Are You Interested in Obtaining a Romanian Passport? All the Answers to the Most Common Questions
Since Romania joined the European Union (EU) in 2007, obtaining a Romanian citizenship has become one of the most popular ways for Israelis to get an EU passport. The reason for this is that, over the past decades, the Romanian government has made it much easier to obtain a Romanian passport and citizenship for those who are entitled and wish to do so, and thereby enabled Israelis with Romanian roots to become European citizens, with all the advantages that this entails.
Our law firm assists those who are interested in a Romanian passport and who are entitled to it, and we will be happy to assist you, too. Although, in many cases, the process is not very complex, it requires professional knowledge and in-depth understanding of how to work with the relevant authorities, which is why the help of a lawyer specializing in this area is necessary. We have come across much partial or completely incorrect information that reaches the public, so, to put things straight, we provide you here with answers to some of the most common questions that we encounter concerning the process of obtaining Romanian citizenship. Here you will find the most comprehensive guide on the topic, and, if you still have questions, you are welcome to contact us at any stage of the process for professional legal assistance.
The Advantages of Romanian Citizenship – Why Should You Work to Obtain a Romanian Passport If You Are Eligible?
First and foremost – holding a Romanian passport makes you not only a citizen of Romania, but, in effect, an EU citizen. This has a number of implications:
- It gives you free entry into all European countries: Holders of a Romanian passport may freely travel to and between all EU countries without the need for a visa.
- It makes you entitled to live and work in Europe: Besides access to the various countries that have tourist attractions, holders of a Romanian passport are entitled to live in any EU country that they wish, and to legally be employed or open a business.
- It makes you entitled to study at academic institutions in Europe: Similarly, holding a Romanian passport enables you to study at leading academic institutions in Europe, which will cost you much less than in Israel. There are certain institutions that even offer free tuition and various benefits to students.
- It provides you with quick and easy access to other countries around the world: especially to the USA, a country that automatically issues tourist visas to European citizens.
As you can see, Romanian citizens are entitled to many benefits, which is a very good reason to exercise your right to a Romanian passport. Of course, we have only touched on a few main advantages. You can read more about the advantages of a European passport here.
Eligibility for Romanian Citizenship – Who Is Entitled to Receive Romanian Citizenship and a Romanian Passport?
First of all, children born to current Romanian citizens are automatically entitled to citizenship themselves even if they were not born within the Romanian borders, according to Section 5 of the Romanian Citizenship Law.
Section 10 of the citizenship law provides for an even broader definition, and stipulates that children and grandchildren of past Romanian citizens – even if the citizenship was lost, over the years, for various reasons – are also entitled to Romanian citizenship and a Romanian passport.
These, of course, are the basic requirements (which many Israelis, as well as many Jews around the world, meet today,), but they raise a number of questions:
- What about countries that were under Romanian sovereignty in the past?
Here, too, the Romanian law was amended, and now descendants of those who were born in countries that were under Romanian sovereignty in the past are also eligible to Romanian citizenship and a Romanian passport, as long as their ancestors were born and lived in those countries during the years of Romanian sovereignty. These countries include, for example, Moldovia and parts of Ukraine.
For information about a Romanian passport for Moldovan descendants, click here. For information about a Romanian passport for Ukrainian descendants, click here.
- Are the children of Romanian citizens the only ones who are entitled to a passport?
No. The Romanian law allows “skipping generations” – that is, also grandchildren of Romanian citizens are entitled to a passport and citizenship – and, after another amendment, the great-grandchildren as well. After obtaining a passport and citizenship, these are easily passed on to the next generations of descendants.
- Are there other ways to obtain Romanian citizenship, not through descent?
Indeed, there are various ways to become a citizen by working and living in Romania, as well as certain conditions under which you may receive citizenship if you are the spouse of a Romanian citizen, and rarer cases in which citizenship is granted due to special contribution to the Romanian economy or culture. These are options that are less used today, but, if you are interested in one of them, you are definitely welcome to contact us for assistance.
Stages of Obtaining Romanian Citizenship – What Is the Process for Getting Citizenship?
“How do you obtain Romanian citizenship” is probably the most common question in this area. Without going too deeply into it, here are the main stages of the process (concerning how to get citizenship based on family connections):
- Proving a connection: The first stage is to prove your parent’s (or grandparent’s, or great-grandparent’s) connection to Romania, and to prove that the ancestor was, in fact, a Romanian citizen in the past. If you have documents to this effect in your possession, this may definitely make things easier, but, even if you don’t, we will be happy to help you obtain them by contacting the relevant Romanian archives and authorities.
- Collecting the paperwork and submitting an application: The next stage is to collect additional paperwork that is required – the applicant’s current Israeli passport, a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) (also known as a Good Conduct Certificate), a written statement of the father’s citizenship loss and documents that prove this, and more (of course, the required documents may vary depending on the case). In the vast majority of cases, the documents must undergo notarial translation before being submitted. After notarizing the documents, you must submit them to the relevant authorities and take care of any missing documents or other problems that may stop the progress.
- Receiving a Romanian passport and Romanian citizenship: As soon as your application is approved, you must go to the embassy of Romania in Israel and pledge allegiance to the State of Romania (don’t worry – this does not mean that you will have to join the Romanian army or immediately immigrate to Romania – it’s only a symbolic ceremony), after which your passport and citizenship card will be issued.
How Long Does It Take to Obtain Romanian Citizenship?
Be aware that the answer to this question is not definite, and there is no fixed time for obtaining a Romanian passport. Nonetheless, we can say that, if the applicant is descended from a present-day Romanian citizen, the process will usually be shorter, and will take between one and two years. If, however, you wish to restore lost citizenship, the process may take between two and four years, on average. You must understand that this does not depend on the staff at the office or on the applicant, but on the various authorities in Romania involved in the process, which is why it is impossible to know ahead of time exactly how long the process will last.
However, we promise to push things forward as quickly as possible in the areas that are under our control, and reach a quick conclusion.
How Much Does Romanian Citizenship Cost?
The question concerning the cost of Romanian citizenship is also very common, and, without meaning to disappoint you, we must say that this question, too, has no clear answer. It is true that there are fixed fees and payments that must be made to the Romanian government as part of the process, but the exact price depends on the path that you choose (depending on an ancestor’s existing citizenship or restoring lost citizenship), the required documents and whether or not they are already in your possession, and how many of the documents need notarial translation.
Therefore, to reach a clear conclusion and determine the price in your case, contact us and we will be happy to examine this in depth.
Contact Us Today
As you can see for yourself, Romanian citizenship grants many benefits, and the process of obtaining this citizenship is definitely worth-while if you are eligible.
The staff at our offices will be happy to help you in the process – we will check your eligibility and the chances of success, and assist you throughout all the application stages.
Contact us today and we will be happy to help you, too, obtain a Romanian passport and Romanian citizenship.