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Prof. Adamski knows all there is to know about Polish citizenship, passports and genealogy. He works around the clock to give you detailed and personalised answers to your questions. Want to know more about your family and their journey from Poland? Leave your questions down below and you might be surprised about what he can uncover!

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141 questions and answers

  1. Hello Sir,

    My question is somewhat an entanglement of German and Polish citizenship. My grandfather, Jan Dolacinski, (born in the 1920s) held German citizenship as he was born in the Rhineland, but he was, by blood, Polish, despite not having the citizenship to prove it. In WWII, he fought in the Polish Armed Forces (under British command). He never attained British citizenship while in this country but I am not currently in possession of any documents to prove what his citizenship was up until his death in the 1980s. Would the Nazi government have revoked his German citizenship due to him joining the Polish army? If so, do you know if I am right in believing I am eligible for German citizenship under the German Citizenship Project? Or would he have kept his Polish citizenship until his death? If so, is there potential for me to attain Polish citizenship by descent?

    There is very little paperwork in existence documenting my grandfather’s status, as he left the continent after the war to come to England and never once returned. I was therefore also wondering if Poland has some sort of records system where I may be able to find out anything about him. I do not speak fluent Polish myself but I do have a fluent friend who would be willing to translate if such a system existed.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you may be able to provide me with!

    Celeste Lewis

    1. Hello Celeste,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      A couple of questions: How do you know that your grandather had German citizenship? Are there any papers indicating that?

      I’d be more than happy to refer you to a couple of places where you might be able to find records. Could you advise the year your grandfather was born and where?

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  2. Dear Professor Adamski,

    I am trying to get Polish citizenship through my great-grandparents (immigrated to Canada from Poland in 1929). Luckily I have their Polish passports, marriage certificate, baptism records, and Canadian naturalization certificates. On their naturalization records and my grandmother’s birth certificate (born in Canada in 1929) their citizenship is listed as Austrian and their nationality as Austrian/German. They were ethnic Germans living in Galicia for generations. From what I understand they never actually lived in the Republic of Austria nor had Austrian citizenship after the dissolution of the empire. Would the listing of their citizenship as Austrian on the naturalization/grandmothers birth certificate cause problems when trying to claim Polish citizenship?

    Thank you for your assistance.

    1. Hello Chris,

      Yes, if your family members were listed as Austrian, it would affect your eligibility for Polish citizenship.

      You may wish to ask the Canadian government to issue you with a letter stating what year they acquired Canadian citizenship as it will not mention their prior citizenships.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  3. Hello Professor Adamski! I’ve been helping my mom do research into our Polish ancestors and found a lot of the documents she has been looking for a long time. I have a lot of dates and documents but thought I would just ask before diving into the whole process. My great great grandfather was born in Janisewso in 1863. I have his Polish birth record as well as his parents’ marriage record, and their Polish birth records as well. He and his brother left for New York around 1890 and he married a Polish woman from Żałe (I think I found her birth act but it’s in Russian so not positive, then that should lead to her parents’ records as well) in 1900 in New York City. He and his wife are listed as “Alien” in the all the census records I can find and are still listed as “alien” in the 1930 census right before his death. I can’t find any sort of naturalization record for either of them, or even a marriage certificate in New York. My great-grandfather was born in New York in 1893, and he made the trip back to Poland with his mother in 1894 and his sister was born there (I found them on a Hamburg Passenger list) and returned in 1895. My great-great grandather’s parents and my great-great grandmother’s never left Poland. I believe a few of them might have survived past 1918 but working on finding death records. Seems like a very difficult and complicated situation but do you think I have a shot at applying for citizenship through descent?

    1. Hello Moira,

      Well done on such diligent research.

      Whilst your family’s circumstances seem to be quite complicated, having this much quality information – bearing in mind that we’re going back 150 years – is quite commendable and rare.

      As far as your chance for confirming your citizenship by descent, they are quite slim.

      It looks like you already know why but let me just add that this is because Poland didn’t exist before 1918 and the first citizenship act was enacted in 1920. Perhaps you could check with your local Polish consulate if your ancestors were registered there? If they were, then your chances would improve significantly.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  4. Dear Professor Adamski,

    My great cousin was born in Poland in 1899….,
    Did Poland issue passports in 1899?
    If so, what was the cover color of the Polish Passport in 1899?
    Is there a Polish state archive that has copies of passports issued?
    I’m trying to find out about my great uncle and aunt who we’re from Kiev and the parents of my cousin.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance and he.


    1. Hi Alan,

      In 1899 they did not issue Polish passports, as Poland did not exist at that time. But, Russia, Austro-Hungarian Empire and Prussia issued their own passports so depending on the area of Poland your great cousin comes from, the color might be beige or orange.

      There were no photocopiers in those days so no, there wouldn’t be a copy of the passport. Some records of the application forms for passports might exist in individual regions but are not centralized. The POLIN museum does have a database of some passports but this mainly relates to Jewish people and is quite fragmented.

      Please do let me know if you have any further questions.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  5. Hi
    My mother and father were born in areas that were part of Poland before the war, but now in Lithuania and Belarus. They were deported by the Russians during the war and after many travels both ended up in England where they met and married.
    Because of the deportation they did not have any birth certificates etc and I have tried to search for them or their parents through a Polish law firm but with no success to date.
    I really want to reclaim my Polish citizenship but am not sure what to do next .. can you help?

    1. Hi Joanna,

      Yes, absolutely we can help. Lithuanian and Belarussian archives hold comprehensive birth, marriage and death records and most likely have your family’s documents. The key is to engage a professional archivist who knows how to work with these archives. The archival requests have to be written in Belarussian and Lithuanian and sent by post to the relevant archives, together with fees in the local currency.

      My colleague, Mariola, has had much success sourcing these records, email her at if you would like some more information and an obligation-free quote. I will let her know you might be contacting her.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  6. Hello,
    My grandparents were both Polish. They immigrated to Israel in 1950.
    Upon arrival, my grandfather was registered for the Israeli military, however he didn’t actively serve in the army.
    Am I still eligible to receive Polish citizenship?

    1. Hi Guy,

      Most likely and unfortunately not. In those days (prior to 19/1/1951) men (as well as their spouses and children) lost their citizenship if they were subject to conscription in another country. In other words, he didn’t have to serve but be merely registered with IDF. Do you have a certificate from IDF stating the date he was registered?

      If you don’t, it may be worth acquiring to confirm your grandfather’s military status. The information Israeli government has may indicate he was not registered.

      Do let me know if you have additional questions.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  7. Hello,
    My mother was born in Poland in 1947. She moved to Canada in 1965 and gained Canadian citizenship shortly thereafter. I was born in 1981.
    Am I still eligible to receive Polish citizenship or does my mother’s Canadian citizenship negate her Polish citizenship?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your question.

      You are still eligible, as long as your mother did not renounce her citizenship directly with the Polish government.

      If you have any further questions, please let me know.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  8. Dear Sir
    Both my parents were born in Poland My father in Lodge and my mother I am not so sure.
    They both immigrated to Israel in the early 30s My father was about 12 yrs old at the time.
    I have my fathers original Polish passport but no other document.My father immigrated to Australia in 1963 and passed away in 2010
    Am I eligible for a Polish citizenship and can you help?
    Thanking you

    1. Hi EBD,

      Before 1951, Polish citizenship of the head of the family (father) extended to the wife and children. In other words, your citizenship depends on that of your grandfather since your father was a minor when the family immigrated.

