Other Pathways to Polish Citizenship

Through Karta Polaka, Restitution or Naturalization

Did you know that if you have Polish ancestry, you might be eligible for Polish citizenship and an EU passport? This means you can live, work and study in any of the 27 EU member countries with no restrictions.

Poland’s citizenship laws are some of the most generous in the world! However, there are still millions of people that are not eligible for citizenship through descent because their ancestors left Poland before it was reestablished as a state in 1918.

If you have Polish heritage but don’t qualify for citizenship through confirmation of citizenship, Karta Polaka (Pole’s Card) may be worth considering. It is available to ethnic Poles who can prove they have at least one direct Polish ancestor, knowledge of the Polish language, history, culture and tradition and declare their Polish ethnicity in a written statement.

To qualify, you need one parent, one grandparent or two great-grandparents or evidence of active involvement with an approved Polish diaspora organization for 3 years or more. Holders of the Karta Polaka can apply for citizenship through recognition after they reside in Poland for more than 12 months and pass a language proficiency test or get an exemption certificate.

Restitution of citizenship was introduced into the Polish legal system in April 2009, coming into force in 2012. It is available for people who have held but lost their Polish citizenship, especially during Poland’s turbulent communist era, often against their will or under duress.

Several conditions must be met for citizenship to be restored this way. The procedure can only be pursued by people who lost their Polish citizenship before January 1999. They must still be still alive and supply evidence of loss of their Polish citizenship, for example through serving in a foreign army, renunciation or marriage.

Applications for restitution of Polish citizenship for persons living abroad are handled the Minister of Interior and Administration in Poland via your local Polish consulate. The process takes between 3-6 months. The certificate of citizenship lists the date of restoration of citizenship, meaning that the applicant will have a gap in continuity of Polish citizenship, often of several decades.

Descendants of people who have had their Polish citizenship restored through restitution cannot apply to have their citizenship confirmed, unless they are a child of the applicant, born after the citizenship has been restored. To be successful, you must be a person of good character and the Polish government can refuse your application if it is considered that you are a threat to Poland’s security or its legal order.

You can obtain Polish citizenship by naturalization if you have lived in Poland continuously for at least three years as a permanent resident or have been married to your Polish spouse for at least three years.

What's Next?

Why not book a confidential Discovery Call with one of our EU citizenship specialists today, to go over your eligibility? Our Polish and English-speaking EU citizenship consultants are standing by to discuss all the required paperwork, timelines and pricing. We are proud of our 100% success rate with Polish citizenship restitution. We would be happy to discuss other pathways to Polish citizenship, including confirmation of citizenship through descent.

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