General concept of citizenship

In a dictionary of the Polish languagethe word ‘citizenship’ is translated as a state affiliation connected with certain rights and duties defined by the law of a given state, whereas the word ‘citizen’ is specified as a member of the society of that state having certain rights and duties defined by law. This encyclopedic definition of citizenship approximates the meaning of the term in the colloquial sense.

The concept of citizenship

The concept of citizenship is understood here as the existence of a connection between an individual and a particular state, which means an individual is a citizen of that state and not another one. Holding citizenship of a country is very important to that country, which is a collective that operates within a set of rules, and to the individual who is part of that collective.


How did it start?

It has been developing since Roman times. The concept of citizen and citizenship was then resolved by defining the rights of a certain category of people. Citizenship included four rights: the right to elect, the right to hold office, the right to marry, and the right to buy and sell under Roman law.

The first modern regulations addressing the subject of citizenship appeared in the late 18th century. France of the revolutionary period in the Constitution of 1791 introduced entries guaranteeing the exercise of political rights by citizens. The French model was replicated by Spain, Bavaria, and Portugal. During the same period, Austria, the Italian States, Germany, Haiti, and Greece regulated citizenship in civil codes.

During the French Revolution, citizenship was contrasted with the concept of serfdom, which explicitly emphasized an individual’s duty to the state (monarchy), while the category of citizenship emphasized not only an individual’s duty to the state but especially that individual’s rights in relation to the country.

Citizenship in the international-legal sense

The result of attempts to define citizenship using the concept of nationality is the division of citizenship into international citizenship and internal citizenship adopted by many theorists.

Citizenship in the international-legal sense is understood as a general, legal belonging of a person to a particular state, giving the state the right to represent and defend its interests in relations with other states. On the other hand, internal citizenship, means the totality of common rights and obligations of the individual and the state, which are based on the internal law of that state, and which result from the individual’s nationality.

Citizenship indicates the existence of a legal connection between an individual and a particular state. This element, as well as marking the legal nature of the institution of citizenship, are in principle common to the views of doctrine devoted to defining the concept of citizenship.

Citizenship can also be perceived as a ‘legal bond’, which connects an individual with the state, but even here, there is no uniform view on the content of such a bond. Two basic meanings are given to this bond. The first meaning recognizes that rights and obligations may not even partly constitute the content of a legal bond. In the second meaning, the contents of the legal bond are the rights and duties of the individual or the mutual rights of the individual and the law.

The permanence of citizenship

Among the most distinctive features of the institution of citizenship is the feature of permanence both in time and in space.  The permanence of citizenship in time consists in the fact that from the moment of its creation in the manner prescribed by the internal law of a particular state, until the moment of its termination, citizenship is continuous regardless of whether there are changes in the citizenship legislation of the state.

The durability of citizenship in space is manifested by the fact that the citizenship of an individual exists even though he/she is not present on the territory of his/her State of nationality. The bonds of citizenship are not severed by moving to and remaining permanently on the territory of another State. The individual retains his or her rights based on citizenship.

How to get Polish citizenship by descent through Five to Europe, a Polish based company?

Polish citizenship follows the “right of blood” rule which means that a Polish parent passes it to his or her child at birth. If you have Polish ancestry, you know that someone from your family came from Poland or what used to be Polish territory, likely you are eligible for Polish citizenship by descent. It is also necessary to prove that your Polish ancestor left Poland after 1920, or provide an official and legal document issued by the Polish Government after 1920.

Becoming a Polish citizen by right of blood

Polish citizenship is passed by “the right of blood”. If one of the parents holds Polish citizenship (or is a person of Polish descent), it is passed to the child irrespective of whether the child was born in Poland or abroad.
It also applies to people born in countries with the “right of soil” e.g. USA. If you were born in the USA to at least one Polish parent (or a parent of Polish descent – to your Polish grandparents), you can claim Polish citizenship despite the fact you acquired US citizenship at your birth.