      Therefore, I would need to know if your grandfather was subject to conscription in Israel, what year your grandparents married and whether your father was subject to conscription in Israel.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

    1. My grandad was born in 1900 and died in 1945. We cannot found any documents because it was period of war. All his 4 brothers live abroad from Ukraine just my grandad live in Ternopil because his wife was from Ukraine. His brother live in Opole. His name was Misyurko Voituk . Will be very thankful if i can found something about him .

  9. Dear Prof. Adamski,
    My great-grandfather, Marshal Kubala, was born in Austria in 1873. Marshal was a soldier in the Austrian-Hungarian military. He married Sophia, who was a year younger than her husband. We have not yet discovered her last name. They apparently had four children, one of which was my grandfather, Michael. He was born in Okaczim, Poland. The Kubala’s emigrated to the US on October 6th, 1910 through Hamburg on the S.S. Amerika. They arrived in South Hampton, NY. They then moved to Cook County, Illinois.
    Am I correct in assuming that requesting dual citizenship in Poland based on these known facts is difficult, if not impossible?
    Also, we know my grandfather, Michael, did not become a US citizen until 1946. I know he loved his native land and would not have renounced his citizenship unless he felt there was no hope of returning. What would be the most likely reason a Pole in the US would renounce their Polish duties and dedications in that particular year?

    1. Hello Scott,

      Yes, very difficult because of passage of time and lack of documents. The renunciation of Polish citizenship in the US is not recognised in Poland so as long as he did not renounce his Polish citizenship directly to the Polish government, this renunciation does not count. He may have renounced it because he needed to apply for US citizenship?

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  10. Dear Prof. Adamski,

    I am a British citizen and I’m trying to determine whether I am eligible to claim Polish citizenship. I was wondering whether you would be able to help me confirm this please.

    My paternal grandfather was Polish, but was born near Lwow in modern-day Ukraine, which was Polish territory at the time. He was born in January 1922 and left Poland at some point between 1940 and 1942. Soon after finding work in Germany, he was arrested and spent the rest of the war in a variety of different concentration camps.

    At the end of the war he joined the Polish Armed Forces under British command in August 1945. He transferred into the Polish Resettlement Corps within the British Army in December 1946 before being discharged from the British Army in January 1948.

    He was naturalised as a British citizen in November 1969. He died in August 1988.

    The only documents belonging to my grandfather that I have are ones related to his time in the military.

    Please could you advise whether you think I am likely to be able to claim Polish citizenship and whether the military documentation would be sufficient in proving my grandfather’s Polish citizenship?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Robert Bilinski

    1. Hello Robert,

      Yes, from the information you’ve provided, you are eligible to reclaim your Polish citizenship. It is very likely that your case will be successful.

      Your grandfather’s military documents will be a great addition to your case, but I would advise you to do some more research to find other documents. Documents like birth, death and marriage certificates, passports and citizenship certificates will help to make your case stronger.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  11. Hello Professor! I am hoping you might be able to answer a question or two for me, and perhaps point me in the right direction.

    My great grandparents immigrated to Canada in 1927 according to a passenger list that documents their arrival in Canada as landed immigrants (with their 5 children) sailing from Danzig. Their birth places are listed as being in Poland and nationalities as “Polish.” HOWEVER, there is some confusion as to whether they lived for a time (approx 1916-??) in the US before returning to Poland, then sailing to Canada where they settled.

    My grandmother was born in 1929 in Canada. My great grandpa was naturalized in 1934. My grandmother should have Polish citizenship by her birth.

    Here are my “official” questions: 1) Should I look further into how long my great grandparents were in the United States and/or how long they were “back” in Poland before moving to Canada? 2) Would my grandmother’s marriage in 1947 to my Canadian-born grandfather have resulted in a loss of her Polish citizenship? 3) If no, would it have transferred to my mother upon my mother’s birth in 1957 and therefore to myself and my children, and so on? 4) What documentation besides the passenger list above and the naturalization lists would be necessary to pursue this option on behalf of my grandmother, mother and myself?

    Thank you SO very much in advance.

    1. Hello Lindsay,

      Thank you for your questions.

      1. Yes, you should absolutely look further into your great grandparents and their journey. They may have acquired US citizenship. I would recommend contacting the Polish consulate and archives in the US.
      2. Yes, your grandmother would have lost her citizenship by marrying your Canadian grandfather in 1947, unless the marriage was religious.
      3. If the marriage was a civil one, unfortunately the line of Polish citizenship from your grandmother would have been extinguished. Therefore, it wouldn’t be passed onto you and your children. If the marriage was religious, you and your children may still be eligible.
      4. Any documentation you have access to will aid your case for reclaiming your Polish citizenship (assuming you’re eligible). Examples of documents you may have include birth, marriage and death certificates, army records and passports.

      Do let me know if you have any further questions.

      Your truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  12. Hi Professor Adamski,

    Thank you for all your detailed answers for these Polish citizenship questions. They have been very helpful! Unfortunately for my situation on Polish citizenship I think that unless I find a record showing Polish citizenship of my ancestors after 1920 then the only way would be to ask via the President.
    My situation, however is this:
    My great-great grandparents were born in Poland in 1872 & 1878 in the Masovian Voivodeship. They immigrated to the USA in 1890s and married in 1901. My great-grandmother was born in 1903 in New Jersey. I am under the impression that even though they left Poland before 1918, since I have proof they were ethnic Poles (Declaration of Intention to Naturalize shows their town in Poland, and US Census lists them as Polish) my great-grandmother would still be considered a Polish citizen? My great-grandmother married my great-grandfather in 1927 and my grandfather was born in 1930. My grandfather married my grandmother in 1960 and my father was born in 1961. My parents married in 1988 and I was born in 1993. All of the above happened in NJ, USA. My great-great grandparents never became US citizens. Thank you for your time!


  13. My mother was born in Berlin in 1926. She was a German schoolgirl when her father obtained a US Passport in NY. She migrated to the United States with her parents in 1933. She married an American-born man in 1947. I am one of her children, born in 1949. Can I use the evidence of her birth, she is alive and well at age 91 (!), as a basis for claiming German citizenship? I am not interested in renouncing my US citizenship.

    1. Hi Roger,

      Unfortunately, she could not claim German citizenship since she was born in 1949. Children born between 1914 and 1975 could only obtain German citizenship through their German father.

      Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  14. Hello Professor Adamski,

    Me and my brother (we are Brazilian) are trying to obtain our Polish citizenship for quite a long time. We know we are eligible for it, but we are missing one document issued by Poland, like a passport. But records were destroyed.

    My great-grandfather was born in 1905 in Ostrow Lubelski and he arrived in Rio de Janeiro in June 14th 1933. He was naturalized Brazilian in 1954. He married in 1937 in Rio, and did not serve the Army. My grandmother (born in 1939) is his daughter.

    I have his passport number, where it was issued (Wlodawski) and the date. I also have the translation of his visa, the place (Warsaw) and the date where it was issued.

    We were told we are eligible for the Polish Citizenship, however, since documents were destroyed in the Second WW, we cannot prove it. I was told a lot of archives were destroyed in a big fire by the Russians.

    In the last years we gathered a lot of documents, but we are missing that Polish document from my great-grandfather
    (like his passport, or birth certificate).
    He was Jew.

    How could we proceed in this case? Can we apply for the citizenship with all the information we have?
    I really appreciate your help.

    Many thanks,


    1. Hi Bianca,

      Thank you for your question. Unfortunately it isn’t enough, you need Polish documents proceed.

      I would recommend writing a letter to the archives in Polish, as they don’t normally reply to emails.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

      1. Dear Prof. Adamski,

        Thank you for your information. Which archives in Poland would you recommend me to write a letter? The one in Ostrow Lubelski?

