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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • POLISH PASSPORTS

  • I. Basic information on passports and temporary passports

     

    A passport entitles its owner to cross borders and to stay abroad, and it certifies his/her Polish citizenship as well as his/her identity within the scope of personal data it contains. The Consul is the passport authority for Polish citizens abroad. The Consul issues two types of passports: biometric passports and temporary passports.

     

    APPLICATION FORM for a biometric and temporary passport can be downloaded HERE.

     

    NOTE: please download, print and complete this form before you visit the consulate.

     

     

     

    II. Submitting an application for a passport with biometric data

     

    An application for a passport must be submitted in person. It is recommended to submit the application for a new passport well in advance of the expiry of validity of ones current passport. A passport issued to a person who is under 13 years of age is valid for 5 years from the date of issue, while a passport issued to a person 13 years of age or older is valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

     

     

    An adult applying for a passport must submit:

     

    • Completed and legibly signed passport application form.

    • Current Polish passport, which must firstly be presented at the time of submission, and secondly for cancellation before receipt of the new passport.

     

    Attention: In the case of loss (theft) of a passport, is is necessary to submit an affidavit from the police and to complete a separate form regarding the circumstances and the date of loss.

    Attention: Owners of passports issued before 2003 should be prepared to present a document confirming their Polish citizenship (information about the rules for obtaining such a document is available under the 'Polish citizenship' section).

    Attention: Adults applying for a Polish passport for the first time must present a document confirming their Polish citizenship.

    Attention: all original documents must be accompanied by copies thereof.

     

    • One recent colour photo with dimensions of 35x45mm made in the last 6 months; presenting the person in clear focus from a frontal and symmetrical position, on a plain white background, showing natural skin colour, portraying the eyes and face from the top of the head to the top of the shoulders, so that the face occupies 70-80% of the photo, without a hat or dark glasses, looking ahead with open eyes and brows not covered by hair, with a natural facial expression and closed lips.

     

     

    • Polish birth certificate (information about obtaining a Polish birth certificate by foreigners is available under the 'Civil status' section).

     

    • Polish marriage certificate - in the case of applying for a passport after changing ones surname via marriage outside Poland.

     

    • PESEL number: a biometric passport cannot be issued without this personal identity number.

     

    • Fee according to Table of consular fees. Persons over the age of 70 are exempt from the fee. Students under 26 years of age and pensioners are entitled to a 50% discount, provided they present a document proving their eligibility.

     

     

    An application for a minor's passport (under 18 years old) requires:

     

    • Completed passport application form submitted by both parents, or one parent with the written consent of the other, including confirmation of the authenticity of his/her signature by a passport authority (consul or voivodship) or a notary public, confirmed by a high court. In the absence of consensus between the parents or the inability to obtain consent from one of them, permission to issue the passport is determined by the family court's decision. In cases where data on the birth certificate concerning the child's father was entered on the basis of art. 42 par. 2 of the Civil Status Act (in a situation where paternity has not been acknowledged or established), consent from the child's mother alone will suffice.

     

    • Current Polish passport, which must firstly be presented at the time of submission, and secondly for cancellation before receipt of the new passport.

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        Attention: all original documents must be accompanied by copies thereof.

     

    • One recent colour photo with dimensions of 35x45mm made in the last 6 months; presenting the minor in clear focus from a frontal and symmetrical position, on a plain white background, showing natural skin colour, portraying the eyes and face from the top of the head to the top of the shoulders, so that the face occupies 70-80% of the photo, without a hat or dark glasses, looking ahead with open eyes and brows not covered by hair, with a natural facial expression and closed lips, without any obstructions to the face.

     

     

    • Polish birth certificate (information about obtaining a Polish birth certificate by foreigners is available under the 'Civil status' section).

     

    • PESEL number.

     

     

    ATTENTION: The presence of a minor who is 5 years of age or older is required when applying for a passport. Furthermore, a minor who is 12 years old or older must submit fingerprints (via a biometric fingerprint scanner).

     

     

     

    III. Submitting an application for a temporary passport

     

    A temporary passport may be issued to:

     

    • Persons residing outside Poland, while waiting for their biometric passport (if the person requires it and applies accordingly).

     

    • Persons residing temporarily in Poland and abroad, who have lost their passport - to return to their place of permanent residence.

     

    ATTENTION: If a Polish citizen loses his/her passport while in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho or Mozambique, where there are no Polish consular offices, he/she may turn to a consul of a diplomatic mission of another Member State of the European Union in order to obtain a temporary "Emergency Travel Document." This document may be issued for a single one way return to  Poland or another Member State of the European Union.

     

    • Persons residing outside Poland, for substantiated emergencies related to the illness or funeral of a family member.

     

    • Persons residing outside Poland, for substantiated emergencies related to their professional duties and responsibilities.

     

    • Children who do not have a PESEL number. It is recommended that parents take action without delay to duly register their child's birth in the Polish civil status records in order to obtain their child's Polish birth certificate, which is necessary in the application for granting a PESEL number.

     

     

     

    IV. Issuing a second passport to a person in possession of a valid passport

     

    In exceptional circumstances concerning the passport applicant, contingent upon particular justification: with regard to the protection of this person's life and health, due to serious difficulties in carrying out his/her humanitarian activities, on account of passport visas or stamps - confirming border crossing or stay in certain territories - which prevents or makes it significantly difficult to enter another state, in consideration of the security of the state; and substantiation of such circumstances, this applicant may be granted a second passport - valid for 2 years from the date of issue (art. 22 of the Passport Act of 13 July 2006). A person interested in obtaining a second passport (in whose case such circumstances apply) directs an application - supported by documented and justified arguments - to the Minister of Internal Affairs (sent to the Department of Civil Affairs of the MIA) in order to obtain the Minister's decision on the matter, resulting in an approval or a refusal of the appeal. In the case of the Minister's approval, the passport applicant subsequently submits an application for the issuing of a second passport to the Minister of Internal Affairs or a selected viovodeship (or to a consul if living outside Poland). The Minister's decision of approval will expire if the passport application is not submitted within 3 months of said decision's date of issue (art. 44 par. 2-4 of the Act referred to above).

