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How to Obtain Your Romanian Citizenship

How to Obtain Your Romanian Citizenship --> Updated on Sunday 19th December 2021

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Question: What are the necessary steps for obtaining Romanian citizenship?

Answer: In order to be granted Romanian citizenship, an applicant must complete the following steps presented by our lawyers in Romania. These can differ according to each individual case:

A.  When intending to obtain or regain the Romanian citizenship by those who had lost it.

Regaining Romanian citizenship can be a subject of interest for those Romanian citizens who had lost their citizenship for reasons beyond their control, or it had been waved without their consent; same situation is applicable as well to their descendants up to grade three, who can regain it or opt for the situation in which they will be granted the Romanian citizenship, while maintaining, at the same time, a foreign citizenship .and a home address in Romania or abroad. This can happen if the applicant fulfils the following conditions:

  • a) The applicant proves through his/her behavior, actions and attitude loyalty towards the Romanian state, the applicant does not do or support actions against state order or national security and declares that he/she has not done so in the past either. The applicant has 60 days for providing the Commission of Citizenship with evidence proving that there were no actions taken against national Romanian law and security, that there is no conviction instance involved from the applicant’s part (in Romania or abroad), conviction that can be understood as a detriment to the application itself.
  • b) The applicant is at least 18 years old.
  • c) The applicant can prove that in Romania he/she has legal opportunities for a decent living under the legal conditions regarding foreigners’ legislation.

There is a 3 day term for the President of the National Authority for Citizenship to deliver the final decision regarding regaining or granting the citizenship. This order shall be transmitted to the applicant in an official manner within three days. Our lawyers in Romania ca provide more details about situation A presented above.

B. The process of obtaining Romanian citizenship by a person without citizenship, or a foreign citizen, can be done if the applicant fulfils the following conditions:

  1. Was born, and is living on Romanian territory at the date of request or, if he wasn't born in Romania, he/she has been living in Romania according to the Romanian laws for at least 8 years, or in case he/she is married and living with a Romanian citizen for at least 5 years since the date of marriage.
  2. The applicant proves by his/her behavior, actions and attitude, loyalty towards the Romanian state, the applicant does not do or support actions against state order or national security and declares that he/she has not done so in the past either.
  3. The applicant is at least 18 years old.
  4. The applicant can prove that in Romania he/she has legal opportunities for a decent living under the legal conditions regarding foreigners’ legislation.
  5. The applicant is well known as having a good behavior, has not been convicted in the country or abroad for any offence that would make him/her unworthy of being a Romanian citizen.
  6. The applicant can speak Romanian and has got a minimum knowledge about the Romanian culture and civilization in order to become easily integrated in the social life.
  7. The applicant knows the Romanian constitution and the Romanian national anthem.
In addition to the situation presented in point B, Romanian citizenship can also be awarded to foreign nationals or stateless persons who have had a significant contribution to promoting Romanian culture, civilization and spirituality abroad, of he or she complies with the aforementioned conditions. The person who obtains citizenship in this manner mat choose to reside in Romania or abroad.

You can reach out to our Romanian lawyers for more details about each of these conditions.

The terms from point a) can be reduced to half the stated interval of time in the following situations:

  • a) The applicant is a well known personality abroad
  • b) The applicant is the citizen of an E.U. member country
  • c) The applicant has gained the refugee status according to the enforced legal provisions
  • d) The applicant had invested over 1.000.000 EUR in Romania.

The experts at our Romanian law firm can provide more details about the reduction option.

It is important to note that when the foreign national or stateless person who makes a request for obtaining citizenship has spent more than 6 months within a given year outside of Romania, the said year will not be taken into account for the predetermined minimum period required for the application.
 
While the individual steps may differ according to the specific application submitted by the foreign individual, the steps for obtaining Romanian citizenship can be summarized as follows:
 
  1. Request submission: the applicant submits the request to obtain Romanian citizenship in person or, when justified, through a legal representative; if the National Authority for Citizenship determines that the file is incomplete (certain documents are missing) the applicant twill be informed thereof and he will have the time to present the missing documents;
  2. Request processing: the National Authority for Citizenship processes the application for citizenship and determines if the applicant will be granted Romanian citizenship;  the procedure can be suspended if the applicant is subject to an investigation in a criminal case;
  3. Interview: the Committee for granting citizenship will check if the applicant has written and oral Romanian language skills, if he or she has elementary knowledge of Romanian culture and civilization as well as of he/she is integrated in the society and knows the Romanian hymn and the provisions of the Constitution.
  4. Committee report: if the applicant passes the interview, the Committee will issue a report that shall stipulate the fact that the individual meets the conditions for citizenship;
  5. Order issuance: the President of the National Authority for Citizenship issues the order for granting citizenship, based on the favorable report from the Committee;
  6. Taking the oath of citizenship: Romanian citizenship is formally obtained on the date on which the individual takes the oath of citizenship.
In some cases, the applications for granting Romanian citizenship based on the provisions of art. 8”1 can also be submitted to the diplomatic missions or consular offices of Romania in the state on whose territory the applicant has his domicile.
Our team of lawyers in Romania can give you more details about each of these six steps, the estimated time for processing the request as well as any other additional details.
 

QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR OBTAINING ROMANIAN CITIZENSHIP?

 
The documents that are submitted by applicants will depend on the route they have chosen for citizenship application as well as their age (in case of minor children). Our Romanian lawyers can provide you with a complete list, according to your particular situation. Below, we list the generally required documents for those who apply under the conditions described in point B:
 
  • - legalized passport, copy and its legalized translation into Romanian;
  • - legalized copy of the permanent residence permit for foreign nationals;
  • - domicile certificate proving that the individual has the legal residence in Romanian for at least 8 years or 5 years when he/she is married to a Romanian citizen; issued by the General Inspectorate for Immigration;
  • - statutory declaration, notarized, certifying that the individual does  not currently engage in or supports activities against national safety and has not engaged in such activities in the past;
  • - civil status documents (birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificate), apostilled and translated into Romanian, legalized; when these documents do not clearly state the name and surname or the place of birth, the applicant will sign a statutory declaration with the needed information, either in front of a Romanian public notary or with the Romanian Embassy in his country of origin
  • - proof of Romanian citizenship for the husband or wife, when applicable;
  • - birth certificate for the minors, if applicable;
  • - the parent’s approval for the child to be granted Romanian citizenship; when this statement is given in front of the authorities from a different state, the sworn Romanian translation is required;
  • - the minor’s consent (for those over the age of 14) for obtaining citizenship; this statement is given by the child in front of the public notary, in the presence of one of the parents;
  • - original police record, issued by the foreign authorities, apostilled and with a legalized translation;
  • - proof of accommodation: legalized copy of the rent agreement registered with the tax authorities; purchase/sale agreement and a land register excerpt; other means of accommodation proof is possible and our attorneys in Romania can give you more details.
 
The applicant needs to be able to show that he or she has the legal means for a decent life in Romania. This means that the applicant will provide documents that show the income from commercial activities for the last three years and, when he has opened a company in the country, he will also provide the Articles of Association (legalized copy) and the account book for the previous year.
 
Those who apply based on their significant contributions to the Romanian culture and civilization promotion and protection need to be able to prove their activities.
 
Applicants should keep in mind all of these requirements for providing the authorities with all of the needed documents. It is important to check the list of required documents before making the final submission. This allows for an adequate application and avoiding nay delays that may be caused by submitting an incomplete file.
 
Below, our lawyers in Romania highlight some important facts to remember:
 
  • - the data in the civil status documents need to be the same as those in the birth certificate (surname, name, date of birth, etc.);
  • - the needed documents are submitted in standard paper file;
  • - the taxes are paid before submitting the request;
  • - the application is submitted in person; a representative may take on this step only based on a previously approved written approval, according to a special power of attorney; one of our lawyers can act on your behalf in this case;
  • - any documents drawn up by foreign authorities must bare the mark of the said authority;
  • - all individuals who wish to become citizens must know the Romanian language (oral and written skills), the Constitution, the national anthem as well as have basic knowledge of Romanian culture and civilization (including history and geography).
We also invite you to watch a short informative video:
 

 

QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OATH OF CITIZENSHIP?

 
Taking the oath of citizenship is the final stage of the application for obtaining Romanian citizenship and it is scheduled within approximately 6 months after the order for granting the citizenship was communicated by the President of the National Authority for Citizenship. This period may be extended in certain special cases, however, the extension can take place only once and only if the request has been submitted in due time, accompanied by documents that can justify the procedure.
 
The oath of citizenship is an allegiance taken before the Minister of Justice or the President of the National Authority for Citizenship and/or other officials and it includes a solemn phrase through which the new citizens swears to be devoted to the Romanian homeland, its people and national interests as well as to respect the Constitutions and the laws of the country. The citizenship certificate is handed to the individual once he has taken the oath. Children are not asked to take the oath, only their parent will do so and the name of the child or children will be included on one of their parent’s certificates. However, if the child turns 18 during the application process (becomes an adult) then he or she will take the oath together with the parents.
 
The following documents are presented by the individual who attends and takes the oath of citizenship: the birth certificate, identity card and accompanying file (only for Moldovan citizens), valid passport, two recent photographs. Additional documents are required in case of minor children.
 
There is a situation in which the applicant who has had his citizenship application approved does not need to take the oath in the presence of Romanian officials: if he or she has a permanent disability or chronic illness that prevent this process. Medical documents are offered to justify this.
 
Once the application for citizenship is processed, and the applicant has had the chance to provide any needed additional documents (if required), he or she will be able to verify the table indicating the date on which the date of the oath will take place. The dates for the oath are available online, and only the number of the file is provided, given the fact that Romania observes the EU Regulation 679/2016, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
 
Failure to take the oath within 6 months (when no extension of the period was granted) results in the termination of the order through which the citizenship was granted. The individual may submit an application for the issue of a certificate of citizenship within one year after taking the oath and failure to make the application during this time also results in forfeiting the right to claim citizenship. Our team of Romanian lawyers can help you follow through with this process so that you may not risk losing your citizenship.