        Best Regards,


  15. Hi, my grandmother is Polish and came to England after the second world war. Do I need to prove she still has citizenship? Would I be able to use other family members rather than my grandmother if it is found that she became a British citizen? Thank you

    1. Hi Sally,

      You don’t need to prove her citizenship per se but you do need to prove she hasn’t lost it and therefore was able to pass it onto you. You would be eligible if your grandmother DID NOT marry or acquired British citizenship before 19 January 1951.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  16. My Great GrandFather was in Polish Army . ( Ian or Jan ) Volkevich And Mark Volkevitch .

    How much fees on getting Citizen

  17. Hello Professor Adamski!
    I wanted to ask something since I’m very confused on some aspects about the possibility of confirming polish citizenship.
    My grandfather was born in 1920 (20th feb) in Dubno, and he came to Uruguay in 1928. He became a citizen in 1947, so by getting the Uruguayan citizenship he would have lost the polish one; but he was between 18 and 50, in age for military service, and according to the 1920 citizenship act he wouldn’t have lost it without a permission, which he didn’t have. My father was born in Uruguay in 1958 and I was born in 1990. Am I elegible for polish citizenship by descent? Thank you very much!

    1. Hello Ignacio,

      Yes, you would be eligible unless your grandfather served in the Uruguayan military or your grandparents never married. If you’d like some more infomation or have any further questions, please let me know.

      Your truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  18. Good Evening Professor,

    I hope you will be able to help me. My father, Mieczyslaw Niebuda was born in April, 1929 in Osada, Ostrowek, Kosow Poland, now a part of Belarus. He has his Polish Citizenship, but because he doesn’t have a birth certificate, he is unable to get a Polish Passport, because he needs a PESAL, without his birth certificate he can not be given one. We don’t know how to go about getting a birth certificate for him, all his family documents were left behind when he and his family were forcibly removed from there home and taken to labour camps in Russia in 1942. The consulate in South Africa advised us to contact the Polish Embassy in Belarus regarding my father’s registration of birth, but they say that they have no record of my father’s birth! We do have an affidavit that his parents did in England in 1950. He was christened by a Polish Priest in the Roman Catholic Church at Rozana. He is also receiving compensation from the Polish Government. Any help or advise would be appreciated.
    Many Thanks.

    1. Hello Krystyna,

      Two things that can be done:

      1. If the document existed but was destroyed, it can be recreated. We would need proof from the various places where they’ve looked for it to say that the registry books were destroyed.
      2. If the document never existed because it was never registered (in other words, the register exists but the birth certificate is not there), it can be created in Poland. Again, we would need proof of that.

      If you have any further questions, please let me know.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  19. HI,
    My great grandfather was born in Rothwasser Prussia- present day Poland in 1880. My great-grandfather naturalized in 1884. My question is- would this qualify for Polish citizenship or should I be looking to Germany instead (or perhaps neither)?
    Thank you!

  20. Szanowny Panie Profesorze,
    My paternal grandfather’s parents were born in the 1880s in what is now Poland (then the Russian Empire). They got married here in the U.S. in 1912 and had my grandfather in 1919. My great grandfather naturalized in 1929. It looks like from the time he left Poland in the early 1900s he never went back. However his 1929 certificate of naturalization says he was formerly a citizen of Poland. My great grandmother did go back in 1923 (according to travel records) for a visit and brought my grandfather along. As my great grandmother naturalized in the 40s, It looks she must have had a Polish passport in order to travel in 1923. Also, my grandfather (born in 1919 in the U.S.) served in the American Army for many years during WWII and the Korean War.

    I’m thinking my case is probably not possible? But if there is some small chance it is possible, what would I need for documents? I have akta urodzenia stanu cywilnego, U.S. immigration documents, etc but no passport or ID card for my ancestors. Do the Polish archives maintain passport applications going back that far?

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Fingers Crossed,

      Thank you very much for your question.

      We would need to see the documents or a family tree. Exact dates are of extreme importance to see if there is a chance. Could I ask you to email my colleague Mariola at She’ll be able to discuss your case with you in further detail and better determine your eligibility for confirming your Polish citizenship.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  21. Hi, my grandfather was Polish but had to be naturalised in America to become a US citizen. I am Australian living in the Netherlands under a work visa. Is there any way I can get a Polish Citizenship?


  22. Hi Professor,

    My great-grandfather and my grandfather came from Poland to the US in 1921 (we still have their passports). My grandfather served in World War 2, but that is it, as part of the American allied forces. Based on my findings, this should not be an issue.

    However, we are trying to figure out if their naturalization process negated their ability to become citizens.

    My great-grandfather was naturalized as a US citizen at the age of 38 or 40, in 1928. Based on my findings, he is still a Polish citizen, as he was enlisted still in the Polish army. He died at age 49.

    However, my grandfather (his son) was naturalized in the US at the same time, in 1928 because he was on the documents our great-grandfather signed. He was 15 at the time. Does this mean that he then lost/renounced his Polish citizenship, since he was not yet 18 when he became a US citizen? Or when he turned 18, was he automatically enrolled in the Polish military? What was the relevant law at the time?

    Also, the birth dates listed on the naturalization form for all family members are incorrect — based on other documents that we have. I don’t know why they lied, but they did. I’m not sure if that matters, or means they are technically not US citizens.

    Thanks so much for your help,

    1. Hi Laura,

      Your great-grandfather’s citizenship extended to that of his wife and his children until they attained the age of maturity, namely 18 years of age. His grandfather’s citizenship was therefore “independent” as soon as he turned 18 and he was a Polish citizen in his own right. And yes, he would have automatically become subject to conscription in Poland at the age of 17.

      They may have not known their own dates of birth or changed them to avoid military service or somebody else may have changed them. In any case, the Polish government is quite flexible and understands that discrepancies in dates and names were very common in those days.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  23. I was born in Poland in 1951 and lived there until I was adopted by my aunt and uncle who lived in the US in November of 1960. I finally became a US citizen in 1983. Would I be eligible for Polish cotizen still?

  24. I was born in the UK to an English father and a mother who was dual Polish/uk citizen, whose mother was born German, in Silesia, but was made to become Polish at the end of the war ( her father was similarly german/Polish, but was not married to her father.)
    with the threat of Brexit, can I obtain German(or Polish) citizenship under Article 116 of the German Natural law?

  25. Dear Prof. Adamski,

    I am a 36 year old who was born in Poland in 1980 and lived there for 7 years before moving away with family. I am now a long time Canadian citizen.

    I am considering a future move to Iceland, but according to my research I must be a EEA/EFTA citizen in order to have an easier time with the immigration process. If I have this EEA/EFTA citizenship then it sounds like I just need to register in Iceland rather than apply for a residency permit.

    What I would like to know is whether being born and having lived in Poland until age 7 makes me an EEA or EFTA citizenship, and if my move to Iceland is possible without applying for residency permit.

    Thank you for your help.

    1. Hello Karolina,

      You would need to have your Polish citizenship confirmed in order to qualify and it does sound like you are eligible to do so.

      If you would like us to confirm your eligibility, please email us at and one of my colleagues will be more than happy to help you out and tell you a bit more about the process.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  26. Dear Professor Adamski,
    My husband’s parents were both Holocaust survivors from Warsaw Poland, married before the war.
    His father was born in a smaller town and moved to Warsaw for work. After the war both fortunately survived and after being saved from the camps they lived in Stuttgart where they had their first son.
    They were then sponsored by family in the United States. My husband was born in the US in 1951.
    We do not have Polish birth certificates for his parents.
    Can you help regarding obtaining the proper documentation.
    Thank you.

  27. Hi Professor,

    I’m a little confused about how citizenship through descent works.

