FREE: JOIN 100,000+ READERS   
≡ Menu

What I am doing in Poland

Poland– it’s a beautiful, inexpensive country with a stable economy, gorgeous women, and fantastic food… so what am I doing here exactly?

Looking for citizenship.

The country has been dominated, broken apart, and put back together so many times, Poland actually has multiple nationality laws on the books for former migrants, refugees, and their descendants to reclaim citizenship.  The government recognizes that many Poles were coerced to give up their citizenship, or they fled the country as a victim of circumstance.

The 1962 Nationality Law unequivocally states that citizenship cannot be lost involuntarily… so the government carries on as if millions of Poles between 1920 and 1958 had never left and their progeny had been born as natural citizens of the country.

It’s a fairly straight-forward process, but you have to prove your roots. Notice, I did not say ‘easy’.  Just because your grandfather was Polish or your last name ends in ‘ski’ does not mean you will automatically be confirmed.

The first thing you need to do is figure out where your ancestors came from; earlier in its history, this could have included parts of modern day Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, and Poland. The man-made lines on the map aren’t exactly permanent.

The most important thing is that your ancestors were citizens during a time when Poland actually existed as a country… remember, it has been wiped off the map multiple times, so this can be a bit tricky. Fortunately they keep good records.

If your ancestors came from modern-day Poland, you will be able to find the official records with the Wojewoda, or provincial government of where they were born.  Once you have the documents in hand, a consul verifies the evidence and an application is made with the Wojewoda for confirmation of citizenship.

You can do the leg work yourself, but there are legal professionals who specialize in naturalization and can handle the application if you think you have a case.  Leave me a comment if you’re interested and I can point you in the right direction.

Polish language proficiency is not required for citizenship… and quite honestly, it’s not necessary in order to spend much time here.  English prevalence is quite strong among the locals, especially in Warsaw where I sit.  And as European capitals go, Warsaw is probably the cheapest among the developed cities.

warsaw What I am doing in Poland

For a place as modern as Warsaw, I’ve been amazed at the bevy of four and five star hotels for less than 70 euros/night (about $100). I suggest the Jan III Sobieski, Polonia Palace, or Hotel Rialto for anyone who makes the trip out.  LOT, the national carrier sells the business class seat for about $3,000 from New York, economy for as little as $500.

If you don’t have Polish in your blood and are yearning for another passport, fear not. I have mentioned before in this missive that I’m working on what I believe will be the most comprehensive report ever created on obtaining a second passport.

Most of the things on the internet about second passports (and asset protection for that matter) are garbage. I’m creating a specific, detailed, actionable report for people who are actually serious about doing something.

I’ll be honest though, I’m more than a little conflicted about releasing this thing.  I’ve already had more than enough hate mail flung my way from people accusing me of ‘ruining it’ for the real expats out there.

Unfortunately, they may be right in this case– if too many people see this second passport information, some of the better loopholes could be closed… and that’s not good for anyone.

The best solution I can think of is to keep the price high and limit the release in a finite window of opportunity so that only the most serious people who want to take action will come forward. More on this in the coming weeks, but I’d like to hear your thoughts in the meantime.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Want more stuff like this?

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens. Click below to join our community of 100,000+ sovereign individuals.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David

    How about publishing the report with certain details left unstated and making it clear that additional details may be had concerning x, y, or z — for a relatively steep advisory fee? That way you can be just a bit more of a man of the people and still be protective of those certain details. And I can afford to read the report.

  • bill huggins

    I’ll pay for the info on passports… should be affordable, but price it so you can make some profit….carousing around is costly.

  • Ran

    Interested in Polish citizenship, and someone who could help with the application.

  • Jack Meligan

    I agree, and I will gladly pay for actionable research on this topic.

  • Si

    Hi Simon
    As a UK expat of over 4 years,currently in Belgium,(great looking women here as well!)I agree the 2nd passport information you are working on should have a limited release and be priced accordingly,so it will only be of interest to serious expats,I look forward to more info in this regard.
    I’m enjoying your excellent International Man emails,keep up the good work.
    Kind regards

  • http://n/a S Rowan Wilson

    I’ve just finished reading “Getting Out, your guide to leaving America” by Mark Ehrman. It is gravely lacking on any information about Asia, tax ramifications of settling, which countries ‘allow’ secondary citizenship w/ the USA and processes of how to do so. This book was recommended as one of the best out there beyond outdated information or more costly from the Sovereign Society. All the other books on are geared towards those who are moving w/ a corporate transfer rather than expatriating on their own or seeking entrepreneurial visas for small business such as myself.

