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Polish Citizenship for a foreigner whose parents was born in Poland


celinski 31 | 1,258
18 Sep 2008 #31
For US maybe this will help.

Dual Nationality: poland.usembassy.gov/poland/dual_nationality-408cda12d248a.html
Guest
26 Sep 2008 #32
This post is slightly different!

I am a South African citizen. My Great Grandfather is Polish. I know that I am a Polish citizen. However I need to know what documents are neccessary (e.g. my great grandfathers birth certificates etc.) , also South Africa up until recently (90`s) had mandatory conscription into the army, which means my Grandfather and Father served in the Army. My Great Grandfather did not serve in the South African Army.

It is still possible that I am a citizen correct?
What is the neccessary application documentation?

Luke
cankev
26 Sep 2008 #33
Hello Luke,

"When a person accepts public office or joins the army in a foreign country without prior approval of the Polish Government. Persons compelled to active military service may acquire foreign nationality after obtaining permission from the Minister of Military Affairs, otherwise they are deemed to be Polish citizens."

poland-citizen
benszymanski 8 | 465
26 Sep 2008 #34
I know that I am a Polish citizen

Are you totally sure? It gets complicated if your ancestor left Poland before 1923 due to technicalities about whether Poland officially existed or not before this date (given that it wasn't always an independent country etc..)
gjene 14 | 200
27 Sep 2008 #35
Hi all

Check into the website 'citizenship from Poland' for more information on this. There is 2 parts under the name of 'Polish Citizenship'. There is also more detailed reference by a member named 'Polish Expert'.

Ask him for a link back to his article. Good luck in reading all the messages and there is mention of different lawyers in Poland that may help (for a cost) in helping to obtain the necessary papers.

Gerhard
citizen123 - | 10
19 Dec 2008 #36
I want to become a Polish citizen and I am aware if both of your parents are born in Poland, than then the child is already considered a polish citizen.

You have Polish citizenship and you are eligible to get Polish passport. The process of getting a Polish passport is divided into two steps:

1: applying for a certificate about having Polish citizenship
2: applying for the Polish passport.

The first step must take place in Poland. To receive the certificate confirming your Polish citizenship you have to submit an application in a specific Voivodeship Office (Urzad Wojewodzki).

Once you get the certificate you will be able to apply for the Polish passport (Step 2). Yet applying for the Polish passport can only be done in the Polish embassy in the country you live permanently.
kos88 - | 1
14 Jul 2009 #37
I am just at the beginning of trying to prove my Polish Citizenship through my Mom's Father. I am a hockey player with Canadian citizenship, and a 10 yr US green card through marriage.

My mother's father was born in Krakow in 1904, and emigrated to Canada sometime between 1924-1928. Does this qualify me to begin pursuing my proof of citizenship? Or no? As far as anyone knows, he did not renounce Polish citizenship or hold public office in Canada.

Also, what is the most effective way to try to get a birth certificate for him? Do you have any contacts in Poland that speak English and would be willing to help me? I am also looking for a lawyer who knows about this and can help this process go quickly. I am trying to get a passport so I can play hockey in Poland within the next year or so.

Any help or contact information would be greatly appreciated...
Kyle Kos
Harry
14 Jul 2009 #38
As far as anyone knows, he did not renounce Polish citizenship or hold public office in Canada.

Did he obtain Canadian citizenship (or any other citizenship) before 1951? If he did, under the Statute on Citizenship of the Polish State of January 20, 1920 he lost his Polish citizenship when he took that other citizenship. So if your mother was born after he took that other citizenship, she is not Polish.

My understanding is that before you can claim your Polish citizenship (assuming your father did not acquire other citizenship before 1951), your mother would need to claim her citizenship and then you can claim yours. You're probably looking at a total cost of the best part of a thousand dollars per claim (application fee is US$450-odd and you will need to get lots of documents certified by the Polish consulate at $30 a pop). That price is assuming you have a sworn translator who'll work for free and don't hire a lawyer.

