How to get Polish Citizenship 101 – auxiliary documents

Polish residents' association in china ID CARD

This is the third article in a series about the documents useful to get the Polish Citizenship. After covering the documents proving Polish descent and family ties, this one covers the documents which can’t do the job themselves but still help a lot to recreate your ancestors’ history.

Union of Poles Card / Legitymacja Związku Polaków

In most of the countries where Poles are a minority, branches of Union of Poles or other fraternal organisations are created. These organisations are meant to represent the Poles politically, lobby for them, run social activities, or in any other way integrate and support Poles abroad.

The document itself cannot be a base for the certification of citizenship, as it doesn’t provide any vital info, nor it was given to people based on their nationality. Nevertheless, logically most of the people who had ties with Polish fraternal organisations were of Polish origin.

Look for a card with an inscription “Związek Polaków w ….”

Polish Residents' Association in China ID Card - Legitymacja związku Polaków w Chinach, document useful to get polish citizenship
Polish Residents’ Association in China ID Card – Legitymacja związku Polaków w Chinach

Polish Military Mission of Liquidation ID card

Many post-WWII Polish emigrants were soldiers who also fought abroad, some of them took part in military missions. In general, the military documents are quite useful because as we’ve already written in the previous article (link), to be a Polish soldier you had to be a Pole. It is the same in this case, however you cannot base your claim for certification your citizenship only on this document.

The reason behind the lesser utility of this document is a general problem with all the documents issued abroad, by foreign governments, Polish organisations abroad, etc. because it is always hard to verify on what basis they were issued. To use an example – a consular passport – a document issued by an institution abroad has to be verified. We need to be sure that it was issued with all the necessary formal procedures, but also if there is a proof that the person owing such a passport was for sure a Polish Citizen. We have to remember that most of them were issued during quite turbulent time, when it was hard to obtain all the necessary documents, and it just has to be double-checked.

Certificate of receipt of Virtuti Militari / Zaświadczenie ws. otrzymania Virtuti Militari

Before we analyze why it is useful for the procedure let’s say a few words what is Virtuti Militari.

The War Order of Virtuti Militari is Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism and courage in the face of the enemy at war. It is also one of the oldest in the world still in use.

Therefore, once again we have a document that is certifying great courage of a soldier, a Polish soldier we should add, as it has been given to the Polish soldiers only. If any of your ancestors received Virtuti Military it is not only a good document to use during the procedure, but also a great honour for your family. Also for Lexmotion if you will decide to work with us.

 

Certificate of receipt of Virtuti Militari / Zaświadczenie ws. otrzymania Virtuti Militari, document useful to get polish citizenship
Certificate of receipt of Virtuti Militari / Zaświadczenie ws. otrzymania Virtuti Militari

Certificate of being a prisoner of war / Zaświadczenie o byciu jeńcem wojennym

Yet another military document that can be useful on the same basis as the others above.  In the document it is written that “It is hereby declared, that the former prisoner of war mr. ………., born in ……. in, ID no. ……, on the basis of the order issued by the President of the Republic of Poland of July 3, 1945 on the extension of the scope of partial demobilization, was indefinitely released from the Polish Armed Forces outside Poland on June 15, 1947.”

Prisoner of war certificate 1947 vintage document, document useful to get polish citizenship
Prisoner of war certificate 1947 (Zaświadczenie o byciu Jeńcem Wojennym)

Analogies are just obvious, the officer was a Polish soldier, who fought abroad and became a prisoner of war, later released, and did not come back to Poland. But to be a Polish soldier he had to be a Pole. And this is the most important if you want to get Polish citizenship. Yet again we must be very careful with other cases, as it might as well had been just a person captured during war but did not serve in the army, could have been a civilian on a battlefield, member of the resistance movement. Therefore, as you see, the Departament may be sceptical regarding this kind of document and we should have something stronger in hand.

Polish Resettlement Corps Emigration/Repatriation Permit – Zezwolenie na emigrację lub repatriację.

Last but not least we add a document that was authorizing permission for a Polish citizen to move to another country after the war. The story behind this document is actually quite interesting, because of the organisation that had issued it. So what was the Polish Resettlement Corps? British Government formed it in 1946 for members of Polish Armed Forces who had been serving with the British Armed Forces and did not wish or did not have a chance to return to Poland. Even though Polish soldiers fought courageously with the Allies, the Yalta conference has lead to establishing a Soviet puppet government,  the Polish Committee of National Liberation and communist regime. All the soldiers who fought in the west, along with those loyal to the Polish government in exile, were left with an apparent choice of returning to Poland and face persecution or remaining in the west. Out of approximately 250,000 soldiers, only 105,000 took the decision to return to Poland.

polski korpus przysposobienia i rozmieszczenia zezwolenie na emigrację lub repatriację, document useful to get polish citizenship
Polish resettlement corps’ emigration/repatriation permit.

