Obtaining Polish passports and visas
I don't know how true it is but I have heard that people with Polish surnames travelling to Poland are being stopped by immigration and encouraged to obtain a Polish passort.
Since I have recently prepared all necessary documents to apply for my own passport I can list the documents required by the Polish Consulate in London (if you're also from the UK) . Theoretically, they check your submission and send all applications to Poland for processing although they originally claimed to have never received mine by post but somehow found it again several months later.
Documents required for passport application
- Completed application form obtained from Consulate
- Covering letter explaining why you want passport written in Polish
- Proof of Polish heritage, CV, biography or information about yourself
- Birth certificate (original) translated by authorised translator
- Marriage, divorce certificates (if applicable, and original) translated by authorised translator
- 2 identical passport photographs, face straight ahead. (This has recently changed in line with bio-metric passports).
Once citizenship is granted (children of Polish citizens have right to citizenship irrespective of country of birth) , a birth and any marriage certificates or divorce papers need to be lodged with the appropriate office in Poland. These Registrars of Births Marriages and Deaths (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego) are found in any large town.
Once you acquire your Polish passport, Polish law demands that it is used when you travel in and out of Poland.
Problems with passport applications in London
There may be horrendous problems if trying to obtain a passport through the Polish Consulate in London. It took my father, a man in his late eighties, well over a year to obtain a passport. I submitted my application and after 4 months of waiting, went down and queued for an hour and a half, with the rest of the Poles outside the Consulate, only to be told that they have not received it. I have never ever had post go missing in the UK before. I would strongly recommend that you send anything to them by registered post. I have sent emails and a fax to the Polish Consulate in London which they have not replied to, left voice mail on the phone that no one ever responds to. It's a total disgrace.
I cannot envisage the situation improving any with the introduction of biometric passports on the 28th of September 2006.
If you can afford it, go to Poland to have your passport application processed directly.
Visas are not required by visitors from the EU and foreign nationals from the following countries unless trip exceeds 90 days:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Macau (SAR), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, Salvador, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City, Venezuela
Various visas are obtainable to cover transit through airports or through the country, work visas for up to 1 year. Check with Consulate before making journey, especially if you are from a country outside the EU. Your passport must have at least 3 months remaining before expiry on date of departure
Advice regarding travel to Poland for UK citizens from Foreign and Commonwealth Office