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Has Being Romanian Become Desirable?

Published: 20 October 2022

Not  long  ago  if  you  were  Romanian, you  could  find  yourself  in  some  circumstances or  circles  where  it  was  better  to  keep  your  nationality  to  yourself.

Lately, and  by  that  I  mean  in  the  last  few  years  and  perhaps  more  frequently  and  constantly  in  the  last  few  months, it  seems  that  Romanian  citizenship is  becoming  more  interesting  and  valuable.   

Recently, people  based  all  over  the  world  have  suddenly  realised that  their  ancestors are  actually  from  a  country called  Romania,  and  on  researching this  country  they  have  discovered that  for  quite  a  while  this  place  has  been  considered  a  land  of  interesting  business opportunities,  and  that  this  country is  actually  a  member  of  the  European Union,  thereby  presenting some  other  advantages.   

These  arguments  and  maybe  other  more  personal reasons  have  made  the  individuals decide  that  they  wish  to  apply  for  Romanian  citizenship with  the  ultimate goal  of  further obtaining  a  Romanian passport.

Little do  they  know  that  the  procedure  of  getting  the  citizenship  based  on  ancestry, although  lengthy,  is  not  that  difficult  if  you  can  organise  and  produce  the  documentation  that  is  required by  the  authorities. The  documentation  required refers  to  birth  certificate,  marriage and  death  certificate for  all  your  relatives  that  connect  you  to  the  ancestor  that  once  held  Romanian  citizenship. Romanian  language  knowledge is  not  required to  complete  this  process  of  becoming  citizen, nor  are  you  forced  to  choose  a  domicile  in  Romania.  Romanian citizenship,  if  you  are  a  citizen  of  a  non-EU country,  can  in  return  bring  you  benefits such  as  being  able  to  travel,  live  and  work  within  the  EU,  taking advantage  of  the  free  movement applicable  inside  the  Union,  which  can  give  you  the  possibility  of  buying  land  in  Romania or  Europe  or  even  benefiting from  state  grants that  are  currently available  for  businesses that  are  owned  by  Romanians living  abroad.

What  is  even  more  interesting is  that  when  analysing  each  of  these  cases  recently, I  have  noticed that  most  of  these  applicants are  descendants  of  Romanians  that  fled  the  country  either during  the  second world  war  as  they  risked being  persecuted  because of  their  Jewish roots,  or  after  the  end  of  the  war  during the  communist  regime era,  when  for  various  reasons they  risked  being  persecuted.

After  Brexit,  some  British  people discovered  that  their  roots  might  be  an  escape  to  the  travel changes  and  other  challenges  coming with  the  new  status.

More  recently,  and  by  that  I  mean  in  the  last  seven  months,  the  phenomenon  has  intensified,  with  Ukrainian  refugees coming  to  Romania to  flee  the  war  in  their  country and  discovering  that  their  ancestors have  been  born  in  areas  that  at  that  time  were  Romanian. This  gives  them  leverage  compared to  others  Ukrainian refugees,  who  will  only  be  able  to  remain  in  Romania  for  as  long  as  the  Romanian  authorities will  be  willing to  offer  them  protection,  since  they  will  be  able  to  obtain citizenship  and  obtain the  same  status as  all  the  other  Romanians, regardless  where  they  live.

For  the  first  group,  if  they  can  produce  documents to  show  their  ancestry  and  that  their  ancestors  were  born  in  areas  that  at  that  time  belonged to  Romania,  then  they  will  be  able  to  obtain Romanian  citizenship  and  benefit  of  all  rights as  Romanians. 

In  the  light  of  current events  of  the  last  months, requests  have  been  received  from  the  Russians as  well.  They  also  might  qualify  if  they  have  relatives  that  were  born  in  areas  that  at  some  point  in  time  were  part  of  the  Romanian  territories.

Nicholas Hammond
Practice Area:
Phone Number:
004021 589 7892
0040 215 897360
Nicholas is an experienced and well known English commercial lawyer based in Bucharest. He started his carrier in London and was the managing partner of the law firm Hicks Arnold before moving to Romania. As head of Hicks Arnold he opened the office in Romania and subsequently worked for Taylor Joynson as head of their Bucharest office. After leaving them he set up Hammond and Associates, now Hammond-partnership as an independent law firm based in Bucharest. His wide knowledge of international law and its application in Romania has enabled him to act for a wide range of clients from major aircraft manufacturers, banks and fiancé institutions as well as private investors. His experience in commercial law is extensive and he is able to counsel clients in many fields.

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