If you would be searching through your ancestors’ documents the headline for that document is as follows:

POLSKI KORPUS PRZYSPOSOBIENIA I ROZMIESZCZENIA

POLSKA SEKCJA PRZYSPOSOBIENIA I ROZMIESZCZENIA – A.T.S.

ZEZWOLENIE NA EMIGRACJĘ LUB REPATRIACJĘ

 

The logic behind using this document in the procedure is similar to most of the military documents – to fight in Polish Armed Forces you had to be Polish.

 

You’ve got other documents? Not sure if you have documents strong enough to secure yourself Polish Citizenship?

 

Firstly, read our post about the strong documents that can themselves get you through the procedure. However, there is no better way to be sure if you are able to get the Polish Citizenship Certificate  than to take our free eligibility test and show us the documents you have. This way you have the legal experts who made countless successful procedures on your side, and what is also important – who are based in Poland and act quickly if there will be a need to search for documents or take other necessary action.

10 reasons why you should apply for Polish citizenship

Polish Eagle Citizenship, Polskie Obywatelstwo, Orzeł

If you are reading this you have probably been just informed that you are eligible for the Polish citizenship (if for whatever reason you are not sure, you can check it here for free). Should you apply for it and what’s in it for you? We have gathered the most important advantages of being a Polish citizen, to help you to take the right decision.

1. You get Polish citizenship – you become EU citizen.

Poland is one of the European Union Member States, therefore becoming Polish automatically makes you an EU citizen. The same mechanism applies to your children.

2. You have a right to travel freely around Europe and a lot easier around the world

European Union’s “Free Movement Directive” guarantees that you can travel freely around all EU countries + Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. No more visas, less procedures, travelling around EU only with the ID card, no need for a passport. If you’d like more facilitations – here you go; there are special gates for EU citizens at the airports and no border control inside EU.
The same right extends to your designated family members (spouse, partner, children and grandchildren, parents and grandparents), even if they didn’t hold EU citizenship, provided they accompany you. Therefore, also your residential rights as EU citizen extend to your family members who share accommodation with you or move with that purpose.

Outside the EU being Polish is also beneficial sometimes, as Poles can travel to many countries without visas. Also there are countries where Polish Passport may be more welcome than one of your country’s.

3. You can live wherever you want in EU.

Not only travelling is easier, you can also live in all the EU countries without any restriction.

4. You can work everywhere in the EU

One of the greatest things of having Polish citizenship is the possibility to work in every of the 32 states of European Union, which also guarantees that you shall be offered the same remuneration and conditions of work and employment not worse than the citizens of the country you would like to work in.
There are, however, some limitations that you should be aware of; in some countries you may not be able to work in civil service or politics. You should check whether there are any restrictions in the country you would like to work in before taking the decision to move.

5. You can be an entrepreneur.

If opening your own business in Poland or EU is more attractive for you than working for someone else, you should also consider applying for Polish citizenship. There are many more possibilities if you are a EU citizen, not mentioning the grants both to open and run your business.

6. You are treated less like a foreigner

You have Polish blood in your veins, why should you be considered a foreigner? Having the Polish citizenship makes it all a lot easier. Imagine yourself buying a car, land, opening a bank account, or getting a mobile phone contract with and without citizenship – which situation is more comfortable for you? Obviously, things go smoother in Poland if you are Polish.

polish postal stamp which allows you to send postcards after receiving Polish Citizenship
Photo credit: karen horton CC BY-NC

7. You have access to public education system

Both Poland and other countries of the EU have a very good public education. Gaining the citizenship enables you to use schools and universities. There are also many attractive programmes that give you chance to study abroad.

8. Polish Citizenship just feels good!

We are not fortune tellers, but many people that went through the process were extremely happy after finally becoming a Polish citizen. Here are some testimonials.

9. You are protected against deportation.

We are all good people, however legal protection is also an important right of every Polish and EU citizen!

10. Secure your second citizenship.

The rules regarding possession of more than one citizenship may differ depending on your first citizenship, however, in most cases, your current citizenship will not be affected if you will become Polish citizen. You should always check your local laws before taking the decision.

