1. Discover your Romanian ancestors
Firstly, you need to find out if one of your parents or grandparents were a Romanian citizen in the past. Then, you need to discover if they gave up their citizenship or it was revoked by the Romanian authorities.
The historical Romanian territory also includes parts of today’s Ukraine and Republic of Moldova.
By law, citizenship may be regained by those who lost it without their fault, but also by their descendants up to the second degree (children and grandchildren).
In order to obtain Romanian citizenship, you do not have to speak Romanian, you only have to provide proof of your Romanian ancestry.
2. Get legal proof of your heritage
After finding out that you have a Romanian heritage, you will need to obtain certified proof thereof from the Romanian authorities. To this end, you have to provide all civil status documents to the Romanian authorities, for yourself and also for your ancestors.
3. Prepare your citizenship file
The file for regaining your citizenship must contain all the specific documents required by the National Authority for Citizenship (Ro: Autoritatea Nationala pentru Cetatenie). You will need your passport, a criminal record certificate issued from your home country, civil status documents for your ancestors (birth certificate, marriage certificate, death or divorce certificate, certificate of the first/second name etc.), written declarations and written proof regarding the loss of Romanian citizenship.
If you want to establish your domicile in Romania, you will also have to submit proof for your income and housing in Romania.
If you also want to obtain Romanian citizenship for your children, you will have to include their documents in your own citizenship application.
4. Submit the file
The file for obtaining Romanian citizenship can only be submitted personally. The only exception is if you suffer from an illness which prohibits you from moving.
If you live abroad, you can submit the file for regaining Romanian citizenship at the diplomatic missions or consular office of Romania in your country.
5. Track your file
All information regarding your file can be tracked based on your file registration number on the National Authority for Citizenship site (cetatenie.just.ro). Information on the status of your case can also be received by filling a petition addressed to the National Authority for Citizenship, indicating the file registration number and your identity card.
If your file complies with all legal requirements, the President of the National Authority for Citizenship will issue a decree granting you Romanian citizenship. The decree will be communicated through certified letter at your declared address.
6. Obtain your citizenship
Within 6 months after your file was approved, you are required to take an oath of allegiance to Romania at the headquarters of the National Citizenship Authority. Otherwise, the effects of the decree for retrieving the Romanian citizenship will cease.
The Romanian citizenship certificate will be issued to you at the oath-taking ceremony.
After obtaining your Romanian citizenship certificate, you will have to obtain the transcription of the civil status documents (birth/marriage certificate) from the Civil Status Office in Romania.
If you managed to pass all these stages, then you can officially call yourself a Romanian citizen!
Alexandra Șmahon – Legal Counsel