Is it possible to get Polish Citizenship in case you are going to divorce with your Polish spouse?

Imagine a situation: you have been living in Poland with your spouse for years, but, unfortunately, your tensions go wrong. You are thinking of divorce. However, you are not going to leave Poland and still planning to get Polish citizenship. Is it possible after the divorce?

From our personal experience we can stress that there are several options in this case. They differ depending on how long you’ve been staying in Poland and which type of document is the legal basis for you stay: temporary residence permit or permanent residence permit.

What If You Have a Permanent Residence Permit

If you have already obtained a permanent residence card (or a EU long-term residence card), article 30 of the Polish Citizenship Law provides you with a variety of different options to acquire citizenship. The easiest way out waits for you in case you have been staying in Poland for 10 years or more (no matter for how long you have been possessing your permanent residence card). In this situation you just need to have a regular source of income and a place of residence in Poland (for instance, a flat that you’ve rented). Same requirements should be met if you have been obtaining a permanent residence card for at least three years. The mentioned grounds suit you in case you are going to divorce, since in both the situations the basis on which you have acquired the residence permit is not important.

Nevertheless, you should take into account that in order to get Polish citizenship on the mentioned grounds you need to pass a Polish language proficiency exam that usually takes place three times per year in all the biggest Polish cities. The required level is B1 which shouldn’t be a serious obstacle if you’ve been living in Poland for quite a long time.

Apart from the language exam you should bear in mind the fact that if you want to get Polish citizenship you stay in this country should be uninterrupted and continued. It means that possessing your permanent residence card you can leave Poland no more than for 10 months in total and no more than for 6 months for a single stay outside Poland. However, there are several exceptions to the rule including performing of professional duties, accompanying a minor children or attending an internship abroad which allow you to stay outside Poland longer.

We advise you to launch a procedure of getting Polish citizenship without postponing (e.g. when you are still married). In such a manner you’ll avoid possible legal problems.

What if You Have a Temporary Residence Permit

But what should a person wishing to obtain Polish citizenship do, if he or she has just recently married a Pole and does not possess a permanent residence permit card? In this case there are no chances to apply directly for citizenship. However, you have various options to prolong your stay in Poland on a different ground: for example, doing business, working or studying in Poland. You should bear in mind that living in Poland for 5 years on the basis of a temporary residence permit card you are entitled to apply for a EU long-term residence permit. Later on possession of such a permit will allow you to apply for Polish citizenship on one of the grounds described in the article.
It means that divorce with a Polish citizen does not preclude getting the Polish passport in the future. It goes without saying that in each case concrete steps are to be taken depending on the circumstances. That is why it seems plausible to consult a lawyer experienced in the described matters.