     

     

     

    V. Passport collection

     

    A passport is collected from the same authority/consular office in which its application was submitted. Passport collection should be done in person, with the exception of minors and entirely incapacitated persons, for whom collection may be done by a parent or a court-appointed guardian.

     

    Collection of a biometric/temporary passport depends on the presentation of the owner's current passport, which is cancelled by the passport authority by punching holes through the entire book  - with the exception of pages bearing valid visas - in such a way as to permanently damage the machine-readable zone of the personal data page, and by cutting the back cover. A cancelled passport (biometric or temporary) is returned to the applicant.

     

    The person collecting the passport verifies his/her personal and biometric data via an electronic reader to ensure that they conform to the passport's details, and confirms receipt of their passport on the passport application card.

     

    In justified cases due to conditions which make accessing the consular office particularly difficult, and at the written request of the passport applicant appealing for a waiver of the personal collection requirement (form provided by the consular office), the consul may waive this requirement. The consul then either sends the passport - upon its owner's payment for a courier service - to the address indicated by the owner, or informs the applicant in writing about the lack of evidence justifying a waiver of the personal passport collection requirement. In the case of a courier collection and delivery, personal and biometric data verification is not matched electronically.

     

     

     

    VI. Additional passport information

     

    Obligation to replace a passport

    In the case of changes or required rectifications of the data contained in a passport (surname, name/s, date and place of birth, gender, PESEL number), the holder of a valid passport is required to apply for a replacement immediately, but no later than 30 days after the delivery of a final administrative or court decision confirming the name change or the drawing up of a marriage certificate confirming the name change. In the case of Polish citizens residing abroad, the time limit is 90 days.

     

    A passport expires:

    • On the date of notification of its loss, destruction or recovery (in accordance with art. 36 of the 1st Act, a person who has lost his/her passport or whose passport was destroyed, is obliged to notify the passport authority immediately).

     

    • On the date of the loss of Polish citizenship of the passport's owner.

     

    • On the date of the death of the passport's owner.

     

    • After 60 days from the delivery of a final administrative or court decision confirming changes in any of the following data: surname, name/s, date and place of birth, gender, PESEL number, or the drawing up of a marriage certificate confirming the name change; in the case of a marriage contracted before a consul or foreign authority – 60 days from the date of delivery of the marriage certificate. In the case of Polish citizens residing abroad this term is 4 months.

     

    Refusal / annulment of a passport

    According to art. 3 of the Passport Act of 13 July 2006, every Polish citizen has the right to obtain a passport. Deprivation or restriction of this right can only take place in the cases provided for in the Act.

    Issuance of a passport is refused on the motion (art. 17 of the 1st Act ):

    - of a court conducting proceedings against the passport applicant in cases of a criminal (including tax offences), juvenile or civil nature;

    - of an authority conducting an investigation or preparatory proceedings against the passport applicant in a criminal case, including tax offences.

     

    Passport is subject to annulment (art. 38 of the 1st Act):

    - on the motion of a court conducting proceedings against the passport holder in cases of a criminal (including tax offences), juvenile or civil nature;

    - on the motion of an authority conducting an investigation or preparatory proceedings against the passport holder in a criminal case, including tax offences;

    - if it was issued in contravention of the Act's regulations.

    Annulment and refusal to issue a passport occurs by way of a decision. An appeal against the consul's decision to refuse or annul a passport should be submitted to the minister responsible for internal affairs, mediated by the consul. Despite the existence of reasons justifying the refusal to issue a passport, the consul may issue a temporary passport in cases where it can be established that the passport applicant has important business. The consul informs the authority, which issued the refusal, about the issuance of a temporary passport (art. 17 of the 2nd Act).

     

    Loss / destruction of a passport

    A person who has lost his/her passport, or whose passport has been destroyed, is obliged to immediately notify the passport authority which issued it, or the passport authority with jurisdiction over that person's place of residence. After receiving notification and establishing the identity of the person and the data on the lost / destroyed passport, this authority (consul for Polish citizens abroad) firstly enters into the passport records, and secondly transmits to the central register of issued and annuled passports, information that this passport has expired.

    A found passport is not liable to be returned to the person to whom it was issued (art. 36 of the 2nd Act). If a person has found his/her own passport which was previously reported as lost, he/she is obliged to return it to the appropriate passport authority. The obligation to return the passport  ensues regardless of whether the person already has a replaced passport, or has not applied for a replacement.

     

     

     

    VII. Legislation governing passport issues

     

    The Passport Act of 13 July 2006 (Dz. U. of 2016, item 758).

    Regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration of 16 August 2010, on passports (Dz. U. no. 152, item 1026, with amendment).

    Regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration of 15 February 2010, on passport records and the central registry (Dz. U. no. 26, item 131).

    The Consular Act of 25 June 2015 (Dz. U. of 2015, item 1274).

    Council Regulation (EC) no. 2252/2004 of 13 December 2004, on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States (Dz. U. L. 385/1).

    Council and European Parliament Regulation (EC) no. 444/2009 of 28 May 2009, in amendment of Council Regulation (EC) no. 2252/2004 on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States (Dz. U . EU L 142/1).

    Decision of the meeting between government representatives of Member States and the Council of 25 June 1996, on the establishment of an emergency travel document (Dz. U. EU L of 6 July 1996).

     

     

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