Israelis line up for Polish citizenship

Number of Israeli citizens hoping to gain Polish citizenship has increased since Poland joined EU. Israelis say they view Polish passport as ticket to European prosperity

Itamar Eichner

 

Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, the Polish Embassy building in Tel Aviv has become a site of pilgrimage for a growing tide of Israelis who are seeking to claim Polish citizenship.

European passport Photo: Index Open

European passport - Photo: Index Open

Over 10,000 Israelis have applied to become citizens of their parents’ and grandparents’ homeland and received the sought-after document, according to the Polish Embassy in Israel.

According to data published on the occasion of the annual Business Opportunities in Poland conference, some 20,000 Israelis also hold Polish citizenship, some 50 percent of whom became Polish citizens after Poland joined the EU.

The numbers also show that the demand for a Polish passport, which can open the door to other countries and other possibilities, is rapidly increasing. From 2006-2010, the number of Israelis who obtained Polish passports increased fourfold.

Unlike other European countries, applicants seeking Polish citizenship are not required to speak the language in order to receive a passport. Indeed, 95% of the Israeli applicants do not speak Polish.

According to the Polish Embassy, 25% of the applicants are second-generation Polish citizens while 55% are third-generation. Most applicants admit that they do not seek to immigrate to Warsaw, but hope to become citizens of the EU.

“Over the past few years, Poland has maintained economic stability and has managed to attract foreign investment in the country,” explained attorney Alroy Canbal, who specializes in Polish investment.

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4243495,00.html

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