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Polish Citizenship Law


Texts in force:

- Act on citizenship of 15 February 1962 (The original document was published in the Journal of Laws, No. 10, Item 49).

Also still applicable in certain cases:

- Act on citzenship of 20 January 1920 of the Polish State (publ. Journal of Laws/Dziennik Ustaw, No. 7, item 44).

- Act on Polish citizenship of 8 January 1951 (publ. Journal of Laws/Dziennik Ustaw, No. 4, item 25).




Polish citizenship Act 1920


Act on Polish State’s citizenship, January 20, 1920

(came into force on 31 January,1920)

Dziennik Ustaw - rok 1920, nr 7, poz. 44

(Journal of Laws, 1920 year, No 7, item 44)


Art. 1. A Polish citizen cannot be a citizen of another country at the same time.

Art. 2. At the moment of declaration of this act, the right to Polish citizenship serves every person, without distinction of sex, age, religion and nationality, who:

1) is settled on the territory of The Polish State, as far as it is not entitled to another country’ citizenship. Regarded as a settled in The Polish State, is any person that:

a) is enrolled or is entitled to be enrolled to books of permanent population of former Kingdom of Poland;

b) is entitled to homely surrounding in one of communes on the territory of The Polish State, which have made up a part of The Austrian State or The Hungarian State;

c) had, before January 15, 1908 on grounds of German citizenship, a permanent residence on territory of The Polish State, which formerly has been a part of The Prussian State;

d) was enrolled to urban or rural commune or to one of state organizations on lands of former Empire of Russia which are now parts of The Polish State;

2) was born on the territory of The Polish State, as far as it is not entitled to another country’ citizenship;

3) is entitled to Polish citizenship based upon an international treaty.

Art. 3. Citizens of other countries who are of Polish descent and their progeny will be recognized as citizens of The Polish State, if they submit proofs of Polish provenance with a declaration they wish to be Polish citizens, and they resign from the citizenship of another country to the relevant Polish authority after returning to The Polish State.

Art. 4. Polish citizenship is acquired by:

1) birth;

2) entitlement, recognition, adoption;

3) marriage;

4) grant;

5) reception of public post or reception of military service in The Polish State, as far as there are no opposing reservations.

Art. 5. Legitimate children acquire by birth their father´s citizenship. Illegitimate children acquire by birth their mother´s citizenship. Unknown parents´ children who were born or found on The Polish State´s territory will be recognized as Polish citizens, as far as their other citizenship will be not revealed.

Art. 6. By entitlement, recognition or adoption a child who is not 18 years old yet acquires citizenship of its father or mother, relatively of another person who recognizes or adopts it.

Art. 7. A woman who is a foreigner acquires Polish citizenship by marriage with a Polish citizen.

Art. 8. Granting of citizenship can happen on request of a person who wants to obtain it if the person proves:

1) that he led an impeccable way of life;

2) that he resides permanently not less than 10 years in The Polish State;

3) that he has a livelihood or earnings for himself and his family;

4) that he speaks Polish;

Substituting for minors and other persons who have legal incapacity, their legal guardians apply for granting them Polish citizenship.

Art. 9. In exceptional cases that deserve special consideration Polish citizenship can be granted for persons who do not meet individual conditions that are mentioned in article 8. especially on former Russian Empire´s area that is a part of The Polish State. However Polish citizenship cannot be granted in any case to persons who have been penalized by Polish courts for an offense that entails a restriction of rights, until the restriction goes on, and also for persons who are in state of insolvency.

Art. 10. A citizen of The Polish State [woman] who lost her Polish citizenship by marriage with a foreigner rocovers it, if she makes proper statement in administrative office of her place of residence after cessation of her marriage and settling in Poland.

Art. 11. Loss of citizenship happens by:

1) obtaining another country´s citizenship;

2) taking a public office or entering the service in a foreign country’ army without Polish government’s permission. Persons who are obligated to active military service can obtain a foreign citizenship in no other way than after obtaining an obligation release from Ministry of Military Affairs, otherwise, in view of The Polish State, they will be still considered Polish citizens.

