There has been a lot of misinformation circulating for decades about the requirements to obtain Polish Citizenship by descent. This misinformation began to be disseminated by the Polish embassy in Argentina through an information brochure that can be observed below. Since the information had come directly from the Polish embassy, this myth was firmly rooted in the minds of Polish citizenship lawyers for more than twenty years and has deprived thousands of families from obtaining the Polish citizenship that is rightfully theirs.
Now I will firmly correct that misinformation with the aim that anyone who was once denied the chance to present their case in order to obtain their Polish citizenship has a chance to do so.
“You have no chance to apply for Polish citizenship because a Polish woman married a foreigner before 1951,” is the infamous phrase that lawyers used to say, and it is based on point 2 of the embassy information brochure:
The disinformation is based on Article 10 of the Polish Citizenship Law of 1920.
English translation of Article 10.
Article 10. The Polish citizen who, having married a foreigner, has had her Polish citizenship revoked, regains it if she files the relevant application at an administrative office in the place of her residence when her marriage ends and she settles in Poland.
You can read the original Polish article 10 HERE .
The wrong interpretation of the law is that any woman who married a foreigner (non-Polish) before 1951 automatically loses her Polish Citizenship. This is completely false.
The old Polish Citizenship law does not allow a woman to have dual citizenship. So, if according to the legislation of the foreign country, a Polish woman marrying a citizen of that country acquired the citizenship of her husband, then by obtaining foreign citizenship, she lost her Polish citizenship. But the loss of Polish Citizenship is not a direct product of the marriage, it is the product of her acquiring the Citizenship from her husband.
There are few countries where this happened and each particular case must be analyzed to see if the woman really acquired her husband’s citizenship. There are cases where if the couple married outside the man’s native country, for example if they married in Argentina, the husband’s country did not recognize the marriage, and therefore the woman did not acquire the husband’s citizenship.
Here is an example where the woman does lose her Polish Citizenship: According to Italian law, a Polish woman who married an Italian in 1947 acquired Italian citizenship from her husband. For Poland she lost her Polish Citizenship. In this case, you may be able to apply for Italian Citizenship, you can consult HERE.
Here is an example where the woman does NOT lose Polish Citizenship: According to Argentine legislation, citizenship is not acquired by marriage, so women kept Polish Citizenship even if they married an Argentine before 1951.
A woman who married an Argentine did NOT acquire Argentine citizenship and therefore did NOT lose Polish Citizenship, so her descendants ARE ELIGIBLE for Polish Citizenship.
Here at My Polish Passport we receive rejected cases like this one every day. People are amazed when we tell them that they definitely are eligible for Polish Citizenship. We have helped clients who cry tears of happiness when they obtain Polish Citizenship because they finally got what is rightfully theirs, twenty years after the first attempt.
We are extremely confident in the correct interpretation of the law. Reach out to us if you were told that you are not eligible because a woman had married a foreigner before 1951. We take your case and give you a full refund if the application to the Polish government is denied (either way you must know we have never been denied a case due to this).
Check if you are eligible with our quick Polish Citizenship assessment HERE.