Although Poland is party to some relevant human rights instruments, it has not acceded to any of the core statelessness conventions. Its data on stateless populations in the country is unreliable, and there is no dedicated statelessness determination procedure. Some stateless people may regularise their stay through alternative administrative procedures, for example, during return or removal proceedings, but there are significant protection gaps. Stateless people can be detained solely to confirm their identity, and their protection needs are not considered during detention procedures.

There are safeguards in Polish nationality law to prevent statelessness. There is a legal route to naturalisation for stateless people in Poland, but residency and documentation requirements present significant barriers. A safeguard exists in the case of adopted children and foundlings, and the law provides for the acquisition of nationality by a child born to unknown or stateless parents on the territory. However, it does not prevent statelessness in the case of children whose foreign parents cannot confer their nationality, and there are practical obstacles to acquiring Polish nationality for children born abroad to same-sex parents, which are discriminatory and may result in statelessness. Legal residence of the parents is not required for birth registration, and although Poland has received UPR recommendations on access to birth registration, there are no current reports of barriers to birth registration.

Përditësimi i fundit: 
Jan 2023
Ekspert/ë i/të Shtetit: 

Katarzyna Przybyslawska, Halina Niec Legal Aid Center

Burime shtesë






Instrumentet Ndërkombëtare dhe Rajonale

Assesses whether countries are State party to the relevant international and regional instruments, including whether reservations have an impact on statelessness, and whether instruments are incorporated into domestic law. The four core statelessness treaties (1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; European Convention on Nationality; Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession) carry more weight than other relevant human rights instruments in the assessment.

Poland has not acceded to any of the four core statelessness conventions, though it has signed the European Convention on Nationality. It is party to all the other relevant regional and international human rights instruments, except for the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers, but does retain some reservations and declarations, for example in relation to its interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As an EU member state, it is bound by the EU Return Directive.

  • Poland is not State party to the 1954 Convention.
  • Poland is not State party to the 1961 Convention.
  • Poland has signed but not acceded to the European Convention on Nationality. It did not enter any reservations at the time of signature. It is not State party to the European Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession.
  • Poland is party to the European Convention on Human Rights with no reservations and is bound by the EU Return Directive.
  • Poland is party to all other relevant international treaties except for the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. However, it entered two declarations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child relating to its interpretation of certain articles in line with 'Polish customs and traditions' and 'principles of morality'; and it has reservations to the Convention Against Torture relating to confidential inquiries and arbitration.

Të Dhënat e Popullsisë për Pashtetësinë

Examines the availability and sources of disaggregated population data on statelessness. Provides recent figures and assesses reliability of measures countries have in place to count stateless persons, including in the census, population registries, and migration databases. Notes whether statelessness has been mapped in the country and whether there are sufficient measures in place to count stateless persons in detention.

The Polish Government publishes disaggregated data on the number of ‘stateless’ people in the Polish census and data on the number of stateless people holding various types of residence permits, but overlapping terms, such as ‘undetermined nationality’ are also used, making figures unreliable. As there is no legal definition of a stateless person in Poland, the authorities use and interpret the term inconsistently and different government departments use different overlapping terms and definitions. There is no published data on stateless people in detention, though some figures are collected by the Polish Border Guard. A mapping study on statelessness in Poland was published by UNHCR in 2019.