Art. 12. Granting and loss of Polish citizenship is decided by The Minister of the Interior, after receiving opinion of the community, where the given person lives in and proper administrative office in cases of granting Polish citizenship.
The Minister of Interior has right to transfer his entitlements, that result from present article to administrative authorities of II-nd instance.

Art. 13. Granting and loss of Polish citizenship, if no other disposition of Minister of Interior was reserved, concerns a wife of a man who is granted or loses Polish citizenship, and also his children who are younger than 18 years old.

Art. 14. The act comes into force on the day of it's declaration.

Art. 15. Execution of the present act is commended to the Minister of the Interior.




Polish citizenship Act 1951


Act on Polish citizenship, January 8, 1951

(came into force on 19 January, 1951)

Dziennik Ustaw - rok 1951, nr 4, poz. 25

(Journal of Laws, 1951 year, No. 4, item 25)


SECTION 1

Polish Citizens

Art. 1. A Polish citizen cannot be a citizen of another state at the same time.

Art. 2. From the date this law goes into force, Polish citizens are those, who:

1) in accordance with the previous laws, are Polish citizens.

2) arrived to People's Republic of Poland as repatriants,

3) were recognized as citizens on the basis of Polish civil law, 28 April 1946, concerning the citizenship of the Polish people with a Polish national, living on the territory seating; Order dated 22 October 1947, concerning Polish citizenship of people living in the former Free City of Gdansk, or in accordance with the said legislation, which was in effect at the time earlier.

Art. 3. Proper authority may recognize people as having qualified for Polish citizenship, even if they do not meet the requirements listed in the previous section, which lived in Poland on May 9, 1945, unless they came to Poland with foreign citizenship, and were recognized as foreigners.

Art. 4. A person is not considered a Polish citizen, even if on August 31, 1939, he or she had Polish citizenship, but now lives in a foreign country, and:

1) Following the changes in the borders of Poland, became a citizen of another state

2) is of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian nationality

3) if of German nationality, (unless the spouse of such a person has Polish citizenship and resides in Poland).

Art. 5.

1. Marriage between a Polish citizen with a person who is not Polish citizens, does not affect the citizenship of both.

2. If a person changes his/her nationality, it does not affect the citizenship of the spouse.

SECTION 2

Receiving Polish Citizenship

Art. 6. A child eligible for a Polish citizenship if:

1) it's both parents have Polish citizenship

2) One of the parents is a citizen of Polish nationality, and nationality or identity of the other parent is unknown.

Art. 7. A child born or found in Poland, acquires Polish citizenship if both parents are not known or when the citizenship of his parents is unknown.

Art. 8. 1. A child who was born in Poland, which one of parents is a Polish citizen, and the other parent is a citizen of another state, acquires Polish citizenship, unless,within one month of birth, both parents before a proper state authority, state unanimously, that they choose the other parent's country of citizenship as the child's country of citizenship, if the law of this country allows acquiring of citizenship in such a way.

2. If parents do not agree on it, any of them may turn to a court to be used in the citizenship switch, within one month from the date of birth of the child.

3. A child, who acquired foreign citizenship, based on small sections 1-2 above, may choose to have Polish citizenship, after it reaches age of 13 years, by the way of submitting a request to the appropriate state authority.

Art. 9. Provision of Article 8 above is also valid in relation to children, who were born outside of Poland, and one of their parents is a Polish citizen, assuming that the state, that a parent is a citizen of it, applies the same rules regarding the citizenship of the child of parents with different citizenship.

Art. 10.

1. A foreign citizen can obtain Polish citizenship by submitting a request.

2. Receiving Polish citizenship may be dependent on submitting a proof of relinquishing citizenship of another state.

3. Persons who came to Poland as repatriants, in accordance with rules established by the appropriate authorities, shall receive Polish citizenship by law.

SECTION 3

Loss of Polish Citizenship

Art. 11.

