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Polish citizenship

Ways of acquiring Polish citizenship

The issues related to the acquisition and loss of Polish citizenship are regulated by the Act on Polish Citizenship (Ustawa o obywatelstwie polskim) of 2 April 2009. The Act sets out the ways of acquiring Polish citizenship.

Pursuant to the Act, Polish citizenship may be acquired in the following ways:

  • By birth to a Polish citizen:
    A child acquires Polish citizenship if at least one parent is a holder of Polish citizenship, irrespective of whether the child was born in Poland or abroad - jus sanguinis (right of blood) principle;
  • By birth/being found on the territory of Poland:
    If a child is born or found on the Polish territory, and both parents are unknown or they have no citizenship, a child acquires Polish citizenship by virtue of law - jus soli (right of the soil) principle;
  • By full adoption:
    If a child, before attaining the age of 16, was adopted by a Polish citizen (or Polish citizens), it is assumed that the child has acquired Polish citizenship on the moment of his/her birth;
  • By granting Polish citizenship:
    Polish citizenship can be granted by the President of the Republic of Poland - the granting of Polish citizenship takes place at the request of a foreigner;
  • By recognition as a Polish citizen:
    The recognition of a foreigner as a Polish citizen occurs at the foreigner's request and extends to his/her children on condition that the other parent has agreed to it; in case the child has attained the age of 16, his/her consent is also required.

A foreigner's request to be recognized as a Polish citizen shall be declined if the acquisition of Polish citizenship by this person is considered to constitute a threat to national defense and security or to the public safety and order.