during WWII, and didn't leave Europe until 1951, and did not give up his citizenship until 1995, so I don't think I have any problems there.

None of that matters. What matters is when he took US citizenship.
OP PolishQuartus
24 Feb 2015 #3
Sorry - to clarify, he never gave up his Polish citizenship. He did become a US citizen in 1995.
Harry
24 Feb 2015 #4
So he's OK there. What about your father or mother? And while we're on the topic, did your father serve in US military? Did he complete or gain exemption from his Polish military obligations?
OP PolishQuartus
24 Feb 2015 #5
My father never served in the US military, and did not gain exemption from Polish service. My family has never had any contact with the Polish government until I began this process, something I am hoping to change.
Harry
24 Feb 2015 #6
That failure to obtain exemption could be a major problem. I know of cases where people had their Polish citizenship for failing to complete or get exemption from service obligation and had the citizenship of their children stripped too.

I really would urge you to contact the Polish consulate and ask them about your status; they are the people who will make the decision. Some of the 'researchers' etc who 'help with' citizenship applications are less than honest and will keep churning out documents for as long as there is money to pay for their services.
OP PolishQuartus
24 Feb 2015 #7
Thank you Harry, I will look into that with my local consulate. If that is the case, there is really nothing I can do about it at this point, but I will raise my concern.

Do you have any comments on my questions above, regarding whether or not there is a connection between receiving a Polish birth certificate and confirmation, and how long the actual confirmation stage takes from within Poland?
Harry
24 Feb 2015 #8
I'm somewhat confused by your statement that you are dealing with "the Voivodeship in Warsaw", as far I am aware all applications from persons who permanently reside outside Poland need to be made through that person's local consulate.
OP PolishQuartus
24 Feb 2015 #9
Its fairly common, it seems, for applicants to hire a lawyer or notary who handles the application in person from within Poland. That way the notary or lawyer visits the specific office to check on the progress of the case. I know of one person in the UK who obtained their Polish citizenship via the same means (using the same notary I am at the moment).

(then once citizenship is confirmed, I will visit my local consulate to apply for the passport, etc)
Harry
24 Feb 2015 #10
Why would you want to pay somebody to do something you can do yourself for free?!
OP PolishQuartus
24 Feb 2015 #11
I don't speak Polish. I get that you don't approve, but you aren't being very helpful?
Harry
24 Feb 2015 #12
You don't need to speak Polish in order to apply with your local Polish consulate, in fact one of the things they do is certify translations of your English-language documentation.

One big advantage with the consulate is that they do not have a vested interest either way in your application, unlike various offices which charge not inconsiderable amounts of money to 'assist' with applications. You wouldn't be the first person to spend a large amount of money pursuing Polish citizenship only to find out that your application could have been assessed and found to be insufficient in a matter of moments but whose 'assistant' instead milked them for a fat chunk of fees before giving the bad news.

I neither approve nor disapprove; if anything I really don't care. But I do hate to see people being taken for a ride, and that happens all too often with Polish citizenship applications.
OP PolishQuartus
24 Feb 2015 #13
Ok Harry, I see your point and thanks for the information. So far the only thing I have paid for was the direct fees for the tracing services, so I don't feel I have been put in a bad position (yet). I have seen some of the really expensive services and I agree they seem overpriced. I have found it helpful to have the legal advice of the notary I am working with, given that a rejected application is a bad situation as you cannot really get a second chance. This notary only collects a fee if the application is successful.

Anyway, I invite answers to the questions listed above in my original post, which is really why I put up the thread in the first place.
Harry
24 Feb 2015 #14
- If I have already received my Polish birth certificate, does that imply that I have a good chance of succeeding in my application?

It doesn't say much, if anything, about your chances. Even being born in Poland doesn't make a person Polish, so having a Polish birth certificate doesn't mean much more than you have a Polish version of your birth certificate (which, by the way, you do not need to have in order to be confirmed as a Polish citizen).

- How long does the confirmation stage take?

That is going to depend on how complicated your application is (yours doesn't seem to complex), how many times you are asked to supplement documents, how long it takes you to get those documents, etc etc. It also depends on whether it is still possible to have the 'double confirmation' procedure carried out (i.e. your father is confirmed as a Polish citizen at the same time as you and in the same process) or whether you have to follow the path whereby your father is confirmed as a Polish citizen who has the right to pass on citizenship and then you are confirmed as a Polish citizen.

One more thing while it's in my head, did your grandfather complete or gain exemption from his Polish military obligations?
grspring 11 | 56
24 Feb 2015 #15
Interesting that my wife got her Confirmation of Citizenship first from Warsaw and several weeks later, her Polish birth certificate. Her next step is a trip to the consulate for a passport application.

The process too about a year to complete. Even though she is a Polish speaker, she needed allot of help from her (born in Poland) Polish friends.

When we get to Poland, we are staying for a year or so, we will work on my long stay visa.
mcm1 2 | 81
24 Feb 2015 #16
My wifes paperwork took nearly 18 months from start to finish, this was 3 years ago so things may have changed by now. She did have all her paper work in order before applying. It was what we thought a fairly srtaight forward case.
OP PolishQuartus
30 Aug 2015 #17
Just wanted to update anyone interested that I was successful in my application. I'm very happy to now be a Polish citizen. I am starting Polish lessons next month as well. Thanks for the help and advice!


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