  • The terms 'stateless' and 'undetermined nationality' are included in the census, which was last conducted in 2021. In June 2022, preliminary results of the census recorded 66 who self-identified as ‘stateless’ and 300 people as having ‘undetermined nationality’, compared to 2,020 stateless people and 8,804 with undetermined nationality in 2011 (most people in this group were homeless and/or undocumented). The reasons for this decrease are unclear. Census data is disaggregated by gender and place of birth (Poland or abroad).The Polish authorities use and interpret the term 'stateless' inconsistently and do not apply a uniform definition. The Border Guard applies a multitude of partially overlapping terms and there are no estimates for undocumented stateless people, so the numbers are likely an underestimate.
  • Different government departments use different terms, including 'without nationality' and 'undefined nationality', as well as ‘stateless person’, defined as 'a foreigner of no state affiliation, stripped of nationality or claiming to be a national of an unrecognised state'. There is no clear definition of a stateless person in law. People with ‘unknown nationality’ are those not defined as stateless, who do not claim to be a national of any State, who claim potential affiliation with many States, or who are not recognised by a State of which they claim nationality. People whose ‘nationality was not confirmed’, are those with no identity documents whose personal details (including nationality) are accepted based on oral statements, and subsequently verified.
  • UNHCR estimates for the stateless population in Poland are based on data from the 2011 and 2021 censuses. It estimates that there were 1,435 people in Poland in mid-2022.
  • UNHCR published a mapping study of Statelessness in Poland in September 2019. NGO, Halina Niec Legal Aid Center, published a study on statelessness in Poland in 2013.
  • According to the Ministry of Digital Affairs there were 1,328 stateless people registered in the PESEL register (Polish Civil Registry) in 2016. In December 2022, the Office for Foreigners reported that there were 272 ‘stateless persons’ and 28 people with ‘undetermined nationality’ holding a valid residence permit in Poland. The Office for Foreigners also publishes statistics on applications for international protection and legalisation procedures, and decisions issued. Separate data sources record the number of stateless asylum seekers, recognised refugees and people with other types of residence. According to the Office for Foreigner, in 2022, there were eight applications for international protection lodged by stateless persons and 26 lodged by persons with undetermined nationality.
  • Polish Border Guards recorded 291 stateless people entering Poland between January and November 2022, of whom 97 people crossed the border from Ukraine, and 4,251 people of ‘unknown/other’ nationality between January and September, of whom 3,303 people came from Ukraine.
  • The Polish Border Guard, responsible for immigration detention in Poland, does not publish statistical information on the nationality of people held in immigration detention but it does collect this internally. Following an information request, the Border Guard reported the detention of one stateless person and 31 people with undetermined nationality in 2022. One person with undetermined nationality was released due to the impossibility of removal.
  • There are no official guidelines for establishing statelessness or undetermined nationality.

Statusi dhe Përcaktimi i Pashtetësisë

Identifies whether countries have a definition of a stateless person in national law that aligns with the 1954 Convention, and whether they have a dedicated statelessness determination procedure (SDP) leading to a dedicated stateless status. If an SDP is not place, it assesses whether there are other procedures in which statelessness can be identified or other routes through which stateless people could regularise their stay or access their rights. Countries are subdivided in three groups to enable comparison between those with an SDP leading to protection, those with other procedures, and those with a statelessness status but no clear mechanism to access protection. The existing procedures and rights granted to stateless persons are examined and assessed against international norms and good practice. Assesses whether stateless people fleeing war have access to temporary protection.

Poland does not have a dedicated SDP, but statelessness may be identified through other administrative procedures. There is no legal definition of a stateless person and no procedure is tailored to identifying statelessness, but it can be raised as legally relevant during asylum, return or removal procedures, for example. Authorities are not obliged to consider a claim to be recognised as stateless and there is no guidance for the assessment. Procedural safeguards in international protection and other administrative procedures vary, including legal aid for appeals or judicial review, interviews in some cases, interpreters, and decisions in writing. There is no statelessness status but rather the possibility to receive a permit for tolerated stay or humanitarian stay with a right to work, healthcare and social assistance.

