For Foreigners

How to apply for Polish citizenship – my experience

This week I did a big thing. I applied for my Polish citizenship and it’s the most excited I’ve been in a long time. Funnily enough, it was actually the easiest application I’ve ever put together in Poland. After 10 years, I guess you reach expert level in that arena. With a little luck and a lot of waiting, będę Polką!

You might ask what difference it makes being a citizen as opposed to a long-term resident. And the answer I’ll give you is simple: comfort. Peace of mind. Plus, the right to vote of course! 

Most importantly, no more having to go to the office of fucking foreign affairs in Urząd Wojewódzki!!!!! No more having to take my passport to the bank. No more bank telling me I can’t have a credit card because I’m from America. No more issues with buying land in Poland. No more having to show my karta pobytu and people not knowing what in the world it is. 

So what does the process look like and who is eligible for citizenship?

There are a few conditions for eligibility in my case, including: 

  1. Have lived in Poland on permanent residence or long-term EU residence for three years consecutively, have a stable income and are registered to live in Poland. – this I’ll have in December but decided not to wait. 
  2. Have lived in Poland for two years consecutively on permanent residence or long-term EU residence and have been married to a Polish citizen for three years, or have no citizenship. – this is the one I’m going for. 
  3. Have lived in Poland for 10 years consecutively, have permanent residence or long-term EU residence in Poland, have stable income in Poland and are registered to live in Poland. – this I’ll also have come December but I didn’t want to wait. Can’t believe it’s almost been a decade! 

Check out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ site for a full list of conditions of eligibility for Polish citizenship.

Some documents you may need to apply (not a comprehensive list but this is what I sent in): 

  • Application
  • Copy of your passport 
  • Copy of spouses’ ID/passport 
  • Marriage certificate 
  • Proof of payment 
  • Proof of income – I put in a copy of my CEIDG
  • Proof of language ability at B1 level – Diploma from a Polish university or certificate from the B1 Polish exam
  • Zaświadczenie o zameldowaniu – This is registration at your place of residence. I added this in just in case.

Remember, always send more than you need – you never know what they might ask you for, so you might as well send it if you think it could be useful!

There’s also a section on the application called uzasadnienie, or justification. Mine was rather long. In Poland, I have: a husband, 2 kids, a business, a house, and a degree from a Polish university. I decided not to include the part about having a blog about Poland 😁 

Hopefully it’ll be enough and I won’t have to jump through too many hoops. I’m actually just hoping they’ll mail me my passport 😂 Well, now it’s just a waiting game!

Who knows what the wait time is nowadays?! Have any other foreigners in Poland gotten their citizenship? How did it go for you?

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9 Comments

  • Reply Piotr 15 October 2020 at 12:01

    Congratulation! Do you need to take an exam of Polish history and culture or something like that? I assume that during the Corona the voivodeship office can ignore all deadlines.
    PS It’s „zaświadczenie o zameldowaniu”– a locative case

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 15 October 2020 at 13:01

      Oh thanks, Piotr – I fixed it 🙂 Typically, yes, you have to take a B1 language exam, but I have a degree from a Polish university, so supposedly that exempts you from the test. I hope 🙂

  • Reply Ronald 20 October 2020 at 09:00

    Hello Leah!
    Ditto for me-great minds think alike….I put a tick next to everyone of your reasons.
    Love it how folk struggle with the residence card, its laid out completley different to the dowód osobisty and takes a few minutes to work out where the near microscopic PESEL is…..
    For the first time I have used an immigration lawyer ( goodness knows how I managed all the way to pobyt stały on my own, ignorance is bliss I guess), so my very first recommendation is to go through a lawyer. There are so many twists and turns its worth it. He’s been great to keep on track , I would not cope speaking in Polish over a phone to an urządnik in some distant office!

    Word on the street is that applications for citizenship are few in number, most of the work of immigration lawyers is for temporary permits, some permanent stays, and from time to time, applications based on ancestory.

    I think if you have a degree from a Polish university evidencing completing a course in Polish language – Leah: you are an absolute whiz! No need to bother about the challenging B1 exam. I think you should get citizenship automatically!

    Couple of things- the lawyer says it takes between 1-2 years for a ‘simple’ application, whatever simple means. And with coronvirus, of course its an esxcuse to spread it out even longer! If successful, I’m expecting around maybe 2022 or late 2023. Seriously.

    The final point is its pretty murky, the process is not explained clearly, probably deliberately. That’s the test! I expect to have yet another interview where I get asked where my wife of 17 years keeps her toothbrush and what job my mother in law had in 1956. I absolutelydo not begrudge this by the way- it is necessary to have some kind of process, I just wish they would simply give it to me ( and you)

    The great thing is- for 219 zloty the fee is pretty cheap. Aussie immigration stings you for, I think, $AUD 9,000 to 15,000 -or about PLN 25,000 to 40,000 -go Crocodile Dundee!!!!!!

