Romanian Citizenship

Romanian Citizenship

Romanian Citizenship is a status that confirms the relationship of an individual with this state, and is regulated by the norms of the local law “Legea cetățeniei române”. This status is equated to EU citizenship, which is regulated by Directive 2004/38/EC.

A Romanian passport is the main document that certifies the identity and civic affiliation of the owner. In the Passport Index ranking, the Romanian passport ranks 8th in the world out of 98, with access to visa-free travel to 170 countries. The owner of this document has the right to live in any EU country on equal terms (employment, education, social and medical assistance) with the local population.

What does Romanian passport give

With a Romanian passport, a foreigner gets access to such advantages:

  • no restrictions on the duration of stay in any point of the European Union;
  • unlimited access to the labor market in all EU countries and state positions in Romania;
  • service in any medical institutions throughout the territory of the agreement (free of charge or at the expense of a single insurance);
  • no restrictions on the purchase of real estate almost throughout the European Union, in some countries - also land plots;
  • registration of mortgage loans, loans and other services of financial institutions of the union at the rates established for the local population;
  • immigration to any EU country along with family members and arranging a residence permit for them;
  • payment of tax contributions for subsequent receipt of a pension in the country of permanent residence in the European Union;
  • state protection within Romania and abroad, social support and financial assistance due to status;
  • education in European universities (including the opportunity to claim budget places), the right to free education for family members;
  • purchase of shares, assets, securities of private and state enterprises, shares in a ready-made business, or opening your own business.

Ways to obtain Romanian citizenship

There are dozens of ways to obtain the status of a citizen of Romania, but in general, they boil down to three methods - naturalization, birthright, or repatriation. Foreigners who do not have territorial ties with the state can count on obtaining a local passport after legal residence in the country for 8 years and compliance with other requirements for the applicant. Persons born or adopted by Romanian citizens receive status automatically. Repatriates can become immigrants who prove that their ancestors were indigenous inhabitants of the state.

According to the norms of “Legea cetățeniei române”, a passport of a citizen of Romania cannot be obtained by persons who have previously violated the law (including abroad), pose a threat to the state, are associated with terrorist organizations, serve in the state bodies of unfriendly countries. The purchase of an identity card is illegal and can lead to the opening of a criminal case against a foreigner. Any mistakes in forming a dossier or when communicating with interviewers can also prevent the applicant from entering Romanian citizenship, so it is worth enlisting the support of professional migration lawyers for a successful outcome of the case.

What documents are required

The minimum package of documents for obtaining the status of a citizen of Romania:

  • valid travel document (identity card) with color copies;
  • certificate of no criminal record from the home country;
  • civil status documents (birth certificate, marriage);
  • receipt of payment of the state fee;
  • declaration of the absence of actions that threaten national interests;
  • application filled out in Romanian;
  • confirmation of the presence of the basis for filing a request.

Repatriates supplement the dossier with a document confirming their affiliation with Romania. Naturalized persons also provide a resident card, a certificate from the migration inspection about compliance with the census of residence, information about financial solvency and the place of permanent residence in the state.

Romanian citizenship by naturalization

Naturalization is a procedure for settling and integrating a foreigner with the right to acquire the status of a citizen, which in Romania takes 8 years on general grounds. Step by step, this process looks like this:

  1. Opening a visa.
    For relocation, a foreigner needs to arrange a national visa to Romania, which is requested by the applicant at the diplomatic mission in the country of residence. An entry permit is issued to the immigrant if there is a legal basis for visiting the state.
  2. Obtaining a residence permit.
    After the request is approved, the applicant moves and applies to the migration service for arranging a residence permit in Romania no later than 30 days before the visa expires. A residence permit is requested by a foreigner on the same basis on which an entry permit was obtained.
  3. Arranging a permanent residence.
    After 5 years of legal residence in the country with a temporary residence permit, a foreigner has the right to request a permanent residence in Romania. Permanent residence is also arranged through the bodies of the migration service.
  4. Applying for citizenship.
    A foreigner can claim the status of a Romanian citizen 3 years after arranging a permanent residence. The applicant must also meet other requirements, such as law-abidingness and financial solvency.
  5. Taking the oath and entering citizenship.
    Upon approval of the application, the Citizenship Commission invites the foreigner to a reception for the solemn ceremony of conferring the requested status. The applicant reads the text of the oath, after which he receives a certificate of naturalization.

In order to start the naturalization procedure in Romania, an immigrant needs to find a basis for obtaining an initial temporary residence permit and relocation.


A residence permit in Romania is issued to persons who are employed in a local company. Depending on the duration of the contract and the citizenship of the applicant, he may need to obtain a work permit from the General Immigration Inspectorate in advance. Arranging a residence permit for business is available to applicants only after approval by the local Ministry of Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship. When opening an own business, a foreigner should make sure that it complies with the norms of the Romanian resolution “On conducting economic activity”. Registration of a residence permit is also available to applicants who are transferred within an international corporation to a Romanian branch, or are posted employees. The foreigner's salary must be at least the minimum in the country before taxes (approximately 600 EUR per month as of 2023).