    My maternal grandfather was born in Poland in 1906 and left in 1946. I have his passport and I found traveling documents through He married my grandmother in the US in 1946 and was naturalized in 1949. My grandmother was also Polish, but served in the US army so I believe this renounced her citizenship.

    Are my sister and I entitled to Polish citizenship? If so, how would be begin the process?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hello Rebecca,

      Thank you for writing to me.

      Do you mean you have your grandfather’s Polish passport? Where was he during the war?

      Women did not lose citizenship through military service. It’s actually a good thing as it shows your grandmother was Polish when serving. The marriage means that you can only pursue it after your grandfather, as it took place before 1951.

      It does sound like you and your sister are eligible to reclaim your Polish citizenship. If you’d like to learn a bit more about the process, please email my colleagues at We’d be more than happy to have a chat to you in a bit more detail about your family’s history and give you some information about how to go about confirming your Polish citizenship.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  28. Hi I’ve been searching for my mothers birth a while now all find my past etc come up with nothing all I know is she was German moved to England after ww2 married 1952 had my sister then me died 1974 my farther would not talk about there past and now has died as well her name Gerda Wruck and after she married it was Endzins my dad was latvin she was born 1921 I think I can’t find how she got here or anything els any idears please. Anita

  29. Hello Professor,

    My maternal great-grandfather was born in 1898 in Galicia. From what I can tell they were ethnic Poles living in Austro-Hungary. He emigrated from there to Canada in 1906 as an 8 year old boy with his mother, father, and brother. He married in 1927 in Canada and had my grandfather (among others) in 1933. My grandfather then had my mother in 1962, and my mother had me in 1994. As far as I can tell he never became naturalized as a Canadian citizen, and subsequently died in 1939. Interestingly enough his brother did become a citizen in 1926.

    Based off of the citizenship law of 1920, I don’t think my great grandfather was ever a citizen of Poland, although he came from Galicia which would become part of Poland in 1918. However, would he qualify for Polish citizenship based on the fact that he emigrated from Galicia as a minor, and that Article 2(3) of the Polish Citizenship Act of 1920 states that “right to Polish citizenship…who: is entitled to Polish citizenship based upon an international treaty.” As far as I can tell, even though my great grandfather Jozef left in 1906, he would be entitled to Polish citizenship by the Treaty of St Germain-en-Laye Article 70 which Austria-Hungary signed in 1918. Furthermore even if he was a citizen of Austria-Hungary, he never became a citizen of Canada and died in 1939, in which the inbetween time of 1918 when Austria-Hungary fell and his death in 1939 he was without citizenship which to my knowledge cannot happen.

    Is the aforementioned correct or have I misread the legislation and treaty?

    Many thanks,

    1. Hello Garrett,

      You might be eligible but your case would be very challenging to pursue.

      Have you tried contacting your local Polish consulate to see if your great-grandfather and grandfather had any links there? That would be the first step I suggest you take, in case they registered as citizens or were conscripted in Poland.

      Please let me know if I can be of any more help.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  30. My great grandfather was born in Ciesnowa, Wilno, Russia empire in 1878. He emigrated to the United States in 1906. He married in 1914 in New York. He never became a US Citizen. He died in 1930. My Grandfather was born in 1926. I know my case is a hard one because he left before 1920, but I’m trying to obtain as many documents I can to support my case. I have his marriage certificate, death certificate, declaration of intent, army and service records from Russian Empire and I recently obtained a birth act of his working with researchers from Poland and Belarus. What else can I do to help my case? Was he somehow entitled to citizenship after Poland created their citizenship act since he never became naturalized here? Is there anything I can look into my great grandmother that could help? I’ve been working on this for a while and have had initial contact with your company in the past, just wanted to reinstate my interest. Thanks so much for your time and I hope I hear from you again soon.



    1. Hello Brian,

      Yes, if you can find proof of his association with Poland. For example, if you could find his registration at the Polish consulate. You may wish to pursue the naturalisation route via the office of the president of Poland.

      If you’d like any more information aboou this, please email me or one of my colleagues at, we’d love to hear from you!

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  31. Hey Professor

    My maternal grandfather was born in 1923, in Poznan (we believe). We are able to check out specific details later. We have a birth certificate, ID card and passport, and we have already been able to prove that he never revoked his Polish citizenship. He came to Australia post WW2 and changed his last name. I have checked the eligibility on your website and it says that it is likely that we will be able to attain a Polish passport. However, I still have not been able to find anywhere a comprehensive list of the exact documents that we will need to gather. I believe we have documents lying around but before we potentially come in for a meeting when I move to Melbourne (from Perth) in March, it would be great if I you could tell me the things you would like to see so that I can bring the originals.


    1. Hello Callum,

      There is no checklist of documents, unfortunately, because each case is different. In general, you will need:

      1. Ancestral documents (birth, marriage, death certificates; army booklets, Polish passports, residential records).
      2. Vital records for applicants (birth, marriage, divorce certificates where applicable, copy of Australian passport or driver’s licence)
      3. Archival files (from Australia and abroad) including naturalization certificates, visas etc.

      We’d be happy to talk to you and review your case when you do come to Melbourne, free of charge and with no obligation to proceed with our services. Just let me know and I will put you in contact with one of our citizenship experts.

      Do zobaczenia!

      Prof. Adamski

  32. Dear Professor Adamski,
    My maternal grandfather was born in Skidel, Poland (currently Belarus) in 1912. He lived thereup until he was forcefully evacuated to Ural, USSR in the 1940’s. My mother (his daughter) was born in 1954 in Moscow, USSR, whilst I was born in 1980 and we lived there (Moscow, USSR) up until 1987, we then immigrated to Australia in 1988.
    The only documents that I have found is a 1928 business directory of Skidel, Poland; that mentions my grandfather’s uncle’s and grandfather’s businesses and a 1930’s tax payers directory of Skidel; which mentions my grandfather as a tax payer along with his other family members which perished in the holocaust.
    Please advise if I am eligible for Polish citizenship and my prospect of success of gaining such.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Ross,

      Unfortunately, it looks like you might not be eligible due to the convention precluding dual citizenship signed by the USSR and Poland, which act retrospectively. But I won’t know for sure until I’ve been given some more information. I would be more than happy to look into it, so please email me at if you would like me to.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  33. Hello Professor Adamski,

    I am writing to you firstly to ask about the process, and whether it should be fairly simple, for me to attain Polish Citizenship.

    My Grandfather: Jozef Kucharski was born 18/3/1915 in Cieletniki in Poland; and my Grandmother: Wanda Kastanska was born 10/5/24 (or 1925) in Poland.
    My Grandfather was a Polish Army soldier taken as Prisoner Of War to Germany, and My Grandmother was placed on a “work farm” in Germany, both during WW2.

    My father, their oldest child: Josef Kucharski was subsequently born in Wedel, Germany on 3/10/48.

    My fathers’ family – Kucharski – then migrated to Australia in 1950. Of course I was then born in Australia.

    Can I therefore have my Polish Citizenship confirmed. Could you please tell me what would be the best process for me to do this?

    If you need any further information, I can provide copies of some documents.

    Thank you for your time,

    Kris Kucharski

    1. Hello Kris,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      From the details yoou’ve provided, it does sound like you are eligible to reclaim your Polish citizenship.

      It would be great if you could email us your documents at One of my colleagues will be able to confirm your eligibility and then you can decide if you’d like to start the process of confirming your citizenship.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to write me again.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  34. My father was born in Germany to Polish Parents in 1946 and emigrated to Australia aged 4.I was born in Australia .Am I eligible for a German passport?

    1. Hello Steven,

      Thank you for your question. You wouldn’t be eligible for a German passport, but as your parents are Polish, you would most likely be eligible for Polish citizenship and a passport.

