Registration of Foreign Birth Certificate in Poland Posted by Anna on Nov 18, 2009 in Culture
Today we have a guest post by our favorite guest blogger, Barbara, about how to register your foreign birth certificate in Poland. All explained very clearly step by step in an easy to follow manner. This process is very important if you are planning to confirm your Polish citizenship.
So, read on and take notes (or simply print this entry).
And Barb – thank you so much for this!!!
Anna recently inquired about the status of my confirmation of Polish citizenship application (potwierdzenie posiadania obywatelstwa polskiego). I told her that it was probably going to take another 6 to 8 months before my case would be concluded. I chose to engage a lawyer in Warsaw to act on my behalf and to submit the required paperwork and applications directly.
While in Poland this summer, I decided to move ahead with an intermediate step in the passport application process: the (successful) registration of my foreign birth certificate (umiejscowienie zagranicznego aktu urodzenia) in the Office of Vital Statistics (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego) in Warsaw.
People that were born abroad and currently live abroad have their applications handled by the USC office in Warsaw:
Urząd Stanu Cywilnego – Warszawa Śródmieście
Adres: ul. Andersa 5,
tel.: 022 227 40 00,
fax: 022 227 40 06
The registration of foreign birth certificates can obviously be handled by any Polish consulate. The consular requirements vary slightly by nation (check details with your relevant consulate), but generally involve:
- i) submitting an original certified birth certificate (“extended or long form”);
- ii) ensuring that the original document:
- a) bears an Apostille stamp, where applicable (Anna’s comment – I can’t stress enough how important this Apostille bit is!!! without it your documents may turn out to be totally useless), or
- b) undergoes “legalization” by the Consul verifying the authenticity of the underlying documents;
- iii) translating the document into Polish by a sworn translator;
- iv) having the Polish consulate officially certify (urzędowo poświadczone) the accuracy of each page of the translation;
- v) filling out the appropriate form (wniosek) and
- vi) paying the associated fees (opłaty)—about three times the amount charged in PL. Note: payment by credit card is not accepted. Also, your original U.S./Canadian/UK document is NOT returned.
Et voila, three original copies of your Polish birth certificate (polski akt urodzenia) will be available for pick up at the consulate in about 3 months time.
Now, before folks begin to protest that they didn’t have to follow the above process, I counter with the incredibly useful phrase “co kraj, to obyczaj”. You will find the above process described on most Polish consulate websites… just for fun let’s call them “requirements”. The execution of said requirements can vary… A LOT. This is Poland after all. There may even be requirements that are rigidly adhered to that are not even listed anywhere. Repeat after me: “this is Poland after all” (catchy mantra, isn’t it?).
Alternatively, you can do this in person or have a permanent Polish resident act as your proxy; with proper “certified” authorization (za pośrednictwem osoby upoważnionej). Close family members do not require a power of attorney (pełnomocnictwo). (Anna’s comment – sometimes, however, they may – it all depends on what pani urzędniczka decides on any given day, my dad needed pełnomocnictwo to pick up my marriage certificate.)
In Poland, the process is as follows:
Your original birth certificate MUST be translated by a “sworn translator” (tłumacz przysięgły). Your original is attached to the translation and you must sign the translator’s official log book. Translation fees come out to about 100 zł. Easy step. (Anna’s comment – translate your documents AFTER they’ve been confirmed with the Apostille thingie, otherwise the translation may not be accepted!)
The Warsaw USC office is new, spacious and well organized. Upon entry, get a number from one of the interactive kiosks (touch the description beside number 10 on the display to get a ticket). Plant yourself in a chair in front of office 10 and wait/watch for your number to be called. When called into the office, present your documents and fill out the required form. The pleasant clerk (urzędniczka) will help you with the form. She will ask you who will pick up your certificate in 30 days time (the documents cannot be mailed). If you can’t pick it up in person, you can designate a person to do it for you (name, address, phone number required) for a small fee. She will instruct you to step next door (office 11) and pay the necessary fee in cash. The fee is 50 zł + an additional 8 zł if you have designated another person for pick up.
Et voila, in 30 days time your three original short-form certificates will be ready for pick up. This step went very smoothly for me.
Anna’s comment – the above process applies to adults, in her next post Barb will explain how it works for those under the age of 18.
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