 

Question: How can your lawyers in Romania describe the application procedure for obtaining Romanian citizenship?

Answer: The application for obtaining Romanian citizenship must be submitted to the Commission for citizenship, where the applicant must submit it in person, or, in extraordinary cases it must be filed as a mandated document which is authenticated by the Ministry of Justice, Office of Citizenship, and must be accompanied by documents which testify that the applicant fulfills all the above mentioned requests.

In the case of the applicants who have been abusively deprived of their Romanian citizenship in the past and currently reside abroad, they can submit the application for regaining the Romanian citizenship, accompanied by documents which testify that the applicant fulfills all the above mentioned requests, to competent Romanian Diplomatic Missions or Consulates. The applications and all the supporting documents will be automatically redirected to the Commission for citizenship. Our attorneys in Romania can assist those who are interested in this special case regarding regaining citizenship.

Question: What is the usual time span for obtaining the Romanian citizenship? 

Answer: The process of obtaining the Romanian citizenship will take a around 1 year. The process tends to become a hassle due to local bureaucracy and it gets even more difficult if the applicants don't speak Romanian fluently. Nevertheless, we are here to help, as we recommend working with a specialized lawyer who can assist you in gaining or regaining your Romanian citizenship. You can contact us for further information regarding Romanian citizens' rights and Romanian passport.

Darie & Manea Law Firm provides legal assistance and consulting to clients who need to apply for a Romanian passport or Romanian citizenship. We also handle cases which imply acquiring of birth, marriage or death certificates, as well as other official papers from all over Romania. And our Romanian lawyers would be happy to offer assistance and representation in completing the files or picking them up. 

 

Other information about gaining Romanian citizenship

Obtaining Romanian citizenship is a relatively lengthy process that includes a number of key steps, as were described in this article. Foreign nationals who have lawfully resided in the country and are ready to take this step may also have other questions, apart from those answered in this article. Our team of Romanian lawyers provides brief details about other issues that may arise below.
 
The application can be submitted through a legal representative only when this party is appointed by means of a written mandate. The entrusted individual needs to provide proper identification and, when the role is entrusted to a lawyer, such as one of our attorneys, the lawyer will need to confirm not only his identity but also his credentials. Proof of the representative’s capacity is offered through a power of attorney. Additional requirements apply when this document was issued abroad, most notably, they need to have an apostille (when issued in a country that has adhered to the Hague Convention) and this foreign-issued document will be translated by a Romanian sworn translator and then the translation will be notarized. When the document is concluded in a country that is not part of the Hague Convention, then it will be over-legalized (a special procedure to authenticate it) and subsequently translated and notarized in Romania. If you need more details on how to use a power of attorney issued in another state, you can reach out to our specialists.
 
We encourage those interested in gaining Romanian citizenship to reach out to our lawyers. The steps for the process are detailed herein, however, in practice, having the assistance of an experienced lawyer can prove helpful as the application can be accepted faster, based on the fact that our team will clearly indicate all of the needed documents and all of the stages, so that you can avoid any delay due to lack of conformity with the regulations in force.
 
We can also help those interested check the status of their application if the information they can retrieve online is incomplete or insufficient. We can offer this by means of a petition addressed to the authorities, by indicated the file number as well as other data – as part of the actions we can undertake as your legal representative during this process.
 
Once the individual has obtained the citizenship certificate, a subsequent step takes place at the Civil Status Office (Oficiul Starii Civile) where their documents will be transcribed in Romania. They should present themselves at the office in the area where their domicile is located. Individuals who are not domiciled in Romania can request the transcription of civil status documents at the Public Directorate for the Registration of Persons and Civil Status of Sector 1 of Bucharest.
 

Romanian citizenship withdrawal

 
An individual who gained Romanian citizenship can also lose this status in a number of particular cases. Our lawyers summarize these below:
 
  • while abroad, the individual undertakes certain serious actions that damage the interests of the Romanian state;
  • enlists in the armed forces of a state with which Romania has severed diplomatic relations or with which it is at war;
  • if he has obtained Romanian citizenship by fraudulent means;
  • has links with terrorist groups or has supported them in any form, or has committed other acts that endanger national security.
 
Loss of citizenship takes place on the approval date of the order of the President of the National Authority for Citizenship.
 
Romanian citizenship cannot be withdrawn from an individual who acquired this status by birth.
 

Statistical data on citizenship applications in Romania

According to the National Authority for Citizenship, the number of processed requests has grown significantly, as a result of a number of new measures meant to streamline the process. Some of the statistical data reveals the following:

 
  • - the number of citizenship application requests that have been processed by the Authority in 2020 grew by 90% compared to 2019 and 2018; the growth was recorded despite the coronavirus pandemic;
  • - 4.439 requests for granting or regaining citizenship were processed between January 1st 2021 and May 31st 2021;
  • - 1.351 citizenship certificates for minors were issued in the first three months of the year;
  • - the authority also processed 94 requests to renounce Romanian citizenship during the same period mentioned above.

For a free case consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm in Romania.

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