      If you’d like us to check your eligibly, please email us at, we’d be more than happy to help!

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  35. Hello Professor,

    I’m a little confused with the laws regarding citizenship through descent. I’m a bit uncertain whether my sister and I would qualify. My grandfather was born in 1922 and moved to the U.S. in 1949; however, he did not become a naturalized citizen until after 1957. My mother was adopted in 1964 in a full adoption. I read from the consulate page that her full adoption from a Polish citizen makes her one as well. However the part I am confused about is whether he still held his Polish citizenship, qualifying my sister and I.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    1. Hello Jaimie,

      Thank you for your question.

      It does look like your grandfather’s Polish citizenship was preserved by virtue of his compulsory military service obligations in Poland. In other words, even if he became a US citizen in 1949, as long as he was of conscription age in Poland (17-50), his Polish citizenship remained intact. This legislation applied until 19/1/1951.

      If you have any other questions, please do let me know.

      Yours Truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  36. Hi Professor Adamski,

    My great-grandfather was born about 1899 in Oszmiana, Russian Empire. He arrived in the USA in 1910 and married my great-grandmother in 1922 in New York City. My grandfather was born in the NYC in 1924. My great-grandfather was naturalized in 1927.

    Based on my understanding of Polish citizenship law, some people were still considered Polish citizens even if they left the territory that would become Poland before the founding of the nation in 1918 if they were men of an age eligible for the military draft. I believe my great-grandfather falls under this category. However, I am unclear if he would be eligible based on where he was born.

    It appears to me that Oszmiana was a part of Poland from 1919-1939. Following World War II, it became part of Belarus and has been ever since. My question is, does the fact that Oszmiana is not part of Poland today or throughout some of its history preclude my great-grandfather (and therefore myself) from being Polish? Or does the fact that it was part of Poland at the time that the first citizenship laws were enacted in 1921, coupled with the other info stated earlier, make my great-grandfather Polish and therefore give me a claim to Polish citizenship by descent? I’d be happy to provide you with more information should you need it.

    Thanks for your help,

    1. Hello Ryan,

      Thank you for your question. Yes, you do appear to be eligible as the former Polish territories are in fact included in the Polish citizenship legislation of today. The challenge in these kinds of cases is to find proof of citizenship, such as residential address, property ownership, Polish passport etc.

      You would need to prove that your great-grandfather was a Polish citizen in 1920/21, when the citizenship laws were introduced. Perhaps you’d like to send your documentation to our citizenship team for free assessment? Please email Jide at I will mention you will be contacting her.

      Do let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  37. Hi,

    I was born in Poland and then we left the country in 1982 and attained Australian citizenship and passport. I now want ot move to Europe and would like to get a EU passport. Could you please explain the process?


    1. Hi Iza,

      If you were born in Poland, all you have to do is confirm your Polish citizenship and register your marriage, if you are married. The process should be relatively easy and can be carried out in person in Poland, via the Polish consulate or through my colleagues at Polaron. You will need to nominate a proxy in Poland and your application will be handled by the Voivodeship Office at the last place of your residence. You would need to submit your birth and marriage certificate, as well as your Australian citizenship certificate, notarized copy of your Australian passport and a proxy form for whoever is going to act on your behalf in Poland. Any Australian documents will need to be Apostilled and translated into Polish. Please read our FAQs for a bit more information. Feel free to contact my colleague, Jide on 1300 88 55 61 or if you’d like us to explain the process to you in more detail.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  38. Hello Prof. Adamski,

    My great-grandfather was born in 1884 in Poland according to the U.S. 1940 census. (A world war 2 draft registration card from 1942 says he was born in Russia). The census says that he is a naturalized citizen and that my great-grandmother is an alien born in 1895 Poland. Their first child was born in 1912 in Nebraska and my grandmother in 1917 Nebraska. So far, this is the only information I have been able to find. With this information, is there a possibility of confirming Polish citizenship? If so, what other information would I need to find in order to see if so?

    Thank you

    1. Hello Erin,

      Thank you for contacting me.

      Citizenship by confirmation would be quite unlikely in your case. It sounds like your great-grandfather left Poland before it became an official country, after 123 years of partitions in 1918.

      You may be able to apply for your citizenship to be reinstated via the office of the president of Poland.

      To do this, you would need to find Polish documents on your great-grandfather, including his birth and immigration certificates. This means it’s a longer and more complex process than confirming your citizenship, and it is discretionary.

      I hope this has answered your questions. Please do let me know if I can help you with anything else.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

      1. Thank you for your help Prof. Adamski.

        I know mine are far reaching, but I have another great-grandfather who was born in Austria in 1881 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1906. He married an American in 1909 and had three kids between 1910 and 1916. In the U.S. 1910 census, his status was listed as Alien. I do not know if he ever became a naturalized citizen. Sometime between 1915-1917 my great-grandfather left to fight for Canada in WW1 and did not come back. If my great-grandfather never had U.S. citizenship, would he or his children become citizens of Poland once it became an official country? Or did they have to be living in Poland in 1918? What if his parents were living in Poland in 1918?

        1. Hello again Erin,

          You’re right that it would be quite difficult to confirm you Polish citizenship, considering your family’s journey. In order to do so, you would need to prove to Polish authorities that your family were Polish citizens after 1920, when the first law on citizenship came into place, which means they were therefore Polish.

          Do let me know if you have any more questions.

          Your truly,

          Prof. Adamski

  39. Hello Professor Adamski

    Thank you for helping all of us.

    My great grandfather was born in 1901 (województwo poleskie), he and his brother immigrated to US in 1921. I have the brothers Polish passport, but not my ancestor. I have the departure and arrival manifests listing them as brothers, and various US documents (social security application, US passport application, death certificates, and even obituaries) listing the same parent names. Unfortunately the only records I can locate in Belarus or Poland are records about my great great grandparents (census records, request for Polish ID). My grandmother was born in US 1926, married in 1955, father born in 1957 (No military service), I was born in 1987. Do I qualify? What happens if birth or passport records for my ancestor really can not be found?

    Best regards,

    1. Hello Johnny,

      Thank you very much, it’s great to know that my advice has been helpful!

      Yes, from the information you’ve provided, it does sound like you are eligible to confirm your Polish citizenship. Your ancestor’s census records and request for a Polish ID may be sufficient, so we may not need their birth records or passports.

      It would be great if I could have a look over what you have, so I can get a better idea of your family’s journey from Poland and confirm your eligibility. Could I ask you to send scans of your documents to

      I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  40. Hello Professor,

    My grandmother was born in Poland and her family was forced to emigrate to Ukraine after World War II. She never renounced her citizenship, but she is currently a citizen of Ukraine. I am a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible for Polish citizenship? If so, where can I find help with my application? Thank you very much!


    1. Hello Natalia,

      From the details you’ve provided so far, you are most likely eligible to confirm your Polish citizenship through your grandmother. However, it would be great if you could send us an email to, or give me your email address and I will ask somebody from our to contact you.

      That way, we can 100% confirm your eligibility and give you some more information to help you get started with your application.

      Thank you very much for getting in contact and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  41. Hi, I am trying to find any information i can about my Grandmother and am at a loss can you help and point me in the right direction.
    Name Natalija Pjetryk
    Birth 30/01/1925
    Hamburg Konin, Poland

    1. Hello Jodie,

      Thank you very much for getting in touch, at this point it does sound like you could be eligible. Could I ask you to give me your email address, or send us an email to one of my colleagues at We will be able to send you through some more information and hopefully get you on the right track to finding out more about your grandmother.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  42. Hello Professor,
    I recently obtained my Polish Passport. Does this automatically equate to being an EU citizen? I ask because I would like to acquire a Masters degree at a University and would like to confirm if I will be eligible to enroll as an EU citizen with just my Polish Passport.

