Article by Nora Matei, Hammond-Partnership
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 realized 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 citizenship based on ancestry although lengthy is not that difficult if you can organize 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 a 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, 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 from 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 other 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 of 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 from all rights as Romanians.
In 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.
Although it is a good thing that finally Romania receives credit for all that it can offer and becomes attractive, one must notice that all these cases have one thing in common which is, war and repressive governments produce mass dislocation, family disintegration and uprooting.
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