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Romanian Citizenship Law

Jordan Levy-Bograd

Lilian Granovsky

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This article provides a concise translation and explication of the Romanian Citizenship Law. We present the main points of the law to the public so that anyone who wishes to find out whether they are eligible for Romanian citizenship will have enough information to do so in a basic effective understandable manner.

The Romanian passport gives its owner diverse rights as a citizen of the European community. This includes a variety of benefits, such as the right to work and live in European Union (EU) countries, a free ticket to pass between European countries, subsidized studies, and medical treatment at a local price.

Our firm provides comprehensive professional services for anyone wishing to obtain Romanian citizenship. This is possible thanks to the lawyers we employ directly from Romania, who help us with everything related to Romanian bureaucracy and documents that need to be translated into the Romanian language.

Romanian Citizenship Law

Romanian Citizenship Law

The Romanian Citizenship Law was enacted on March 1, 1991, by the Romanian Parliament. The law dictates who is eligible for citizenship and for what reasons. In general, the Citizenship Law does not make it difficult for applicants with a Romanian background to obtain citizenship. Therefore, if one of your ancestors was a Romanian citizen in the past, you are probably also entitled to receive or restore your Romanian citizenship.

We present you with the sections taken directly from the Romanian Citizenship Act (2010) that are the most relevant for Jews with Romanian roots:

  1. Art. 1. – (1) The Romanian citizenship expresses the . . . affiliation of a person to the Romanian State. . . . (3) Romanian citizens benefit from the protection of the Romanian State.
  2. Art. 2. – The ways to gain and lose the Romanian citizenship are the ones stipulated by the present law.
  3. Art. 3. – There are no effects on the spouses’ [previous] citizenship when their marriage is pronounced, declared invalid, annulled or terminated through divorce.
  4. Art. 4. – The Romanian citizenship is acquired by:
    1. birth;
    2. adoption;
    3. on request [to restore or gain citizenship].

By birth

  1. Art. 5. – (1) The children born from Romanian citizens on Romanian territory are Romanian citizens.
    (2) Furthermore, Romanian citizens are also those:

    1. born on the Romanian territory, even if only one of the parents is a Romanian citizen;
    2. born abroad and both parents, or only one of them has a Romanian citizenship. . . .

By adoption

  1. Art. 6. – (1) Romanian citizenship is acquired by a child. . . [under two conditions], [first:] if the foster parents are Romanian citizens. . . .
    (2) [or] If only one of the foster parents is a Romanian citizen . . .
    [Second: If the foster child is underage, the child will receive Romanian citizenship without having to renounce any existing foreign citizenship.] . . .
  2. Art. 7. – (1) In the case of the adoption being declared invalid [by the Romanian authorities] or annulled [by the foster parents], the child who is not 18 yet is considered to never have been a Romanian citizen if he resides abroad or if he leaves Romania to reside abroad. . .

Acquiring on request

  1. Art. 8. – (1) The Romanian citizenship can be granted on request to that foreign citizen . . . who: a) . . . has been residing legally on the Romanian territory for at least 8 years, or if he has been married to and living with a Romanian citizen for at least 5 years since marriage; . . . f) knows the Romanian language and has acquired basic notions of Romanian culture and civilization [on which he will be tested], enabling him to integrate himself in the [Romanian] social life. . . . (3) [However,] If the foreign citizen . . . requesting the Romanian citizenship leaves the Romanian territory for more than six months during one year, that respective year will not be included in the period stipulated in paragraph 1 line a). [The period of absence will not be counted by the Romanian authorities.]
  2. Art. 9. – (1) The underage child who has not turned 18 yet born from foreign citizens parents or parents with no citizenship acquires the Romanian citizenship at the same time with his parents. (2) If only one of the parents acquires the Romanian citizenship, the parents will jointly decide on the citizenship of the child. If the parents do not come to an agreement, the court of law where the child resides will make that decision considering his best interests. . . .
  3. Art. 10. – (1) The Romanian citizenship can also be granted to persons who have lost this citizenship, as well as to their descendants to the second degree inclusively and who request its reacquisition while maintaining the foreign citizenship . . .
  4. Art. 11 – (1) The persons who acquired the Romanian citizenship by birth or adoption and have lost it for reasons non-imputable to them or this citizenship has been revoked without their consent, as well as their descendants to the third degree, can apply to reacquire or can be granted the Romanian citizenship, having the possibility to maintain the foreign citizenship and to establish their residence in the country or to maintain it abroad . . .
  5. Art. 12. – The applications to be granted or reacquire the Romanian citizenship are approved through an order of the president of the National Citizenship Authority, on the basis of the proposals made by the Citizenship Commission.
  6. Art. 13. – (1) The application to be granted or reacquire the Romanian citizenship, as the case may be, is to be formulated in Romanian [and is to be submitted to the authorities in a formal correct manner. Therefore, a lawyer who knows the Romanian language and law should be consulted.] . . .
  7. Art. 14. – (1) [A special commission, called] The Citizenship Commission, . . . [is appointed by the Romanian Ministry of Justice to verify, together with the Commission president, whether the applicant complies] with the conditions stipulated by the law regarding the granting, reacquisition, withdrawal or disclaiming of the Romanian citizenship. [The application for citizenship is usually not denied unless the applicant has a criminal background.] . . .
  8. Art. 15. – (1) . . . If the Commission president ascertains the absence of some documents necessary for the solution of the application, he can request, through resolution, the completion of the file. If the necessary documents are not submitted within a maximum of 6 months of request delivery, the application will be dismissed as unsupported. . . .

Contact Us – Obtaining a Romanian passport

Obtain your Romanian passport with the help of our immigration experts. For an initial opinion regarding eligibility or regarding the naturalization process, call the numbers listed below or leave us a message via e-mail, and we will get back to you soon.

Romanian Citizenship Law



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