The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Law  % width posts: 17

Looking for confirmation of Grandfather's citizenship...


cafeguy99 1 | 5
4 Jul 2011 #1
Hello!

Hoping someone can help me in my ongoing search to ascertain my Polish roots. I'm trying to establish my Maternal Grandfather's Polish citizenship so I in turn can begin the process.

Here's what I have/what I know: I have a translation of a certificate of Birth and Baptism that states where and when he was born - October 2, 1902 in Skala Podolska, district of Borszczow. It lists his parents, the midwife, priest, etc. (and that they lived in house # 407) It's in English, but it does list which Parish records contain the original info. I know that Poland wasn't Poland until 1918, but......not sure when he left.

I don't know when he immigrated to the U.S., but I do have a Border Crossing manifest from when he crossed from Canada into the U.S. on a trip, in February of 1946. On this document, it lists that he was traveling on a Polish Passport No. 2803, valid until 4/21/1946. So.....I assume that if he had a Polish Passport, then he would have been a Polish citizen.

He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1947, I have the original documents for that, and they list his previous nationality as 'Polish'. I'm quite certain that he did NOT relinquish his Polish citizenship.

Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I would go about finding proof/evidence/documentation of his Polish Passport? I'm starting from scratch here, and any addresses or contacts, or government offices in Poland that are appropriate would be appreciated.

Dzienkuje!

Michael Carleton
gumishu 12 | 6,084
4 Jul 2011 #2
My guess is your grandfather's documents were issued by the Polish government in exile in Britain - they must have kept some archives even though the government was no longer recognized by most countries post 1946 - I don't know if they transfered the archives to Poland after 1989 or they remain in Britain (London probably)

another thing is to look for (in case the British trace produces no results) is some birth cirtificate/record in parish records were your grandfather was born - if he was not born in Warsaw there is a big chance such old parish records still exist to date

hope it helps a little bit
OP cafeguy99 1 | 5
4 Jul 2011 #3
Thanks! I'm pretty certain he had his passport issued sometime well before 1946, most likely in the 20's, so I'm not sure the records would be in Britain. When I contacted the Polish consulate in D.C., they replied that they don't have accurate records before the 1990's.......so, I was wondering if there was any offices in Poland that might still have records of applications, issuances, etc.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
4 Jul 2011 #4
He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1947, I have the original documents for that, and they list his previous nationality as 'Polish'. I'm quite certain that he did NOT relinquish his Polish citizenship.

He was stripped of the Polish citizenship on that date, according to the relevant citizenship law in place at that time. The law clearly states that obtaining a foreign citizenship will result in the Polish citizenship being lost.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is how it is. There are no exceptions - unless you appeal directly to the President to have his citizenship returned. However, it's not going to happen unless he's still alive AND there are exceptional circumstances.

Don't waste your time trying to fight it - you won't win. If you want Polish citizenship, you can come here and obtain legal residency for a period of time - and then apply for citizenship. It's rather easy for a US citizen - you just need to reside here for several years legally.
gumishu 12 | 6,084
4 Jul 2011 #5
He was stripped of the Polish citizenship on that date, according to the relevant citizenship law in place at that time. The law clearly states that obtaining a foreign citizenship will result in the Polish citizenship being lost.

I think you pretty much misinform here - a general rule of the citizenship law of Poland (at least now) is that an individual is a Polish citizen until he renounces his/her citizenship

the law does not clearly state that with obtaining foreing citizenship will result in losing Polish citizenship as far as I know

edit: but the rules were different in the past: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_nationality_law - before 1951 if one acquired citizenship of another country he automatically lost his Polish citizenship - so you were actually right delphi
OP cafeguy99 1 | 5
5 Jul 2011 #6
Wondering if this is a valid argument: If your info about the 1951 law is correct, my grandfather certainly was Polish until he became naturalized, and that means when my Mother was born, in 1935, as I understand jus sanguis, she accquired Polish citizenship through her then polish citizen father.......

If he lost citizenship when he was naturalized, does that retroactively take it from my Mother? Because if it doesn't, I still have a shot...

Wondering....
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
5 Jul 2011 #7
I think you pretty much misinform here - a general rule of the citizenship law of Poland (at least now) is that an individual is a Polish citizen until he renounces his/her citizenship

After 1962 - yes. But before that law came in, both the 1920 and 1951 laws clearly state that obtaining a foreign citizenship will result in the revocation of the Polish citizenship. Have a look yourself :)

edit: but the rules were different in the past en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_nationality_law - before 1951 if one acquired citizenship of another country he automatically lost his Polish citizenship - so you were actually right delphi

Yeah - it's a common trap. :) It's actually right through to 1962 - there are plenty of provisions in the 1951 law that strip people of citizenship too - including the foreign citizenship.

Wondering if this is a valid argument: If your info about the 1951 law is correct, my grandfather certainly was Polish until he became naturalized, and that means when my Mother was born, in 1935, as I understand jus sanguis, she acquired Polish citizenship through her then polish citizen father.......