    I look forward to your publication. I need another passport and my lineage is one of the USA going back to the early 1800′s thus the usual re-patriation doesn’t apply – and neither do I wish future children to be obligated for military service to a country simply by birth so re-discovering my Jewish heritage in Israel is out along w/ other reasons!


  • Greg

    Looking forward to your report on obtaining a second passport. Put me down as the first to purchase it. I appreciate your info.

  • Duane

    Hello, Simon,

    I understand your conflict about releasing comprehensive second passport information.

    I have the same quandary about the country I am in, but in a different way. Do I really want to start a website to tell the whole world of what I now have? A significant increase of people from the country I left is not to my liking, even if I would like to tell them the many advantages, some of which they can not imagine.

    However, I don’t understand the complaint from “real expats out there”, as you say.

    If they have already expatriated and have second (or more) passports, what’s the difference to them?

    On the other hand, I completely acknowledge their wish for low-profile, if that is their aim. I’m in the same boat.

    And let’s face it, Simon, most people will not move out of their country, no matter how down-trodden they may be, even if they have second passport information. They must first get one passport, and most people do not have those, either. In that case, the information made available to all and sundry would no doubt contribute to tightening requirements for those who are serious.

    If you care to contact me by email, we can discuss where I am and what useful information, if any, I can provide you.

  • Chet

    I am of polish extraction, several grandparents were born there. I also have a copy of my grandfathers naturalization papers that show him as being release as a subject of king Ferdinand of Austria. I always thought and he described himself as polish however I discovered that document in my mothers papers. I might be interested in pursuing alternate passports if I felt it was advantageous for my situation. I need to discuss that with someone preferable in person who can advise me as to protecting assets. I have a complex situation, have been a Casey subscriber for several years and am looking for options. My attourney’s and accountants have not offered info in these areas and are most likely ignorant. When I inquire I usually get blank looks or silence. Discretion is desired.

  • polonius

    I am entirely serious about obtaining a secondary passport that could become primary if things devolve in the US as I suspect. I’ve been researching the matter for more than a decade, have purchased and read all the garbage on the web to which you refer, have attended conferences around the world hosted by Henley & Partners, IL, Sov Soc, etc., have met with lawyers in Canada and Panama, and have scheduled a conference with Nestmann that has not occurred yet. Nothing seems obvious or clearly the best way to achieve my objective. I’m single, no children, and ready to act. There has to be a “best and most efficient” way to gain a first world passport even if one does not have verifiable ancestry from a country that issues on that basis. Frankly, I originally subscribed to Without Borders because I hoped to learn how to do all this from you, Simon. Looking forward to hearing more.

  • Barbara Hicks

    Hi Simon,

    I am enjoying your articles and especially interested in obtaining a Polish passport. I have a US passport. I have been to Panama and am interested that you make your home there. My grandmother was from Zakopane, Poland. If you, as you say, can “point me in the right direction” as to proving my Polish ancestry, I would appreciate it.

    Thank you for International Man.
    Barbara Hicks

  • Chuck

    Your missive today had some info that I had not known before.

    Yes, I would like all the info that you can provide. At least one of my grandparents was from Poland. I have been starting to research a second passport and it looks like Poland is my only hope other than the really expensive ones.

    I am going through all the old letters and pictures etc. that I found when my folks died. A lot of them are in Polish. Unfortunately when my mom died a lot of info was lost.

    I have thought about using the Mormon geneology sources if I can’t find anything in my mom’s stuff.

    My wife’s father (deceased) was from the Netherlands so I am reasonably certain she can get a Dutch passport. Info on that would also be appreciated.


  • Jeff

    Hello. I am interested in the details and contacts concerning Polish citizenship/passport based on heredity. A grandparent immigrated to the U.S. in 1910. Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

  • R. Ken Furukawa

    I don’t get how the information on attaining a second passport “ruins it” for those already “onboard”. I am an airline pilot with a major US carrier and have been looking for a way to relocate to Europe or Singapore/Hong Kong but have been frustrated in my efforts since I have no heritage possibilities nor am I willing to marry into it. Sounds a bit like elitist thinking, all us unwashed masses are to come pouring though the loophole? I have taken most of the recommended steps but have been frustrated by the second passport issue, any assistance will be appreciated.

  • http://N/A George Majercak

    Very interesting series of articles close to my heart. I’m a legal immigrant living in the US ,born and raised in Slovakia. Two years ago I got my Slovakian passport ,reflecting the inclusion in the European Union.

