Polish citizenship: How to get it?

Foreigners come to Poland for a variety of reasons. Some want to work here temporarily, while others intend to stay in Poland for a longer time. The second group will in some time apply for Polish citizenship. In this article, we will show you basic information about getting it.

Polish citizenship: Who is eligible?

Right of birth

In the most classic case, Polish citizenship is granted through the right of birth. If at least one of your parents is Polish – you automatically get citizenship. So decrees Article 14 Paragraph 1 of the Polish Citizenship Act. Paragraph 2 says that if a child of unknown parents is found on Polish territory, it is to be granted citizenship.


Adopted foreign child will also become a citizen. However – they must be adopted before they turn 16. Article 16 of the aforementioned act rules that it is to be assumed that the adopted kid became a citizen the day they were born.


A newborn baby. Context: Polish citizenship

Marrying a Polish citizen

Marrying a Pole will not automatically grant you Polish citizenship! Article 30, Paragraph 2, Point A says that you have to be married for at least 3 years before you apply.

Polish citizenship: criteria


But what if you weren’t lucky to be born to a Poles? Or your sweetheart isn’t Polish? Fear not – you can still get Polish citizenship. Article 30 will be your best friend then. It specifies a few bases on which you can apply for Polish citizenship. Each one of them consists of:

  • What’s your residence status,
  • How long do you have to be in Poland?

Work and stay

Point 1 says that you have to reside in Poland for at least 3 years straight. Your first base is a settlement permit. It means that Poland has granted you a right of unlimited stay within its (but not EU) borders. Another base is a residence permit for long-term residents of the European Communities. It is very similar to the previous one. However, in that case, you can settle in any EU country. The right of permanent residence can be granted to an EU citizen who stays in Poland for at least 5 years straight.

If you meet one of those criteria and also have housing and a stable source of income in Poland – you can apply!

A welder welds

Marriage and statelessness 

We’ve already mentioned that you can apply for Polish citizenship if you marry a Pole and remain married for at least 3 years. You must also stay in Poland for 2 years based on:

  • residence permit for long-term residents of the European Communities,
  • settlement permit,
  • right of permanent residence.

This is point 2, which also applies to stateless individuals. Being stateless means that you have no citizenship at all.

Point 3 is reserved for refugees. They have to stay in Poland for at least 2 years without any more criteria. Due to a war in Ukraine, from February 2024 Polish citizenship may be granted to millions of Ukrainians who have to flee their country.

Point 4 says that you can apply for your kid’s citizenship if you are a Polish citizen staying in Poland based on:

  • residence permit for long-term residents of the European Communities,
  • settlement permit,
  • right of permanent residence.

Your spouse has to not be a Polish citizen and to agree to grant citizenship to your kid.

Point 5 is for underage foreigners in other circumstances. If at least one of their parents had their Polish citizenship restored, they can be granted citizenship if they reside in Poland for 2 years, with bases as in Point 4.

Married couple in park

10 years of residence

This is a long time, but worth it. Point 6 gives two criteria you have to meet simultaneously. The first of them is having one of the already mentioned rights for legal stay in Poland. The other one is having a stable, regular source of income and legal title for housing.

Having a Polish ancestry

Due to complicated Polish history, many Poles had to leave their country, either voluntarily or forcibly. They resided in other countries, often losing their connection to the Polish language and culture.

Their descendants are eligible to apply for a right of residence if they prove their Polish ancestry. Having stayed in Poland for at least 2 years, they can apply.

Polish citizenship: How do I apply 


You have to send your request to a voivode – a government representative for your voivodeship. You can get your template here, from an official site. Application costs 219 PLN (as of 11th September 2023) and has to be answered in 2 months.

A voivode can reject your application for Polish citizenship if you fill in your documents wrong. Another base for rejection may be posing a threat to public security or national defense. You can lodge an appeal to a Ministry of Interior Affairs if you believe your voivode was wrong.

A person filling four sheets of paper on the desk. Context: Polish citizenship

Polish citizenship: Do I have to speak Polish?

Yes, you do. Those who want to officially become Poles must prove they speak Polish in at least B1 level. To prove your command you should have at least one of those:

Achieving a B1 level in Polish is quite a challenge. We’re proud to give you a helping hand. Our Polish language course in Wroclaw starts on 9th November 2023, as well as our group conversational Polish classes online. However, you can start your individual course right now. If you want to enroll at our Polish language school in Wroclaw, please e-mail us at: polishdream.wroclaw@gmail.com.