The time it takes varies from Wojewoda to Wojewoda but Krakow is one of the busier ones (a lot of Israelis are claiming Polish passports now that Poland is EU). I'd say from experience that a year won't be enough time to get both claims confirmed.
benszymanski 8 | 465
14 Jul 2009 #39
your mother would need to claim her citizenship and then you can claim yours.

I don't think that is necessary. I am in the process of claiming my Polish citizenship from my grandfather, but my father has not claimed his (nor has any interest or intention to do so).

I applied in Krakow about a year ago with what they said should be a relatively straightforward case and am still waiting....
Harry
14 Jul 2009 #40
Possibly the office in Krakow interpret the rules in a slightly different way to the office in Warsaw.
benszymanski 8 | 465
14 Jul 2009 #41
Possibly, but I think unlikely. Doesn't make sense that his mother has to confirm her citizenship in order for him to himself. This would mean he is denied his citizenship in the case that his mother doesn't want to do her application.

However if they were both going to do applications anyway then it would make sense for the mother to do hers first.
Harry
14 Jul 2009 #42
But clearly his mother's citizenship would need to be confirmed before she could pass it on to her children? And assessing her claim to a passport is going to be the harder part (as it will involve proving that her father hadn't lost his Polish citizenship before the date of her birth).

I have come across a couple of cases of Polish passports being claimed two generations down but none of 'my grandfather was Polish so I automatically am too', it's always been 'my grandfather was Polish which makes my father Polish so I am too'.
benszymanski 8 | 465
14 Jul 2009 #43
clearly his mother's citizenship would need to be confirmed before she could pass it on to her children

Yes agreed, I am not saying that his mother's citizenship will not need to be confirmed - it will, just like my father's must be too - but I don't believe that means his mother has to do an application herself. It just means when he does his application they will first have to check his mother. I am sure it would therefore be more convenient for them if his mother does an application but I don't believe that is a requirement.

I don't believe either that the different districts can interpret the rules that differently either, and as I say, my application is going through fine (albeit very slowly).

I have come across a couple of cases of Polish passports being claimed two generations down but none of 'my grandfather was Polish so I automatically am too', it's always been 'my grandfather was Polish which makes my father Polish so I am too'.

again, agreed.
Harry
14 Jul 2009 #44
When I was at the tax office registering my company to pay VAT and the dragon behind the desk said that one-person companies could not pay VAT quarterly. There was a notice on the wall of her office which said they could but she insisted that I couldn't. I've also heard that certain local offices will just point-blank refuse to let US citizens register one-person companies despite them having the legal right to do so.

more convenient for them if his mother does an application but I don't believe that is a requirement.

More convenient yes, but also twice as costly and likely to take twice as long too. Especially as in this case it looks like the mother's claim being the more complicated of the two (as it looks that if she is Polish, he must be).
z_darius 14 | 3,968
14 Jul 2009 #45
it's always been 'my grandfather was Polish which makes my father Polish so I am too'.

Perhaps Polish (or half Polish) in a sense of ethnic origin/heritage but not citizenship.
Not automatically anyway.
Harry
15 Jul 2009 #46
You really do know nothing about Polish citizenship law, do you? I would very much suggest that you leave this discussion to people who have at least some vauge clue what they are talking about.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
15 Jul 2009 #47
Oh, I do. I am a Polish citizen too. You're not.

I would very much suggest that you leave this discussion to people who have at least some vauge clue what they are talking about.

Indeed, you have a very vague clue.

A person who was born born before 1918 and then went to the US, also before 1918, would not have Polish citizenship. Hence the person would possibly pass on Polish heritage and lineage to his offspring, but not citizenship since himself he would not have been a citizen of Poland, without first applying for it. Then his offspring would have to apply for it too. Nothing automatic in this, is it?
Harry
15 Jul 2009 #48
Your knowledge of Polish law is shocking. I get my Polish passport anytime I want it.

Indeed, you have a very vague clue.

Actually it's a bit more than a vague clue. Quite a lot more.

A person who was born born before 1918 and then went to the US, also before 1918, would not have Polish citizenship.

That would be very very interesting but we're talking about a person who "emigrated to Canada sometime between 1924-1928".