    1. Hello Marcela,

      Thank you for your question. Yes, if you are a Polish citizen, you are an EU citizen, which also means you can apply to universities as an EU citizen.

      If you have any other questions, please do let me know.

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

  43. Hello,I am looking for my father’s side of the family,was suppose to go with him in 2005,but he passed away with cancer,unfortunately all I know was he came from a large family and he was the youngest male,his name Waclaw (Walter)Kielbasa and he lived in a small town outside of Warsaw.I am not sure how to spell it but I will try my best,Piasto.I know I have a lot of cousins from all different backgrounds.He also told me that some of his brothers have changed their last names.My father was born on December 31,1925 if this helps.I plan on going back to Poland again one day to show my son where his roots are from.So I would really appreciate any information that you can come up with.Thank you.
    P.S. if you are on fave book,you can send me a friend request

  44. Would like to find out more about my mothers family side who lived in born inHuta
    Krakow in the early 1900
    6/7/1924 date of birth
    Sabina Brzezinski
    Her parents info fathers name Josef Brzezinski
    Mothers maiden name josefa Miasek

    Can you please advise where we could find further info on our family please

    Thanking you

  45. So here is my history maybe you can answer this for me.

    My maternal grandmother was born in kotan, Jaslo poland in 1910. I have 2 documents that state that but one of them is a usa document so I think that is pretty much worthless. The other document is a extractus ex libro status animarum document. It has a round german stamp on it on the bottom.
    My mother was born in mannheim germany in 1945, I have the birth certificate for this. They both came over to the United States in 1950. I was born in 1977.
    My mother was never a legal USA citizen until like 1992 or 1998 (not sure off hand the exact year) where she legally became a USA citizen. Up until that time she did not know she was not a US citizen. It only became an issue for her once she needed to get some sort of paper work done where she learned she must legalize her citizenship.
    So here are my questions for you.
    What exactly is a extractus ex libro status animarum? And does this legally prove my grandmother was born in poland as far as needing to prove she was a polish citizen?
    I am in the process of seeing if I can find my grandmothers birth certificate. However given she was born in 1910 i highly doubt they will find one. if I can not find my grandmothers birth certificate, then I have some real serious questions. My mother from 1945-1992/1998(?) was not a USA citizen. Which means she would have had to be polish if my grandmother was polish. If the polish government states that there is no proof that my grandmother is polish, would that mean that my mother was not a polish citizen when she was born in germany in 1945. If so, would that make my mother german, as babies born in germany with no citizenship are granted german citizenship,.
    It is simply impossible for my mother, who was not a recognized US citizen untill the 1990s to have had no citizenship for like 50 years.
    Furthermore, because my mother never became a US citizen untill 1990s, Would I being born in 1977 be eligible for either polish or german citizenship, as my mother would have had to be one of these?
    Would simply having the record of the polish government rejecting my mothers lineage as polish be enough to grant my mother german citizenship as she was born there, and would have been there with no citizen ship if the polish government was unwilling to recognize her as a polish citizen at her birth?
    Exactly how does this work?

    1. Hello Eric,

      Thank you for sharing your story. The document in your possession appears to be a census record in Latin. There was no Poland in 1910 so documents were variously issued in Russian, German, Yiddish, Polish but also Latin, depending on the area. I wouldn’t give up on finding the birth certificate but it’s no longer at the civil registry office, you need to look for it at the Polish national archives. But the birth itself isn’t proof of Polish citizenship so I would also encourage you to get other documents, such as her death, marriage and residential records of your family. Maybe your mother’s school or work records are available? Or documents on your grandparents? Essentially, you would need to find some sort of record proving your mother was a resident of Poland before she left for Germany. I assume she was taken there as a slave labourer during the war? It is quite possible that your mother never officially acquired US citizenship. I doubt very much that your mother was ever a German citizen, as the requirements are very strict. Again, being born in Germany is not proof of citizenship. And even if your mother did have German citizenship, you could only apply for confirmation of German citizenship if you renounce your US citizenship, which I doubt you’d want to do. And now for the last question: Poland “rejecting” your mother’s Polish citizenship as per your scenario would have no bearing whatsoever on your mother’s German citizenship. Hope it helps.

  46. Dear Prof Adamski,

    This my first time on your blog, you are awesome! I appreciate you and your efforts as well.
    My question goes thus:

    I was born in Szczecin in 1989, July 18. I returned to Nigeria in 1994. My parents are both from Nigeria. I came back to Poland in 2013, December for my masters. I would like to apply for citizenship and equally get a polish passport. I also applied for a temporal resident permit since the 5th of May 2014, and I have had my decision dates moved 3 times. What do I do and How do I go about my citizenship procedure?

    Thanks and I hope to get a reply soon.

    1. Dear Prof,
      My parents were never polish citizens. I was never registered as Pole either. The only proof I have of being polish is my birth certificate.

    2. Hello Linda, I’m afraid that being born in Poland and having a Polish birth certificate is not the same as having Polish citizenship…

      Only people whose parents are Polish can apply for confirmation of citizenship by descent.

      What you can do is apply for Polish citizenship after a qualifying period of permanent residence in Poland. You aldo have to sit to an exam to test your Polish and show evidence of being able to support yourself financially.

      Please let me know if you’d like more information or some assistance with your case officer in Poland who seems to move the goal posts and deadlines!

  47. Dear Professor.

    This is such a great blog but after reading all of the comments and other official polish sites, I am not more confused than before and I hope you can help me.

    I am Canadian and both of my grandparents were born in Poland; grandmother was born in Gdansk in 1908 and grandfather in Warsaw in 1901. They both immigrated to Canada, separately, and married in Canada in 1927.

    My mother never applied for her Polish citizenship but would like to do so and so would I. My father is Canadian so I am trying to figure out if I can apply for my Polish citizenship on my own, and before my mother gets hers, or if I can apply on my own using my grandparents’ birth certificates.

    They both became Canadian citizens in approximately 1950.

    Thank you very very much for all of your help and once again, I am very impressed and grateful for the information provided here in your blog!

    Regards, Jennifer

    1. Hello Jennifer,

      I think you might actually be eligible but only under your grandfather’s lineage. This is because your grandparents married before 1951, meaning that your grandmother’s citizenship was the same as your grandfather’s by virtue of that marriage. When your mother was born, she would have retained her father’s Polish citizenship. For you to benefit, however, your parents would have to marry after 1951.

      Your mother does not need to confirm her citizenship for you to be able to apply.

    2. Thank you Professor. I have just emailed your office with respect to obtaining a quote and a list of further documents that may be required.

      I really appreciate your help and look forward to speaking/emailing with someone from your office.


    3. Good morning Professor,

      It’s Jennifer again. Sorry to bother you, but my Mom just informed me that my grandfather’s birth certificate and passport are nowhere to be found. She has his death certificate which lists Poland as his place of birth, his marriage certificate to my Polish grandmother, and his naturalization papers in Canada from 1937.

      Since I am assuming a birth certificate is a necessity, is this something that your office would take of care locating, or is this something I would have to do myself ? The actual place of birth is a village called Osmolyn in Warszawskie (Warwaw, I think).

      Anyway, am now wondering if this has become far more complicated as a result and whether I should continue to pursue based on this new information I am providing you with ?

      Thank you in advance for your advice.


    4. Hello again Jennifer, whilst the birth certificate is a key document, secondary evidence such as marriage and naturalization cerificate can be accepted as proof of birth. We would of course look for the birth certificate and in about 90% or more cases we have been able to locate them for other clients of ours but if we can’t, we find other evidence in lieu.