1. A Polish citizen is permitted to obtain foreign citizenship only after receiving the consent of Polish authorities.

2. Agreement to change citizenship given to parents, also affects their minor children.

3. Agreement to change citizenship given to one of the parents affects the child, when the other parent is not a Polish citizen,or while being a Polish citizen, has agreed to it before the proper authority . If the other parent does not agree, or the case has extraordinary difficulties, it shall be decided by a court.

4. Agreement affects children of age over 13 years, only if the child gave consent.

5. Obtaining foreign citizenship (art 1-4) leads to the loss of Polish citizenship.

Art. 12.

1. Polish citizenship of a Polish citizen living abroad, can be revoked, if he or she:

1) violated the duty of loyalty to Poland.

2) acted to harm vital interests of People's Republic of Poland.

3) illegally left the territory of Poland after May 9, 1945.

4) refused to return to Poland upon authorities demand.

5) dodged the compulsory military service.

6) was tried for a crime or offense, or is a serial offender.

2. Children of the same man who lost Polish citizenship, can also lose their Polish citizenship if they live abroad and are less than 13 years old.

SECTION 4

Procedure

Art. 13.

1. National Committee decides on the question of grant or denial of Polish citizenship.

2. Requests for revoking of Polish citizenship are to be submitted by the Prime Minister.

3. Publication of a statement of revoking of Polish citizenship in "Monitor Polski" will be a replacement for a delivered message.

Art. 14.

Committee of Ministers is to decide which authorities shall receive all the decisions in all cases related to Polish citizenship, except for cases reserved for the National Comittee.

SECTION 5

Temporary and finalized provisions:

Art. 15.

1. Decisions, which were received before 1 September 1939, based on the regulations dated 31 March 1938, regarding the revoking of Polish citizenship (Dz. U. R. P. Nr 22, poz. 191) are not legally valid in relation to those, who at the date of validation of this law, live in Poland.

2. National Committee can restore the citizenship of people who lived outside Poland were deprived of citizenship on the basis of the previous section, if they are not returned Polish citizenship by previous article already.

Art. 16. Provisions of this Act are also valid in relation to children born or found in Poland before the validation day of this Act.

Art. 17.

1. Previous Acts regarding Polish citizenship, which are covered in this Act, are no longer in force.

2. In particular:

1) The Act dated 20 January 1920, on Polish citizenship and amendments later.

2) The Act dated 26 September 1922, regarding the free choice of Polish citizenship by the citizens of the former Austrian Empire or kingdom of Hungary, or the free choice of foreign nationality by residents of the states passed these, who are owners of Polish citizenship.

3) The Act dated 31 March 1938, regarding the revoking of Polish citizenship.

4) The Act dated 28 April 1946, concerning the citizenship of the Polish people with a Polish national, living on the territory of "Ziemie Odzyskane".

5) An order dated 22 October 1947, regarding the citizenship of the Polish people living in the former Free City of Gdansk.

6) Section 110 of the General Military Service Obligation Act dated 4 February 1930.

Art. 18.

National Committee and Prime Minister will be appointed to carry out this law.

Art. 19.

The law will take effect with publication.


Polish citizenship Act 1962


Act on Polish citizenship, 15 February 1962 (as amended 2007)

(came into force on 21 August 1962)

Dziennik Ustaw - rok 1962, nr 10, poz. 49

(Journal of Laws, 1962 year, No. 10, item 49)


Version presented below was binding in 2007 (it includes all amendments till 20.07.2007)

SECTION 1

POLISH CITIZENS

Art. 1. Persons having Polish citizenship under current regulations become Polish citizens the day this law comes into force.

Art. 2. A person who is a Polish citizen under Polish law cannot be recognized at the same time as a citizen of another state.

Art. 3. 1. Conclusion of marriage by a Polish citizen with a person who is not a Polish citizen does not have any influence on the citizenship of the husband or the wife.

2. Change of citizenship of either the husband or the wife does not effect the citizenship of the other.

SECTION 2

ACQUISITION OF POLISH CITIZENSHIP

Art. 4. The acquisition of Polish citizenship by birth occurs when:

1) both parents are Polish citizens

2) when only one of them is a Polish citizen and the other is unknown or his/her citizenship is undetermined or he/she has no citizenship.

