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U.S. Citizen to Study in Poland on U.S. Passport for Over 3 Months? Problems?


celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #1
Okay, hello everyone, let me explain my situation, as it's complicated. I plan to study in Poland this September until December--for about 3 and a half months. Originally, I was going to get a long-term stay visa but the consulate office in the United States won't give me a visa because both my parents are Polish, meaning I'm a Polish citizen so I need a Polish passport--an even more bureaucratic and complicated process. The consulate office told me it would take 6+ months to get my Polish passport, which is problematic, since I leave for Poland in a little over 3 months. At this point, I'm considering entering Poland on my U.S. passport and seeing what happens. I emailed the university I will be studying at and was told we would take a "study trip" to Ukraine that would reset my 3-month limit. I'm skeptical of this because I've read elsewhere online that a Polish law now states you can only spend 3 months in Poland every 6-month timeframe.

Any suggestions on what I should do? This situation has been very stressful for me and my family and is making me re-consider studying in Poland. It astounds me that they will not give me a visa to study in their country just because I have a citizenship I don't even care to claim...

So to recap, here are my questions:

1) What happens if I stay in Poland for more than 3 months on my U.S. Passport? Do you think if I explain I was a student I'd just get to go? Or will I be fined/jailed/barred from entering the EU again?

2) Can I enter Poland with my U.S. passport and wait for my Polish passport to be processed, then leave on this passport? Will this cause problems with Polish/U.S. officials?

3) Will my study trip to Ukraine actually "reset" my 3-month limit in Poland, or is there still a law that nulls this?
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #2
As a Polish citizen you have every right to stay in Poland as long as you like. It even says on Polish passport that you do not need a valid passport to stay on the territory of Poland. Polish citizens do not need a visa to Ukraine, not sure about americans.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #3
The Problem is I don't think I've claimed my citizenship? Or by having Polish blood do I automatically have Polish citizenship, regardless if I have a Polish Passport?

I won't have a problem going to Poland. The Problem is coming back to the United States. I'm afraid 1) I wouldn't be allowed to leave Poland until I get a Polish passport, messing with my college schedule or 2) I'll be fined/jailed/barred from ever returning to Poland and the EU..
grubas 12 | 1,384
19 May 2011 #4
Why don't you get this **** straight before you go?Anyway,get yourself temporary passport(paszport tymczasowy) from Polish Embassy just to prove that you are citizen of Poland so you won't get in troubles.Ban is only 1 year anyway but I don't think you can be banned since you are citizen of PL.
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #5
If born in America, parents would have to register your birth in Poland. If they did not you would need to confirm citizenship. Note: I am assuming your parents were born in Poland and /or have Polish citizenship and passport. I do not know the process of confirming but you have it anyway. Polish blood = citizenship. The process is more complicated if your parents are descendants of immigrants themselves.

I heard of this silly law or stories of this law where they hold you back. I however, born in Poland and having citizenship have travelled to Poland for the past 4 years on a Canadian passport and had no trouble even though they knew I was Polish. I have not stayed over 3 months however.

I'll be fined/jailed/barred from ever returning to Poland and the EU..

No offense, but that is ridiculous, you are a citizen not an illegal African or some other. I have never heard of anyone getting banned let alone a citizen.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #6
Why don't you get this **** straight before you go?

I'm trying to get this sorted out beforehand. The Problem is I leave in about 3 months and my passport won't be ready for about 6 months.
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #7
Do you live in a large city? I do and it took a month. Also ask the embassy questions.
asik 2 | 220
19 May 2011 #8
Any suggestions on what I should do? This situation has been very stressful for me and my family and is making me re-consider studying in Poland. It astounds me that they will not give me a visa to study in their country just because I have a citizenship I don't even care to claim...

You don't understand, you don't need to claim Polish citizenship, you ARE Polish citizen and you must enter Poland with your Polish documents - that's a law. If you try to enter Poland with your American documents be aware, that on the Polish boarder, you can be stopped and send back to your country of residence as you are not allowed to enter Poland with other country documents. Some Polish people with dual citizenship already experience this kind of treatment.

I'd suggest you apply for an emergency or temporary Polish passport, it'll probably cost you more (I don't think it should matter in such a situation) but at least you have your Polish documents. Contact your local Polish General Consulate about it.

