The main criteria for naturalisation are laid down in Article 8(1) of the Act on Romanian Citizenship. The applicant must:
a. Have legally resided in Romania continuously for at least 8 years, or at least 5 years since the day of marriage to a Romanian national;
b. Prove, through behaviour, actions and attitude, loyalty to the Romanian State, and not undertake or support actions against the rule of law or national security and declare that he or she has not taken such actions in the past;
c. Have reached the age of 18;
d. Have legal means for a decent existence in Romania, under the conditions established by the legislation on the regime of foreigners;
e. Be known for good behaviour and have not been convicted in the country or abroad for an offense that makes him or her unworthy of being a Romanian citizen;
f. Know Romanian language and possess basic notions of Romanian culture and civilisation, sufficient to integrate into the social life.
The minimum period of residence prior to the naturalisation application is shorter for a number of categories of applicants treated preferentially. Recognised refugees are one of the categories required to have resided in Romania continuously for a period of at least 4 years prior to the submission of the application. Therefore, the aforementioned provision clarifies the distinction between refugee status and subsidiary protection, which means that preferential treatment is afforded only to those bearing refugee status, while persons with subsidiary protection need to fulfil the condition of living 8 years prior to submitting the application.
However, the Act on Romanian Citizenship has introduced two additional articles which extend the right to apply for nationality to stateless persons or foreigners who have “particularly contributed to the protection and promotion of Romanian culture, civilization and spirituality” or “who can significantly promote the image of Romania through outstanding performance in sports”. The Romanian Government considered these amendments “necessary” and found that “not adopting them urgently will significantly affect the nationality acquisition and reacquisition process”.
The competent authority is the National Authority for Citizenship (NAC).
According to the AIDRom representative in Timișoara, in 2018, 4 beneficiaries applied for Romanian citizenship, even though AIDRom provided counselling in this regard to more persons. It was also pointed out that there is no common practice on citizenship grants. Beneficiaries who cannot prove their income for the past 3 years have problems understanding what other documents are required in order to apply. Counselling is provided to them by AIDRom jointly with CNRR.
Timișoara: According to the AIDRom representative, foreigners requested to participate to citizenship training course/ preparation for naturalisation. Upon request, AIDRom is organizing this course every week. Foreigners are learning Romanian language, history, geography for 1h and a half or 2 hours. The AIDRAom representative was aware of a person who applied but failed the test. The director of IGI-DAI stated that there were 3 persons who applied for naturalisation, out of which one was rescheduled for the interview.
IOM Romania reported 6 beneficiaries of international protection who had applied for citizenship in 2019. The decisions are pending.
Galaţi: 1 beneficiary of international protection applied for naturalisation. JRS is also offering preparatory course for naturalisation upon request.
Rădăuţi: it was reported that there were no beneficiaries who applied for naturalisation.
Şomcuta Mare: According to the JRS representative, a person obtained citizenship in 2019 and there is another person who would like to apply. None of the persons assisted by ASSOC applied for citizenship in 2019.
IGI-DAI does not keep statistics on citizenship granted to beneficiaries of international protection.
Article 8(2) Act on Romanian Citizenship.
Article 8^1Act on Romanian Citizenship, as amended by Government Emergency Ordinance No. 37/2015 of 15 September 2015.
Article 8^2Act on Romanian Citizenship, as amended by Government Emergency Ordinance No. 37/2015 of 15 September 2015.
Government Emergency Ordinance No. 37/2015 of 15 September 2015.
Information provided by AIDRom, 16 January 2019.
Information provided by IOM Romania, 21 January 2019.
Information provided by ASSOC, 5 March 2020.
Information provided by IGI-DAI, 20 February 2020.