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Travel warnings for children of Polish citizens.

Anderid 1 | 7
28 Nov 2014 #1
Does anyone know if this travel warning for Poland is current for children of Polish citizens? I imagine so but I'm not savvy on changes to the law. I understand that Poland considers the child of a Polish citizen (inc dual-nationality holders) as also Polish, no matter their country of birth.

"Travellers to Poland who have Polish ancestors are advised to obtain in writing a statement from a Polish Consulate as to whether or not they will face any obligations in Poland, such as military service, taxation, or the requirement to obtain a Polish passport"
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Nov 2014 #2
Does anyone know if this travel warning for Poland is current for children of Polish citizens?

Where on earth did you get this from? A child born to Polish citizens abroad can only gain Polish citizenship by applying for it, usually the parents do that after the child is born, otherwise you have to go through a lengthy process.

On the other hand, if you hold dual citizenship, the Polish authorities will only take your Polish passport into account. This is important if you have a brush in the law with Poland, you will be treated like any other Polish citizen.

a) military service is no longer compulsory in Poland (since 2009 or whereabouts)
b) you pay taxes in the country you live and / or work in, so if you neither work nor live in Poland, you cannot be made to pay taxes there

c) there is no "requirement to obtain a Polish passport"; I cannot even imagine what that would entail?

Hope this helps :-)
OP Anderid 1 | 7
28 Nov 2014 #3
Phew! Ok then, thanks :D I know this travel warning was out in the US and Canada a few years ago but didn't know if it was still around or had been lifted/debunked. It was due to the case of a man who went over to visit his grandparents and ended up being conscripted, around 2007 I think.

Ah, here is the 'jus sanguinus' bit:

Pursuant to the law, a child acquires Polish citizenship by birth to parents, at least one of whom is a holder of Polish citizenship, irrespective of whether the child was born in Poland or abroad (Article 14 point 1 of the Polish Citizenship Act).


So that totally confused me :)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Nov 2014 #4
ended up being conscripted, around 2007 I think.

I would still think there was more to the story. In other words, even with compulsory military service, the Army did not randomly search the streets for eligible young men; they would call you up using the register of citizens when you turned 18 and were not in full-time education. In other words, someone born abroad to Polish parents who happened to visit Poland would not be in the system at all; I can only imagine this was someone actually born in Poland, who had a permanent address in Poland and did not de-register prior to going abroad, and who then visited Poland after turning 18 and - wait for it - actually acknowledged receipt of the conscription letter (or whatever you call it) and turned up at the conscription office. Many young men used to avoid conscription while living in Poland by moving around the country and not accepting any registered correspondence, so a tourist from abroad would have found it so much easier! ;-)

As to Polish citizenship by birth, you still have to register the child's birth in Poland and apply for a Polish passport, otherwise how would the Polish authorities know? If you are an adult child of Polish citizens, but do not hold a Polish passport, you must follow a process whereby you prove you are entitled to Polish citizenship. I am half Polish and even though I lived, went to school, and worked in Poland, it took me a YEAR to complete the process when I wanted to switch form Czech to Polish citizenship.
OP Anderid 1 | 7
28 Nov 2014 #5
and did not de-register prior to going abroad

Aha! Yes, I imagine you are correct. I too would consider it very strange for the government to be scouring the streets for potential descendents! I imagine this has been debunked since then and these warnings are no longer in place.

I also understand that citizenship was revoked for all those Polish nationals who settled elsewhere between 1918 and 1951, so even if this travel warning was true in some way, thousands of descendants are not reckoned Polish citizens by blood anyway. I don't really know where the US 'Look out! The Poles will try and steal you!' nonsense came from - but thank you for clearing it up for me!

Why did you apply for Polish citizenship, if it's not too personal a question? Practicality of living/working there or something else?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Nov 2014 #6
Why did you apply for Polish citizenship

I was living and working in Poland anyway, but had Czech citizenship because I was born in Czechoslovakia to a Czech mother (my father is Polish). I had to carry my Czech passport and my permanent residence card everywhere as ID, which was a pain. So at some point I decided to take the plunge... ;-) Sadly, at the time dual PL/CZ citizenship was not allowed, or I would have chosen that.

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