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Recognition as a citizen versus safety and public order

Pursuant to Art. 31 point 2 of the Act on Polish Citizenship, a foreigner is refused to be recognized as a Polish citizen if the acquisition of Polish citizenship by him/her constitutes a threat to the defense or security of the state or the protection of public safety and order. It is a vague concept, which will be interpreted in each case by the authority examining the case.


What, in practice, may mean a threat to public safety and order? Experience shows that the problem with obtaining a positive decision will be faced by all persons convicted by a final and binding sentence in a criminal case. But that's not all - the mere initiation of criminal proceedings may be enough to destroy the chances of being recognized as a citizen. There are known situations in which the refusal was justified by the fact that charges were brought against the applicant in the preparatory proceedings.


The conditional discontinuation of the proceedings or the blurring of the conviction also does not protect us from problems. Information about the sentence will not be included in the certificate of good conduct from the National Criminal Register, but will still be stored in the National Police Information System. Pursuant to the Act on the protection of personal data processed in connection with the prevention and combating of crime (Article 24 sec. 1 point 2), the data subject may request the administrator to immediately delete personal data. The data will be deleted only if it has been collected or processed in violation of the provisions of the above-mentioned the law. It is therefore a difficult task that may fail.


The above does not mean that people who previously had problems with the law will definitely not be recognized as a citizen. Each case should be individually assessed from the point of view of a real threat to state security or public order. However, it is certainly necessary to explain to the authority exactly why, despite the conviction (or obtaining the status of a suspect/accused person), in our case there are no negative premises. Unfortunately, in cases of this type, automatism is often used, as a result of which every person whose data is included in the NPIS is refused recognition as a citizen. Then it is worth contacting a lawyer and considering the possibility of submitting an appeal or later a complaint to the administrative court.

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