Marriage in Poland

Civil marriage and Church marriage

Marriage in Poland may be contracted:

  • as a civil ceremony - in the registry office (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego), or
  • in a church (eg. in a Catholic church).

In Poland, for a marriage to be recognized by law, it must be registered in the registry office. The registry office issues a marriage certificate that confirms the validity of the union.

The marriage rite conducted according to traditions of some religions (e.g. Catholic) can be recognized and registered by the registry office in Poland without the necessity of entering into a separate civil marriage. This is the so-called concordat marriage.

Documents required for a marriage in Poland

In order to contract a marriage in Poland, the following documents should be submitted to the Registry Office:

  • document confirming the identity of the person intending to get married, with photographs,
  • copy of birth certificate (with a sworn translation into Polish),
  • certificate from the country of origin on legal capacity to enter into a marriage (with a sworn translation into Polish).

The last of the above-mentioned documents certifies that a given person may, under the law of his/her country, contract a marriage in Poland. To obtain such a document, a foreigner should apply to the competent authorities in the country of origin.

If a foreigner cannot provide such a certificate (e.g. his/her country does not issue such documents), he/she should submit a court permit relieving him/her of this obligation. Such a permit can be issued by a district court in non-litigious proceedings upon the request of a foreigner.

Marriage to a Polish citizen

A person married to a Polish citizen may use a simplified procedure of acquiring Polish citizenship, provided that he/she fulfills certain conditions.

Under the Polish law, a spouse of a Polish citizen may obtain Polish citizenship if:

  • he/she remains married for at least three years to a Polish citizen and
  • he/she lives in Poland on the basis of
    • a settlement permit or,
    • a residence permit for a long-term EC resident or,
    • has the right of a permanent residence (in case of EU citizens).

If a foreigner intends to legalize his/her stay in Poland on the basis of marriage to a Polish citizen abroad, he/she has to register the marriage in Poland at the registry office competent for his/her place of residence, confirmed by the proper official document.

Legal status of children

Child's citizenship

Under the Polish law, if at least one parent of a child is a Polish citizen the child acquires Polish citizenship by birth. For the formal acquisition of Polish citizenship by the child, the parents have to submit a proper statement to the province office within three months from the date of birth of the child. In case the marriage was not registered at the registry office, the child has to be formally acknowledged by the father.

Child's surname

A child born to a married couple is given the surname indicated in the marriage certificate, according to the statement made by the spouses on the day of their marriage. It can be the father's surname, the mother's surname or the surname consisting of the last names of both parents.

In case the parents are not married to each other the child is given the father's surname or the mother's surname. If the paternity is not established (the name of the father does not appear on the birth certificate of the child) the mother's surname she was using at the time of the child's birth is entered as the child's surname.