Hence the person would possibly pass on Polish heritage and lineage to his offspring, but not citizenship since himself he would not have been a citizen of Poland, without first applying for it.

Do you even have any idea what the words Jus Sanguinis mean?
z_darius 14 | 3,968
15 Jul 2009 #49
There is not such a thing as "your" Polish passport. You simply don't have one.

That would be very very interesting but we're talking about a person who "emigrated to Canada sometime between 1924-1928".

I wasn't talking about any specific person about the4 fact that there is nothing automatic about Polish citizenship.

Do you even have any idea what the words Jus Sanguinis mean?

Why, do you need a refresher in Latin? Oops, I guess you never took Latin in school.

Blood is one thing but papers are quite another. Someone who never held Polish citizenship cannot pass it on to anybody. Polish citizenship did not exists for some 123 years before 1918. Just because a person's grandfather had Polish blood does not mean that person will automatically get Polish citizenship. A person born in Warsaw in 1915 was a citizen of Russia, or rather a subject of the Russia's tzar.
Harry
15 Jul 2009 #50
There is not such a thing as "your" Polish passport. You simply don't have one.

And any time I want one, I get one.

I wasn't talking about any specific person about the4 fact that there is nothing automatic about Polish citizenship.

We however were discussing a very specific person. Or at least we were before you gave us the full benefit of your extensive knowledge. Polish citizenship is very automatic: a child born to Polish parent or parents is automatically a Polish citizen at the moment of their birth. End of story.

Someone who never held Polish citizenship cannot pass it on to anybody.

And as noted, somebody was born to a Polish parent automatically has Polish citizenship.

A person born in Warsaw in 1915 was a citizen of Russia, or rather a subject of the Russia's tzar.

And under the Statute on Citizenship of the Polish State of January 20, 1920, such person automatically became Polish on January 20, 1920. And they would have retained that citizenship until at least 1933 because a minor can not renounce citizenship.
bilomnic - | 4
15 Jul 2009 #51
I'm currently pursuing the confirmation of my Polish citizenship. It is NOT a straightforward and automatic process. I am Canadian, but my parents were both Polish citizens who emigrated to Canada after the war.

There are many important limiting dates and criteria:

Date of ancestor's birth
Ancestor's gender (some historic limitations for women)
Date of departure from Poland
Date of ancestor's naturalization (prior to 1951?)
foreign military service?

Gathering acceptable "proof" of citizenship is an arduous process. When and if an ancestor is "proved" to be a citizenship, the next step is to determine if that ancestor reatined/lost their citizenship. If citizenship was lost, then obviously citizenship cannot be conferred on to subsequent generations.

Not a fun process and certainly NOT automatic.
Harry
15 Jul 2009 #52
I'm currently pursuing the confirmation of my Polish citizenship. It is NOT a straightforward and automatic process.

Which is why I said it would take more than a year for Kos88's claim to be processed.

The confirmation is complex but the citizenship is automatic (provided the criteria are met and the proof is provided).
z_darius 14 | 3,968
15 Jul 2009 #53
And any time I want one, I get one.

To have one and to get one are tow different things.
You don't have one and you are a resident of Poland, not a citizen

We however were discussing a very specific person.

And yet you wrote about grandparents before I even knew about this thread.

a child born to Polish parent or parents is automatically a Polish citizen at the moment of their birth. End of story.

Not true.
A person born outside Poland has to claim the Polish citizenship and the decision has to be made. Poland has no way of controlling all births of Polish citizens all over the world until they come forward and claim the citizenship. If the application is filed abroad it needs to be filed in a Polish consulate. It's a process, and pretty easy but not automatic.

For descendants of Polish citizens these are the rules:

translation:

A person is considered of Polish descend if the said person declres Polish nationality and fulfills these two conditions:

* at least one of the parents or grandparents, or both grand-grand parents were of Polish nationality (this condition is fulfilled if the antecedents confirmed that they belong to the Polish nation),

* shows his/her ties to Polishness, particularly through continuation of the ability to speak Polish, knowledge of Polish customs and traditions.

From a site run by Polish lawyers in Poland.