If you don't like to be dual citizen and don't like to be recognised as Polish citizen, then you should write to the President of Poland and apply for the cancellation of your Polish citizenship. That's the only way you'll never again need Polish documents to cross Polish boarder.

Good luck.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #9
If you don't like to be dual citizen and don't like to be recognised as Polish citizen, then you should write to the President of Poland and apply for the cancellation of your Polish citizenship. That's the only way you'll never again need Polish documents to cross Polish boarder.
Good luck.

Ironically, I need a Polish passport to do this, so it wouldn't circumvent this process.

Do you live in a large city? I do and it took a month. Also ask the embassy questions.

Thanks, that gives me some hope. I called the consulate and they said 6 months. I think the process for me may be longer because I have to prove both my parents were born in Poland and are who they say they are.

This is the first I've heard of a temporary passport, and I'm surprised the consulate did not mention this when I called today. I'll call again tomorrow and ask about this.

Thanks everyone for your knowledge/advice.
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #10
you must enter Poland with your Polish documents - that's a law

True but for the past 4 years I did not despite on each occasion authorities knew it. From now on I will travel on only Polish documents though.

Temporary passport took 5 days for me! valid for one year.
Zman
19 May 2011 #11
You guys don't get it (some of you). He needs his citizenship confirmed first and that does take 6 months. Temp or permanent passport can be had afterwards.

Kid, just go on you US passport, reset time in UK and worry not. No one will harm you here.

by UK I somehow meant UKraine :-)
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #12
He needs his citizenship confirmed

That is what I said, if he was not born in Poland.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #13
You guys don't get it (some of you). He needs his citizenship confirmed first and that does take 6 months. Temp or permanent passport can be had afterwards.

Will going to Ukraine actually "reset" my time? I've heard contradictory things about this, but apparently the university I will be studying at says this "should" work...

I'm going to try to prove citizenship asap. Both of my parents were born in Poland. My mom has her birth certificate (and it's already translated), so hopefully this can cut some time off. My father does not have a Polish birth certificate, but he has a German passport saying he was born in Poland (as well as his U.S. citizenship), and he also has baptismal papers from Poland claiming he was baptized there as an infant.
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #14
and it's already translated

I dont get it. So BOTH were born in Poland or not? Into what would you need to translate it to? Do you know Polish, I can give you a link?

Your father should have a record with the Polish government. This sounds strange to me that he has German papers and us but no Polish

mswia.gov.pl/portal/pl/380/31/Informacje_paszportowe.html
z_darius 14 | 3,964
19 May 2011 #15
You don't understand, you don't need to claim Polish citizenship, you ARE Polish citizen and you must enter Poland with your Polish documents - that's a law.

Absolutely not.

celticsfan90,
I have some personal experience with that.

You don't have a Polish passport but you are a Polish citizen and, unless you officially renounce it, Poland's constitution ensures that nobody can throw you out, or ban you from Poland. As simple as that. Oh, and remember citizenship is not the same as passport. Before leaving for Poland get a copy (not the original, as Polish authorities will keep it) of you birth certificate. Took a couple of hours in an office and 2 weeks for the Polish papers to be ready for pickup.

My daughter is US born citizen. She visited Poland 3 times, once a US passport, twice on Canadian. She came back from Poland last Summer and she showed both her Polish and Canadian passports during the exit procedure.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #16
Piast Poland

I dont get it. So BOTH were born in Poland or not?

Both of my parents were born in Poland, as were both of their parents. My father had/has a German passport because during WWII, my grandfather was forced to live in Germany, and subsequently had to fight for the Germans (I know there are laws saying if you fought for another army before a certain year you lose citizenship, but my grandfather is exempt because: 1) he was forced to fight for the Germans under gunpoint and 2) as soon as he ran into Allied forces, he surrendered and fought the rest of the war with the Polish).

And I believe I was mistaken about the need for translation. My mother needed to get her birth certificate translated into English (by an "official" translator) to get a green card.
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #17
Well then you ARE a Polish citizen and have the same rights as anyone there. You have no need to worry, but it would be good to get documents.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #18
And for clarification, I was born in the United States. Both my parents were born in Poland.

Again, I'm worried about exiting the country as an American. I get that, as a Polish citizen, I can never be barred from the country, but as a Polish citizen traveling on a U.S. passport if I overstay my 3-month "welcome" then, as an American, I can be barred from returning to Poland and the rest of the EU.