  • There is no definition of a stateless person in Polish law.
  • No formal statelessness training is provided to government officials, judges, or lawyers on a regular basis.
  • Halina Niec Legal Aid Center has organised ad hoc training on statelessness in cooperation with ENS for Border Guard officials and staff of the Office for Foreigners.
  • There is no dedicated statelessness determination procedure in Poland, but there are alternative administrative procedures through which statelessness can be identified.
  • There is no statelessness status nor legal definition of a 'stateless person', and although statelessness may arise as a legally relevant fact in different proceedings, none are tailored to make a determination.
  • Relevant procedures include the procedure for granting international protection and return proceedings as they typically include a component of identification, nationality assessment and determining country of origin and/or return. Regularisation proceedings may be of relevance but have limited scope. For undocumented stateless people, amnesty proceedings are relevant, but these are not regularly accessible.
  • Statelessness may arise as a legally relevant fact in different proceedings, but none are tailored to make a determination, nor state this as an explicit objective. Relevant procedures include international protection, return proceedings, regularisation proceedings, and amnesty proceedings.
  • It is possible to regularise stay in Poland if a person is identified as unreturnable during return proceedings, even if statelessness has not been specifically determined. In such cases, a permit for tolerated stay may be issued which regularises the person’s stay in Poland but does not entitle them to cross the border.
  • A permit to stay may also be issued on humanitarian grounds under certain conditions, including when returning the person would breach their right to family or private life, children’s rights. It could also be issued if returning the person would put them pose a danger to their life or safety, or put them at risk of torture, forced labour, deprived of a fair trial or punished without a legal basis.
  • The procedure for granting protection is centralised (Office for Foreigners). Regularisation and return proceedings are conducted locally by the Voivode’s Office (local administration) and the Commander in Chief of the relevant division of the Border Guard respectively.
  • The identification of statelessness is part of the more general identification process and the assessment of nationality. There are no legally set criteria, but rather technical steps taken by the authorities to ensure that the administrative proceedings may continue. To determine the person’s nationality or statelessness, authorities examine all available sources of information and evidence, as well as the nationality laws of the declared country of origin.
  • There are no obligations in law for the authorities to consider a claim for stateless status, and no clear instructions on how to make a claim.
  • There is no standard training for officials on statelessness, though some ad hoc training may take place.
  • The authorities responsible for carrying out administrative procedures (protection or return proceedings) cooperate with the Border Guard for the identification of the person and their nationality.
  • There is no ‘stateless status’ in Polish law, but in the process of identification - including the assessment of nationality - the burden of proof is shared between the individual and the authorities and the standard of proof is the same as in asylum applications.
  • There are no guidelines prescribed by law for decision makers. The process of identification - including the assessment of nationality - is carried out by the Border Guard relying on their internal verification procedures.
  • Free State-funded legal aid is provided at the appeal stage of international protection procedures and at judicial review for administrative proceedings. There is no free legal aid for return proceedings provided by the State, but NGOs provide it to a limited extent.
  • Interviews are mandatory for the international protection procedure (except in manifestly unfounded applications) and any legally relevant fact should be disclosed during the interview. There is no obligation to interview the person in return proceedings.
  • Interpreters are provided free of charge in international protection and return proceedings whenever necessary.
  • Decisions are given in writing and with reasons in line with general rules for administrative procedures. However, they are given only in Polish.
  • Access to rights is conditional on the type of residence permit granted to stateless people, as they are not entitled to any rights on the sole basis of their statelessness.
  • A person identified as ‘unreturnable’ (including stateless people) during return proceedings is issued with a renewable permit for tolerated stay, valid for two years, provided that the country of former habitual residence will not accept them. Tolerated stay regularises their stay in Poland but does not entitle them to a travel document.
  • Those with tolerated stay are entitled to work without obtaining an additional work permit, and they have access to healthcare and some forms of social security assistance, but they must report to the Commander in Chief of the relevant Border Guard Division and notify them of any change to their place of residence, and they are not allowed to travel abroad.
  • A person subject to return may be issued a residence permit on humanitarian grounds in certain circumstances if their return would result in a breach of specific fundamental rights. The residence card is valid for two years and may be renewed. People with a humanitarian stay permit are entitled to work without the need to apply for a work permit, and they have access to healthcare, social security, a travel document and may apply for family reunification.
  • People with a permit for humanitarian stay are eligible for family reunification, while those with a tolerated stay are not.
  • Neither humanitarian stay nor tolerated stay permits allow the holder to enjoy the right to vote in elections in Poland. 
  • Stateless people staying irregularly have access to emergency healthcare only.
  • The Polish authorities state that all those fleeing the conflict from Ukraine may enter Poland. However, there have been reports of discrimination on the Ukrainian side of the border. Undocumented people are allowed to enter, but face delays as they must undergo identity checks and may be detained for this purpose.
  • Poland implemented the EU Temporary Protection Directive through a Special Act on Ukraine, which only applies to Ukrainian nationals and their family members (irrespective of nationality).
  • Temporary protection in relation third-country nationals and stateless people is also granted, based on a different procedure whereby people can apply for a certificate issued by the Office for Foreigners confirming they are beneficiaries of temporary protection. Stateless people may benefit from temporary protection if they held a valid permanent residence permit in Ukraine and cannot return to their country or region of origin in safe conditions or if they enjoyed international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine.
  • Stateless people coming from Ukraine face challenges in accessing temporary protection in Poland, including difficulties linked to the inconsistent interpretation of the term ‘statelessness’, the lack of documentation, and the inappropriate identification of statelessness. In practice, the Office for Foreigners considers travel and identity documents issued by Ukrainian authorities to identify statelessness.
  • Since the outbreak of War in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 until 31 December 2022, 62 stateless people and 26 people with undetermined nationality from Ukraine were granted temporary protection in Poland.


