What are the ways to acquire Polish citizenship ?
Every person who is a Polish citizen is entitled to a range of fundamental rights, although this of course also entails certain obligations. In our country, membership in the nation is shaped by the so-called blood right. In some countries, citizenship is determined by the so-called right of soil, or a procedure based on a mixture of these two systems.
What is citizenship?
Citizenship is the formal belonging of a person to a particular state, which is one of the fundamental rights of human beings from the perspective of international law. It defines the relationship between the country and the citizen, and its possession is associated with the endowment of certain rights
In Poland, their scope is derived from the provisions of the Constitution. According to it, every citizen of the Republic of Poland has the right to:
• personal inviolability and inviolability of property,
• fair trial procedure,
• protection of privacy, family, honor, good name and property,
• decision-making on personal life,
• freedom of movement, including abroad,
• freedom of conscience and religion, as well as expression of opinions and views,
• property, other property rights and inheritance,
• freedom of choice and exercise of profession and place of work,
• minimum wage, safe and hygienic working conditions and rest,
• health protection,
• health care services financed from public funds,
• free education in public schools.
The above list clearly indicates that acquiring Polish citizenship endows a person with a number of prerogatives, cardinal from a legal and social point of view. Therefore, its acquisition has such great importance for every human being.
From a legal point of view, the basic way of acquiring citizenship is to obtain it from the fact of a person’s birth. It is called primary acquisition of citizenship, which occurs by virtue of law itself.
In turn, primary acquisition of citizenship may be based on:
• the right of soil (ius soli),
• blood right (ius sanguinis),
• a system that is a mixture of these two methods.
Right of soil
According to it, a child acquires the citizenship of the state in whose territory it was born. In such a case, the citizenship of the parents does not matter, even if it is different from the country where the birth took place. You should know that by the territory of the state is meant also an aircraft, ship or diplomatic representation. This system is characteristic primarily of the Anglo-Saxon legal order and occurs, among others, in such countries as the USA, Great Britain, Brazil and Mexico.
It determines that a child acquires the citizenship that one or both parents have. In the case of this system, the place of birth has no significance. It occurs especially on the European continent, including in Germany, the Czech Republic, France, etc.
As the name suggests, the mixed system is a conglomerate of both systems described above. A typical example is Australia, where citizenship is acquired either due to the Australian citizenship of the parents or as a result of spending the first 10 years of life there.
What is the system of acquiring citizenship in Poland ?
In Poland, as a rule, the jus sanguinis principle applies to the acquisition of citizenship.
This follows directly from Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, which states that Polish citizenship is acquired by birth to parents who are Polish citizens.
This principle is further clarified in the Act of 2 April 2009 on Polish citizenship (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2022, item 465, as amended), which provides that a minor acquires Polish citizenship by birth if at least one of the parents is a Polish citizen.
However, it should be emphasized that Polish law also contains elements of jus soli. The aforementioned Act states that a minor acquires Polish citizenship:
• by birth, also in the case when he or she was born on the territory of the Republic of Poland and his or her parents are unknown, do not have any citizenship, or their citizenship is undefined,
• when he or she was found on the territory of the Republic of Poland and his or her parents are unknown.
It should be noted, however, that in certain cases, even if your ancestor had Polish citizenship, you will not have the right to obtain its certification. This will happen, for example, if he served in a foreign army, became a citizen of another country, or renounced his Polish citizenship. All cases are analyzed individually. If you have read this article and are interested in confirming your Polish citizenship, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below.