Citizenship is the bond between an individual and the State. Importantly, citizenship is not only a number of obligations, but also rights that guarantee, inter alia, protection of life and health, integrity and personal freedom, equality before the law and a sense of identity.

The issue of acquiring Polish citizenship was regulated by the Act on Polish Citizenship of 2 April 2009 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1829, of 2019, item 730). The Polish legal system is governed by the principle of bloodline citizenship (Latin: ius sanguinis), according to which Polish citizenship is acquired by a minor by birth when at least one of the parents is a Polish citizen. In addition, the principle of the Latin right of the soil (Latin: ius soli) which constitutes the basis for acquiring Polish citizenship by birth in the territory of the Republic of Poland in a situation where the parents of a minor are unknown, do not have any citizenship or their citizenship is undefined, is also applicable in a complementary way. 

In the light of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, one of the President’s prerogatives is to grant Polish citizenship and to give consent to the renunciation of Polish citizenship.

At the foreigner’s request, the President may grant him/her Polish citizenship. The application is submitted via a governor or consul who then together with the minister in charge of internal affairs forward the application for granting Polish citizenship directly to the President of the Republic of Poland.

Due to the fact that the President of the Republic of Poland is not limited in his constitutional competences by any conditions, and thus he may grant Polish citizenship to any foreigner, the application should be appended with documentation which makes it necessary to acquire Polish citizenship.

Granting Polish citizenship to parents also includes a minor remaining under their parental authority. The situation is quite different in case of granting Polish citizenship only to one of the parents. Then the granting of citizenship will have an effect on the minor, if the other parent is not entitled to parental authority or the other parent makes a declaration of consent to the acquisition or loss of Polish citizenship by the minor. 

However, with respect to a minor who is over 16 years of age, in order to be granted Polish citizenship, the minor must additionally submit a declaration of consent to be granted Polish citizenship.

A foreigner acquires Polish citizenship on the day when the President of the Republic of Poland issues a decision on granting Polish citizenship. This decision is not subject to appeal, however, it does not preclude the submission of a new application.

It should also be noted that this procedure is not subject to the provisions of the Code of Administrative Procedure, thus the processing of the application is not subject to any time limit.

Apl. Adw. Aleksandra Zakrzewska

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