This answer is ARCHIVE, needs to be verified if it is compliant with current law
Hello, I am a US Citizen who is married to a Polish woman/citizen. My wife and I have been married and living together in the USA for eleven years. I do not currently have and have never applied for any type of Polish residency permit or citizenship. We are presently contemplating a permanent move to Poland. My question is: What is the fastest and most certain/reliable way for me to obtain Polish citizenship?
There are two channels that lead to Polish citizenship.
One channel is a presidential decision. Not meeting any specific criteria (other than prooving your links to Poland), you may apply for Polish citizenship to the President of Poland. The process is done through the Voivodship Office in the are you reside in Poland. The procedure may take two-three years. There is no appeal possibility, nor you receive any justification to the President's decision.
The other channel is an administrative decision on granting citizenship - which can take as little as two months, however this can happen if a foreigner meets specific criteria.
In case of citizenship granted to a spouse of a Polish citizen, it is required that prior to applying for citizenship the applicant resides in Poland for at least two years (which would need to pass after your arrival to Poland, in order that you qualify to file an application), and the marriage has lasted for more than three years (that condition you already fulfill).
So, in principle, both ways in your case are equally long.
You may also wish to know that American passport gives you a right to reside in Poland without any additional formalities for a period of three months. Planning longer residency as you do, you will need to apply for a residence permit.
Initially, you will be able to apply for temporary residency, that (from 1 May) can be issued for maximum of three years. After two years of residing in Poland you will be able to apply for permanent residency.
Applications for temporary/permanent residency are filed to the Voivodship Office. Until 1 May they can also be filed with the Polish consulate abroad.
Our answers are only informative - please DO NOT treat it as a legal advice!
Migration Helpline (Infolinia Migracyjna) is now run thanks to voluntary work of PFM staff. Before, it was maintained (2012-2014) thanks to co-financing of the project Information Center for Foreigners 2, run by PFM in partnership with the Association for Legal Intervention and the Mazovian Governor. It is co-financed by the European Fund for Integration of Third Country Nationals and by the state budget.
In the years 2009-2011 the project was run as part of Information Center for Foreigners run by the same partnership, also co-financed by the European Fund for Integration of Third Country Nationals and by the state budget.