Analyses law, policy and practice relating to immigration detention generally, but focusing on protections in place to prevent the arbitrary detention of stateless people during removal and deportation procedures. Subthemes examine areas such as the identification of statelessness and assessment of whether there is a reasonable prospect of removal, procedural safeguards such as time limits, judicial oversight, and effective remedies, as well as the rights granted to stateless people upon release from detention and protection against re-detention.

Powers to detain in Poland are far-reaching and there are few protections against arbitrary detention of stateless people. For example, there is no requirement for a country of removal to be set prior to detention. The identification of statelessness during removal procedures may make removal unenforceable and lead to a permit for tolerated stay or stay on humanitarian grounds, but there is no provision establishing statelessness as a juridically relevant fact nor detention as a last resort (though alternatives are prescribed in law) and there are reports of detention ordered without an individual assessment by courts. There are some procedural safeguards and remedies for detainees, but there are obstacles to accessing legal aid. A permit for tolerated stay or stay on humanitarian may be granted on release with access to some basic rights including to work, education and healthcare.

  • Powers to detain and grounds for detention are provided for in the Act on Foreigners and the Code of Criminal Procedure. An application to detain or prolong detention is issued by the Border Guard, but detention can only be authorised by written court decision.
  • A final assessment of the country of removal is not a precondition for ordering detention.
  • When deciding on a detention order, the court must consider non-custodial measures, but no provision establishes that detention is a last resort.
  • Several alternatives to detention are prescribed in law including regular reporting to the Border Guard, bail, relinquishing travel documents, and residing in a designated place.
  • In a 2014–2015 study, the Rule of Law Institute Foundation found that in 939 analysed cases, the courts ordered detention 869 times (92.5% of cases). In most cases, it was not clear how alternatives had been considered. Often no reference to alternatives was made in the justification of the detention order. However, since alternative measures were introduced, the number of people placed in detention has reduced and statistics indicate an increase in the use of alternative measures to detention in recent years.
  • In 2022, the Ombudsperson's Office issued a report describing harsh conditions in detention centres as well as a practice of "mass detention" by the courts without individual assessments being carried out.
  • While there is no explicit safeguard obliging release where there is no reasonable prospect of removal, Polish law provides that Border Guards release a person from detention when the ground for detention is no longer valid. The person is also released when granted a tolerated stay permit, which can be issued on the basis that enforcing a return order is not legally or factually possible.
  • Nothing in law provides protection for a person identified as stateless during a detention procedure and there is no SDP to refer into, but identification may render a removal decision unenforceable and lead to granting a permit for tolerated stay (and release).
  • NGOs providing legal assistance in detention centres have identified stateless people and people at risk of statelessness.
  • Statelessness is a factor that can be relevant in granting a permit for tolerated stay but is not per se considered as a factor increasing vulnerability. There is a definition of ‘persons with special needs’ in law. Although there are specific grounds prohibiting detention in certain cases (unaccompanied minor asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors under 15 years-old, those presumed to have been subjected to violence, threat to life or health, disabled asylum seekers), there is no legal procedure for carrying out assessments before taking a decision on detention. In practice a basic vulnerability screening is carried out on arrival at the detention centre.
  • The Law on Foreigners specifies a maximum time limit of 18 months, and there are specific (shorter) time limits for the detention of asylum seekers.
  • Decisions ordering detention are given in writing with reasons and translated and all detainees are provided with written information in a language they understand on their rights, obligations, and contact details for NGOs and UNHCR.
  • Detention can only be ordered and extended by a decision of the court, at the request of the Border Guard, which constitutes a de facto periodic review of detention. If removal is deemed unenforceable, a permit for tolerated stay or a permit for stay on humanitarian grounds (depending on the circumstances) is granted and the person is released, but there are no set deadlines in law or practice for what constitutes a ‘reasonable time’.
  • Release is automatic at the end of the period of detention ordered by the court.
  • People detained have the right to appeal the detention order and extension to the court within seven days and the court has seven days to examine the request. In practice the courts take around three weeks to decide the appeal. A detainee can also file an application for release to the Border Guard if they believe there is a high probability that they will be granted protection. If refused, this decision can be appealed.
  • The law specifies that if a return order is issued for someone without documentation, the Border Guard should file a motion for redocumentation to the relevant authorities of the country of origin. If redocumentation is impossible, the Commander in Chief of the Border Guard may issue a Temporary Polish Travel Document valid for seven days to enable the person to cross the border. The law does not specify the process for assessment of nationality and redocumentation and no deadlines are set.
  • Currently due to a shortage of funds, no Polish NGOs provide free legal aid to detainees unless they are in the international protection procedure. They can be granted State-funded legal aid in detention proceedings but in practice, this is almost never accessed by foreign detainees.
  • If removal is unenforceable, a permit for tolerated stay should be issued, which is considered legal stay. A residence permit on humanitarian grounds may be issued if the removal is unenforceable under certain conditions.
  • There is no practice of officially confirming the fact of statelessness, unless the lack of nationality is part of the written justification of a decision.
  • Tolerated stay status grants access to some social assistance, education, healthcare, and the right to work.
  • Cumulative time spent in detention is counted towards the maximum time limit only if the grounds for reissuing a detention order are the same as before under the same proceedings.
  • Stateless people are mentioned in several readmission agreements concluded by Poland, including with the Republic of Kazakhstan, Armenia and Moldova.
  • The definitions of a stateless person in these agreements vary and are not in line with the 1954 Convention. The grounds and procedure under which stateless people may be returned under the agreements, as well as the documentation listed as evidence of nationality status of potential returnees, are problematic.
  • It is not clear how the agreements are implemented for stateless people, and no information is available on practice.

