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Romanian Passport — Who Is Eligible?

Jordan Levy-Bograd
Jordan Levy-Bograd

Genaan Abdelall

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Many Jews left Romania in the 20th century due to racial and religious persecution. Whether because of Pogroms, the impending doom of the Nazi machine moving through Europe, or oppression by the Communist regime, Jews fled Romania en masse. These Romanian Jews predominately emigrated to Israel, the United States, and South America. Are their descendants today eligible to obtain Romanian citizenship?

Our law office handles immigration based on descent to multiple countries. These include such European Union countries as Portugal, Austria, and Bulgaria, amongst others. In addition, we also handle the acquisition of Romanian citizenship, which also provides an EU passport.

In this article, we will explain who is eligible to obtain a Romanian passport based on the citizenship law of Romania. If you are descended from a Romanian citizen, you may be eligible. 

Children of Romanian Citizens

According the Romanian Citizenship Law adopted by parliament on March 1, 1991, citizenship is granted to multiple categories of applicants. The first category of eligibility is the children of Romanian citizens.

A child of a Romanian citizen is defined as one of the following:

1. A child born to Romanian parents in Romania.

2. A child born in Romania to at least one parent who is a Romanian citizen.

3. A child who is born abroad, but born to at least one parent who is a Romanian citizen.

Romanian Passport - Who Is Eligible?

If you belong to one of these categories, you are eligible to receive a Romanian passport. However, this requires that at least one of your parents has extant Romanian citizenship, which they didn’t renounce. This is by virtue of Article 5 of the citizenship law.

Descendants of Romanian Citizens from Modern Day Borders

A person is also eligible for Romanian citizenship even if their parent or grandparent lost Romanian citizenship.

If you are the child or the grandchild of someone who was born in Romania, according to its present-day borders, but your parent/grandparent lost their citizenship through immigration, you are still eligible to regain citizenship under Article 10 of the law. In this situation, only the children and grandchildren would be eligible under Article 10.

According to the provisions of Article 10, you would not need to renounce your current citizenship to receive Romanian citizenship. Also, you don’t have to reside in Romania to acquire Romanian citizenship under this article of the law.

Descendants of Romanian Citizens from Greater Romania

In the interim period between the World Wars, Romania possessed a much larger territory than its present borders. During this time, the regions of Bukovina, Bessarabia, and Transylvania were within the borders of what is known as “Greater Romania”. Today these regions belong to Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia.

Romanian Passport - Who Is Eligible?If your ancestors were born in these regions, but unintentionally lost their citizenship (i.e., because Romanian borders changed), you are also eligible for Romanian citizenship. This is in accordance to the provisions of Article 11. Applicants are eligible to regain citizenship include the great grandchildren of a Romanian citizen.

Learn to Speak Romanian

Along with proving eligibility for Romanian citizenship by virtue of descent from a Romanian citizen, you will need to speak Romanian on at least a basic level. Once an applicant is approved for citizenship, they will need to swear allegiance to Romania and sing the national anthem— both in Romanian. You also have to be capable of answering simple questions. Therefore, applicants are recommended to take Romanian classes in order to be able to converse on a basic level in the language of their new country.

Advantages of Holding a Romanian Passport

Romania is one of the 27 member countries of the European Union. Thus, having a Romanian passport allows you to live, work, invest, and do business in any of the countries that belong to the EU. Holders of the Romanian passport still need to apply for visas to countries such as the United States, Australia, and Russia. However, they have full access to all countries belonging to the European Union – countries such as Italy, Malta, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and more.

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If you are interested in obtaining Romanian citizenship, our law office will be happy to assist. Contact us today to determine your eligibility and we will help you obtain a Romanian passport.

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