Possible Changes To The Romanian Citizenship Law

The Romanian Ministry of Justice recently announced that they are debating to amend, change and complete the Romanian Citizenship Law no. 21/1991. These changes will also affect the future applications of the foreign citizens that want to obtain the Romanian citizenship by having a Romanian ancestor.

The law project brings a series of changes, among which the resolution of citizenship files in the chronological order of their submission and introduction of prioritisation only for justified and limited cases such as serios illnesses, introduction of a Romanian language certificate that states the applicant knows the Romanian language, clear deadlines and an efficient process for obtaining Romanian citizenship, the applicant will be able to follow the status of the file online, any applicant can access the application, from anywhere, to see the status of the file resolution.

If the changes of the law will be admitted, the proof of Romanian citizenship will also be done with the Romanian citizenship card, a series of verifiable and secure procedures to guarantee the certainty of establishing the identity of future Romanian citizens, the collection of biometric data from the applicant, in the same way as when a Romanian citizen wants to obtain a Passport.

Similar to the regulation of other European Union countries, the project proposes the establishment of an additional integration indicator in the case of citizenship applicants, namely their attachment to the supreme values of the Romanian state.

Changing the legal terms in the matter of granting citizenship based on residence, that now are: 8 years if you have lived here on your own, or if you are married with a Romanian citizen is 5 years if you have lived in Romania together. It is proposed that the legal terms of residence be reduced by half when the applicant was born on the territory of Romania, when the applicant is a citizen of a member state of the European Union, respectively when the applicant has acquired a form of international protection according to the legal provisions in force and provides proof of active participation in the economic, social and cultural life of Romanian society, including as following the completion of the integration programs provided by the legislation in force.

The draft law proposes the establishment of a global legal term for the entire procedure for resolving applications for the reacquisition of Romanian citizenship, with a duration of 2 years, the current terms of a few months being unrealistic in relation to the volume of activity of the National Citizenship Authority, the current institutional capacity is overwhelmed right now, and some files take longer than 3 years to have a resolution.

The project establishes the audio-video recording of the interview to verify knowledge of the Romanian language, and the ceremony of taking the oath for obtaining the Romanian citizenship.

The project proposes implementing verifiable and secure processes for to guarantee that all applicants for citizenship have a biometrically confirmed identity, photo in biometric format and fingerprints, meaning that the applicant must be present at the moment for the application in the future too, as the current law specifies already. The measures to introduce biometrics data also concern the replacement of the current paper citizenship certificate with an electronic Romanian citizenship card, issued to those who have been granted or have reacquired Romanian citizenship.

What you must know is that right now the applicant for the Romanian citizenship needs to be present in Romanian for the moment of the application of the file, the applicant must be at the National Citizenship Authority on the appointed date and time that was chosen for the application. Also, at this moment you don’t need to prove any Romanian language knowledge, nor any language certificate, this will only be necessary if the changes of the law will pass the acceptance of the Romanian Parliament.