A Pole’s card is not a citizenship, not a residence permit, or a long-term visa. According to the definition specified in the law on the Card of the Pole, adopted on September 7, 2007, “Karta Polaka” is a document that confirms and certifies that a person belongs to the Polish people.
Who can get the Pole’s Card
Pole’s card can only be obtained by citizens of the following countries:
- the Republic of Armenia;
- the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- the Republic of Belarus;
- the Republic of Estonia;
- the Republic of Kazakhstan;
- the Kyrgyz Republic;
- the Republic of Lithuania;
- the Republic of Latvia;
- the Republic of Moldova;
- the Russian Federation;
- the Republic of Tajikistan;
- the Republic of Uzbekistan.
A person who applies for a Pole’s card cannot be a citizen of Poland or have a residence permit in that country. You also need to provide a document (original) confirming that one of the parents, grandmother or grandfather, or two of the great-grandmothers or great-grandfathers were Poles by nationality or had Polish citizenship (original documents are required).
How to get Pole’s Card
First of all, it is necessary to prepare certificates confirming the applicant’s Polish origin or his/her connection with Polish culture. In the simplest case for the applicant, the nationality is indicated on his birth certificate or passport.
Documents for obtaining Pole’s Card
Besides, it may be the following documents of the applicant or his ancestors:
- Polish identity documents;
- civil registration records or their copies, baptism records, school certificates, or other documents confirming kinship with Poles;
- documents confirming the completion of military service in Polish military formations;
- documents on deportation, imprisonment, rehabilitation of the deported person, containing a record of Polish origin;
- foreign identity cards containing information on the owner’s Polish citizenship;
- for those who do not have Polish roots, this can be a certificate from an authorized public organization confirming the applicant’s active participation in activities for the benefit of the Polish language and culture or the Polish national minority.
If the certificates prove your Polish origin, not yours personally, but of your ancestors, you will need to attach documents confirming your relationship (birth and marriage certificates of all relatives along the chain from the Polish ancestor).
Also, you will need:
- application for the issue or renewal of the Pole’s Card;
- a valid passport or another identity document;
- actual photography;
- a certificate of knowledge of the Polish language or of studying in the territory of Poland or of finishing school abroad with the Polish language of instruction (if you have one). Their presence can replace the examination of knowledge of Polish by the consul;
- For minors, you will also need a birth certificate, passports of both parents, and their Pole cards;
- All documents drawn up in a foreign language must be submitted with a translation into Polish by a sworn translator.
Advantages of Pole card
The Pole’s card gives its holder many privileges that foreigners are deprived of. Below, there is a list of advantages that a Pole cardholder has:
- A Pole’s cardholder has the right to apply to the Polish Embassy for a long-term visa and not pay the established fee for it. He/she also may not present additional documents. It means a visa can be obtained without submitting an invitation, a work contract, or other documents certifying the purpose of obtaining a visa to the embassy.
- The ability to legally work on the territory of Poland without obtaining a work permit. But the list of possible jobs still has limitations. Persons who do not have Polish citizenship, which include Pole Cardholders, cannot hold positions in government agencies, and law enforcement agencies and work as a doctor without confirmation of their diploma and qualifications in the country.
- Equal rights for Polish citizens to do business in the country.
- A Pole cardholder can visit any museum in Poland for free and pay 37% less for travel on public transport than all others.
- The right to apply and receive free medical assistance in emergencies. However, it is impossible to receive regular medical care only based on the card. This item applies only to urgent medical support.
- Also, the cardholder has the opportunity to use the free education system of Poland on the conditions that are determined by law, as well as apply for scholarships offered to foreign students.