How to Get Romanian Citizenship by Descent?
Romania is a beautiful country known for its rich history, iconic landmarks, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Apart from these features, the fact that Romania is one of the European Union member countries has made it an attractive immigration destination. The rich benefits of an EU passport, such as access to top-quality education, healthcare, and social benefits, are the reasons why many people want to acquire Romanian citizenship.
There are multiple pathways to obtain Romanian citizenship such as residence (by living in the country for 8 or more years or marriage to a Romanian citizen), investment and by birth.
For Jews in Israel, Romanian citizenship by descent is an easier option. If you have a parent or a grandparent who was a Romanian citizen, you can apply for Romania citizenship by descent.
Romanian Jews: An overview
Jews have had a long history in Romania and are believed to have lived in the country since 2nd Century AD. In 1930, an estimated 728,115 Jewish people were recorded in the Romanian Census, that accounted for four percent of Romania’s population. Even before Romania formally began collaborating with the Nazi forces in 1940, Jews faced harsh persecution and antisemitic sentiments from authorities.
In the 19th century, many Jews from Romania migrated to Israel, forming a community of Romanian origin Jew. Jews who fled Romania in the 1930s and the emigrants to Israel during World War II and their descendants (children and grandchildren) who were later born in Israel account for 10 percent of Israel’s population. As per an estimate, the number of Romanian Jews in Israel could be up to 400,000.
If you have an ancestor (a grandparent or parent) who was once a Romanian citizen but had to leave Romania due to persecution, you can apply for Romania citizenship by descent.
Romania citizenship by descent: Who can apply?
Application for Romania citizenship by descent can be made by individuals:
- one or both parents were citizens of Romania at any point during their lifetime
- Either or both grandparents (any one out of four) was a Romanian citizen in their lifetime at any point
- Any one out of the eight great-grandparents was a citizen of Romania during their lifetime at any point and lost the Romanian citizenship due to no fault of their own.
Romania terms this as ‘restoration of citizenship’ rather than ‘acquiring’ of citizenship. According to the citizenship law, any person who is a descendant of a Romanian citizen is eligible for Romanian citizenship by descent. The law also makes it clear that both biological descendants and adopted children/grandchildren of former Romanian citizens can apply for Romania citizenship by descent.
Another thing to note is that the Romanian territory in the early twentieth century included many other countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Hungary. You can also apply for Romanian citizenship by descent if your grandparent or parent was born in any of these regions under Romanian rule.
How to get Romanian citizenship by descent?
The process of acquiring Romanian citizenship by descent begins with establishing the fact that your parent or grandparent was once a Romanian citizen. As there are many Jews in Israel who belong to the community of Romanian-origin Jews, the chances are very high that you have an ascendant who was a Romanian Jew.
Once you establish this fact, the next step will involve preparing the necessary documents. You will need written proof of the fact that your ascendant was born in Romania or lived there before 1930s.
Although birth certificates in Romania are public records, it is not possible to gain access to them unless it is your own birth certificate that you want to obtain. Apart from this, you will also need to keep ready your passport and civil status documents with legalized translation. If you are looking to acquire Romanian citizenship for your spouse and children, you will need to prepare their documents as well.
All the documents must be translated and legalized irrespective of the pathway you take towards Romanian citizenship.
Obtaining birth records or other legal documents in Romania can be a difficult process, particularly if you are not in Romania or do not have any relatives in that country who can assist you.
The other documents you will need include a criminal record from the country of origin as well as proof of income if you are looking to reside in Romania. After you get all these documents, you will need to submit them at the consular office.
Expert assistance on obtaining Romanian citizenship by descent
Our Israeli law office is committed to assisting individuals in acquiring Romanian citizenship by descent. We carry out a detailed assessment while evaluating each client’s unique circumstances and immigration needs before recommending the right pathway to Romanian citizenship. Whether it is assisting you in getting birth certificate that proves your connection to your ascendant who was a Romanian citizen or assistance in legalization, we are with you every step of the way.