Civil Status Records from Poland: A Crucial Aspect of Polish Citizenship Matters
In matters related to Polish citizenship, civil status records play a crucial role. The activities related to these records are carried out by the head of the civil status office or their deputy.
What are civil status records?
Civil status records consist of entries on birth, marriage, or death in the civil status register, along with the content of subsequent entries that affect the content or validity of such an act. They register a person’s civil status by officially recording these events. They reflect, in particular, the line of kinship, which determines the acquisition of Polish citizenship with all its legal consequences. Applications for confirmation of Polish citizenship are considered based on these records, which is necessary for obtaining the rights and privileges associated with Polish citizenship, as described in another article.
In the context of acquiring Polish citizenship, it should be noted that it is precisely your birth certificate, indicating where you were born and containing information about your parents, that is the basic document for acquiring Polish citizenship based on the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood).
You must ensure that your data contained in the civil status records are always up-to-date and that any changes in this regard are registered in these records.
Regarding the procedure for acquiring Polish citizenship, it is particularly important that in the case of a child born outside of Poland, their parents immediately register the foreign birth certificate in the Civil Status Office, as only after this step can the child acquire Polish citizenship.
It should be emphasized that especially in the case of Poles living abroad, it is good practice to take care of the legal arrangement of their personal data in Poland in case of any changes. This applies, in particular, to situations where:
• a person born in Poland has moved abroad and changed their name or surname – in such a case, they should report this fact to the Civil Status Office in Poland,
• someone who has entered into marriage within the territory of our country and then divorced abroad should acknowledge the judgment of divorce and record this circumstance in the Civil Status Office in Poland,
• if someone has married abroad, they should go through the procedure of transcription (registration) of the foreign marriage certificate in the Polish civil status register,
• in the case of a Polish citizen who has married abroad, divorced, and then remarried, they should report this fact to the Civil Status Office in Poland and carry out transcription of the first marriage certificate, recognition of the divorce judgment, and transcription of the subsequent marriage certificate,
• if someone is living abroad and has a child born there, they should register the foreign birth certificate of the child in the Civil Status Office in Poland,
• in the case of the death of a loved one outside the Republic of Poland, it is necessary to register the foreign death certificate in the Polish civil status register.
It should also be added that if a civil status act does not contain all the necessary information, it can be supplemented in this regard.
It is particularly important for Poles living abroad that the personal data stored in the PESEL database is as up-to-date as possible and reflects all relevant events. This is crucial for obtaining a new identity card without any problems, in case the old one has expired. This also applies to obtaining a new passport and is a prerequisite for obtaining a child’s identity document, as well as for entering into a new marriage. Unfortunately, very often Poles living abroad have two completely different identities in Poland and outside its territory due to negligence in updating their civil status acts.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should immediately start organizing your affairs in this regard.
However, you should be aware that despite appearances, it is not easy to do so. The procedures involved in this matter are quite complicated and require a great deal of effort and patience. They are also time-consuming. Therefore, it is advisable to entrust them to a specialist who has extensive experience in this regard and will be able to take care of your interests properly, taking on the burden of dealing with the bureaucratic apparatus. If you need help, we invite you to contact us.