Art. 5. When both parents are unknown or their citizenship is undetermined, or they have no citizenship, their child can acquire Polish citizenship only if it is born or was found on Polish territory.

Article. 6. 1. The child of parents, one of whom is a Polish citizen and the other a citizen of another state, acquires Polish citizenship by birth. However the parents can, within three months from the child's birth, submit their concordant declaration stating that they choose for their child the citizenship of the foreign state of which one of the parents is a citizen, to a proper authority, if under the law of the foreign state, that child will acquire its citizenship.

2. If the parents do not come to an agreement, then within three months from the child's birth either one of them can apply to a Polish Court for a verdict.

3. A child which acquired foreign citizenship in accordance with point 1 or 2 will acquire Polish citizenship, if between its sixteenth birthday and six months after it has reached full legal age (s) he submits an appropriate declaration to a competent Polish authority, and that authority decides to accept such declaration.

Art. 7. 1. Changes with regards to establishing a person or determining the citizenship of one or both of the parents shall be taken into consideration when determining the citizenship of the child, if these changes occur within twelve months after the child's birth. The three months period of which mention is made in article 6, point 1 and 2 shall commence on the day the changes were determined.

2. Changes with regards to establishing the father, resulting from a Court decision based on a claim to exclude fatherhood or the annulment of recognition, are subject to consideration when determining the child's citizenship, unless the child has reached the full legal age. If the child is sixteen years of age or over, change in citizenship can only be effected with the consent of the child.

Article. 8.1. A foreign citizen may be granted Polish citizenship at his/her request, provided that he/she has been residing in Poland for at least five years, on a basis of a leave to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland, or permit as a long-term resident of the European Community, or who was granted a permanent residence permit to live in the Republic of Poland.

2. In special justified instances a foreign citizen may be granted Polish citizenship at his/her request,although he/she does not meet the requirements specified in point 1.

3. Granting Polish citizenship may be dependant on submitting evidence of loss of or release from foreign citizenship.

4. Granting Polish citizenship to both parents covers also children remaining under their parental authority.

5. Granting citizenship to only one of the parents covers the children only when:

1) the children remain only under the parental authority of that parent, or

2) the other parent is a Polish citizen, or

3) the other parent submits to a competent authority his consent for the child to be granted Polish citizenship.

6. Children remaining under guardianship may be granted Polish citizenship only with the consent of the guardian, expressed in a special declaration submitted to the appropriate authority, after requirements of the appropriate foreign law have been fulfilled.

7. The granting or extension of the granting of Polish citizenship to children, who are sixteen years of age or over shall take place only with the consent of the children.

Art. 9. 1. A person who has no citizenship or whose citizenship is undetermined, can be recognized as a Polish citizen, if that person has been residing in Poland on the basis of a leave to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland, or a permit as a long-term resident of the European Community, for at least 5 years.

2. Recognition of a person as a Polish citizen takes place upon a motion submitted by that person.

3. Recognition of a person as a Polish citizen covers the children of the person recognized as a Polish citizen if the children are residing in Poland.

4. Provisions of article 8, point 4 - 7 are appropriately applied.

Art. 10. 1. A foreigner who has been married to a Polish citizen for at least three years, who was granted a leave to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland or permit as a long-term resident of the European Community or who was granted a permanent residence permit to live in the Republic of Poland, shall acquire Polish citizenship if, within the time specified at point l a, he/she makes an appropriate declaration before a competent body, and this body issues a decision accepting the declaration.

1a. The deadline for making the declaration of will is 42 months from the day, when the foreigner married a Polish citizen, or 6 months from the day when the foreigner was granted a leave to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland, or permit as a long-term resident of the European Community, or who was granted a permanent residence permit to live in the Republic of Poland.

2. The acceptance of the declaration may depend on presenting a proof that a person lost his/her foreign citizenship or was exempted from it.

Art. 11. 1. A person who lost Polish citizenship by acquiring foreign citizenship due to a marriage to a foreigner, or in relation to such a marriage shall regain Polish citizenship if, after this marriage has ended, or been invalidated, this person makes an appropriate declaration before a competent body, and this body issues a decision accepting the declaration.

