• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland





    Repatriation is the return of persons of Polish origin to Poland. It is also a special privileged way to acquire Polish citizenship. This entitlement is granted only to foreigners, who do not possess Polish citizenship, but have intention to move permanently to Poland. The repatriate is a person of Polish origin, who has arrived to the Republic of Poland based on the national visa for repatriation and with the intention to settle permanently in Poland. The date on the stamp of crossing the Polish border is the date of acquisition of Polish citizenship by that person by virtue of the law. Polish citizenship through repatriation is also granted to the spouse or/and the minors remaining under the parental authority of the repatriate.  


    The Repatriation Act of 9 November 2000 (Consolidated text, Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland, 2014, pos. 1392, with later amendments) defines the rules for the acquisition of Polish citizenship through repatriation, repatriate’s rights, as well as the rules and ways of granting aid to repatriates and their family members.


    The first and the most important phase in the repatriation proceedings is obtaining the decision on recognition as a person of Polish descent. The decision in this regard is taken by the relevant Consul based on the residence address of the applicant and the application for national visa for repatriation.





    A person is recognized to have Polish origin, if the latter declares his/her belonging to the Polish nation and simultaneously fulfills these conditions:


    • at least one of his/her parents or grandparents or two great-grandparents were of Polish nationality,
    • proves his/her connection to Polishness.


    Evidence of Polish origin can include documents issued by the Polish state or church authorities, as well as by the authorities of the former USSR, relating to the applicant or his/her parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, in particular:


    • Polish identity documents,
    • civil status documents, or their copies, also baptismal certificates proving the connection with the Polishness,
    • documents proving the military service in the Polish Army, with an observation marking the Polish origin,
    • documents proving the fact of deportation or imprisonment, containing an observation about the Polish origin,
    • identity documents or other official documents containing an observation about the Polish origin,
    • documents testifying persecution of the person based on his/her Polish nationality,
    • documents relating to the rehabilitation of a deported or persecuted  person, containing an observation about the Polish origin.


    National visa for repatriation can be granted to a person, who meets the following requirements altogether:


    • possesses Polish origin,
    • before 1 January, 2001 has been permanently residing in one of the following modern republics:

    - Republic of Armenia,

    - Republic of Azerbaijan,

    - Republic of Georgia,

    - Republic of Kazakhstan,

    - Republic of Kyrgyzstan,

    - Republic of Tajikistan,

    - Republic of Turkmenistan,

    - Republic of Uzbekistan,

    - the Asiatic part of the Russian Federation


    National visa for repatriation can also be granted to the spouse and descendants (children, grandchildren) up to the 4th generation of the person, who meets all the mentioned-above requirements.


    Granting national visa for repatriation can be refused to the person, who;


    • has lost his/her Polish citizenship through repatriation,
    • due to the repatriation agreements signed in 1944-1957 by RP or PRL and Belarus SSR, the Ukraine SSR, Lithuania SSR, and the USSR repatriated from the Republic of Poland or Polish People's Republic to one of the above-mentioned states,
    • during his/her stay abroad has acted against the fundamental interests of the Republic of Poland,
    • has participated or participates in the human rights violations,
    • his/her data is included into Schengen Information System for entry refusal reasons,
    • reasons of defense, security or protection of public order of the Republic of Poland prevent the granting,
    • the applicant acts or has acted against the fundamental interests of the Republic of Poland,
    • the personal data is listed in the register of foreign nationals, whose stay at the territory of the Republic of Poland is not welcome.




    Consul issues national visa for repatriation to a person, who possesses ensured conditions for settlement in the Republic of Poland, i.e. after the applicant provides evidence that s/he has the terms of residence, such as means of subsistence and accommodation or is provided with the terms of residence for the duration of at least 12 months.


    The new form for ensuring the conditions for settlement is the granting of a place in a repatriate center, implemented by social organizations in Poland and commissioned by the Government Plenipotentiary for Repatriation issues. The place is granted for the first 3 months of the stay in Poland with the possibility to prolong the stay for another 3 months. During the stay at the center, the repatriate will be provided with living conditions and a possibility to participate in an adaptive course and, if needed, a language course. During the stay at the center the repatriate is also supported in looking for accommodation and job. Evidence confirming the conditions for can be;


    • the decision of the Government Plenipotentiary for Repatriation on granting a place at the adaptation center for repatriates,
    • a resolution of Gmina/Community Council, including a commitment to provide conditions for settlement, i.e. housing and means of subsistence, for a period of at least two years,
    • a statement made in the form of a notarial act issued by a person, a legal entity or an organizational unit without juridical personality established in the Republic of Poland with a commitment to provide conditions for settlement for at least two years,
    • resolution of the County/Powiat Council obliging the starosta to provide a place in the social assistance center.