    My next dilema is the selection of the right bank in Bratislava (capital)
    having good balance sheet. Do you have any plans to offer information on Slovakia and specifically choice of bank with good international department. If not ,where to find this information.
    Looking for your help with great interest , any assistance is appreciated.


  • Jesse Craig

    I think your radar is right on, we need the loopholes to keep our freedom.
    When all the loopholes are closed we are then rats in a trap. The Nazi’s had no loopholes and no freedom, it is an imprefect world and crime is the price we pray for freedom.


  • tom

    I have to admit I know basically nothing about second passport programs. While I expect it’s a lot more that I have available, what sort of ballpark figure in time/money does it take to get one?

  • Jim

    Hello Simon, Yes count me in. I have been wanting a second passport , but so far have not found a good way to accomplish it.

  • Expat X.

    Duane, I’ve found a couple of unknown gems myself (not keyboard jockeying, but boots on the ground). Want to trade notes? dxsmith34565758 at Gmail

    Simon, I hope you charge a hefty fee for that guide. There really aren’t that many people who would actually follow through anyway.

  • Michael

    Very interested in second passport! In fact just returned from St. Kitts/Nevus, which I visited based on a recommendation from your previous publication (Without Borders). Process there is straightforward (although somewhat expensive), pluses: no personal income tax, no capital gains tax and no inheritance tax, minuses: transaction costs (particularly on real estate) are high, business environment not the most entrepreneur friendly.
    Would be interested in what other options are out there (in terms of second passport) before deciding which one I qualify for or works best for me.

  • Christine


    Love the Notes, keep up the wonderful work, and I am looking forward to the comprehensive passport report as I already applied for a second citizenship of my country and would like to get 2-3 more.

    In the mean time pls. put me on the list for that window of opportunity :)



  • Jai

    Seriously pursuing second passport.. On a very, very strict budget, I see the need to move me & 2 teeny-tiny companies by January – and their growth is where my $$ must be invested! So I’m eager to get your book, but of course concerned about price. Obviously concerned about costs of company (re)formation, moving, obtaining residence, & then passport. No chance of regaining ancestors’ citizenships (7th generation – think that’s too far back). I’ll be watching for your book & info. Thanks for Int’l Man.

  • Tony Suruda

    My grandparents emigrated from Poland prior to 1910. A web search indicated that the Polish ancestry citizenship program is available for descendants of those who emigrated after 1918. If you have any contact info for agents in Poland who can clarify this that would be great.

  • Gerald

    Simon, I look forward to ordering your passport information —-as well as your Panama black paper. ….Thanks for the great work!


  • BSB

    Simon, please please can you cover Uruguay’s citizenship programme. there is, I understand, a way of fast tracking this through property investment or Govt. bond purchases but the information is sparse. Would be extremely grateful for coverage and any contacts in your report.

  • Pearl Gruszka

    Dear Mr. Black,
    I also have Polish ancestry but I am unable to speak the language. If you can refer me to professionals that could possible assist me in obtaining a Polish citizenship it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Marat

    Damn politicians made me to disbelieve many things people say. So when i herad about keeping the price high just to keep the loopholes open for some reason I did not believe. Probably it is just a greed showing up for a piece of information i really would like to have. From the other side as some very smart people say – the worst advise is the free advise. Please make pricing reasonable rather than high.

  • cathy

    Got my second passport several years ago from Ireland. It was a pain in the neck to gather all the pieces of paper the paper pushers crave, but it wasn´t difficult. Either your ancestors were born there or they weren´t. If they were, you´re golden. Find a geneologist to get the birth records and go to the website of the country your interested in. There you will find info on what´s needed in terms of paperwork. The consulate nearest you may also help. It really doesn´t require an expensive ¨report.¨

    I have read several books on expatriation and non have been very helpful. Here´s one issue I have not seen addressed that is important to me and I suspect to others on this list. Suppose a person has a pension plan of some kind. And suppose this person is able to renounce citizenship without triggering the Nazi confiscation law recently put into effect. What happens to the pension? Is said person able to draw from it upon retirement without paying Uncle Sam? Does it have to be moved offshore? I assume this is desireable. If this person lives somewhere in south america, has irish citizenship and the pension is in Panama, how is the pension money taxed, if at all??? This is the kind of info that would be worth the money to me. A list of countries with second passports by ancestry and a travel log are pretty worthless as far as I´m concerned.

    • Rich Cook

      You mention “ancestry” for Irish citizenship. My great-grandparents were Irish citizens. I don’t know if my grandmother ever got hers (she was born in the US). I still have family in Co. Down (distant cousins). I would love to have my Irish citizenship, as a tribute to my family heritage as much as “other” reasons.