I guess that would just be further incentive for me to get my Polish passport eventually--just in case I can never return as an American.
z_darius 14 | 3,964
19 May 2011 #19
You're frightened more than it's worth. Have you read my post above?
Polish consulate refused you Visa because they say you are Polish. Period.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #20
Polish consulate refused you Visa because they say you are Polish. Period.

Hah, thanks for putting it in perspective. I must say all this regulation is ridiculous and probably deters a lot of people with Polish ancestry from visiting Poland for extended periods.
z_darius 14 | 3,964
19 May 2011 #21
I must say all this regulation is ridiculous and probably deters a lot of people with Polish ancestry from visiting Poland for extended periods.

There was some confusion in late 80's to mid 90's, and some mix-up with passports. That's been clarified. Nobody will throw you to jail or ask you to stay in Poland because you have a Polish or foreign passport. The only thing is that as a Polish citizen you are treated as such when in Poland, and to the exclusion of any other citizenships you may have.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #22
My daughter is US born citizen. She visited Poland 3 times, once a US passport, twice on Canadian. She came back from Poland last Summer and she showed both her Polish and Canadian passports during the exit procedure.

But also, your daughter had no problems leaving Poland because you can legally stay in Poland on a U.S./Canadian passport for three months or less. I on the other hand will be breaking an EU law by staying in Poland for more than 3 months while studying.
Zman
19 May 2011 #23
You are a chicken. Study those internet accessible regulations, make decisions and act like a man or a woman, not like a child. US citizens have nothing to fear here. Just get a ticket and enjoy your stay.
OP celticsfan90
19 May 2011 #24
I'm going to Poland regardless. I'd just like to do it in the most legal way possible. It's easy to call someone a chicken when you're in no danger of being kicked out of the EU. I've studied the regulation, hence why I'm here explaining my situation--there's just a lot of confusion surrounding this stuff. If there wasn't then my call wouldn't have had to been transferred 3 times at the Consulate's office.

I know I'm a Polish citizen--doesn't mean I can walk around in Poland with no papers and tell officials, "It's okay! My parents were born here."
Piast Poland 3 | 165
19 May 2011 #25
I get that, as a Polish citizen, I can never be barred from the country, but as a Polish citizen traveling on a U.S. passport if I overstay my 3-month

When in Poland, you are considered solely Polish.

and again citizens CANNOT be exiled for exercising their right to be in the territory!
Zman
19 May 2011 #26
I admire your attitude. Work on your polish papers of course. But by and large you will survive on your US papers as well. Just don't leave them home before you board the plane :-)
Harry
19 May 2011 #27
I plan to study in Poland this September until December--for about 3 and a half months.

I really would not sweat a two-week overstay.

the consulate office in the United States won't give me a visa because both my parents are Polish

More likely because they can't be arsed to do the paperwork. Did they give you a letter in which they stated the reason for the refusal?

Will my study trip to Ukraine actually "reset" my 3-month limit in Poland, or is there still a law that nulls this?

You can not extend your visa by leaving the country. Full stop. End of story.

I know I'm a Polish citizen--doesn't mean I can walk around in Poland with no papers and tell officials, "It's okay! My parents were born here."

You have got papers: US papers.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,098
19 May 2011 #28
Uh, wouldn't it just be easier to sort out the Polish documents from within Poland?

The whole process to get a Polish ID card (which, as a Polish citizen, is obligatory for you to carry within Poland) should take about 6 weeks maximum.
OP celticsfan90
20 May 2011 #29
More likely because they can't be arsed to do the paperwork. Did they give you a letter in which they stated the reason for the refusal?

No, they did not. When I called and emailed the General Consulate, they told me there would be no way I can obtain a visa to my own country, so instead I need to prove citizenship, then get a Polish passport.

As of now I've started the process to prove my citizenship, but I will enter Poland on my U.S. passport. When I get close to the 3 month limit that I can stay on my U.S. passport, I plan on going to Ukraine to "reset" the time for another 3 months.
Piast Poland 3 | 165
20 May 2011 #30
When I get close to the 3 month limit that I can stay on my U.S. passport, I plan on going to Ukraine to "reset" the time for another 3 months.

Ok if you want to do that you can. But as a citizen you are equal to everyone else. You dont see 38 million Poles jumping the border to Ukraine every 3 months!


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