    The resolution and the statement should include, in particular, the indication of the accommodation, the type/format of provision of the accommodation, the indication of the sources of receiving or ensuring income. The relevant statement of a natural person may concern only the ancestors, descendants or siblings of that person. Proof of means of subsistence is not required from a person, who is entitled to pension or renting rights in line with the pension and renting regulations of Polish law.


    The evidence of possession of settlement conditions can be:


    • Act of ownership of accommodation in Poland,
    • Preliminary purchase and sale agreement of real estate, as well as possession of financial means for its purchase after arrival in the RP,
    • Accommodation Lease Agreement or Accommodation Loan constituting the legal title to premises.



    The evidence of means of subsistence in Poland can be:


    • remuneration obtained for work in Poland,
    • pension or annuity paid by the Social Insurance Institution,
    • other financial sources (donation, money received from the sale of accommodation abroad, scholarship) enabling the repatriate to maintain him/her or the family,
    • the obligation of the inviting person or company to cover the expenses for subsistence, curation, insurance, etc., before the repatriate becomes independent.

    Consul makes a decision on qualification to issue a national visa for repatriation (earlier a decision on promise to issue a national visa for  repatriation) to a person, who does not possess any accommodation or has no means of subsistence in Poland, but still meets other conditions for receiving national visa for repatriation.





    Starting from 1 May, 2017 the spouse of the repatriate, who does not possess Polish origin, can receive a national visa for repatriation insofar as s/he intends to get Polish citizenship via the same procedure as the repatriate. In this case s/he  becomes a repatriate in the  light of the Act and is entitled to all repatriate’s rights.


    If the spouse does not want to acquire Polish citizenship by repatriation procedure (e.g. wishes to retain the previous nationality in a country that does not foresee dual citizenship), s/he may apply for a residence permit to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland. By acquiring the permit, a range of rights, equal to those of Polish citizens,  are entitled to this person, such as the right to work without obtaining additional permits and consents (with an exception of  certain occupations), the right to benefit from social care and social assistance, access to free health services , social security, studies and business activity.


    Upon the receipt of a document that entitles the settlement in Poland, the spouse of the repatriate can also apply for Polish citizenship. The application is directed to the President of the Republic of Poland via the relevant Voivode in line with the residence address of the applicant.





    It is also possible to consider as a repatriate a person, who meets all the following conditions:


    • possesses Polish origin,
    • before 1 January, 2001 has been permanently residing in one of the above-mentioned countries (as in the case of the repatriates),
    • earlier mentioned circumstances that prevent the issuance of a repatriation visa do not apply to this person,
    • was on the territory of Poland on the basis of a residence permit for a fixed period, granted in connection with the enrollment in higher education on the basis of the regulations on taking up and pursuing studies by non-Polish citizens. The person within 12 months of the completion of the higher education institution shall submit an application to the relevant Voivode in line with the intended residence address.
    • a person, who has resided in the Republic of Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit, residence/settlement permit or the right to stay can also be recognized as a repatriate,
    • has a source of subsistence in the Republic of Poland and a legal title to accommodation.


    If the Polish origin of a person has not been confirmed earlier, then the application on recognition as a repatriate has an outcome depending on the procedure initiated by the Consul in the last place of residence abroad. The date of the decision on recognition as a repatriate comes into effect is the date when the person actually acquires Polish citizenship.





    The repatriate will be granted a one-time non-refundable financial assistance from the state budget in the form of:


    • the cost of the travel or flight and the carriage of property, which comprises the double price of the second-class rail ticket from the repatriate's nearest residence abroad to the place of residence in Poland (may be provided by the Consul, if the visa-holder does not have sufficient funds for covering travel expenses to Poland),
    • settlement and ongoing maintenance allowances,
    • school allowance intended to cover education costs for the minor children of the repatriate 


    The benefits mentioned-above are not subject to tax. In addition, it is possible to individually apply for the so-called repair allowance. Another form of assistance is Polish language course and course on adaptation in the Polish society.


    The new form of support for repatriates is the housing assistance provided by the Government Plenipotentiary for Repatriation issues. This assistance can be used supplementary to pay the accommodation rent (up to 10 years) or to buy an apartment. The total amount of aid will be 25 thousand Polish Zloty for each repatriate.





    Upon arrival at the place of residence, the repatriate should deal with the matters related to his/her residence and settlement in Poland:


    • register his/her civil status documents with their Polish translations done a by a sworn translator to the local Registry Office (if it has not been done earlier with the help of the Consul),
    • present documents to the Department of Citizens Affairs of the relevant Voivodeship Office in line with the residence address in order to obtain a certificate of Polish citizenship from the Voivode,
    • apply for Identity Document, register for permanent residence and apply for a PESEL number at the Municipal and Communal Office.


    With the aim to speed up the procedures for obtaining Polish civil status documents, the repatriate may turn to Consul to prepare Polish civil status document.


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