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Polish citizenship guide

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Important information
See a PESEL application form
See a PESEL application form in English

Persons who have never resided in Poland or left Poland in the distant past must obtain a special statistic number, called PESEL. The number is necessary while applying for a Polish passport.
The PESEL number consists of 11 digits and constitutes a numeric symbol that is granted to persons for their identification. Every Polish citizen residing in Poland must have a PESEL number. Every Polish citizen who was born in Poland obtains a PESEL number automatically at their birth. The PESEL system has been in force in Poland since the beginning of 1980s. That is why, individuals who left Poland before 1980s, have not returned since then and have not applied for a new Polish passport, do not have a PESEL number. It also applies to individuals born and permanently residing abroad (children or grandchildren of Polish emigrants). In order to obtain a Polish passport they need to obtain a PESEL number first.

Persons residing abroad can submit PESEL application forms only at a Polish consulate. A PESEL application is submitted along with a passport application.
The original of the applicant's birth certificate must be attached to a PESEL application form. Persons who have changed their surname due to marriage should also attach the original of their marriage certificate. If the applicant was born or married abroad then he/she must attach his/her birth/marriage certificate registered in Poland. It means that the applicant, instead of attaching his/her foreign birth/marriage certificate, attaches its Polish registered equivalent (more about registering foreign birth/marriage certificates in Registration of foreign documents). The consular fee for submitting a PESEL application and preparing necessary documents is 20 EUR.

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