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Want to get a Romanian passport? Answers to frequently asked questions

Jordan Levy-Bograd
Jordan Levy-Bograd

Alexander P Gutterman

EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.

This article provides information on a Romanian passport. After Romania joined the European Union in 2007, obtaining a Romanian passport became one of the more popular routes for Israelis seeking a European Union passport. This is because in the past few decades the Romanian authorities have made it significantly easier for eligible applicants to exercise their right to citizenship, and in effect, enabled Israelis with Romanian roots to become European citizens with all the advantages that offers.

Our law offices assist eligible applicants seeking a passport, and we would be happy to accompany you too through this process, which, although in most cases is not complex, does require professional knowledge and thorough familiarity with the relevant bodies. In this work, we often encounter partial information or misinformation that people have acquired. Therefore, we want to set some things straight and provide answers to some of the most common questions regarding the process of obtaining Romanian citizenship. For the most comprehensive guide on the subject, click here. If you need any more information on a Romanian passport, you are invited to contact us for professional counsel at any stage.

information on a Romanian passport

Advantages of Romanian citizenship – why is it worth it to get a Romanian passport if possible?

First of all, whoever holds a Romanian passport is considered not only a citizen of Romania but in fact of the European Union as well. This has a number of implications:

  • Free entrance to all European countries: Any bearer of a Romanian passport is in fact entitled to free access to and passage between countries of the European Union without need for a visa.
  • Living and working in Europe: Beyond the possibilities for entering the various countries for the purpose of tourism, the Romanian passport entitles the bearer to live in the EU countries and to work entirely legally as a salaried employee or self-employed business owner.
  • Studies in European academic institutions: Similarly, it is also possible to study in Europe’s leading academic institutions, offering discounted tuition for higher education, at a rate significantly lower than the average tuition here in Israel. Certain institutions even offer studies at no cost, as well as many benefits for students.
  • Rapid, convenient entrance to other countries in the world: specifically, the United States, which issues a tourist visa automatically to European citizens.

The many benefits are certainly a reason to take advantage of eligibility for a Romanian passport. Of course, we have just briefly mentioned the main advantages; for more information on the benefits of a European passport, you can click here.

Eligibility for a Romanian passport – who is eligible for Romanian citizenship?

First of all, children born to parents who currently hold Romanian citizenship are automatically eligible for citizenship themselves, even if they were not born within Romanian borders, according to Section 5 of the Romanian citizenship law.

Section 10 of this law expands the definition and says that children and grandchildren of former Romanian citizens, even those who lost their citizenship over the years for various reasons, are also eligible for Romanian citizenship and a passport. Great-grandkids of citizens are also eligible, if it can be proven that their great-grandparents lost their citizenship against their will (for instance, if in Moldova after 1941.)

These are of course the basic criteria (currently met by many Israelis, and, in general, by many Jews throughout the world), but they raise some additional questions:

  • What about countries that were formerly under Romanian rule?

The descendants of those born in countries formerly under Romanian rule may also eligible for citizenship and a passport, provided their ancestors were born and lived in those countries during the years when they were under Romanian rule. These countries include, for example, Moldova and parts of Ukraine.

For information on a Romanian passport for Moldovan descendants, click here; for information on a Romanian passport for Ukrainian descendants, click here.

  • Are only the children of Romanian citizens eligible for a passport?

No. The Romanian law includes the option to “skip generations.” That is, grandchildren of Romanian citizens are also eligible for citizenship and a passport. Following an additional amendment, the eligibility is passed on to great-grandchildren as well. Once these are accepted as citizens, it is then relatively easy to pass on citizenship to future generations.

  • Are there options for obtaining Romanian citizenship other than via ancestry?

Indeed, there are various options for obtaining citizenship by working and residing in the country, certain conditions under which you can obtain citizenship as the spouse of a Romanian citizen, and even rare cases where citizenship is granted following a significant contribution to the Romanian economy or culture. These routes are less favored today, but if you are interested in one of them, you are certainly invited to contact us and take advantage of our assistance.

Romanian citizenship stages – what is the process of obtaining Romanian citizenship?

“How do I get Romanian citizenship?” is perhaps the most common question on this issue. Without going into great detail, here are the main stages in the process (regarding citizenship on the basis of a family tie):

  • Proving the tie: The first stage is to prove the connection of the parent (or grandparent/great-grandparent) to Romania and the fact that they were indeed a citizen in the past. If you have such documents in your possession, it will definitely make things easier. If you do not, we will be happy to assist you in obtaining such documents by applying to relevant Romanian archives and making contact with the Romanian authorities.
  • Collecting the paperwork and submitting the application: The next stage is to collect additional documents such as a valid Israeli passport of the applicant, a certificate of good conduct, a declaration regarding the parent’s loss of citizenship, and documents proving that this indeed occurred, etc. (of course the documents will be different in each individual case). In most cases, the documents must undergo notarial translation before submission. Next, you must submit the documents to the relevant bodies, track their progress, and provide additional documents or resolve problems as needed.

How long does it take to get Romanian citizenship?

Note that there is no one answer to this question and that it is impossible to commit to a specific timeframe for obtaining a Romanian passport. However, one can say that if the applicant is a descendant of a current Romanian citizen, the process will usually be shorter, and will take between one and two years. For cases of restoring lost citizenship, the process may take two to four years on average. It is important to understand that the amount of time does not depend on our office staff or the applicant, but rather on various factors in Romania, and therefore, no one can commit to a precise timeframe. Nevertheless, we are committed to advancing the stages under our responsibility as rapidly as possible in order to shorten the process as much we can.

How much does it cost to get Romanian citizenship?

The cost of Romanian citizenship is definitely a question that is frequently asked, and without meaning to disappoint you, it is important for us to say that there is no one answer to this question either. Yes, there are fixed fees and payments to the Romanian government during the application process, but to provide the exact price of the process, we would need to know what route you have chosen (whether we are talking about existing citizenship or restoring lost citizenship), which documents must be submitted, whether they exist or must be obtained, and the number of documents requiring notarial translation.

Therefore, if you want to get clear, specific information that is relevant to your case, contact us and we will be happy to look into the issue deeply.

Contact us today – information on a Romanian passport

As you can see, anyone holding Romanian citizenship has many rights, and it is a process that is definitely worth embarking on if you are eligible to do so.

Our office staff will be happy to assist you with the process, from evaluating your eligibility and the likelihood of success in the process, to accompanying you through all the stages of the application.

Contact us today, and we will be happy to help you get Romanian citizenship and a passport.

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