How could Polish citizenship be lost?

While assessing eligibility toward Polish citizenship by descent, we analyse facts confirming that Polish citizenship was held by one of your ancestors, but also, we need to review all the fact and events that took place in your Polish ancestor’s life, that could possibly impact his or her Polish citizenship and cause loss of Polish citizenship.

According to the current regulations the only way to lose Polish citizenship is by official renunciation of Polish citizenship. In the past, due to changes in Polish citizenship law within years, it could be lost due to events that took place in your Polish ancestor’s life by for instance service in a foreign army, marriage before 1951 in case of females etc.

Below, you can find a list of the most common events and situations that could lead to loss of Polish citizenship by your Polish ancestor. Please note that each case is assessed and analysed by our Polish citizenship expert on an individual basis and with individual approach and there is often room for interpretation and in some situations, exceptions may be applicable which will save your Polish citizenship by descent case.

What could cause loss of Polish citizenship by you ancestor:

1. Service in a foreign army before 1951

If your male ancestor served in a foreign army before 19th of January 1951, he likely lost his Polish citizenship. There are exceptions in case of WWII period if served in the alliance forces during the war or in case of forced army draft.

2. Holding a public position before 1951

Holding public positions before 19th of January 1951 could lead to loss of Polish citizenship. Public positions are considered teachers at public schools, politicians, doctors at public hospitals for example. But in case your ancestor was a teacher at a private school, this needs to be proved and supported with evidence of employment. Similar situation applies to doctors working in private hospitals or clinics.

3. Naturalization in a foreign country by a female before 1951

If your mother, grandmother, great-grandmother (so female ancestor after whom you wish to claim your Polish citizenship) took foreign citizenship before 19th of January 1951, that could lead to a loss of Polish citizenship. What could protect her is if she was a minor child, when naturalization happened, and she became an adult after 19th of January 1951 and she was protected by her father’s conscription age.

4. Official renunciation of Polish citizenship

Official and legal renunciation before Polish Authorities e.g. Polish Consulate abroad. In some cases, Poles that left Poland, due to communism period or other personal circumstances lodged official renunciation of Polish citizenship before the Polish Authorities. This also often impacted minor children in case they were listed on the decision.

5. Official application for changing citizenship from Polish citizenship to a foreign one

Official application for permission to change citizenship. Similar situation to renunciation applied to those who officially applied to the Polish Consulate to change their citizenship, even though they did not have to do that, and while taking foreign citizenship, they could keep Polish citizenship. If such an application to change citizenship was officially lodged and accepted, Polish citizenship was lost.

6. Taking foreign citizenship in case of older generations could cause loss of Polish citizenship

 If your male ancestor after whom you wish to claim your Polish citizenship took foreign citizenship before 19th of January 1951 and was born before 1901, he lost his Polish citizenship due to conscription age not protecting his Polish citizenship.

7. Residence in the USSR territory after the war

If your ancestors stayed in the USSR territory after the war, even if they were Polish citizens, they lost their Polish citizenship by automatically obtaining citizenship of the USSR. Poland and the USSR concluded international agreements to prevent dual citizenship.

Loss of Polish citizenship is often a controversial topic as in the past, people were not aware they were losing it. Also, it is important to mention that even though Polish citizenship law was very discriminatory towards women before 1951 but it is still being taken under consideration while assessing and analysing Polish citizenship by descent application by the Polish Government.

This follows from the universal legal principle “tempus regit actum” – the effects of legal events are judged according to the laws in force at the time when the events occurred.

Polish citizenship law along with its various acts may be complicated for those of you who are not familiar with the process. If you have doubts about your family situation and would like to confirm whether Polish citizenship was held within your family and passed to you, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our Polish citizenship experts will analyse all the information and records you possess and confirm your eligibility for Polish citizenship by descent and Polish passport.

If you need help, contact us for a FREE consultation:

The process of Polish citizenship confirmation can be complex, so having accurate and complete documentation is crucial. If you are not sure if the evidence you have is enough, please contact us for a free consultation. Our friendly Polish Citizenship Experts will assess your situation and case and advise on the best next steps for you. If you are interested in our services, we will be able to issue you a non-obligatory quote for our assistance.

We also offer research services in case you don’t have any or enough evidence. What we do, we take care of your application from the very beginning till the very end, until you hold your Polish passport in your hand.

 Check if you qualify and contact us for a FREE consultation of your case. You can fill in our Contact form  on our website, send us an email at or give us a call phone / WhatsApp / Signal + 48 509 374 209

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.