Legislation on Romanian Citizenship

The Law no. 21/1991 is the Act that stipulates the rules who applies to the person interested in acquiring Romanian Citizenship.

The Law no. 21/1991 provisions reversed this rule: a Romanian citizen may hold at the same time Romanian citizenship and citizenship of another country, but such person has the same rights and obligations in respect to the Republic of Romania as the person who has only Romanian citizenship.

As for acquiring Romanian citizenship this act continues the “ius sanguinis” principle: a child acquires Romanian citizenship by birth to parents, at least one of whom is a holder of Romanian citizenship. The Law supplemented the right of the soil with some new elements: a child acquires Romanian citizenship by virtue of law, if he/she was born or found in the territory of the Republic of Romania, and both parents are unknown, or they have no citizenship.

The act provides for a broad spectrum of ways of acquiring Romanian citizenship by way of an administrative act. Granting Romanian citizenship takes place at the request of a foreigner. The application for granting Romanian citizenship shall be submitted to the National Authority for Citizenship.

The law implements a broad array of ways of recognizing citizenship: residing in the territory of the Republic of Romania for minimum and continuous periods, having a stable and regular income, a legal title to the occupied living premises, a refugee status, confirmed knowledge the Romanian language etc.


Also, the Law recognize through article 10, a new institution of acquiring Romanian citizenship: the restoration of citizenship. This is addressed to those persons who lost their citizenship or to their descendants up to grade II (children, grandchildren).

The act provides that the foreigners who in the past had Romanian citizenship, but lost them, can apply for the restoration of Romanian citizenship. It is vital that the acquisition of Romanian citizenship shall happen on the day in which the decision on restoring Romanian citizenship has become final. This means that the applicant’s children shall also acquire citizenship, but only when they were minor on the day of its granting. It is also noteworthy that prior to the restoration of citizenship, an administrative authority proceeding the application is obliged to state that the applicant lost citizenship.

A foreigner shall submit an application for restoration of Romanian citizenship together with all documents to the competent National Authority for Citizenship from Romania. A foreigner residing outside the Romanian territory shall have the option to submit an application for restoration of Romanian citizenship via the consul competent, as for the foreigner’s place of residence, or through National Authority for Citizenship from Romania.

Romanian citizenship is restored by decision issued by the President of the National Authority for Citizenship.

A very important point of the restoration procedure is the obligation to prove the applicant’s parents’ and grandparents’ personal data. In practice, this considerably obstructs proceedings as it requires the foreigner to conduct extremely time-consuming and painstaking searches for documents and to restore them. 


The latest act that entered into force in September 2017 significantly amended and improved some other Romanian citizenship issues but in the most important issue for the most people of Romanian origin residing continuously abroad, did not bring any new solutions.

Some remarks on this issue are as follows:

The Law grants Romanian Citizenship to the person who didn’t follow a legal way to acquire Romanian Citizenship, but they fulfill the next legal requirements:

  • Their parents gained/regained Romanian Citizenship;
  • They have transcript in the Romanian Vital Records Register all the documents issued by the foreigners authorities;
  • They were minors at the date when their parents gained/regained Romanian Citizenship;

According with the act, those people are Romanian Citizenship from the date when their parents gained/regained Romanian Citizenship. Of course, this way to gain Romanian citizenship allows to get Romanian European Passport, in few months, and to save important time & money.

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