Polish citizenship

MILITARY SERVICE

The military service was of great importance for Polish citizenship from 31 January 1920 to 18 January 1951.

During this period, the military service in a foreign army resulted in the loss of Polish citizenship. According to court case law, this concerned all types of service (including reserve) and was independent of the will of the person (Art. 11 point 2 of the Act on Citizenship of the Polish State from 1920)

On the other hand, being subject to military service in the Polish army by men meant that the acquisition of foreign citizenship by them did not result in the loss of Polish citizenship. The submission to military service depended on the age of the man:

In the period from 28 October 1918 to 19 November 1924, it was regulated by the TEMPORARY ACT on the universal compulsory military service. During this period, the obligatory service covered generally men from 1 January of the calendar year in which they turn 18 to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 50. Pursuant to Art. 5 of this Act, the obligation to serve in the army starts on 1 January of the calendar year in which the citizen turns 20. However, pursuant to Art. 14 d , in the case of mass mobilization the obligation covers all men from 1 January of the calendar year in which they turn 18 until January 1 of the calendar year in which their duty to serve in the army, or reserve, begins, and so in which they turn 20; all those who have completed regular military service, service in reserve or in national defense. The obligation to serve in tme mass mobilization in this category starts from the calendar year in which the citizen turn 41 and lasts until the end of the calendar year in which he turns 50; all those who were not exempted from active military service, but on the basis of a valid ruling of the competent military authority, either at review or later, were counted among the mass mobilization. The obligation to serve in the mass mobilization begins for them at the time of being included to the mass mobilization and lasts until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 50.

In the period from 20 November 1924 to 1 September 1938, the Act of 23 May 1924 on the universal compulsory military service was in force (Journal of Laws No. 61, item 609), covering men under the age of 17, who were subject to military service until the end of the calendar year in which they turned 50.

In the period from 2 September 1938 to 28 May 1950, was in force the Act of 9 April 1938 on universal compulsory military service (Journal of Laws No. 25, item 220, as amended). It covered men under the age of 17, who were subject to military service until the end of the calendar year in which they turned 60.

In the period from 29 May 1950 to 22 April 1959, the Act of 4 February 1950 on universal compulsory military service was in force (Journal of Laws No. 6/03, item 46). At that time, men from 18 to 50 years old were subject to compulsory military service. It should be remembered that on 19 January 1951, the regulations concerning Polish citizenship changed and the issue of military service ceased to have any meaning.

The jurisprudence has defined a number of rules regarding the military service. It is worth remembering that:

  1. Military service in the army of the state fighting against Germany during World War II did not result in the loss of Polish citizenship (this also concerned the period after the end of World War II until the moment of demobilization).
  2. Women, as they were not subject to compulsory military service, were always losing their Polish citizenship when they joined a foreign army.
  3. Citizenship of Poland was not lost if the acquisition of foreign citizenship took place during the period of being subject to military service. However, when the age limit of 50 or 60 years was exceeded (depending on the law in force), the loss of Polish citizenship was taking place. It is comforting that such a loss did not work backwards, which means that the legitimate children of such a man did not lose their Polish citizenship if they reached adulthood in the meantime.