2. The acceptance of the declaration may depend on furnishing proof that a person lost his/her foreign citizenship, or was exempted from it,

Art. 12. (deleted)

SECTION 3

LOSS OF POLISH CITIZENSHIP

Art. 13. 1. A Polish citizen loses Polish citizenship on their application after receiving a consent to renounce one's Polish citizenship from the President of the Republic of Poland.

2. A consent to renounce one's citizenship that has been granted to parents extends to their children who remain under their parental authority.

3. A consent to renounce Polish citizenship granted to only one of the parents extends to children who remain under their parental authority on condition that the other parent does not have parental authority or is not a Polish citizen or is a Polish citizen and will agree to their children's Polish citizenship renunciation before a proper authority.

4. In a situation where one of the parents is a Polish citizen and does not agree to the extension of a consent to renounce Polish citizenship (granted to the other parent) to their children or there is a lack of agreement then each of the parents can apply to court for resolution.

5. A consent to renounce one's citizenship extends to children who have turned 16 only with their consent.

Art.14. (deleted)

Art. 15. (deleted)

SECTION 4

COMPETENCE OF AUTHORITIES

Art. 16. l. The President of the Republic of Poland has the authority to grant Polish citizenship and give consent to the resignation from it,

2. Persons residing in the Republic of Poland shall tile applications for granting Polish citizenship and for giving consent to the resignation from it through the agency of a competent Province Governor, and persons residing abroad - through the agency of a consul,

3. The Province Governor and consul, subject to point 5, shall deliver the applications

referred to at point 2 as well as present their own opinion to the Minister proper for internal affairs.

4. The Minister proper for internal affairs shall deliver the applications referred to at point 2 and present his/her own opinion to the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland.

5. The Province Governor and consul shall deliver the applications referred to at point 2 directly to the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland each time the President decides so.

6. The Province Governor and consul shall notify the Minister proper for internal affairs about the delivery of the applications referred to at point 2 to the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland, in the cases specified at point 5.

Art. 17. 1. Decisions about declaring a person to be a Polish citizen shall be issued by the Province Governor, unless the provisions of other Acts stipulate otherwise.

2. Decisions concerning the issues specified in art. 6 point 3 and articles l0 and 11 shall be issued by:

l) a territorially competent Province Governor - in relation to persons residing in Poland,

2) a consul of the Republic of Poland - in relation to persons residing abroad.

3. The declaration including an intention to choose Polish citizenship referred to in art. 6 point 1 and the declaration of consent to the acquisition of Polish citizenship referred to in art. 8 point 5 item 3 and point 6, as well as the declaration of consent to the loss of Polish citizenship by children referred to in art. 13 point 3, shall be filed to;

l) a territorially competent Province Governor - by persons residing in Poland,

2) a consul of the Republic of Poland - by persons residing abroad,

4. The possession and loss of Polish citizenship shall be affirmed by the Province Governor. A refusal to assert the possession or loss of Polish citizenship shall be issued by way of an administrative decision.

5. The cases referred to in art. 6 point 2 and art. 13 point 4 submitted to court for a settlement shall be determined by a Polish court. The district court, acting as the guardianship authority, shall have the material jurisdiction. The territorial jurisdiction of the court shall be determined according to the child's place of residence in Poland and, if the child does not have a place of residence in Poland - according to the place of the child's temporary residence in Poland. In default of these bases, the competent court is the District Court for the City of Warsaw.

Art. 17a.1. In the cases belonging to the jurisdiction of the Province Governor and the Minister proper for internal affairs, these authorities may request the information necessary for the conducted proceedings from the head of police of the Provincial Governor’ Office, the Supreme Police Chief, the Head of the Internal Security Agency, the Head of the Intelligence Agency, the Head of the Military Counter-Intelligence Agency, the Head of the Military Intelligence and the Head of Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, and if required from the other authorities.

2. The authorities requested by the Province Governor or the Minister proper for internal affairs to provide the information, are obliged to make them available to the extent necessary to conduct the proceedings within 30 days.