Parandalimi dhe Reduktimi

Assesses the adequacy of safeguards in nationality laws to prevent and reduce statelessness, including facilitated routes to naturalisation for stateless people, and protections for otherwise stateless children born on the territory or to nationals abroad, foundlings and adopted children. Examines law, policy, and practice on birth registration, including access to late birth registration, and reduction measures taken by States to prevent and reduce in situ statelessness. Analyses provisions on deprivation of nationality and whether there are safeguards related to renunciation and deprivation of nationality to prevent statelessness from occurring.

Efforts to prevent and reduce statelessness in Poland are mixed. There is a legal route to naturalisation for stateless people in Poland, but residency and documentation requirements present significant barriers. There are partial safeguards in law to prevent statelessness in the case of foundlings and adopted children. Access to birth registration is facilitated in some cases, including through a provision for births to be registered ex officio if parents do not register the birth within the legal deadline. However, the safeguard in nationality law to prevent statelessness in the case of children born in Poland applies only to children born to stateless or unknown parents. In the case of children born abroad to same-sex parents, there is also a risk of statelessness due to discriminatory practice by the Polish authorities that may prevent the child acquiring a Polish passport or documentation.

  • There are two options for a stateless person to acquire Polish nationality, either through a discretionary procedure before the President of Poland, or through a procedure before the local authority (Voivode) for recognition of nationality based on legal residence.
  • The Citizenship Act gives the President the power to confer Polish nationality, but the requirements and procedure for this are very general. The procedure before the Voivode requires a stateless person to have resided legally and permanently for two years on the territory of Poland (reduced from the standard three years, but others are not required to hold permanent residence), and knowledge of the Polish language. The forms also ask for a birth certificate, documents confirming income, professional achievements, and political and social activity, as well as a valid ID document or passport, all of which can pose a barrier for stateless people.
  • There is no definition in the law or bylaws of what is meant by a ‘stateless person’ and in both procedures proof of residence must be confirmed by relevant documents, which can be a barrier.
  • There is a fee of 219 PLN (48 EUR) for the procedure before the Voivode, which can be refunded upon request if the application is refused. There are appeal rights for the Voivode procedure, but not for the procedure before the President. The language exam and certificate are subject to a fee.
  • According to the Citizenship Act, to acquire Polish nationality, an individual must not pose a threat to national security.
  • Poland does not have a full safeguard to prevent children being born stateless on the territory. The law provides for certain categories of children born in Poland to unknown or stateless parents to acquire Polish nationality, but this does not apply to children born to parents who cannot confer a nationality to their child.
  • Parents are not provided with information about their child’s nationality rights and relevant procedures.
  • A foundling or child born to stateless parents, or parents whose nationality is undetermined, is granted Polish nationality automatically.
  • Children who fall within the scope of the safeguard are not required to prove they cannot access another nationality, nor are they or their parents required to fulfil a period of legal residence or pay a fee.
  • There are no specific provisions in place for the children of beneficiaries of international protection born in Poland.
  • Foundlings are granted Polish nationality automatically by law.
  • There is no age limit set in law for the granting of nationality to foundlings, though the legislation refers to ‘new-born’ status.
  • There is no legal possibility for a foundling's nationality to be lost as Polish nationality is granted ex-officio so there is no decision that could later be revoked.
  • Foreign adoption does not interfere with the Polish nationality of a child. If the foreign parents want to confer their nationality to an adopted Polish child and the law of their country of nationality does not allow for dual nationality, they may submit an application to the President of Poland asking for consent for renunciation of Polish nationality.
  • A minor adopted by a Polish national is deemed to have acquired Polish nationality by birth when adopted and the full adoption takes effect before the child reaches the age of 16. If the adopted child is over 16, they can acquire Polish nationality through procedures for acknowledgement or conferral of nationality.
  • There is no legal ground for a child to lose their nationality due to annulment of adoption.
  • All children with at least one Polish parent are Polish nationals by law irrespective of the place of birth.
