Where can I register my birth/ marriage certificate in Poland?
Vital records in Poland are registered at any local office of Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (USC). USC will keep your original birth/ marriage record (a certified copy) and issue a Polish birth/ marriage certificate.
Certified copy - what is it?
A certified copy is an official copy of an original record that a court or government office has on file, usually signed and stamped, sometimes printed on special paper containing a raised or colored seal, or a watermark.
Who is a sworn translator?
A sworn translator (Polish: tłumacz przysięgły) in Poland is a person who has passed a formal examination in translation and interpreting and has taken an oath before a representative of the Ministry of Justice. Sworn translators receive a special seal made by the Polish Mint to be affixed on every document they translate. They are also required to keep a log of translated documents called arepertorium
Certified translation - what is it?
A certified translation is a translation accompanied by the translator’s statement that he/she is competent to translate the document and that the translation is true and accurate.
Notarized translation - what is it?
The translator certifying the accuracy of the translation signs the certifying statement in front of a notary public, who notarizes the translator’s signature. Notaries do not verify the translation.
How do I go about getting my Polish passport?
If you were born in the US and claim that you have a Polish parent or grandparent, you must first apply to have your claim verified. Then you must register your birth abroad at the Office of Civil Registration in Poland and obtain a PESEL [Personal Identification] number. Your last step is to apply for a Polish passport.
Can I have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Poland?
Yes, the laws of U.S. and Poland allow dual citizenship.
Do I need to travel to Poland to get my Polish citizenship?
No, all paperwork can be mailed. No trips to Poland are necessary.
Can I get my Polish Citizenship if I do not speak Polish?
Yes. There is no Polish language test for people who claim their Polish citizenship after their parents or grandparents.
My family name has changed, can I still get my Polish citizenship?
Yes. Name changes are quite common. Documents showing the name change must be attached to the application for Polish citizenship.
I had a Polish passport before, but my last name has changed due to marriage, can I still renew it?
Yes, all you need to do is to register your marriage in Poland and get a Polish marriage certificate showing your current last name after marriage.
If I am a Polish citizen can my spouse also become a Polish citizen?
No. Polish citizenship is based on the jus sanguinis (the right of blood) principle and it does not extend to foreign-born spouses of Polish citizens. Spouses can acquire Polish citizenship through recognition (not confirmation), but it is required that they live in Poland for an extended period of time.
I was born in the U.S. and had a Polish passport issued by the Polish Consulate. Can I renew it?
Before, Polish Consulates were able to issue passports to children born in the U.S. and no foreign-birth registration in Poland was required. However, the laws have changed now and people who want to renew their Polish passports need to officially register their birth in Poland and obtain a Polish birth certificate. If you are over 18, you also need to have your Polish citizenship confirmed. The same applies to marriage registration and passports issued in the married name of the applicant.
Apostilled document - what is it?
A document with an apostille attached to it. An apostille is an official certification verifying that a document was issued in the United States. It can only be attached to certified copies of official records (e.g. birth/marriage certificates) or notarized documents destined for use in a foreign country, which is a signatory to the 1961 Hague Convention.
Where do I get an apostille in Chicago?
Apostille services in Chicago are provided by the Illinois Secretary of State Index Department located at 17 N. State Street on the 10th floor.
What types of documents need to be apostilled?
The most common documents which need to be apostilled include vital records (birth/ marriage/death certificates), deeds, affidavits and power of attorney forms. Documents need to be originals with a proper notary statement.
I got married in Wisconsin, can I apostille my marriage certificate in Chicago?
No. The Illinois Secretary of State will only apostille documents issued in Illinois. A Wisconsin document has to be apostilled by the Wisconsin Secretary of State. Each state provides their own apostille certification services.
I have a document issued by a federal agency, can I get it apostilled in Chicago?
No. Federal documents must receive an apostille from the U.S. Department of State.
Czy podpis notariusza jest konieczny na dokumencie wymagającym apostilowania?
Tak, w przypadku, między innymi, oświadczeń, pełnomocnictw i świadectw szkolnych prawidłowy podpis notariusza publicznego i czytelny odcisk pieczęci jest bardzo ważny. Sekretarz stanu sprawdza, czy dana osoba jest notariuszem i na tej podstawie wydaje poświadczenie, że przedstawiony dokument sporządzono w danym stanie USA.
Czy pełnomocnictwo po polsku należy przetłumaczyć przed apostilowaniem?
Każdy stan reguluje to inaczej. W Illinois treści dokumentów składanych do poświadczenia klauzulą Apostille nie trzeba tłumaczyć. Urząd sekretarza stanu Illinois sprawdza jedynie dane i podpis notariusza lub urzędnika podpisującego dokument, a nie treść dokumentu.
Kiedy podpis notariusza nie jest potrzebny?
W przypadku urzędowo wydanych odpisów aktów urodzenia, małżeństwa i zgonu, postanowień sądowych, itp., które podpisał i opieczętował wydający je urzędnik.
Czy notariusz publiczny i notariusz w Polsce mają taki sam zakres uprawnień?
Nie. Notariusz publiczny w USA poświadcza wiarygodność podpisu, złożonego w jego obecności przez osobę, której tożsamość ustala na podstawie okazanego dokumentu. Uprawnienia notariusza w Polsce są dużo szersze: może on dokonywać aktów notarialnych dotyczących obrotu nieruchomościami, spadków, darowizn, czy umów. Tytułu notariusza w Polsce może używać absolwent prawa, który pomyślnie zakończył dwu i pół roczną aplikację notarialną, a kolejne trzy lata przepracował na stanowisku asesora notarialnego.
AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION (ATA)
What is the ATA?
ATA stands for the American Translators Association and it is the largest professional association of translators and interpreters in the United States.
Who is an ATA-certified translator (CT)?
To become ATA-certified, a translator must successfully pass a certification examination in his/her language pair (e.g. from English into Polish). Certification is maintained through ongoing membership in ATA and participation in continuing education activities relevant to translation.
Do ATA-certified translators have a seal?
Yes. ATA-certified translators can use a special seal developed by ATA in 2011. The seal includes a member's name, unique certification number, and language combination. The seal also includes a link to an online ATA verification system that allows a client to confirm the member's certification
What is the difference between a translator and interpreter?
Translators deal with written documents, whereas interpreters deal with spoken language.
Does ATA certify interpreters?
No, ATA certification is for translators only. Certification for interpreters is usually field-specific. For example, court interpreters may be certified by NCSC (National Center for State Courts) by or by NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators), and medical interpreters may be certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI).
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