Act on Polish citizenship of January 20, 1920

Art. 1. A Polish citizen cannot simultaneously be a citizen of another country.

Art. 2. At the moment of announcement of the present act, the right to Polish citizenship serves every person who, irrespective of gender, age, religion and nationality:

  1. is settled in the territory of The Polish State, as far as he/she does not qualify for another country’s citizenship. A person to be regarded as settled in The Polish State is one who:

    1. is enrolled or is entitled to be enrolled in the permanent population register of the former Kingdom of Poland;

    2. has the indigenous right to live in one of the communes on the territory of The Polish State, which have made up a part of The Austrian State or The Hungarian State;

    3. had, before January 15, 1908 on grounds of German citizenship, a permanent residence on Polish State territory, which formerly constituted a part of the Prussian State;

    4. was enrolled as a member of the urban or rural commune or of one of state organizations on lands of former Empire of Russia which are now parts of The Polish State;

  2. was born on the territory of The Polish State, as far as he/she is not entitled to another country’s citizenship;

  3. is entitled to Polish citizenship based upon international treaties.

Art. 2a. Besides, a person who has a place of residence and has the indigenous right to live in one of the communes on area of recovered lands of Teschen (Cieszyn) Silesia, which have made up a part of Republic of Czechoslovakia, if the person (or his/her father, or if the child is illegitimate – his/her mother) is permanent since 1 November 1918, and if he/she did not acquire that right due to holding public office; this condition does not apply to persons of Polish descent.

Art. 3. Citizens of other countries who are of Polish descent and their progeny will be recognized as citizens of The Polish State if they submit proof of Polish descent with a declaration that they wish to be Polish citizens and they resign from the citizenship of another country to the relevant Polish authority upon returning to The Polish State.

Poles by descent who as of 1 October 1938 have had a place of residence in area of recovered lands of Teschen Silesia will be treated on an equal footing with those Poles who have returned to The Polish State.

Art. 4. Polish citizenship is acquired by:

  1. birth;

  2. entitlement, recognition, adoption;

  3. marriage;

  4. grant;

  5. reception of public post or reception of military service in The Polish State, as far as there are no reservations to the contrary.

Art. 5. Legitimate children acquire by birth their father´s citizenship. Illegitimate children acquire by birth their mother´s citizenship. Children of unknown parentage, who were born or found on Polish State territory will be recognized as Polish citizens, as long as their qualification for alien citizenship does not come to light.

Art. 6. By entitlement, recognition or adoption a child who is not 18 years old yet acquires the citizenship of its father or mother, or of other persons who recognize or adopt it as their own.

Art. 7. A woman who is a foreigner acquires Polish citizenship by marriage with a Polish citizen.

Art. 8. Citizenship may be granted at the request of a person who wants to obtain it if the person proves that he:

  1. has led an irreproachable way of life;

  2. has resided permanently for no less than 10 years in The Polish State;

  3. has a livelihood or earnings for himself and his family;

  4. speaks Polish;

Legal guardians of minors and other persons deprived of legal incapacity,may apply for Polish citizenship in the name of their charges.

Art. 9. In exceptional cases that deserve special consideration Polish citizenship can be conferred on persons who do not meet individual conditions that are mentioned in article 8. especially on those from areas formerly belonging to the Russian Empire that are a part of The Polish State. However in no way can Polish citizenship be granted to persons who have been penalized by Polish courts for an offense that entail a restriction of rights, while that restriction endures, and also for persons who are in a state of insolvency.

Art. 10. A citizen of The Polish State who lost her Polish citizenship by marriage with a foreigner may have her citizenship reinstated if she makes a statement in an administrative office of her place of residence after the cessation of her marriage and settlement in Poland.

Art. 11. Loss of citizenship occurs by:

  1. obtaining another country´s citizenship;

  2. taking a public office or doing military service in a foreign country’s army without the apprp[riate governor´s (capital city of Warsaw Government Commissioner’s) consent, which is given if the intention of foreign military service in cooperation with the appropriate district corps commander.

Persons obligated to do active military service can obtain foreign citizenship in no other way than after obtaining a general military service obligation release, according to the rules in force, otherwise, in the view of The Polish State, they will be still considered Polish citizens.

Art. 12. The Minister of the Interior determines whether tp confer Polish citizenship after getting an opinion of the commune where that given person lives and also of the general administration authorities.

Art. 13. The acquisition or loss of Polish citizenship, insofar as there is no reservation to the contrary in its act of conferment or retraction, extends to the wives of such persons and their children who are under 18 years of age.

Art. 14. The act comes into force on the day of its announcement.

Art. 15. The execution of this act and the issue of its accompanying necessary executive decrees, especially those that determine the competences of the authorities that are not regulated by this act, the form of documents and details of proceedings are entrusted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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