Individuals who purchase shares in an established Romanian company or invest in starting their own business are eligible for resident status. Residency is also granted to foreigners who hold a managerial position in a commercial company. Residency for business is only available to applicants after approval from the local Ministry of Business Environment, Trade, and Entrepreneurship. When starting their own business, foreigners should ensure that it complies with the norms of the Romanian decree “On Conducting Economic Activity”.


Resident status in Romania is granted to foreigners who are students of accredited universities, pupils of local schools, or interns. Residency can also be obtained by individuals participating in international student exchange programs. To apply for a temporary residence permit, the applicant requests confirmation of admission to study from the Ministry of Education and pays for the selected course (at least the first year). The applicant must have at least 600 EUR for each month of the requested residence permit and confirm that they are proficient in the language of instruction.

Medical treatment

Temporary residence in Romania is possible for individuals who require medical assistance and will receive it in a local hospital. An accredited private or public host institution issues an invitation letter to the applicant, indicating the diagnosis and the expected duration of treatment. With this document, the foreigner applies for a long-term visa, having the opportunity to also open it for an accompanying person if needed.

Real estate purchase

The purchase of real estate in Romania is not a basis for obtaining local residency. An alternative for a foreigner may be the purchase of a commercial object and the registration of a company at its address. A residential house or apartment purchased by the applicant will be an advantage when applying for residency and citizenship on other grounds, as immigrants are usually required to confirm the presence of address registration in Romania.

There are other ways to obtain Romanian citizenship that are not mentioned above, such as reunification with relatives, refugee status, special merits to the state. However, naturalization is the most complex and time-consuming way to acquire a second EU passport, which requires the applicant to comply with a lengthy residence census, have a place of residence and sufficient financial means, knowledge of the state language, culture, constitutional provisions. A simpler and faster option for obtaining Romanian citizenship is repatriation.

Obtaining Romanian citizenship by repatriation

Article 11 of the “Citizenship” law defines the possibility of obtaining a Romanian passport for persons who have ethnic or territorial affiliation with the state. Applicants who have lost their status due to circumstances beyond their control (for example, forced deportation), as well as their descendants up to great-grandchildren, can restore it. The applicant must prove his/her affiliation with Romania by documents. Detailed information about the procedure for restoring citizenship by roots can be found on a separate page.

Experienced lawyers report that in the vast majority of cases, it is possible to find documentary evidence of the connection of foreigners from among the residents of the former USSR countries with the Romanian state. This circumstance is associated with the mass migration of peoples in the second half of the 20th century, as well as with the inclusion of some lands of modern Ukraine in Romania before 1940. The repatriation procedure does not require the foreigner to move, live in the country in advance, prove solvency, and knowledge of the state language. With the help of international law specialists, you can get a second EU passport within 8 months.

Refusal in obtaining Romanian citizenship

Foreigner who will not be able to obtain a Romanian citizen’s passport:

  • have been convicted of legislatively punishable crimes;
  • pose a threat to public or public health, national security, or reputation;
  • submit a false or incomplete dossier when applying;
  • failed to pass an interview with authorized representatives of the authorities.

The status of a Romanian citizen can be annulled if the applicant carries out actions dangerous to the state (including abroad), serves in the army in a hostile country, is caught in connections with terrorists or banned organizations. Deprivation of citizenship is possible only for naturalized persons, repatriates in any case keep the received passport, since they have a territorial connection with the state.

Advantages of living in Romania

Living in Romania attracts foreigners with low prices for buying and renting real estate, cheap consumer basket, affordable medicine. The price per square meter in the state ranges from 1000 to 3000 EUR depending on the city and location of the selected object. Approximate monthly expenses per person are 540 EUR without taking into account the rent. Life in Romania can also interest immigrants with a friendly attitude of the local population to newcomers, the presence of the country’s access to the sea, a developed tourist sphere, and public infrastructure.

Moving to Romania is an opportunity to live in an inexpensive country with an interesting history, a large number of cultural and architectural monuments, a good ecological situation. The labor market in the state is interested in specialists in the field of mechanical engineering, IT, industry, unskilled workers. The level of wages in the country is small (on average - about 700 EUR per month after tax deductions), therefore immigration to Romania is also often of interest to persons who have remote earnings or passive income.

Registration of the status of a citizen in Romania is in demand among immigrants, however, not everyone manages to get approval for the submitted petition. Cases of refusal in the passport of the EU country are especially common among people who submit a request independently and make mistakes in forming a dossier or communicating with representatives of the authorities. The applicant can guaranteed receive Romanian citizenship with the support of international law specialists. Migration lawyers accompany the client at every stage of the registration of the requested status, from the collection of documents to visiting the passport office and receiving a national identity card.

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