It depends - was your grandfather married to your grandmother at that point? Furthermore - when did your mother acquire American citizenship? And where was she born?

Sorry that this isn't the news that you want to hear, but as I said - Poland is relatively easy to acquire citizenship of as an American citizen.
OP cafeguy99 1 | 5
5 Jul 2011 #8
Yeah, my grandfather was married to my grandmother at the time my mother was born (they were married in 1931). My mother was born in the states, but like I said, at the time, my grandfather was still a polish citizen...

I'm assuming my mother was never registered as anything but a U.S. citizen, since she was born here. I'm just trying to reconcile/see if jus sanguis has any affect on this...
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
5 Jul 2011 #9
My mother was born in the states, but like I said, at the time, my grandfather was still a polish citizen...

Nothing to discuss then - she was automatically a US citizen at the time of birth (which would have stripped her of the Polish citizenship that she would have had - if born almost anywhere else). The United States practices the concept of "jus soli" rather than "jus sanguis".

As far as I can see -

The grandfather would have lost his Polish citizenship in 1947.
The mother would have lost her Polish citizenship at birth - yes, it would have passed to her, but the US citizenship would have automatically caused her to lose the Polish one.

As I recall, under the 1920 act - if the parents were married, then citizenship can only be passed from the father - the mother (for some truly bizzare reason) cannot pass her citizenship on if she's married.

One thing - I advise you not to pay any lawyers or "experts" (myself included...) in this case - it's pretty clear cut that you cannot claim Polish citizenship. Anyone promising you otherwise is frankly lying.
abbiegolden1 - | 3
3 Feb 2015 #10
Merged: Looking for Help with Confirmation of Polish Citizenship

I am looking for some help with receiving a confirmation for Polish citizenship. My paternal grandfather (and almost all of my family) was born in Poland in 1981 and left Poland in 1908. He acquired no foreign citizenship until December of 1920. As I understand it, Poland granted citizenship to all Poles born inside its territory who had no foreign citizenship in 1920 when the citizenship law came into effect. This would apply to my grandfather. However, the case is slightly more complicated. The archives has confirmed that the birth certificates of the town in which my grandfather was born have been destroyed. I have his father's (my great grandfather) birth certificate from 1859 in Poland, and many American documents showing that my grandfather was born to my great grandfather in Poland, and that his parents were married when he was born. I have spoken to several attorneys, and they claim that this is not enough evidence. Since the archives admits that the birth certificate of my grandfather was destroyed, what other evidence could they possibly want? I can show that his parents were born in Poland from their Polish birth certificates, and can show that they immigrated to the USA with my grandfather. What other evidence could I provide? Why is a birth certificate not sufficient, since they granted citizenship to all poles with no foreign citizenship born within Poland?

In regards to the law I am citing, correct me if I am wrong:
"At the moment of declaration of this act, the right to Polish citizenship serves every person, without distinction of sex, age, religion and nationality, who: [...] 2) was born on the territory of The Polish State, as far as it is not entitled to another country' citizenship;"
Harry
3 Feb 2015 #11
You will need to evidence that neither your grandfather nor your father had any citizenship other than Polish prior to 1962. If either of them did have, they lost their Polish citizenship and thus could not pass it on to you. You will also need to evidence that neither your grandfather nor your father served in any armed forces other than the Polish armed forces prior to 1951 (I think it might well be until 1962, I'm certain it was until at least 1951) and that neither of them took any public office.

Even if your grandfather was not entitled to US citizenship in 1920 (which is rather unlikely, given that at that time he'd presumably been in the US for 12 years, which is more than enough time to be entitled to US citizenship by naturalisation), the moment he took any citizenship other than Polish before 1962, he lost his Polish citizenship.

BTW, have you got (or can you get) documentation evidencing that your grandfather (and father) fulfilled or were exempted from any and all Polish military service obligations? If they didn't fulfill those (or received exemption), they lost their citizenship.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,352
3 Feb 2015 #12
I am looking for some help with receiving a confirmation for Polish citizenship.

Maybe this link to the website (in English) of the Ministry on "Ways of acquiring Polish citizenship" be of help.
msw.gov.pl/en
abbiegolden1 - | 3
4 Feb 2015 #13
Thank you for your help!

Even if your grandfather was not entitled to US citizenship in 1920 (which is rather unlikely, given that at that time he'd presumably been in the US for 12 years, which is more than enough time to be entitled to US citizenship by naturalisation), the moment he took any citizenship other than Polish before 1962, he lost his Polish citizenship.

As I understand it, no one is "entitled" to American Citizenship unless they are born in the United States or are naturalized as an American citizen. He very easily could have gone to court to get his citizenship affirmed and had it denied, as there is no "entitlement" of a foreigner to American nationality regardless of how long they are resident in the USA.

BTW, have you got (or can you get) documentation evidencing that your grandfather (and father) fulfilled or were exempted from any and all Polish military service obligations? If they didn't fulfill those (or received exemption), they lost their citizenship.

