Acquisition of citizenship of another country before 1920 and the principle of uniformity of family citizenship
Having the citizenship of another country is a negative condition for acquiring Polish citizenship at the time of the entry into force of the Act of 1920. This means that it was not possible to acquire Polish citizenship by operation of law who, both on the date of birth and the date of entry into force of the Act on the Citizenship of the Polish State of January 20, 1920, had foreign citizenship.
In the judgment of June 16, 2020, file ref. II OSK 464/20 The Supreme Administrative Court stated that the acquisition of foreign citizenship before the entry into force of the Act of 1920 by a minor excludes the possibility of acquiring Polish citizenship by him pursuant to Art. 2 point 1 of this act. According to the Supreme Administrative Court, it is irrelevant for the acquisition of Polish citizenship whether any of the minor's parents acquired Polish citizenship.
Such an understanding of the act is contrary to the art. 13 of the Act of 1920 on the principle of uniformity of family citizenship. This principle means that the granting and loss of Polish citizenship extends to the wife of the acquiring or losing Polish citizenship, as well as to his children up to the age of 18. According to the above-mentioned judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court, this provision does not apply to the acquisition of Polish citizenship, but to granting it in administrative mode and possible loss. However, such an interpretation is inconsistent with the previous jurisprudence, according to which the principle of the uniformity of family citizenship also applies to the loss of citizenship by operation of law - this is what the Supreme Administrative Court expressed in another judgment of 26 August 2011 (reference number II OSK 1776/10).
It was pointed out in the literature that the discussed principle is an expression of the uniformity of citizenship of spouses and their minor children. The acquisition and loss of citizenship by the wife and children of the person acquiring or losing Polish citizenship were derivative, so the same persons did not have to meet the conditions required by individual provisions of the Act. For this reason, the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court refusing to acquire Polish citizenship to a minor whose parents acquired Polish citizenship deserves criticism.