Country Report: Naturalisation Last updated: 30/04/21


Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

The main criteria for naturalisation are laid down in Article 8(1) of the Act on Romanian Citizenship.[1] The applicant must:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. Have reached the age of 18;
  4. Have legal means for a decent existence in Romania, under the conditions established by the legislation on the regime of foreigners;
  5. 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;
  6. 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.[2] 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”[3] or “who can significantly promote the image of Romania through outstanding performance in sports”.[4] The Romanian Government considered these amendments “necessary” and found that “not adopting them urgently will significantly affect the nationality acquisition and reacquisition process”.[5]

The competent authority is the National Authority for Citizenship (NAC).[6]

In 2020, CNRR assisted 48 refugees who requested assistance for accessing Romanian citizenship (16 for long-term residence permits and 32 for citizenship). Of those assisted by CNRR, 6 refugees were granted the long-term residence permit and 6 refugees received Romanian citizenship. In general, the application for naturalisation is not solved in the year in which it is submitted, as a rule.[7]

AIDRom reported that they have no statistics on the number of citizenship acquisitions. Many beneficiaries are requesting information on this subject, but not all of them fulfil the conditions imposed by the legislation and only a few of them are submitting an application at NAC.[8]

In Timișoara, one refugee applied for citizenship and he acquired it. CNRR Bucharest provided counselling.

Galaţi: applications for naturalisation were made and they are still pending.

Rădăuţi: it was reported that there were no beneficiaries who applied for naturalisation.

Şomcuta Mare: ASSOC stated that 2 beneficiaries applied for citizenship in 2018, but they have not acquired it. A person from Iran obtained the citizenship in 2020/2019.[9]

IGI-DAI does not keep statistics on citizenship granted to beneficiaries of international protection.[10]




[1]        Act 21/1991 of 1 March 1991, available in Romanian at:

[2]        Article 8(2) Act on Romanian Citizenship.

[3]        Article 8^1Act on Romanian Citizenship, as amended by Government Emergency Ordinance No. 37/2015 of 15 September 2015.

[4]        Article 8^2Act on Romanian Citizenship, as amended by Government Emergency Ordinance No. 37/2015 of 15 September 2015.

[5]        Government Emergency Ordinance No. 37/2015 of 15 September 2015.

[6]        For further details, see European Statelessness Network, Ending Childhood Statelessness: A case study on Romania, 2015, available at:

[7]        Information provided by CNRR, 10 February 2021.

[8]        Information provided by AIDRom, 3 March 2021.

[9]        Information provided by ASSOC, 5 March 2020.

[10]       Information provided by IGI-DAI, 20 February 2020.


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation