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Not easy, but possible: Obtaining a Romanian passport for the spouse of a Romanian citizen and passport holder

Jordan Levy-Bograd
Jordan Levy-Bograd

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.

In the past few years, if you have noticed more and more friends taking advantage of their right to Romanian citizenship and a passport, you should know that it is no coincidence — in fact, it is a rapidly growing phenomenon. Many Israeli descendants of Romanian immigrants jump on the opportunity to obtain a Romanian passport – for good reason. A Romanian passport is essentially a European Union passport which allows for residence in any EU country, visa-free entrance to many other countries, and a simple and automatic tourist visa to the United States. It also grants opportunities for studies (whether at no cost or significantly cheaper than in Israel) in the world’s leading academic institutions, and of course the opportunity to work and earn profits legally in Europe.

Though the process of acquiring a Romanian passport based on descent is widely known and may in some cases be straightforward, a more complex question frequently arises – are partners of those who are Romanian citizens and holders of European passports also eligible for a passport? The answer is that it is possible under certain circumstances for the partner to obtain Romanian citizenship, but the process is in no way automatic or immediate.

Our experts on obtaining foreign passports and citizenships are successfully accompanying spouses of Israelis who hold Romanian passports in the process of attaining such a passport and will be happy to assist you too in this mission with courteous and professional service.

In this article, we will discuss the subject and the various possibilities more in depth. Before we begin, if you still do not understand the significance of a European passport and are unsure if you should begin the process, here is an article on our site providing all the relevant information for you to fully understand the benefits of a European passport.

Romanian passport for spouse

A spouse is not promised a Romanian passport

If we look back a few decades and pick any country on the map, particularly in Europe, we will find that the criteria for the granting of a passport to a foreign spouse were minimal and often times the process was automatic. Over time, however, the standards have changed completely, and it now seems that most countries have restricted this option and have enacted strict limitations on eligibility, likely due to extensive exploitation of the situation and the abundance of fictitious marriages which were registered in order to obtain citizenships and passports.

Today, the acquisition of a Romanian passport for a spouse is no different and the Romanian government has also enacted relatively severe restrictions on the process. The most important thing to understand is that citizenship for a spouse is not granted automatically under all circumstances.

How can you obtain it nonetheless? The criteria undergo periodic updates, but the fundamental condition has remained constant over the years – that the Romanian citizen and their partner live together in Romania for a minimum of five years (to do so, the partner must obtain the special status of the spouse of a Romanian citizen). Thereafter the spouse may apply to receive citizenship; the process may vary depending on the circumstances, but usually includes tests on the Romanian language and culture.

It is true that this may not be the ideal process for every couple, especially for those who desire Romanian citizenship while still residing in Israel. But for those couples who are considering relocating to Europe for residence and work, and especially those wanting to emigrate to Romania, it could be a feasible option. If this is something that interests you, you are welcome to contact us and we will be happy to assist you with this process.

It is advisable to look into alternative options

If the option of joint living in Romania is not a possibility and you still want to obtain a European passport for your spouse, it is important to note there are alternative routes to be considered:

  • Obtaining a Portuguese passport for the descendants of Jews expelled from Spain: This is a common option for Israelis who are descendants of immigrants from Arab countries. Eligibility for a Portuguese passport is granted to those who can prove appropriate heritage, and this is a suitable option for those who desire a European passport in general, and not specifically a Romanian one.
  • Obtaining a European passport for descendants of other European countries: This is another popular option for many Israelis. Citizenship is also given as historical reparation and is granted to the descendants of Jews who lived in various European countries in between the world wars and were subject to persecution, abuse, and expulsion. These countries include Lithuania, Hungary and Poland. This too is a suitable option for those seeking a foreign citizenship in general and not specifically a Romanian passport.
  • Citizenship based on professional skills and work: Though not always an ideal option, it may be suitable in certain circumstances. Many countries in Europe and around the world allow Israeli citizens to work and live there (especially if they have specific qualifications) and grant them citizenship and a passport after a certain number of years.

Contact our specialists

In conclusion, if you have a spouse with a Romanian citizenship and passport, the first thing you should do is thoroughly examine the option of getting a Romanian passport based on your marital status, and this is something we would be happy to do for you as part of the services we offer.

In cases where we may find that this is not an option, or that it may be, but under circumstances that are not suitable for you, we will examine together the option of obtaining an alternative foreign citizenship. It is important to note that the possibility of finding such a solution (sometimes more than one) is significant.

Either way, those who wish to increase their chances of succeeding in this procedure must enlist the help of specialists who are familiar with the smallest details of the process. Contact our specialists today and we will happily assist you in obtaining a Romanian passport or an alternative foreign passport.

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