The Pole’s Card is a document confirming a foreigner’s belonging to the Polish Nation. The person who has it is entitled to the rights resulting from the Act on the Pole’s Card of 7 September 2007.
Below we present the benefits of having. information on who has the right to obtain it, how to get it, how much it costs, how long it is valid and answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Pole’s Card.
The most important benefits of having a Pole’s Card are: free movement around Poland, simplified visa procedures to other countries, as well as faster procedures for obtaining a work permit and easier obtaining a permanent residence permit in Poland. There are also a number of other privileges.
What rights does the Card give?
The holder of the Card has the right to:
- exemption from the obligation to hold a work permit
- taking up and running a business on the same terms as Polish citizens;
- pursue studies, doctoral studies and other forms of education, as well as participate in scientific research and development work;
- using health care services in emergency situations;
- discounts of 37% for journeys in Poland on passenger, fast and express trains, on the basis of single tickets;
- free entry to selected state museums in Poland;
- assistance of the consul in a situation of life or security threat, within his competence, with the application and respect for customs and international law,
- exemption from consular fees for: accepting and examining an application for a national visa in order to exercise the rights resulting from the possession of the Pole’s Card; accepting and processing an application for Polish citizenship;
- receiving a cash benefit to partially cover maintenance in Poland in the event of submitting an application for permanent residence. The cash benefit is granted for a period of up to 9 months;
- priority when applying for financial assistance intended to support Poles abroad.
How to use?
In order to take advantage of the rights guaranteed by the Pole’s Card, it must be presented together with a valid identity document.
Who can receive?
The Pole’s Card may be granted to a person:
- not having Polish citizenship on the day of submitting the application for issuing the Pole’s Card and on the day of granting the Pole’s Card,
- not having a permanent residence permit on the territory of the Republic of Poland,
- having the status of a stateless person.
Below we will discuss some categories of foreigners who are entitled to receive the Card.
Former Polish citizens and their descendants
People who were previously Polish citizens and then renounced their citizenship or were deprived of it, have the right to apply for the Pole’s Card. What’s more, children and grandchildren of such people can also benefit from this privilege, provided that they confirm their parentage.
Another category of foreigners who may receive the Pole’s Card are foreign students who have graduated from a Polish university. To obtain the Pole’s Card, students must prove their Polish roots and obtain appropriate recommendations from their university.
Employees from abroad
People from abroad who work in Poland permanently or temporarily may also receive the Pole’s Card. One of the requirements is to have a work permit in Poland. These people must also prove their Polish roots (one of the parents must be Polish).
People without Polish descent
Although the Pole’s Card is primarily addressed to people of Polish descent and their descendants, there are situations in which people without Polish descent can also receive this document. For example, people who have made a significant contribution to the development of Poland or work for Polish culture can be honored with the Card of the Pole.
How to get the Card?
Should be submitted to the relevant application embassy or consulate of the Republic of Poland in the country in which he currently resides. The application can also usually be submitted online through the consulate’s online portal.
The Pole’s Card is issued to a person who:
- proves his belonging to the Polish nation by at least basic knowledge of the Polish language, which he considers to be his mother tongue, and by knowing and cultivating Polish traditions and customs;
- submits a written declaration of belonging to the Polish Nation;
- proves that he is of Polish nationality or had Polish citizenship, or at least one of his parents or grandparents or two great-grandparents were of Polish nationality or had Polish citizenship;
- on the day of submitting the application for the Pole’s Card, holds the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Estonia, Georgia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine or the Republic of of Uzbekistan or has the status of a stateless person in one of these countries.
When can a child receive the Pole’s Card?
- the child is granted at the request of the parents, when both of them have the Pole’s Card or had it before obtaining permanent residence. If only one of the parents has or had the Card, the other parent, in the presence of the Polish consul or voivode, must agree to issue the Pole’s Card to the child. If the other parent does not have parental authority, he or she does not have to give such consent;
- The Pole’s Card is also granted to a minor who proves that at least one of his parents or grandparents or two great-grandparents of his deceased parent were of Polish nationality or had Polish citizenship. In this case, the application on behalf of the minor is submitted by the surviving parent or legal representative.
How much does cost?
Submission of the application and the entire procedure related to obtaining the Pole’s Card are free of charge and no fees are charged at any stage .
How long is the Pole’s Card valid for?
The Pole’s Card is valid for 10 years from the date of its granting. No later than 3 months before the expiration date of the Card of the Pole, you must apply for its extension for another 10 years.
The Pole’s Card issued to a minor is valid for 10 years, but not longer than one year from the date of attaining the age of majority. After reaching the age of 18, the holder of the Pole’s Card should submit an application for its extension no later than within 9 months.
The Pole’s Card granted to a person who has reached the age of 65 is valid for an indefinite period.
Pole’s Card extension procedure
First, you should apply for card extension at the consulate of the Republic of Poland in your country. This application must be submitted in person by the person holding the card and must be documented in the manner required by the consulate. If the application is filled in incorrectly, the consulate has the right to reject it.
Please note that the extension of the Pole’s Card also requires a consular fee. The amount of this fee depends on the country where the application is made and the exchange rate. Therefore, before submitting the application, it is worth consulting with our specialists in order to optimize costs.
After submitting the application and paying the consular fee, it is necessary to collect a new Pole’s Card at the consulate of the Republic of Poland. It is worth remembering that the whole process can take some time, so it is worth starting it well in advance of the card’s expiry date.
What to do if the Card is lost or damaged?
In the event of loss or destruction of the Pole’s card, its holder must report this fact as soon as possible to the competent voivodeship office or the relevant consulate and submit an application for its replacement. The consul or voivode who issued the Pole’s Card, at the holder’s request, issues a duplicate of the Pole’s Card.
Adults applying for a Pole’s Card submit:
- completed application for the Pole’s Card,
- identity document with a photo and a copy,
- documents confirming the Polish nationality of the applicant or his ascendants and any documents confirming kinship with the persons referred to by the applicant, together with copies, or a certificate of an authorized Polish or Polish diaspora organization confirming the applicant’s active involvement in activities for the benefit of the Polish language and culture or the Polish national minority,
- a document confirming knowledge of the Polish language with a copy. (documents that confirm the knowledge of the language are a certificate of graduation from a school or studies in Poland, or a certificate of graduation from a school abroad with Polish as the language of instruction; if you do not have any of the above-mentioned documents, your language skills will be assessed by the consul – an interview with the consul, conducted in Polish, will be, among others, Polish traditions and customs).
Parents applying for the Pole’s Card for minors submit:
- completed application for the Pole’s Card,
- birth certificate of a minor with a copy,
- parents’ identity documents with copies,
- Cards of the Pole of the parents or Card of the Pole of one of the parents with a copy/copies.
Receiving the Pole’s Card does not mean granting Polish citizenship, granting the right to settle in the territory of the Republic of Poland or the right to cross the borders of the Republic of Poland without a visa.
Proceedings in matters regulated in the Act of 7 September 2007 on the Pole’s Card shall be governed by the provisions of the Act of 14 June 1960 – Code of Administrative Procedure (Journal of Laws of 2000 No. 98, item 1071), if the Act on the Pole’s Card does not provide otherwise. Provisions of the Act of 13 February 1984 on the functions of consuls of the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws of 2002 No. 215, item 1823 and Journal of Laws of 2004 No. 173) shall apply to proceedings in matters within the competence of consuls. , item 1808).