      Anyone know if its possible to successfully get through the Irish gauntlet with Irish great-grandparents only?

  • Arial

    You are right about how much garbage is out there. One of my relatives bought into all the stuff about Panama. Parked $200,000 in a bank there, for two years at a time when the dollar was losing value in order to qualify, jumped through all the hoops to qualify for the passport that one major international magazine said would provide legal dual citizenship, only to discover by accident that the very constitution forbids that. Dual nationality is only legal in Panama for a natural born Panamanian. It has never been legal for an immigrant. Some of the information out there is not only false, it is costing people dearly who follow it, as in this case. Know what the top-flight immigration lawyer said when confronted with the Constitution? Well, just don’t show anyone your U.S. passport when you enter the country. So if you can provide truly dependable information, it would be a rare product–and a valuable one. I suspect it would also be quite a challenge.

  • Bob Ogrodny

    Hi Simon,

    Perfect timing! I just had two days of face time with DRC while we attended our 45th H.S. reunion.
    I was jealous when he showed me his Uruguayan passport. I have been investigating this topic for
    years and had an inkling that I could apply for a Polish passport, as both sets of my grandparents
    immigrated here. My mother’s father escaped Poland literally days before Hitler’s invasion. It’s
    a long story that I hope to share with you over a Cuban cigar and a bottle of wine, perhaps in
    Argentina, where I am building a house just steps from Doug’s place. I not only speak the
    language, I have become quite familiar with the history of Poland. I still have relatives there.
    I also have a family tree dating back to Count Ogrodny circa 1500 A.D. I am willing to travel
    there as soon as I have any contact info you can provide. My documentation proves my ancestry
    beyond any doubt, and I would be proud to be “repatriated”. There is a saying among Poles,
    which, loosely translated, means: “Poland is still standing.” I doubt that the U.S. will still be
    standing for anywhere near as long as Poland has, despite the myriad mapping changes. Lech
    Walesa is a genuine hero of mine. He faced down the Soviets as the leader of “Solidarity”, and
    I believe this “stand” was the tipping point which was followed by the demise of the U.S.S.R.
    Much more to say, but not for public consumption. Love your stuff, both IM and WB. We would
    have been classmates at the Pointe if I had not come to my senses and gone to Northwestern
    instead; and, as Frost once observed, “that has made all the difference”. I owe you some
    info on the Electra-Flyer Trike from WB days. Let’s talk further. We are kindred spirits. You
    could call me Ishmael, but that is taken. My friends call me Og. We should meet up. I’m
    sure DRC would agree. Name the place. Panama might do, as it is on the way to Cafayate!
    All the Best, Og
    P.S. Another respondent, Barbara Hicks, mentions that her grandmother is from Zakopane,
    Poland. Interesting, as two of my grandparents and an aunt (all deceased) are also from there.
    Zakopane is in the foothills of the Tatras, where the “hillbillies” are known as “guralski”. So I
    guess you could say that I’m a Polish hillbilly! Also, you might find it interesting to visit the
    Jagellonian Institution while there. It is the oldest University in Europe, est. 935 A.D. They have
    a library section where they have documented most of the Dumb Polack jokes. We do have
    quite a sense of humor, ironically so! And…many thanks and kudos for your astute work. O

  • Expat X

    Commenter Cathy: I get what you say about expatriation books not being helpful. I bought one from Escape Artist that claimed to contain an exhaustive list of immigration laws, country by country. The blurb didn’t give a list of countries that would be covered, though…I had to buy the book (an E-pamphlet, really) to learn that there wasn’t a word about any of the countries in Latin America.

    Regarding pensions and expatriation, here’s my free advice, worth every penny: it seems unlikely that any USgov pension would continue after renouncing, since such things are for US citizens…but then, as disorganized as they are, who knows? Offshore US citizens can collect Social Security, and maybe the Social Security administration will fail to cut you off. Regarding private pensions, why shouldn’t a renouncer continue to collect? Except a renouncer will be liable for tax on such income (any US-source income, presuming last year’s exit tax law did not eliminate the old “keep paying US income tax on US-source income for ten years,” which it appears not to have), and one might assume that it won’t be very long before such pensions are bankrupt, or the dollars they pay are nearly worthless, or both.

    After you renounce, you’re free of all USA taxes on non-US-source income, but that says nothing about the country you’re living in at that point. It depends on the country’s tax laws. Uruguay, for example, doesn’t tax foreign passive income, one of the reasons why it’s known as “the Switzerland of South America.” But *that* will probably be rescinded someday (it was recently proposed, but failed to pass).