3. In the especially justified cases the deadline mentioned in point 2 may be extended to 3 months, while the authority obliged to provide the information shall inform the Province Governor or the Minister proper for internal affairs respectively.

Art. 18. The territorial competence of the Province Governor - in the cases referred to in art. 17 point 4 - will depend on the following factors in the following order: the place of residence of the person which the proceedings relate to, the place of this person's temporary residence, the place of his/her last residence or stay. In default of these bases, the competent body shall be the Warsaw Province Governor.

Art. 18a. The President of the Republic of Poland shall issue an ordinance specifying a detailed procedure to be followed in cases concerning granting of Polish citizenship or the consent to the resignation from it, as well as model certificates and applications.

Art. 18b.(deleted)

SECTION 4a

REGISTERS

Art. 18c. 1. The Province Governor and the consul of the Republic of Poland shall keep registers of:

1) applications for the acquisition of Polish citizenship and persons who acquired it,

2) applications for the consent to the resignation from Polish citizenship, and persons who lost Polish citizenship,

3) declarations of foreign citizenship chosen for the child.

2. The register referred to at point 1 item 1 shall include the following information: date of filing the application, applicant's first name(s), surname and family name before marriage, parent's first names and surnames, date and place of birth, place of residence, previous citizenship or present citizenship other than Polish; notes of the proof furnished that a person lost foreign citizenship, first name and surname of the child which, the application refers to, notes of consent given by a child who reached the age of sixteen, legal grounds on which a person acquired Polish citizenship and the date when it was acquired.

3. The register referred to at point 1 item 2 shall include the following information: date of filing of the application, applicant's first name(s), surname and family name before marriage, parent's first names and surnames, date and place of birth, place of residence, first name and surname of the child which the application refers to, notes of consent given by a child who reached the age of sixteen, notes of foreign citizenship, or a promise that a person will acquire foreign citizenship, legal grounds on which a person lost Polish citizenship, and the date when it was lost.

4. The register referred to at point 1 item 3 shall include the following information: date of filing a declaration that foreign citizenship was chosen for the child, child's first name(s), surname, parents' first names and surnames, date and place of the child's birth, place of residence, notes of the foreign citizenship chosen for the child.

Art. 18d. 1.Copies of the certificates concerning Polish citizenship issues which include the information specified in art. 18c point 2 and 3 shall be delivered by the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland to the bodies referred to in art. 18c point 1.

2. Copies of the decisions concerning Polish citizenship made by the President of the Republic of Poland shall be delivered by the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland to the Minister proper for internal affairs.

Art. 18e.1. The Minister proper for internal affairs shall keep the central register of information concerning the acquisition or loss of Polish citizenship based on the documents referred to in art. 18d, and the information received from the bodies authorized to keep registers concerning these issues.

2. The bodies authorized to keep the registers referred to in art, 18c point 1 shall deliver the data contained in them to the Minister proper for internal affairs immediately after the final determination of the case concerning the acquisition or loss of Polish citizenship.

3. The register referred to at point 1 shall include the information specified in art, 18c point 2,3 and 4.

Art. 18f. (revoked)

Art. 18g. 1.The Minister proper for internal affairs, in agreement with the Minister proper for foreign affairs, shall issue an ordinance specifying:

1) model registers referred to in art. 18c and art. 18e,

2) deadlines and manners of delivering information to the central register of' information on the acquisition or loss of Polish citizenship.

2. The registers referred to in art. 18c and art.18e may be kept in computer databases.

SECTION 5

TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Art. 19. Persons who acquired Polish citizenship under the provisions of articles 2a and 3, item 2 of the Act on Polish Citizenship dated January 20, 1920 (Journal of Laws No. 7, item 44 with amendments) shall not be deemed as Polish citizens, if they have citizenship of a foreign state and reside abroad.

Art. 20. Polish Citizenship Act of January 8, 1951 (Journal of Laws, 1951 year, No. 4, item 25) is no longer in force.

Art. 21. This Act will come into force six months after its announcement.

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