  • There are practical problems concerning children born abroad, which may result in their statelessness. Although Polish nationality is acquired automatically at birth, in practice, registration in Poland (or transcription of the birth certificate) is sometimes required for the child to be issued with a passport or Polish ID at the Polish embassy. Recent cases of children of same-sex parents born abroad have raised problems as Poland does not recognise same-sex partnerships and will not issue a transcription of a birth certificate naming both parents in such cases. A judgment from the European Court of Justice in 2022 has established an obligation for the Polish authorities to issue to a minor national of Poland an identity card or a passport confirming their Polish nationality, as well as the family name entered in the foreign birth certificate of this child.
  • The law stipulates that all births must be registered by parents within 21 days of the medical record being issued by the hospital. The birth certificate is issued based on the written notification of birth by a doctor, midwife, or a healthcare facility, who have three days to inform the Civil Registry Office of the birth. If parents fail to register their child within 21 days, the Civil Registry Office will issue the birth certificate ex officio, choosing a name for the child and informing the parents. There are no legal obstacles to late birth registration nor reports of barriers in practice.
  • According to Polish law, same-sex parents cannot be registered as parents in the birth certificate. Cases have been reported of the Polish authorities refusing to transcribe the birth certificates of children born abroad to same-sex parents where one (or both) of the parents is Polish.
  • In June 2022, the European Court of Justice delivered a ground-breaking judgment in a case concerning a child born in Spain to a Polish mother and an Irish mother. The Polish authorities refused to issue a birth certificate that recognised the parentage of both mothers, in line with the Spanish birth certificate. The Court held that Poland must issue identity documents to the child and the birth certificate issued in another EU Member State. This obligation exists regardless of the transcription of such a birth certificate into the Polish register. The judgment has triggered preparations to amend the Polish law on civil status records, to ensure that the refusal to transcribe civil status records does not lead to a situation where a Polish national is unable to obtain a Polish passport, identity card or PESEL number. However, the proposals put forward in the draft law do not adequately address the issue and have been criticised by the Polish Commissioner on Human Rights due to its discriminatory effect and unequal treatment of same-sex parents and their children. No issues are reported with regard to access to nationality for children born to surrogacy.
  • The parents are not required to be legally resident to complete the birth registration process, but they need to hold identification documents (or alternatively the hospital may register the child on its own initiative). There are no mandatory requirements on the authorities to report undocumented persons and no cases were reported, although there is no clear firewall.
  • The child's nationality is not determined nor recorded upon birth registration and the birth certificate does not include information about the nationality or residence status of the parents or child. The issue of statelessness or determination of the child’s nationality may therefore only arise much later, if for example the child is denied a Polish passport.
  • A child born to Polish parents abroad who don't have documents can obtain an official certificate confirming their nationality, but there is no framework for determining the nationality of foreign children nor children born to foreign parents in Poland.
  • There are no government campaigns to promote birth registration nor any recent measures or commitments by the Polish Government to reduce statelessness.
  • There are no reports of groups at particular risk of statelessness in Poland. Identified cases of statelessness in Poland mostly concern individuals from a migrant or refugee background.
  • Polish law does not allow for the deprivation of Polish nationality.
  • There is a partial safeguard to prevent renunciation of Polish nationality from resulting in statelessness. Renunciation is only permitted after the President of the Republic of Poland has granted their consent. If granted, loss also affects the applicant’s children. A person requesting renunciation of their nationality must present documentary evidence proving that they hold or have been promised the nationality of another state. However, this safeguard is not sufficient, as it does not eliminate the risk of statelessness, and there is no explicit requirement to prove that any minor children covered by the application for renunciation will not become stateless as a result.


Library of resources, legal instruments, publications and training materials on statelessness, specifically relevant to this country. More regional and international materials, as well as resources from other countries, are available on the Resources library. Domestic case law can be consulted in the Statelessness Case Law Database (with summaries available in English).

Please note that we are in the process of adding new resources, so check back soon.

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