The Polish legal system is based on the principle of blood (ius sanguinis), therefore if one of your parents is Polish, regardless of your place of birth – you have the right to Polish citizenship. If your parents were born in Poland, there is a huge possibility that you can acquire Polish citizenship, as well as a Polish passport. The official procedure is a little complicated but possible in many cases.
The first analysis of your case when starting this process won’t cost you anything. All you need to do is prepare every polish document you have, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or death certificate as some of these might be crucial to getting a positive decision.
The documents we mentioned are so important because they are only issued for Polish citizens, hence they are proof of the Polish origin of your parents or ancestors.
1. Paszport (Passport) – confirms both identity and citizenship. The words: “Paszport – Rzeczpospolita Polska” or “Paszport – Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa” are written on the cover of the document.
2. Dowód osobisty (Personal Id Card) – the most common document of every citizen and an important asset in applying for Polish citizenship. An interesting fact is that Polish pre-war identity cards also played the role of a passport. They had “ID card” printed on the first page and information about it being a passport was inside the document.
3. Karta Rejestracyjna Reemigracyjna (Re-Immigration Registration Card) – this is a 100% valid passport. After the First World War, there was a large migration movement, mainly due to borders shifting and economic changes. These documents were issued by consulates for Polish citizens returning to their homeland. Their only purpose was to allow entry into Poland. The Polish citizenship of the bearer of the document was always confirmed, which is important from our point of view.
Karta Meldunkowa (Registration Card) – Each resident in Poland was obliged to register at the office of his place of residence. Similarly, owners of tenement houses were obliged to keep a register of tenants. In the past, it was not easy to register your stay, only Polish citizens could do it. Hence, the registration card is also an important document confirming Polish citizenship.
Książeczka wojskowa/Zeszyt ewidencyjny (Military book/Registration Book) – Each soldier receives a military book that confirms his service. It may seem that this document has little to do with the citizenship of a given country, however in Poland service in the army is only allowed for Poles. Because of this, the military book confirms Polish citizenship.