      Having said that, cases with no birth certificate do take longer.

  48. Dear Prof. Adanski. I am asking on the behalf of a friend.His parents (grandmother) left Poland in 1928, In 1934 his grandmother married in Brasil a Lithuaniam citizen that had brazilian citizenship, she never renounced to her polish citizenship,Does he have the right to polish citizenship?
    thanks in advance.

  49. Hello Professor!!

    I am interested in possibly obtaining Polish citizenship. My grandmother was born in Poland in 1928. When World War 2 came, the Soviets took her and the family away and they suffered in the concentration camps in Siberia, I believe called the gulags. When they were luckily freed they had a choice to go to Africa or Mexico, and they chose Mexico. They never returned to Poland and where my grandmother was born is basically now the Ukraine. She is now a Mexican and American citizen.
    I was born in Chicago. Is there a way I can gain citizenship and passport? Or does my mother have to first try obtain the citizenship so that I can have the chance? Or there is no way that I nor my mom can be able to become citizens? I assume we probably should. The only documents I think my mom has is the baptism of my grandma which I believe was in a city called Krzemeniec and I believe that Is Ukraine now. There are probably other documents such as about her family home in Ludwiszcze. Let me know if there is a chance for me! Thank you very much!!

    1. Hello Jose,

      A couple of questions for you:

      1. What year was your mother born?
      2. What year did your grandmother marry?
      3. What year did she acquire Mexican citizenship?
      4. What other documents do you have, especially Polish documents?

      To be certain about your eligibility, I need to have a better understanding of your family’s history and would be grateful if you could provide me with more information.


      Prof. Adamski

    2. Hello Professor,

      I am sorry for not getting back to you, I ended up being very busy this whole week that I have not been able to get a chance yet to find out about the info for my grandmother. I will let you know as soon as possible hopefully by tomorrow. My grandmother I believe was married to my grandfather around 1955. My grandfather is a Mexican national. My mother was born in 1957 in Chicago.

      I will try and get in touch with my grandma to find out when she became a Mexican and US citizen along with any documents I can find. Any other questions you think you might need from me let me know as I am so interested. Have a great weekend!!

    3. Thank you very much Professor!! I am glad to know that I can be able to be eligible to receive citizenship. So for me to go about applying, I would have to go to consulate and show documents and proof about my grandma being born in Poland correct? What else would I need to do?

    4. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Everything needs to be translated into Polish by a sworn translator, all original documents need to be certified by a notary or accompanied by an Apostille and you need to fill in a 12 page application form in Polish.

      You can submit your application at the consulate, directly to the Mazovian Voivodeship Office in Poland provided you have an authorised person in Poland to act on your behalf or you can ask us to give you a hand. Our email address is

  50. Dear Prof. Adamski,
    Thanks for providing such a valuable service. I have reviewed the Polish Law on Foreigners, in English & Polish, and believe that the only way I can qualify for Polish citizenship is by writing a letter to the President of Poland. (Wniosek o Wydanie Obywatelstwo Polskiego) What are your thoughts? Here are the facts:

    I’m a US citizen, born in NYC. No Polish family background, but married to a Polish citizen since October 2, 1999. Basically, I lived in Poland from September 1992 through December, 2000.
    Sept. 1992 – summer 1994. Work permit, work visa.
    Summer 1994 – summer 1995. Student visa. Studied Polish at Studium Jezyka Polskiego dla Cudzoziemcow w Lodzi.
    1995 to 2000. Work permit, work visa.
    1998: Received MBA degree from Szkola Glowna Handlowa w Warszawie/University of Calgary, Canada
    November or December 2000: Received a karta czasowego pobytu, valid for 2 years.
    Returned to US in December 2000/early 2001.
    I never had a karta stalego pobytu, even after my marriage in 1999. Apparently, at that time it was not possible to obtain a permanent residency card unless you owned an apartment in Poland, which we did not.
    My wife came to the US in February 2001 & became a naturalized US citizen around 2005. She has Polish citizenship & passport, but no longer has a Dowod Osobisty or meldunek. Her mother lives in Poland and could register my wife or myself if this helps with my application for Polish citizenship.
    From my reading of the current law, I don’t meet the requirements of any category other than writing a letter to the President of Poland. To complicate matters further, the passport I held for 1992-2000 was lost, and I’d presumably need to write to the Urzad do Spraw Cudzoziemcow in Warsaw and Lodz for documents. However, I do have the Polish marriage license, diplomas from Lodz & Warsaw and can demonstrate fluency in Polish.

    Z góry dziękuję!!


    1. P.S. I located photocopies of the passport which was lost and was in use from 1993 to 2000, as well as the karta czasowego pobytu. Now I at least have documentation for the time in Poland & all visas/stamps for 1993-2000. Replacement passport has visa info through end of 2000. The last visa was cancelled once the karta czasowego became effective, as the karta documented my status in Poland. Oh, and the passport I held from 1992-1993 was stolen, thus I have no evidence of my stay in Poland for that period & would need to write to the Urzad d/s Cudzoziemcow. I’ve had bad luck with passports!! Thanks, Daniel

      1. Hello Daniel,

        Thank you for your email and apologies for the delay in replying. I’ve just returned from leave.

        From what I can see, you would be eligible to apply for Polish citizenship and cite special circumstances, as per your detailed explanation. In my opinion, you are most certainly able show a strong connection with Poland, and the Polish language and culture. The president’s powers are discretionary and you could definitely try. Now, the compulsory registration at residential address in Poland is no longer … compulsory so the meldunek concept no longer applies. If your wife has a valid Polish passport, she is not required to hold a dowod osobisty.

        As for requesting copies of various documents from the Polish authorities such as visas and residency cards, you can apply to them under the Freedom of Information provisions, and I would be happy to send you some more details about how to go about it if you like.

        I also wanted to check that you are aware of the EU provisions, whereby if you were to live in any of the EU member states, you would be afforded the same rights as your wife (except for citizenship itself). I am not sure what the reasons are for you pursuing this but if it is just so that you can remain in Europe, you can do so easily, as long as you remain married.

        Please let me know if I can assist you with anything else.


        Prof. Adamski

  51. Dear Professor Adamski,

    My grandfather was born in Ostrowiec in 1915. His parents died between 1915 and 1918, and he lived with an aunt and uncle. He came to America in the late 1940s or early 1950s. He married my grandmother in 1952 in New York. He died in 2012.

    My grandmother, still living, was born in 1923 in Saarbrucken, Germany. Her parents were both born in Poland – my great-grandmother was born in Bochnia and I think my great-grandfather was born in Pshevorsk (Przeworsk?). According to the German consulate, my great-grandparents were registered as Polish citizens in Germany. My grandmother grew up in Luxembourg. I don’t know what citizenship she had, but I think Polish seems more likely than German or Luxembourgish. My grandmother (and great-grandmother; my great-grandfather died in about 1935) came to America in the late 1940s and 1950s.
    Both of my grandparents acquired American citizenship, not sure when.

    Would I be eligible for a Polish passport?


    1. Hello Marc,

      You seem to have some really detailed knowledge of your family. It’s both rare and refreshing!

      Could you let me know when your grandparents married? It does sound like you are eligible but I’m not sure under which ancestral line.

      Do you have any documents on your family?

      Prof. Adamski

    2. My grandparents married one another in New York in June 1952.

      My parents think they have some of my grandparents’ documents, but they need to seek them out.


    3. Sorry for any confusion. I was talking about grandparents from the same side. Israel was born in Ostrowiec in 1915. Lily was born to Polish parents in Germany in 1923. They married one another in New York in 1952. They are my mom’s parents. My dad’s parents are both American-born.

