Recognition as a Polish citizen

We have already written about the ways of obtaining Polish citizenship in general (here). One of the ways is to be recognized as a citizen of the Republic of Poland.


This procedure applies to persons who stay in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a residence permit for a long-term EU resident (for a sufficiently long period, depending on the basis of the application – from a year to even 10 years).



How long do you need to stay in Poland and on what basis?

Depending on what is your legal basis for residence in Poland, the required period of previous stay in Poland will be different:


  1. 2 years of stay on a permanent/ EU resident card (issued on the basis of any of the conditions), if you have been married to a Polish citizen for at least 3 years,
  2. a year of residence on the basis of permanent residence obtained in connection with Polish origin or possession of the Pole’s Card,
  3. 2 years of stay on a permanent residence card obtained in connection with granting refugee status,
  4. 3 years of residence on a permanent/ EU resident card (issued on the basis of any of the premises), if you have a regular and stable source of income in Poland and have the title to the premises (rental agreement or owner’s statement),
  5. 10 years of stay (in total, also on a temporary residence card or visa, not only on the basis of a permanent residence card) and currently holding a permanent residence card (+income and legal title to the premises),


In addition to the above-mentioned, there are also special regulations regarding minor children.


How to calculate the required stay in Poland?

Let’s start with the fact that (beside the option with 10 years of residence in Poland), the other required periods of residence relate to residence on “some specific basis”.

This required period is counted from the date of issuing the decision on granting a permanent residence permit/residence for a long-term EU resident. Only after the required period (1, 2 or 3 years) can we submit an application for recognition as a Polish citizen.



Kasia, by decision of the Voivoide issued on the 12 March 2019, received a permanent residence permit in Poland due to her Polish origin.

In such a situation, on this basis, she must stay in Poland for 1 year in order to submit an application for recognition as a Polish citizen. This means that if she has not traveled anywhere throughout the year, she will be able to submit an application on March 13, 2020.


In the case where the foreigner has 10 years of stay in Poland – this period also includes the stay on the basis of a visa and a temporary residence card.


What does it mean that the stay is to be uninterrupted?

The stay is uninterrupted if a single stay outside Poland was not longer than 6 months (once) and all stays outside Poland did not exceed 10 months in total.

This means that your trips outside Poland at the indicated time should not be longer than those described above.


However, there are exceptions to this rule.


If you are employed in a company based in Poland and your trip is related to work or the need to leave with your spouse/parent who works in Poland, such absence in Poland is justified. Similarly, if you study in Poland, but some classes are conducted, for example, at another university, outside of Poland. Also, if the absence in Poland is caused by illness, e.g. hospital stay or other important circumstances.


What documents do you need to prepare?

You should prepare:


  1. completed application (download)
  2. travel document (passport, valid!)
  3. 1 photo measuring 4.5 x 3.5 cm
  4. current residence card
  5. civil status records from the Polish registry office – your birth certificate and marriage certificate (if you are married)
  6. a language certificate confirming knowledge of the Polish language at the B1 level or a school/university diploma in Polish
  7. legal title to the premises (lease agreement / declaration of the owner of the premises
  8. a document confirming that you have a stable and regular income in the territory of the Republic of Poland (employment contract, business activity) – it is necessary to submit tax returns (PIT), or a spouse’s statement on providing maintenance.


Remember! Depending on the basis of the application, it will be necessary to submit other, additional documents.

Written by:

Natalia Szabatowska

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