This is, in our opinion, the best that you receive along with Polish citizenship. If there are any particular issues you would like to talk about, please contact us, we will try to give you more information.
Remember that our eligibility test is free and doesn’t oblige you to anything!

How to get Polish Citizenship 101 – Proving kinship with vital records

Certified copy of birth certificate / Świadectwo urodzenia, vital records

In our previous article How to get Polish Citizenship 101 – Documents proving Polish descent  we have covered Polish documents that can prove your right to cerify Polish Citizenship and be a base to start a procedure. Now it is time to go through another important group of documents – vital records. Even though you cannot base your aplication form on them, they play an equally important role. To cut the long story short, they prove that you are a part of your family.

Every governmental authority has to keep vital records of its citizens as they are a basic tool to manage the data of the population. From our point of view the most important are:  Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates/Licences and Death Certificates. All of three are quite self-explanatory, therefore we will concentrate mostly of how to recognize Polish vital records of any kind.

 

Birth Certificate / Akt Urodzenia

The documents that may be in your possession can have the following polish headlines: Odpis skrócony aktu urodzenia, odpis zupełny aktu urodzenia, Wyciąg z aktu urodzenia, Świadectwo Urodzenia.

Their importance results from the information they convey, meaning that they inform where the person was born, and who their parents were.

Some of you may be quite puzzled why is the birth certificate is not sufficient to get a citizenship? It is because Polish legal system is based on right of blood, which means that the citizenship is not determined by place of birth but by having one or both ancestors who are Polish citizens. You can read more about it in our article Getting Polish Citizenship through Right of Blood (Jus sanguinis)

Certificate of marriage registration / Marriage license / Akt Małżeństwa

This certificate is very important primarily because it proves that a child was born in a wedlock. The certificate could have the following Polish headlines: Metryka Zawarcia Małżeństwa, Akt Ślubu and may have a German headline Heiratsurkunde. We are mentioning the German headline as you must remember that Poland regained independence in 1918.

Death Certificate / Akt Zgonu

Similar to the records mentioned above the death certificate has data, which important for us: place of birth and marital status. To give an example – provided you possess the death certificate of your grandfather, and the marriage certificate of your parents and your birth certificate – we get the entire kinship in two generations perfectly described.

To sum up, vital records cannot themselves be a trigger for the procedure, even though they are extremely important to prove your kinship. If you would be interested in the documents that are essential for the procedure, please read our previous article. If you are not in posession of any vital records, we also offer a service of documents’ search, however first consider taking our free eligibility test.

Getting Polish Citizenship through Right of Blood (Jus sanguinis)

Poland shaped heart with right of blood and soil text

Right of Blood (Jus sanguinis) and Right of Soil (Jus soli) are two most popular nationality law systems in the world. It is quite important to understand the differences, as they are the foundation for certifying the Polish Citizenship.

Why Polish nationality law is good for you?

Right of blood has its benefits, especially if you were born outside Poland because Polish Citizenship is not determined by place of birth but by having one or both parents who are citizens of the state. Also, if any other of the ancestors in your line of direct kinship were Polish and you can prove it, you can also claim your right to certify your Citizenship. This is when vital records become essential – they recreate the line of descent, and therefore the right to claim the Certificate of Citizenship (we have written more about it here).

So why Polish birth certificate is not enough?

If you were born in the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Mexico or a few other countries, you got your citizenship because you were born on the country’s territory, even if your parents had different citizenships than the local ones. In theory, if your parents were on vacation in Mexico, during which you were born – you are automatically a citizen of Mexico.

However, for example in Australia, where jus soli is restricted, the situation is different. You can acquire Australian citizenship by birth only if at least one of your parents is an Australian citizen or permanent resident or you can get it after living the first ten years of your life in Australia regardless of your parents’ citizenship status. Therefore, Australian nationality law is a mix of right of soil and right of blood. From jus sanguinis, we have the variant where one parent is a citizen or resident, but you can also get you citizenship because of being born in Australia and living there 10 years – which is clearly based on jus solis.

 

newborn pensative
Was I born under right of blood or right of soil?! Need to know asap! Photo via Visual Hunt

So what the birth certificate actually proves is where you were born and provides the data regarding your parents, doesn’t actually bring any information of your right for Polish Citizenship, even in such an obvious situation as the example with vacation in Mexico. If you were born on a vacation like that, your parents would have to go through a procedure of certifying your citizenship.

