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Polish citizenship eligibility. My Ukrainian parents were born in Poland, then moved to Canada.

19 Feb 2017 #1
Hello Polish Forums,
I was wondering if you guys would be able to help me figure out if I'm eligible for Polish citizenship. My parents are both Ukrainian, were born in Poland in the 50s, moved to Canada in 1990, and still have their Polish citizenship. I was born in Canada as well, am now 24 years old, and I do not speak any Polish. Am I eligible for citizenship? My only concern is my age. I haven't read anything on the Polish embassy website about age being an issue when confirming citizenship through parentage, but other relatives have told me otherwise. Also, is there a language proficiency component of citizenship confirmation? This would be a problem as I have zero knowledge of Polish (but I plan on learning). Thanks.
Archive Dweller
19 Feb 2017 #2
Assuming that one of your parents had retained Polish citizenship at the time of your birth, (meaning that he or she had not renounced Polish citizenship, AND the president of Poland had not accepted that renunciation), then the answer is yes you are a Polish citizen. You need to find your parents birth records, their marriage license, along with your birth certificate. Everything needs to be translated into Polish, and authenticated with apostilles, etc. to apply for recognition of Polish citizenship.
OP zsoteh
19 Feb 2017 #3
Okay, so it looks likes I am a Polish citizen as my parents both still have their citizenship. I also have a few more follow up questions.

1. How exactly do I translate my parents legal documents that are in English? Do I make a photocopy, have my parents cross out the English and replace it with Polish, and have the copies verified/notarized at the embassy?

2. Is there a recommended number of documents to provide?
3. I'm still unsure about any Polish language requirements I may need to have in order to get citizenship.

Archive Dweller
19 Feb 2017 #4
I assume that your parents were married in Canada. I am not an expert on the Canadian system, but I assume you need to get an exemplary copy of the marriage license from a court, with stamps and seals. Then it needs an international authentication from the Canadian government. (Canada did not ratify the Hague Convention, so it isn't an apostille.) Your birth certificate needs the same. (Be sure that it is the "long" form that shows your parents names.) Then you need certified translations of all non-Polish documents from a certified translator in Poland. (Be grateful you only need two documents translated and certified!) Since you don't speak Polish, I would recommend that you find a Polish lawyer to handle the court petition and paperwork for you. Several advertise this service on the Internet. The consulates have known to give out incorrect information just to make people go away, so get advice from the lawyer and not the consulate.

Since you were born a Polish citizen, there is no requirement that you speak Polish, or even know the history. You will simply be requesting that Poland recognize your birth right. I am curious if your family was Ukrainian or just Lemko. The endonym "Ukrainian" was greatly expanded after the war. A fair number of Greek Catholics had rejected it since the Cossacks, the Ukrainian heroes, had been quite hostile to Catholicism.
OP zsoteh
19 Feb 2017 #5
My parents were actually married in Poland before they moved to Canada. I'm waiting to hear back from them what they have in terms of marriage certificates (whether ones issues in Poland or Canada). When you say that the non-Polish documents need to be translated by a certified translator, does that mean my parents can translate the documents and then have someone at the consulate verify it?

I'm not too sure about my families origins in Poland and whether or not we have any Lemko roots. All I know from my mother is that my grandparents, their parents, and many previous generations have always live in what is now southeastern Poland. After the Second World War, my grandparents and their families were relocated to northeastern Poland, as part of Operation Vistula. I suppose it is possible that my family has some Lemko origin, but I have never heard my parents or any one in my family refer to themselves as Lemko or talk about it in any way.
Archive Dweller
19 Feb 2017 #6
Well, if your parents don't have the marriage certificate, you should be able to get a copy in Poland if you know where they were married. No, your parents translation of your birth certificate won't be accepted since they would appear not to be certified translators in Poland. There is a set rate per word. (If your birth certificate is in English and French both languages may need to be translated.) They may help you complete the form to file the request. Since you never lived in Poland, you citizenship recognition will be decided in Warsaw, not by the consulate. It sounds like you have a very solid case.

If your family doesn't have Lemko roots, they appear to have been living among them, and shared their fate.
19 Feb 2017 #7
why do you want to be a Polish Citizen?
OP zsoteh
19 Feb 2017 #8
My entire family, except my parents and siblings, live in Poland and have been there for generations. Since I'm still young, I also wouldn't mind spending some time in Poland. There's also no harm in having citizenship, so why not?
Marsupial - | 880
20 Feb 2017 #9
It sounds to me like you are a citizen already and just need to prove it to get your piece of paper. Besides that if you feel Polish than you are, something you know when you go there.
Archive Dweller
20 Feb 2017 #10
Polish citizenship opens up all of the E.U. for work and study, etc. You have Canadian citizenship by accident of birth, but you are Polish by the grace of God.

My entire family, except my parents and siblings, live in Poland and have been there for generations

OP zsoteh
20 Feb 2017 #11
As it also turns out, my father is Lemko, but my mother isn't.
Thanks for your help guys. I'll post again if I have more questions.
Ironside 53 | 12,425
20 Feb 2017 #12
my father is Lemko,

So he is not an Ukrainian.

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