    Personally, I’d be terrified of having to rely on *any* pension that isn’t based on hard assets, or at least non-US currencies. And, even in the case of hard assets, the eggs-in-one-basket rule applies today more than ever.

    Commenter BSB: I believe the accelerated option in Uruguay results from owning property, and shortens the required residency time (the amount of time you must be a resident before you can apply for citizenship) from five years to three. But residency and naturalization take time, so this “fast track” might total four years or more. Any competent lawyer there (such as can give you the full scoop, gratis.

  • Rick G

    HI Simon;

    I would be interested in a second passport. I am Irish on one side of the family and I believe Ireland is a country that would give me a passport. Is an Irish passport as good as any other country? I would like to know who I could contact to get the process started. Can my wife get an Irish passport even if she is not Irish. Any other hints from readers would be appreciated.
    Rick G.

  • Mike

    Hi Simon
    For one of your upcoming daily updates, can you detail the pros/cons of having a 2nd passport/citizenship? It seems like a ‘cool’ thing to have but what are the real benefits?


  • Annie

    My spouse and I are definitely fed up with US. We have been ready to leave for some time now but cannot find reliable information regarding second citizenships. We look forward to your publication.

  • Caroline


    I have to say, I’m also getting hooked on your daily emails! I really look forward to them and appreciate your thoughts and musings.

    I am a half breed—half Polish (both grandparents on mom’s side born there), and half Swiss (father born there). I recently tried to find out about Swiss citizenship, but just like their banking and immigration laws–impossible! I don’t know why it never occurred to me to check out the possibility of a Polish citizenship. . .I would appreciate a point in the right direction as well.

    Also, what are your thoughts on Ecuador? After reviewing Costa Rica and Panama, I have to say, Ecquador is coming in first place for me. Raphael Correa has a lot of hutspah when it comes to bucking the powers that be (i.e, the IMF, the World Bank and the US in general–which to me is a very good sign. . .) He seems to be very smart when it comes to playing the game of world and internal politics, though sincerely interested in helping the poor of his country. He’s definitely a socialist, yet very interested in keeping a free trade, open-market economy going at the same time (at least on the small business level). We’ll be checking it out next week. Would love to hear if you have any experience there–medical, political and anything else you could share. Thanks again!

  • Tropical Freedom

    Interested in Central/South America second passport info and Panama report. You all do not need a second passport to jump in,just a Visa. In Panama you do not even need that till 3 months in. Just a $5. entry tourist permit good for 3 months.(buy at the ticket counter) Time is short. Take action SOON. Buy a ticket today ,go see the country you are leaning towards. Follow Simon’s example. Go there now. Skip the mental masterbation just do it. This is 1939. Do not take the Swine flu shot! or you may be too sick to go anywhere. Better safe then sorry. Better a year early then a day TOO LATE. My wife complains about being too early I say be grateful it was not a day too late. You all do not have a year. Now would be a good time to get out of this sucker stock market rally too. You are in the eye of the storm. Costa Rica will not require forced flu vac. Hope same for Panama. Live free.
    TF in Panama

  • John Geering

    Hello Simon: Read your CV with interest – I was Army CIC, 02, Berlin in the 60′s;
    Would you like to discuss a business relationship ? With my credentials
    & contacts + interest in Uruguay property purchase, banking & IBC, etc.
    Have investor clients/contacts interested in Offshore aspects of life.



  • John -Melbourne, Australia

    Hello Simon,
    Thanks for a fascinating post. I’m an Australian citizen, but was born in Bialystok, Poland in 1946 of Polish parents. We emigrated to Australia in 1949. I have the original Polish birth certificaters and extracts of birth, plus my mother’s original Polish passport which I was listed on. Very keen to obtain a Polish passport to enable me to undertake consulting work in Austria and Germany. DOn’t speak a word of Polish – so will need assistance in that department. Please keep me updated regarding publication information. Thanks.

    Best regards,

  • Erik M Jacobs


    I had been an E-letter subscriber when you sent out your Polish Citizenship information. I have ancestors from what is considered present-day Belarus but who were, I believe, Polish at the time they emigrated to the US. I’m very interested in any extra information you can provide on services/ers in Poland regarding ancestry citizenship.

  • Lyzz

    Not sure if you still get notified of new comments on this topic or not… Both sets of my paternal grandparents were born in Poland and moved to the US in the late 1800′s (I think). I know I still have family in Poland that my older relatives keep in touch with. I would definitely be interested in contact information for someone who could assist with tracking down the relevant documentation and submitting the application.

Read more:
Guy Fawkes Anonymous
Project Mayhem: The next Wikileaks coming December 2012