Research towards Polish Citizenship
Helping people to get Polish citizenship or a Polish passport is not the only thing we do! If you are still not sure about your Polish citizenship, let us change it.
In case you do not have sufficient documentation, or no documentation at all, do not worry. If you cannot prove your family held Polish citizenship, we will look for it on your behalf. While talking to you, we will ask just a few questions that will allow us to conduct research across archives in Poland and not only. As a rule, we ask for details such as dates of births, places of births, dates of marriages, naturalizations, etc. The more details you have and pass to us, the better chance we quickly locate your family documents. With us, you will get Polish citizenship too!
While conducting research for documents proving your ancestor’s Polish citizenship, we focus on specific archival sources, often tracing even a hint of your ancestors’ civic rights. Naturally, this search will focus primarily on materials created after the reestablishment of Polish statehood in 1920.
Research in Poland
Poland has a vast number of archives with amazing documents and records. Depending on where your family was from, we will address specific archives in the area. There are archives specialized in military records, displaced people records, Jewish origin records, etc.
What type of documents are required to confirm someone is of Polish descent? What is our research focus in Poland, Polish Archives and Polish registry offices?
In Poland, since the first citizenship Act in 1920, the rule of the right of blood (citizenship is acquired by birth from at least one parent) has been in force to this day. According to it, kinship has to be proven through all generations up to the applicant himself. As a rule, the basic document confirming kinship is a birth certificate. Moreover, the provisions of the Act of 1920 made the acquisition of Polish citizenship dependent on the child’s marital origins, so that a legitimate child acquired the citizenship of the father, while an illegitimate one acquired that of the mother. This means that it is not enough to find the birth certificate of an ancestor from before 1951, but also the marriage certificate of his/her parents. This determines from which parent the ancestor acquired Polish citizenship and on which parent research for Polish documents will be our focus.
The research for vital records will first serve to prove your kinship to the Polish ancestor whose Polish citizenship you inherited in accordance with the principle of the right of blood. Then, if your ancestor was born between 1920 and 1951 – i.e. during the period in which the first Citizenship Act of the Polish State was in force – they will enable you to establish whether he or she was a wedded or illegitimate child, and thus on which of his or her parents you should base your search for documents confirming his or her Polish citizenship.
The original composition of citizens of the Polish State was determined by the first Act on Citizenship of the Polish State of 1920. The latter was based on the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, which linked the acquisition of Polish citizenship with permanent residence (domiciles) on territory that was or was to be considered Polish. It is necessary to prove, from the point of view of the first Citizenship Act, the permanent residence of one’s ancestors in the territory that became the territory of the Second Republic after the First World War. The legal belonging to the territory in question is essential. Since the Second Republic of Poland consisted of three annexed territories, and each of them had a different legal regime allowing for the establishment of a person’s belonging to a given territory, each time a different type of documents should be searched.
Moreover, during the period when the first Citizenship Act was in force (1920-1951), citizens were not obliged, to have an identity card, so until 1939 the basic circumstance proving one’s Polish citizenship was still permanent residence in Poland. Additionally, the possession of Polish citizenship may also be evidenced by registration on the conscription list and service in the Polish army, passive or active participation in elections to the Parliament or Senate, and, after World War II, repatriation or participation in the so-called people’s referendum in 1946.
Research in Ukraine/Belarus/Lithuania
This is a tricky one, but not impossible! The territory of Poland changed its borders a couple of times. Many documents and archives were destroyed during the war and records were moved from one place to another. What used to be Poland is now within Ukraine, Belarus, or Lithuania. What does it mean? The process of getting the documents and communicating with the archives can take a bit longer.
Research in Germany
Many people holding Polish citizenship were displaced during WW2, got married in Germany and had kids. We do search for records such as birth and marriage certificates within Civil Registry offices in Germany to prove your family blood lineage or Polish citizenship. In case your parents or grandparents were born in Germany, we can help you with locating their birth records.
We also address archives holding records about the whereabouts of Polish citizens in that period(refugees, war prisoners). It gives us all a better understanding about their emigration journey and history!
Do you have more questions?
We are in Łódź and Wrocław, Poland
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We will help you pick the best strategy and manage your application on your behalf. You will be informed about every step in the process. You do not need to speak Polish. You do not need to travel to Poland.
Once you are a confirmed Polish citizen, you can apply for your Polish passport on your own! Do that at the nearest Polish Consulate General or Polish Embassy with Consular services, we’ll show you how.