A doctor from Tibet receives Polish citizenship


Over one thousand foreigners – mostly from Asia and Europe – received Polish citizenship last year. A Tibetan doctor and a disabled Russian writer who can dance the salsa in a wheelchair are amongst those who have become Polish citizens.

Bogdan Zaryn reports

Dr. Tenzin Jangchub from Tibet arrived in Poland at the end of the 1990s. For the past eight years he has been practicing Tibetan medicine at his clinic in Warsaw.  Dr. Jangchub is one of thirty eight foreign residents who received Polish citizenship two weeks ago.

‘I am a disciple of his Holiness Dalai Lama. And his Holiness was a very good friend of the late Pope John Paul II, so we have a warm atmosphere, religious harmony and people here have a good sense for understanding each other. I chose Poland and I came to Poland because I am a traditional Tibetan medicine doctor.’

In the year 2000, nine hundred and seventy-five foreigners received Polish citizenship. 2005, the year following Poland’s accession to the EU, was the record year, with as many as 2700 foreigners becoming citizens.  Polish citizenship can be granted by naturalization, by birth on the territory of Poland, or through marriage with a Polish citizen. Barbara Czeredrecka from the Ministry of the Interior says that becoming a Polish citizen does have its advantages.

‘We receive roughly 2500 applications for citizenship annually. Why is Poland so popular? The minute Poland joined the EU; a Polish passport has become a very valuable document. You can travel within the EU and you can also work in the EU.’

Civil Lawyer Roman Wisniewski has been taking care of applications by Poles abroad who are now looking to regain their lost citizenship. 

‘I am myself till this moment surprised just how popular Poland has become in the world, Every time I go to the general governor’s office in Warsaw there are more and more people . There are days where I can’t pass there, can’t get in. No wonder its Europe.’ 

Poland, the largest newcomer to the EU, continues to be an attractive place for foreigners to live and work. If past applications for citizenship status are any indication of this country’s popularity, then granting close to forty citizenships to foreigners in a single day is nothing out of the ordinary.