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How to Get Romanian Citizenship by Descent?

Michael Decker

Stuart Safft

I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.

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:

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.

Preparing documents

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.

Our comprehensive guidance and assistance also extend to acquiring passports of other EU countries, including Portugal, France, Austria, Holland, and Bulgaria.

Romanian Citizenship by Descent

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