So no, just walking into Poland and claiming "I'm a Polish citizen cuz my mom was" is not good enough.
Harry
15 Jul 2009 #54
And yet you wrote about grandparents before I even knew about this thread.

a) No I didn't.
b) So what? We were still discussing a very specific person, i.e. Kos88.

A person born outside Poland has to claim the Polish citizenship and the decision has to be made.

Again, that is completely untrue. Google the phrase "passport trap" for details.

the source is a site run by Polish lawyers in Poland.

Marvellous. This source legislationline.org/documents/id/4332 is the Law on Citizenship (1962, as amended 2007). "SECTION 2 - ACQUISITION OF POLISH CITIZENSHIP

Art. 4. The acquisition of Polish citizenship by birth occurs when:

1) both parents are Polish citizens, or

2) when only one of them is a Polish citizen and the other is unknown or his/her citizenship is undetermined or he/she has no citizenship.

Art. 5. When both parents are unknown or their citizenship is undetermined, or they have no citizenship, their child shall acquire Polish citizenship only if it is born or was found on Polish territory.

Art. 6. 1. The child of parents, one of whom is a Polish citizen and the other a citizen of another state, acquires Polish citizenship by birth. However the parents can, within three months from the child's birth, submit to a competent authority their concordant declaration stating that they choose for their child the citizenship of the foreign state of which one of the parents is a citizen, if under the law of the foreign state, that child will acquire its citizenship."

Note how place of birth is entirely irrelevent to a child born to at least one Polish parent? Looks like you might want to find a new law firm.
gjene 14 | 200
27 Jul 2009 #55
Also, check into the website known as 'News from Poland'. Look under forums for Immigration to Poland. In there you will find 3 different postings on the citizenship acts of 1920/1951/1962.

There is also 3 parts to the age old question about Polish citizenship. The first 2 are closed to any further postings, but still can be read. The 3rd is open to reading and posting of questions on inheritance through bloodlines of citizenship.

You will also find in this forum as to who may be the better legal representative for you in regards to applying for citizenship or in getting the needed documents for you and then applying on your behalf.

My posting of this information is not to put this section of this website down. It is just to inform people that there is another website, that has more information on this topic than maybe people that are the moderators or members of this website may know.
BevK 11 | 248
26 Dec 2009 #56
What actual benefits are there to, say, a UK born person who definitely has eligibility? I know for sure that I have, as I've got my Dad's documents with me, he did not renounce his Polish nationality.

I can see the benefit for non EU people, is there anything I would gain from going through the process?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,734
26 Dec 2009 #57
From a practical point of view, having Polish citizenship and thus an ID card is much more convenient than having to lug around a British passport. Much cheaper to renew, too! You can also use the ID card for intra-EU travel.

You can also vote in Polish elections.

What else? Hmm.. could be useful in some parts of the world to be Polish and not British.

And there's no guarantee that the UK won't leave the EU.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
26 Dec 2009 #58
ID card is much more convenient than having to lug around a British passport.

Its not exactly a case of lugging it is now...besides, can a Pole hold a British passport and a Polish passport? If not, Id say a British one is better from a view of if you like to travel, less visa restrictions with a British passport.

What else? Hmm.. could be useful in some parts of the world to be Polish and not British.

Where? Why?

And there's no guarantee that the UK won't leave the EU.

I can only but dream we will leave, but I think we all know this is never going to happen and even if we do, it wont make any difference, there are plenty of British companies around the world who have set up shop, do you honestly think our movement will be restricted? Ish dont think so!
lowfunk99 10 | 397
26 Dec 2009 #59
Who is the best person to contact for this? I don't have any Polish documents but I can find the ships they come over to the US on.
BevK 11 | 248
26 Dec 2009 #60
Its not exactly a case of lugging it is now...besides, can a Pole hold a British passport and a Polish passport?

Well technically it is the other way around, on paper at least I am British but I am as much Polish as British and I've never felt "British" ... you can have an ID card anyway as far as I know without actually renouncing your passport, but I guess more than anything I should do this so then I can make sense of feeling like I "belong" here, which I definitely do feel :)


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