    Lastly, getting ctizenship, whatever decade thety decide, and getting a passport are 2 separate actvities- you got to apply for the passort as a separate process at the passport office in your town or at a Polish consulate overseas.

    Let’s see what the ‘real Poles’ say, I notice a lot of locals seem to read this blog…..one thing for sure- they won’t have any experience in this area huh

    Best

    Ron

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 24 October 2020 at 13:29

      Hey Ronald!

      What made you decide to get a lawyer? Did you run into some bumps in the road or something? To me, it seemed so simple so I didn’t think something like that would be necessary. We’ll see!

      Tell me, did you turn in your application in person or via post? I’m curious what I can expect in terms of confirmation or wait times to hear back. How long did you wait to get any info from the urząd?

      Do you really think there will be an interview? I mean I figured I’d have to go there but just to show the original docs and such. Wasn’t planning on having to take my husband to prove I know what kind of cologne he wears – hopefully they don’t ask that question because I’m not really sure!

      Yeah the 219 zł price tag was very surprising for me! I was shocked. Pobyt stały is like 600+ so I wonder why citizenship is so cheap? Maybe it’s a simpler process or something. I mean, I’m just hoping it is! Let me know how it goes for you 🙂 Thanks for the info!

  • Reply Ronald 23 October 2020 at 11:10

    PS Leah, just re-read your post and going through your documents you submitted:

    Did you send in your birth certificate as well? I did ,but not just a translation of my Australian one- it had to be registered in Poland first.
    Plus proof of paying the PLN 219?
    Plus proof that you have somewhere to live ( and not just the bridge, or poczekalnia, Gliwice dworzec glówny !!!! 🙂 – I sent in the title deed of our home
    Plus copy of husband’s dowód osobisty

    In my case it was a pretty big pile

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 24 October 2020 at 13:31

      I didn’t send me birth certificate actually. Do you think it was necessary?? What do you mean the birth certificate had to be registered? They didn’t have that info on there but you never know. Maybe it would have been a good idea… oh well! Now I just have to wait and see what they ask for. Everything else I gave them actually.

  • Reply Ronald 24 October 2020 at 18:57

    Hi Leah!

    Just logged in and saw your replies……BTW I sent you a private note too did you get that?

    OK…to answer your questions

    I decided to get a lawyer as I did not feel the process would be straightforward, and in fact it has not been. The lawyer is in Kraków and he is excellent- he has been able to talk to people in the citizenship office and sort out stuff. I actually got him to put my application for a drivers licence in the system as well and it worked pretty well.

    I delivered my documents in person, together with the assistant lawyer. The reason was they go through your documents then and there and let you know which are ok and which are not. Its not 100% essential but it speeds it up quite a bit as they would otherwise have to write to you, then you write back, etc etc etc. The documents get vetted, then stamped, and then you know they are in the system because its done in front of you.

    An interview? ABSOLUTELY there will be an interview. They got to have one for no other reason than it gives them something to do. But seriously, it is a process and they have to ascertain that things are as you say. I’m expecting one in the next 6-12 months. Mariola will be interviewed too, and separately. the same questions are asked of both. They gotta check I am not a mail order husband huh?

    Yes, the birth certificate absolutely has to be sent in, and it has to be the one registered in Poland. it is not enough to send in a translation of your Aussie ( or in your case US) one. Well, that’s as I understand it but i’m pretty sure. You might need to get your US birth registered in Gliwice and a Polish birth certificate issued?

    Lastly I wonder where you are getting your info from- the reason I write this is becuase I note the different wojewodzie have different quality of website. Thje Małopolska websotes are pretty good but NOTE- the information on the English webpage and the Polish webpage are both different, with the Polish one being more up to date. I wonder if your local wojewodzie has less information on their website? The Małopolska ones are here ( first English, then Polish)

    http://www.malopolska.uw.gov.pl/default.aspx?page=acknowledgment_of_polish_citizenship

    and

    http://www.malopolska.uw.gov.pl/default.aspx?page=uznanie_za_obywatela_polskiego

    Let me know how you go!

  • Reply Ronald 24 October 2020 at 19:00

    PS timeframes= submitted all docs 2 months ago, in person, and I have not yet got a written acknowledgment of receipt of documents. Faster than a speeding glacier!

  • Reply Ronald 24 October 2020 at 19:10

    PSS

    Was this the webiste you got yuor application information from?

    https://www.katowice.uw.gov.pl/usluga/obywatelstwo/uznanie-za-obywatela-polskiego

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