Polish regulations define the following rules of acquiring Polish citizenship:
1. Acquiring citizenship by birth.
According to the Polish law, a child acquires Polish citizenship through being born to parents of whom at least one is a Polish citizen, regardless of the fact whether the child was born in Poland or abroad. In the case of parents of whom only one is a Polish citizen, the child acquires Polish citizenship regardless of the place of birth (Poland or abroad). In this case, the parents can choose for their child the citizenship of the foreign state one parent is a citizen of. In order to do it, two conditions need to be fulfilled alongside:
- in accordance with the regulations of a foreign country, a child acquires its citizenship,
- both parents, within three months from their child's birth, submit the application in which they choose for their child the citizenship of the foreign country of which one of the parents is a citizen. The application must be submitted before the relevant authorities.
In the case of the lack of agreement between the parents as for the citizenship of the foreign country, each of them may apply (within 3 months from their child's birth) to a Polish court for resolution.
According to the Polish law, in some cases it is possible to acquire Polish citizenship by being born on the Polish territory. This regulation applies to children born in Poland when both parents are unknown, or stateless (they do not have any citizenship), or their citizenship is undefined. Such a child acquires Polish citizenship by being born on the Polish territory.
2. Acquiring citizenship by a child found on the Polish territory.
In accordance with the Polish citizenship regulation, a child found in Poland acquires Polish citizenship when both parents are unknown, or stateless (they do not have any citizenship), or their citizenship is undefined.
3. Acquiring citizenship by granting the citizenship (naturalization).
The Polish President can grant Polish citizenship to foreigners. A foreigner can be granted Polish citizenship on his/her request on condition he/she has resided in Poland for at least 5 years on the basis of a long-term residence permit of the European Community, or on the basis of a permanent residence permit. In special cases, a foreigner can be granted Polish citizenship on his/her request even if he/she does not meet the above requirements.
4. Acquiring citizenship by marrying a Polish citizen.
A foreigner who has been married to a Polish citizen for at least 3 years can acquire Polish citizenship on condition he/she has resided in Poland on the basis of a residence permit, a long-term residence permit of the European Community, or on the basis of a permanent residence permit. A foreigner who wants to be granted Polish citizenship is also required to submit a special declaration before the relevant Polish authority in due time.
5. Acquiring citizenship by recognition.
A person whose citizenship is undefined or who does not have any citizenship can be recognized as a Polish citizen on condition that he/she has resided in Poland for at least 5 years on the basis of a residence permit or a long-term residence permit of the European Community. The recognition applies also to the person’s children if they reside in Poland.
In the following sections you will learn whether foreigners of Polish origin have Polish citizenship and what Polish citizenship regulations are. See:
- Polish emigrants and their descendants.
- Polish citizenship regulations.