That is interesting, I haven't heard that opinion before. Most people seem to say that since they were Polish citizens, they were obligated to serve in the Polish military, and say that if they didn't receive permission not to, then they weren't permitted to lose Polish citizenship.

If the naturalization happened after the mentioned act came into force persons who are obligated to active military service lost their Polish citizenship only in case of receiving Minister's of National Defense permission to obtain foreign citizenship according to the last section of article 11 of the act. --polish citizenship

Considering that they left Poland before independence, they didn't receive his permission.

I have all of the records showing that no one served in the American military (except during the time except in WWII for allied forces), naturalization papers, census records, birth certificates except for the one destroyed, etc. I'm just trying to figure out what else I could provide to the Polish authorities to prove my case. And am wondering if the attorneys are incorrect and if I might have enough evidence as is to give it a shot.
Harry
4 Feb 2015 #14
Thank you for your help!

Happy to help. Sorry the information isn't what you want it to be.

As I understand it, no one is "entitled" to American Citizenship unless they are born in the United States or are naturalized as an American citizen. He very easily could have gone to court to get his citizenship affirmed and had it denied, as there is no "entitlement" of a foreigner to American nationality regardless of how long they are resident in the USA.

You're entirely right there. However, even if your grandfather wasn't entitled to US citizenship in 1920, he lost his Polish citizenship the moment he took US citizenship prior to 1962 (and so had no Polish citizenship to pass on to your father). And even if your grandfather didn't take US citizenship prior to 1962, your father lost his Polish citizenship the moment he took US citizenship prior to 1962 (and so had no Polish citizenship to pass on to you).

Have a look at the 1920 act on Polish citizenship:

Art. 11. Loss of citizenship happens by:
1) obtaining another country's citizenship;

Most people seem to say that since they were Polish citizens, they were obligated to serve in the Polish military, and say that if they didn't receive permission not to, then they weren't permitted to lose Polish citizenship.

They weren't permitted to lose Polish citizenship because they didn't obtain permission not to serve? Are you sure you've said what you wanted to say there?

no one served in the American military (except during the time except in WWII for allied forces)

Serving in any armed forces other Polish at any time between 1920 and 1951 without the permission of the Polish government resulted in loss of citizenship.
Have a look at the 1920 act on Polish citizenship:

Art. 11. Loss of citizenship happens by:
2) taking a public office or entering the service in a foreign country' army without Polish government's permission.

naturalization papers

If anybody naturalised as a US citizen before 1951, they lost their Polish citizenship, no exceptions; see the article above. If anybody naturalised as a US citizen between 1951 and 1962, they lost their Polish citizenship unless they had the permission of the Polish government to do that; have a look at the 1951 act on Polish citizenship:

Art. 11.
1. A Polish citizen is permitted to obtain foreign citizenship only after receiving the consent of Polish authorities.

I'm just trying to figure out what else I could provide to the Polish authorities to prove my case.

You almost certainly cannot prove your case: you don't have one. Not unless you can show that neither your grandfather nor father held US citizenship prior to 1962 and that they were correctly exempted from national service and that whoever served in US armed forces did so with Polish government permission.

And am wondering if the attorneys are incorrect and if I might have enough evidence as is to give it a shot.

Here's the worrying part: so far you have met honest attorneys; however, if you keep looking, it is only a matter of time before you meet one who says "We can probably arrange this for you", charges you lots of money and then says "Sorry but you didn't tell us that [insert tiny detail here]; if you'd told us that, we'd have told you you have no chance."
abbiegolden1 - | 3
6 Feb 2015 #15
One other question for the other side of my family - If my other grandfather came to the USA after Polish military service but never got American citizenship, I assume that he remained a Pole. However his daughter was born in the USA. Does that constitute loss of Polish citizenship, even though she acquired it by birth and not naturalization?
gjene 14 | 204
6 Feb 2015 #16
to delphiadomine
I obtained dual citizenship with one country in Europe despite being born here in Canada. So even if the mother of the 1 poster was born in the U.S., chances are she may be Polish. But that poster will have quite a few hoops to jump through in order to get any and all pertinent paperwork in order to prove a point.

to cafeguy
check out the website poland forum expat chances are, there is more information to be found on that site in regards to others that are trying to do what you are doing. Also ask a member on that site by the name of curiousgeorge for a link to his posting in regards to the paperwork a person will need to find/obtain in order to prove a point. While you are at it, check into the Polish Citizenship Act of 1920. That one will be pertinent to your case to determine how much luck you will have to prove a point.
Harry
6 Feb 2015 #17
If my other grandfather came to the USA after Polish military service but never got American citizenship, I assume that he remained a Pole.

It doesn't matter what you assume, it matters what you can prove. If you can't prove something when it comes to citizenship, you can't claim it.

However his daughter was born in the USA. Does that constitute loss of Polish citizenship, even though she acquired it by birth and not naturalization?

She may have never had the citizenship to lose.

The best thing for you to do is to contact the nearest Polish consulate and ask them. They will be the people making the initial decision anyway.


Home / Law / Looking for confirmation of Grandfather's citizenship...
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.