    4. Hello Marc,

      It looks like you could apply under Lily OR Izrael, depending on when she became a citizen of US, if at all. Even if you don’t qualify under your grandmother, you should be able to apply under his ancestry provided he did not renounce his Polish citizenship to the Polish government directly.

      If you’d like to explore this further, feel free to email us at to share some more information on your family as without family names I am unable to check their records in Poland.

      Prof. Adamski

  52. Greetings Prof. Adamski,

    I have a couple questions concerning my ancestor(s) from Poland.
    My great-grandmother on my mother’s side, Esther Schlimmer, was born around 1898 in Poland. The only records I have documenting her existence are the 1920 and 1930 Censuses. Her language was polish, as was her parents’. Her year of immigration is stated as 1912 and 1913, respective to each census. However, it says her year of naturalization was 1908, which is a bit conflicting. She married in the United States around 1916, but I haven’t found anything to prove that besides the censuses. It seems that she divorced before the 1940 Census, but not before having my grandmother. After the 1930 Census, she drops off the map. Is there any chance of getting citizenship based from my great-grandmother?

    My second question is about my great grandfather, her husband. The 1920 census says his language was Russian but his location was Russia Poland. On the census, he states his place of origin as either witebska or witulska (it was almost illegible.) He was born in 1891 and emigrated in 1902 with his family. Almost no information exists after that. Is it worth looking into him as a prospect for polish citizenship?

    Does it look like i have a chance here? Even if not, what should I be looking for records-wise and where?

    Any assistance you can give is much appreciated. I am a bit roadblocked at the moment, so thank you in advance.

    1. Hello Kenny and thank you for reaching out to me. A couple of questions first:

      1. What religion did your great-grandparents practice?
      2. Do you you the names of any towns they came from?
      3. Was there any family left in Poland that you know of?
      4. What other documents, photos, letters etc might you have of theirs, if any at all?
      5. Was your great-grandfather still in Poland in 1920? You say that “his location was Russia Poland in 1920).

      As far as your eligibility, it’s quite complicated but let me see if I can run it past you:

      1. If your great-grandmother married before 1951, she would have acquired the citizenship of her husband and therefore you can only apply under your great-grandfather.
      2. If your great-grandmother never married and never became a US citizen (and it can be proven), then your mother would have been born as a Polish citizen.
      3. If your great-grand mother never married but became a US citizen before 1951, then she would have lost her Polish citizenship and your mother was no longer a Polish citizen at the time of her birth.

      The other issue is that prior to 1918, the state of Poland did not exist so you would have to find a document for your great-grandmother issued by the Polish government, such as a passport or ID card that was still valid in 1918 when the Polish state was re-established.

      I will take you through the eligibility criteria on your great-grandfather’s side once you’ve answered these questions above for me.

      Yours truly

      Prof. Adamski

    2. Thanks for reaching back.
      1.Their religion was absolutely Jewish as I have asked other family members about it and they confirmed it.
      2. The only towns i saw were for my great grandfather and his family, witulska/witebska, listed on the 1920 census. As for my great grandmother, I have no information.
      3. I’ve been trying to figure out the same thing myself, but it appears as if my great grandfather immigrated with his parents. I don’t know about my great grandmother.
      4. Unfortunately I possess no documents; I am in the process of locating who in my extended family would have them.
      5. My apologies, I was referencing the american 1920 Census. He came to the US around 1902.

      Now here’s where it gets complicated. There’s no record of their marriage.

      so for 1., it’s possible that they married but I haven’t located the records.

      For 2., There’s no record of the marriage still, only the date of married in 1916 on the 1920 Census. On the census, it says NA under naturalized, so I assume she was naturalized but again, no proof/records.

      For 3. That may be the case. Without proper documentation, it’s hard to tell.

      I hope that I am able to locate any of the mentioned documents – they could be game changers.


    3. Hello Kenny, any chance of having what you find emailed to us at Families – extended or otherwise – are often the best source of information. One of your aunts might have a little box somewhere with papers or photos, if you could get your hands on them, that would be great. I will have a good look at your documents, if any, once you’ve located them. Your case isn’t hopeless by any means but we simply need more information to work out where to look! If you’re happy to email us your family’s names (including their Yiddish given names), I’ll have a look around to see what I can find in the meantime.

      Also, when you speak to your family, please try to put together a family tree and ask about your great-grandparents education, work history etc. it all helps. Good luck!

      Prof. Adamski

  53. Dear Professor Adamski

    My question concerns the attitude of the Polish authorities to service in the Polish Army in France (Wojsko Polskie we Francji) during the Second World War. In short, do the Polish authorities view service in the Polish Army in France favourably or unfavourably? Do they consider it service in a foreign army or a Polish army, for purposes of citizenship?

    My father was Polish, and I have a copy of his birth certificate and should be able to get a copy of his parents’ marriage certificate from Poland. However, he left Poland in 1939. Like many patriotic young Polish men, following the fall of Poland he was determined to continue the fight against the Nazis and joined the Polish Army in France. He served in the Second Fusiliers Division (2 Dywizja Strzelców Pieszych). He never renounced his Polish citizenship. The only other citizenship that he took was Australian, after arriving as a Displaced Person in the early 1950s.

    I would be grateful for your assistance on this matter, as this would seem to determine whether I should go forward with a plan to apply for confirmation of polish citizenship.

    Yours sincerely
    S. Zatorski

    1. Hello Simon,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      In short, the Polish government does view serving in the Polish army, albeit under the French command, favourably. Or any other command, for that matter. In my experience, if it can be proven with documentation, it strenghtens applicants’ cases.

      The Polish army in France attempted to organise itself but it really got nowhere with it in the end. I have spoken to a couple of war veterans who went to enlist but decided to return to Brussels after six weeks, because they became impatient with the delays.

      Foreign army service can be an impedement to confirming Polish citizenship. If a person (male) served in one of the allied forces, the eligibility of the descendants’ will depend on the year that the country became an ally, i.e. whether the ancestor in question was subject to conscription in a foreign state before or after that.

      I hope I’ve answered your query, feel free to contact me again, or one of the staff at Polaron on 1300 88 55 61 or

      Yours truly

      Prof. Adamski

      1. Dear Professor Adamski

        Thank you very much for your reply, which was very helpful.

        Yours sincerely

        S. Zatorski

  54. Dear Professor Adamski,

    My wife’s grandparents on both sides were born and raised in Poland until they immigrated to pre-state Israel in 1938-39 respectively .They were from the towns of Luvov (present day Lviv in the Ukraine) and Lodz.

    Documentation is scant but my wife’s uncle was able to locate an address were my wife’s great-uncle resided in the Lodz Ghetto before being deported to a death camp.

    We also have dates of birth, names etc.

    Unfortunately, all of my wife’s grandparents are no longer living and we do not have their old polish passports or birth certificates.

    Not sure where to even begin from this point.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


    1. Dear Roger,

      Thank you for reaching out. The Lodz grandparents connection probably stands a better chance because it is very difficult to obtain records from Lviv. I can also tell you that your best bet would be to base your application on your wife’s grandfather, because her grandmother would have lost her Polish citizenship in 1948, when Israel became an official state. He, on the other hand, would have most probably been of conscription age in Poland, thus maintaining his Polish citizenship. This is provided they were in Israel at the time. Did they then immigrated to the US? If so, what year? Were they naturalised? What year was the Lodz grandfather born?

      There is a pretty high chance of finding archival records in Lodz, which is also where I come from, by the way, as the city wasn’t as damaged during WWII as say, Warsaw. Do you know what your grandparents in law did before immigrating? How old were they?

      Yours truly,

      Prof. Adamski

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