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Romanian Citizenship by Descent

As part of its responsibility to redress the Romanian government’s former alliance with the Nazi regime, Romania allows descendants of individuals who were victims of the Nazi holocaust to apply for citizenship. Depending on your family heritage, you may be eligible to apply for Romanian citizenship if one of your ancestors was persecuted or lost their Romanian citizenship due to the former oppressive regimes, or if one of your ancestors was born in a former Romanian territory. Make the most out of your ancestry by acquiring a Romanian passport and experience the civil and social protections afforded to EU nationals.

Romanian Citizenship by Descent

Romanian Citizenship by Descent (Including for Descendants of Nazi Victims)

Romania is an advanced tech hub for global investors, with capital city Bucharest as the center of diverse business opportunities and major city Cluj-Napoca known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe’. The country has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. Romania offers a very high quality of life to its residents and citizens and visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 170 destinations worldwide. As a Romanian citizen, you can live and work in the country, access free education, and travel easily to the rest of the EU and Switzerland at any time.

Romania acknowledges its former alliance with the Nazi regime and its part in the heinous acts committed during this time, particularly between 1937 and 1945 when the holocaust unfolded in Romania, leading to the persecution and ethnic cleansing of Jewish and other victims such as the Hungarian aristocracy. As such, based on the Romanian constitutional principle of reestablishing the connection and belonging of a natural person to the Romanian state, the Romanian National Citizenship Authority provides reparations to persons persecuted by this regime and to their descendants by allowing them to apply for Romanian citizenship by descent.

There are two ways you can obtain Romanian citizenship:

  1. Citizenship as reparations for Nazi alliance

    The Romanian holocaust was the process of discrimination, deportation, and extermination of Jewish persons living in the territories controlled by the Romanian state between 1937 and 1944, as well as of Jewish people with Romanian citizenship living abroad (most of the latter being in Northern Transylvania, part of fascist Hungary at the time). You can apply for Romanian citizenship if you are descended from Romanian holocaust victims.
  2. Citizenship by Romanian descent (modern-day and former territory)

    You can apply for Romanian citizenship by ancestry if you have an ancestor who was either born in modern-day Romania or in a former Romanian territory (modern-day Bukovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, and Ukraine).

Requirements of Romanian citizenship by descent 

Conditions for descendants of Nazi victims

Direct descendants up to the second degree (including those adopted as minors) of a formerly persecuted ancestor are eligible to apply for Romanian citizenship:

  • Children
  • Grandchildren

Conditions for descendants of persons born in Romania or former Romanian territories

Descendants up to the third degree (including those adopted as minors) of an ancestor born in Romania or in a former Romanian territory are eligible to apply for Romanian citizenship:

  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Greatgrandchildren

Documents required 

These documents are required for both reparative and (former) territory citizenship applications.

Supporting documents for descendants 

The National Citizenship Authority requires applicants who wish to apply for citizenship by ancestry to submit the following documents:

  • Current passport and a notarized copy
  • Current passport photograph (not older than six months), in format 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm
  • Birth certificate or civil status certificate, apostilled or superlegalized, with a legalized translation
  • Criminal record from the country of residence, apostilled or superlegalized, with a legalized translation

Supporting documents for ancestors

Each application is case-by-case dependent, but these are the usual documents that are required by the applicant on behalf of their ancestor (where applicable):

  • Original birth certificate and a legalized translation
  • Original marriage certificate and a legalized translation
  • Original death certificate and a legalized translation
  • Withdrawal of Romanian citizenship certificate or government approval of citizenship withdrawal. If not relevant, the foreign citizenship naturalization certificate and date of its granting, apostilled or superlegalized with a notarized copy and notarized translation
  • Documents attesting the ancestor’s departure date from Romania (only required for descendants of Nazi victims)

Procedures and time frame of Romanian citizenship by descent

Applicants must file the documents personally to the Romanian National Citizenship Authority or at a Romanian consulate from their country of residence, along with the mandatory supporting documents. Children up to 18 years at the date of application can also be included in the citizenship application.

The Romanian citizenship law permits holding dual citizenship, so you do not need to give up your present citizenship. Also, no Romanian language proficiency is required for the process. Successful applicants take the oath of allegiance after citizenship approval. Romanian citizens by descent may choose to reside either in Romania or in another country.

Henley & Partners can seamlessly manage the entire citizenship by descent application process for you, from helping you prove your lineage by checking various institutions and archives to assisting with legalizing and apostilling documents, to liaising with the relevant authorities, to you receiving your Romanian passport in hand.

The process for acquiring Romanian citizenship through descent takes from six months to two years depending on the National Citizenship Authority’s capacity and document verifications with other institutions (such as secret services and population records) in Romania or internationally.

Contact us today

For more information on how we can help you secure your future by connecting with your family’s legacy, please complete the Romanian citizenship by descent enquiry form below.

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