Right of blood is historically more rational for Polish Citizenship

Right of blood is all about kinship on the other hand. This type of nationality law can be traced back in history even to tribal laws. In the past, when humans lived only partially sedentary life, borders were not as marked as today. Family ties and tribal ties were more important. In modern times, having at least one parent who is a citizen of the state determines the citizenship based on right of blood. However, in Polish legal system there is a small complementary element taken from ius soli – if a child is born on Polish territory and does not acquire any other nationality, automatically it acquires the Polish.

The devil’s in the detail!

There are things that may interfere with the right of blood. If your ancestor served in foreign army, or renounced Polish Citizenship you wouldn’t be eligible.

If you want to be absolutely sure whether you are eligible or not, take our free eligibility test. We will check it for you!

We hope this article makes it easier to understand what role the nationality law in Poland has in getting the Polish Citizenship certificate. Nevertheless, if you have any questions, please contact us.

How to get Polish Citizenship 101 – Documents proving Polish descent

Poświadczenie obywatelstwo Polish Citizenship Certificate

For whatever reason you have decided to go through the procedure of confirming your Polish Citizenship and made sure that you are eligible (if not, you can do it at our website for free) you still need documents to prove that you have a right to claim it. We want to guide you and show which of the documents that you may have at home may help you to go through the procedure of confirmation of your Polish Citizenship.

Polish legal system is based on the right of blood (Jus Sanguinis), which means that if at least one of your parents was Polish, it does not matter if you were born in Poland or abroad – you still have a right to claim your Polish citizenship. Therefore, some documents are extremely useful for the procedure and can secure you a positive decision.

The documents we are presenting in this article are so valuable for the procedure because they were issued only to Polish citizens, therefore they confirm the citizenship of your genitors or ancestors. We will not only describe their function, but also provide you with some sample documents, so you can look for them in your family archive.

 

Polish Passport – Polski Paszport

Polish passport is our number one. This travel document certifies both identity and nationality. On its front cover you should find the following inscription: “Paszport – Rzeczpospolita Polska”, which can be easily translated to “Passport – The Republic of Poland”, in some cases accompanied by the word “Ludowa” if the passport was issued before 1989.

Polish ID Card – Dowód osobisty

The most common document that a citizen of any given country possesses is also a highly valued asset when trying to claim your citizenship. Polish ids will not be different in this matter. Polish pre-WWII id cards stand out in this matter, as they are also passports. On the front cover we can find “dowód osobisty” but on the inside there is also an information it is also a passport.

Reemigration registration card -the “strange passport”

If you come across a document labelled “Karta Rejestracyjna Reemigracyjna” you may be a bit puzzled, but don’t worry, it is a 100% legitimate passport. After the World War I, there were many migrations, as economies were dynamic, so were the borders. These documents were issued to Polish citizens returning to Poland in the consulates abroad and permitted them to re-enter their motherland. But even though they functioned one-way only, they still proved that the traveller is of Polish nationality, which is the most important feature in our case.

There is also a special case of Polish passport that was both ID card and passport, but we will cover that in the next paragraph.

Reemigration registration card  which can help you get Polish Citizenship Certificate
Reemigration registration card

Registration Card – Karta Meldunkowa

Every person had to register their stay in an apartment or house, and the landlord was obliged to keep a record of tenants. Back in the day not everyone could register easily – you had to be a polish Citizen. Therefore, a registration card is also a very useful source of information for the citizenship procedure.

Book of military records – Zeszyt ewidencyjny

Each soldier receives his book of records, where his service is documented. At first glance it is a document loosely connected to citizenship. However, if you think about it to serve in the army, one needs to be a citizen of a given country, therefore it validates nationality and helps us to claim the citizenship.

If you came across any of these documents and none of your ancestors renounced or lost their citizenship you have a great chance to secure your citizenship, if you want our Law Office to help you just follow this link . If you are not sure whether you should apply for Polish citizenship and Polish passport, you should read our article about the advantages of having Polish citizenship (link!) as soon as possible!

Last but not least, apart from proving your Polish origins you will have to prove your relation with other members of your family. To do that, you will have to provide your family’s vital records. This is a special category of documents, that proves your kinship, but cannot alone prove your origin. You can read more about them in this article.

We hope that thanks to this article your procedure will go smooth, and you will be able to enjoy your citizenship in no time!

How to get Polish Citizenship 101 – Documents

Documents are an essential asset if you want to get your Polish Citizenship. You should be prepared dig into your Polish genealogy to prove you have Polish ancestors and recreate your line of descent. It is so important because of the nationality law in Poland that is based in the right of blood (jus sanguinis), which we’ve covered here. It works in your favor, because even though you weren’t born in Poland, you are technically speaking still a citizen, you only need to certify it. There are a few issues that can influence it, therefore we always recommend doing a free eligibility test. However, this guide will provide you with all the information that you need.

