Getting Romanian citizenship is straightforward until it comes down to citizenship by descent. Like most European countries, Romania uses the “right of blood” method to determine Romanian citizenship by birth. Basically, any child born to at least one Romanian parent obtains citizenship at birth, regardless of where they are born.
Americans may find this concept a bit odd, because the United States applies the “right of the soil” method to providing citizenship, meaning anyone born on US soil is an American citizen.
Romanian citizenship by naturalization can be obtained by legally residing in Romania as a permanent resident for eight years. Also, it’s necessary to have a stable and regular income, a legal title to the occupied living premises, confirmed knowledge about the Romanian language, history and civilization, etc.
If you’re married to a Romanian citizen, you get a small discount on the time required for naturalization (five years from the marriage date). You must, however, be legally resident in Romania, not living overseas.
If you are: (i) an international VIP; (ii) citizen of a country member of European Union; or you have (iii) the refugee status granted according with the Romanian Law; (iv) invested in Romania more than 1.000.000 Euro,
Also, the Law recognize 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 it, 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.
So, if you have legitimate Romanian heritage and know your family history, it may be worth working toward your second passport. Like any citizenship by descent, you will need to have patience as the process can easily take 1-2 years.