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Obtaining the Pole’s Card (Karta Polaka) without leaving Poland


From 30 July this year it will be possible to apply for the Pole’s Card (Karta Polaka) by foreigners from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia without leaving Poland. It is a facilitation for persons of Polish origin from these countries. Previously, applicants had in most cases to leave Poland to submit an application to a Polish consulate abroad.

Currently, only citizens of Belarus (or persons who have status of a stateless person in that country) can use the possibility of submitting an application to the voivode in Poland. Moreover, applications are accepted only in Podlasie and Lublin regions. After the changes, citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (or persons with stateless status in the above-mentioned countries) will be able to submit an application for issuing or extending the Pole’s Card to each voivode in Poland.

The changes result from the restriction of the work of the Polish consulates, caused by the Russian aggression on Ukraine. Submitting the application in Poland will only be an additional option. It will be also still possible to apply for the Pole’s Card abroad at Polish consulates by the above-mentioned persons and other foreigners.

Additional options for submitting the application do not change the criteria for obtaining the Pole’s Card. A foreigner may apply for the Pole’s Card if is able to demonstrate e.g. knowledge of the Polish language and Polish nationality.

Meeting the requirements to receive a Pole’s Card should be demonstrated with appropriate documents, especially with regard to Polish origin of e.g. parents of the applicant. Documents should be presented in the original version, also in the case of a procedure in Poland. This may be an obstacle for foreigners who have not brought the relevant documents to Poland.

Having a Pole’s Card is associated with the possibility of faster obtaining a permanent residence permit in Poland, and – in the longer term – Polish citizenship. The Pole’s Card also gives other privileges, such as full access to the Polish labor market or to a free education (including higher education) in Poland.