 

For your convenience we have gathered the documents in three groups, as each group has different purposes in the procedure. Also, if we’d put it all in one article, you’d be reading it for hours! Each document will have it’s Polish translation and a photo to facilitate recognition.

Front cover of Polish ID card/Passport issued in the 30s
Front cover of Polish ID card/Passport issued in the 30s

We have grouped the documents in the following manner:

  1. Documents proving Polish descent. an essential category that is needed to think about starting the procedure, or to put things simple, to prove that your ancestors were Polish. To learn more read
  2. Documents proving kinship. We need to recreate your family ties as not every family tree makes it possible for you to get your Polish Citizenship. Vital records play a pivotal role in that aspect. To learn more read
  3. Auxilary documents. In our practice we have seen tons of Polish documents. Some of them are of no use for the procedure, but there are also gems that can be gamechangers. We try to cover the most important from our point of view, those who can provide needed information.

What if you are missing some of the documents or haven’t got any? Don’t panic 🙂 There are ways to find them!

Documents search

 

Let’s be frank, not all of us are fortunate enough to have all the documents, gathered for the last three generations, only waiting to be used in the procedure. In fact, some of the ancestors of our clients had to either flee their homes, or were post-war emigrants, or had their history just  a bit more complicated than the average. Nevertheless, if you know basic data about your family, we can start a documents search.

 

Poland doesn’t have it’s archives centralised, so the work we do to sort out the documents issue makes us feel as XXI century Sherlock Holmes. Where do we search?

  • civil repositories
  • regional archives
  • church archives
  • military archives

archive document search shelves documentsPhoto via VisualHunt

 

We don’t have to go through all of them every single time. It requires some skill and experience, however in the end it really pays off in most of cases.

 

We hope that we gave you good summary of all the elements of the puzlle “documents needed to get your Polish Citizenship”.

 

Remeber to extend your knowledge about Documents proving Polish descent, Documents proving kinship and Auxilary documents.

 

If you have any questions please contact us through https://www.lexmotion.eu/contact/

 

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Hi, we are LexmotionWe dare to be different. We are 3.0. Meet us; meet the young face of legal services online in Poland and worldwide. Read this article to understand how we see Lexmotion and why you benefit from it.

What is your perfect law firm?

How would you like to work with a law firm today? Maybe you still see an attorney in loose suit sitting in an office full of papers? It’s the XXI century and we want to show you how to offer legal services in a way that is convenient for you. Everything went global, therefore an approachable law firm on the other side of the world shouldn’t be something hard to find. As any other industry, legal services should follow the technological, demographical and cultural trends of today as the way we live and work is fundamentally changing. We see it, we adapt to it to provide you with the best solutions.

What we do?

Lexmotion specializes in consultancy and legal support in getting Polish citizenship, stay card, work permit, as well as other procedures needed to legally conduct businesswork, and life in Poland. In the last 10 years we have created an efficient system of services based on use of modern technologies, which is highly valued by our clients. Immigration Law is what we have chosen as our specialization because we ourselves brace the era of mobility, and we believe no one should be exluded from having the same possibilities without legal obstacles.

Legal services Lexmotion fresh approach on immigration law from poland

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Here to help

Being online is not only answering your emails asap (which we also do!). To save your time, we minimize the time you have to spend in person on the procedures we help you with. There are even procedures where you don’t even have to be in Poland at all, we arrange everything for you!

Law firm that understands

Being online also means being responsible, in our case it is being responsible for your knowledge about the legal procedures we specialize in. Law was and is complicated, although the internet gives a false image of easy answers. We want to provide answers and analyse legal issues to prevent you from reading forum gibberish. It matters because it is the quality of your life that is at stake here. Every misunderstanding can lead to unpleasant consequences, even though they can be avoided easily.

Solutions that are beneficial for you

We also believe in transparency. Whenever we can, we offer a fixed price and explain in detail the options that you have. We don’t ask you to work with us until we know that you can successfully undergo the procedure – that’s why we have introduced the free eligibility test. It is a very simple, yet effective solution. Thanks to the information you provide us we are able to choose the right procedure for you without losing your time, provide you with an exact quotation, timeline of events and list of the necessary documents you have to gather. What you gain? A certainty that we will be able to successfully lead your case and information how much it will cost you in advance.

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Lexmotion is all about being approachable, honest and effective. This is what we expect from ourselves as this is also the way we like to be treated. We hope that you share our point of view and we will have a chance to meet your demands.