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Romanian Citizenship Law

The Law no.21 from March the 1st 1991
regarding Romanian citizenship

Text of law published in the Official Press Body of Romania no. 44 of March 6, 1991

The Romanian Parliament adopts the following law.


Guiding lines

Art. 1. – The Romanian citizenship expresses the affiliation of a person to the Romanian State.

The Romanian citizens have the same legal rights; Romanian citizens are the only ones to be admitted for civil and military public services.

Romanian citizens benefit of protection from the Romanian State.

Art. 2. – The ways to gain and lose the Romanian citizenship are the ones stipulated by the present law.

Art. 3. – There are no effects on the spouses’ citizenship when their marriage is pronounced, declared invalid, annulled or terminated through divorce.

Acquiring Romanian Citizenship

Art. 4. – The Romanian citizenship is acquired by:

a) birth;
b) adoption;
c) repatriation;
d) request.

A. By birth

Art. 5. – The children born from Romanian citizens on Romanian territory are Romanian citizens.

Furthermore, Romanian citizens are also those:

a) born on the Romanian territory, even if only one of the parents is a Romanian citizen;

b) born abroad and both parents, or only one of them has a Romanian citizenship.

The child found on Romanian territory is a Romanian citizen if none of the parents is known.

B. By adoption

Art. 6. – Romanian citizenship is acquired by a child possessing foreign citizenship or without citizenship through adoption, if the foster parents are Romanian citizens and the foster child has not turned 18 yet.

If only one of the foster parents is a Romanian citizen the citizenship of the underage foster child will be decided by the foster parents through mutual agreement. When the foster parents can’t reach such agreement, the court of law qualified to allow the adoption, will decide on the citizenship of the underage child, considering his best interests. As regarding the child that has turned 14, his consent is necessary.

If the adoption is made by a single person who has a Romanian citizenship, the underage child acquires the foster parent’s citizenship.

Art. 7. In the case of the adoption being declared invalid or annulled, the child who is not 18 yet is considered to never have been a Romanian citizen if he resides abroad or if he leaves Romania to reside abroad.

In the case of adoption dissolution the child who is not 18 yet loses the Romanian citizenship on the date of the adoption being dissolved, if he resides abroad or if he leaves the country to reside abroad.

C. By repatriation

Art. 8. – The person who has lost the Romanian citizenship can get it back by repatriation, if he so wishes.

Repatriating parents decide on the citizenship of their underage children. If the parents do not come to an agreement, the court of law where the under age resides will decide considering his best interests. If the under age child is 14 his consent is necessary.

The reacquiring of the citizenship of one of the spouses has no impact on the other spouse’s citizenship. The spouse with foreign citizenship or without citizenship of the repatriating person may require the Romanian citizenship, as the present law stipulates.

D. Acquiring by request

Art. 9. – The Romanian citizenship can be granted by request to that foreign citizen or to that person without citizenship who:

a) was born and resides on the Romanian territory at the request date or, even though he was not born on this territory, he has been residing on the Romanian territory for at least five years, or if he has been married to a Romanian citizen for at least 3 years;

b) proves attachment towards the Romanian State and Romanian people by his behaviour and attitude;

c) has turned 18;

d) has legal means of existence;

e) has a general good behaviour and has not been convicted in the country or abroad for a crime that makes him unworthy of being a Romanian citizen;

f) has a good knowledge of the Romanian language enabling him to integrate himself in the social life.

The terms stipulated at line 1 section (a) can be reduced in some legitimate cases.

Art. 10. – The under age child who has not turned 18 yet born from foreign citizens parents or parents with no citizenship acquires the Romanian citizenship at the same time with his parents.

If only one of the parents acquires the Romanian citizenship, the parents will jointly decide on the citizenship of the child. If the parents do not come to an agreement, the court of law where the child resides will make that decision considering his best interests. If the child has turned 14 his consent is necessary.

The child acquires Romanian citizenship at the same date as his parent.

Art. 11. – The Romanian citizenship can also be granted to a person who previously acquired it and is asking now for reacquiring it if he adequately meets the demands of art. 9 sections (b), (c), (e), while keeping his residence abroad.

The citizenship granting procedure

Art. 12. – Granting Romanian citizenship, both by request and by repatriation, is done following a proposal of the Minister of Justice, through a decision of the Government that gets to be published in the Romanian Official Press Body.

Art. 13. –The application for being granted Romanian citizenship is to be handed in personally or by a proctor possessing a special and authentic mandate which must also be completed by the appropriate paperwork proving that the conditions stipulated by the present law have been met with.

Art. 14. –The application for being granted Romanian citizenship is to be addressed to the committee responsible for ascertaining the citizenship granting conditions, committee functioning within the Ministry of Justice.

The committee consists of 5 magistrates from The Bucharest Municipality Law Court and it is designated for a four-year term by the president of this law court.

The president of the committee is the magistrate possessing the highest rank or, in the case of equal ranks, the one who has had his present position longer.

The committee has a secretariat run by a counsel from the Ministry of Justice, appointed by the Minister.

Art. 15. –The committee disposes of the publishing in an excerpt of the application for citizenship granting in the Official Publishing Body of Romania on the applicant’s own expense.

The committee will examine the application after 30 days from its being officially published.

Art. 16. –In order to solve the application the committee can further ask for:

a) filling in the paperwork and provision of any necessary explanations by the petitioner;

b) requesting information from any authorities;

c) subpoenaing any person who might provide useful information.

Art. 17. –Public authorities holding information or data on the petitioner’s incapacity to fulfill legal bindings conditions are compelled to share it with the committee.

Any person can sustain his case in front of the committee stipulated in art. 14, regarding the request for Romanian citizenship, as stipulated at line 1.

Art. 18. – After examining the application, the committee will draft a report handing it in to the Minister of Justice together with the Romanian citizenship application.

This report will necessary specify whether legal bindings for being granted the citizenship are met with or not.

Art. 19. – Based on the committee’s report, the Minister of Justice will present the Government the decision bill for granting the Romanian citizenship.

If the legal bindings for granting the citizenship are not complied with, the Minister of Justice will inform the petitioner about it, based on the committee’s report.

Art. 20. – The person to be granted the Romanian citizenship, according art. 8 line 1 and 3 and art.9, will take an oath to the Romanian state, within a time period of six months, in front of the Minister of Justice or the State Vice-secretary specially appointed for this matter.

The faith oath is as follows: “I swear devotion to the Romanian country and Romanian people, I swear to defend the rights and national interest, to respect the Constitution and the laws of Romania”.

The persons who obtain the Romanian citizenship, under the conditions stipulated by art. 11 will take an oath in front of the chief of the legation or of the consular office of Romania from the country he lives in.

Art. 21. – The Romanian citizenship is acquired on the date of taking the oath.

After taking the oath, the Minister of Justice, or if this is the case, the chief of the legation or of the consular office will release an official certificate to the person being granted the Romanian citizenship.

The proof of citizenship

Art. 22. – The proof of Romanian citizenship is the identity card, the passport or the certificate stipulated in art.21, line 2.

The citizenship of the child under 14 is proved by his birth certificate, together with the identity card or the passport of either one of the parents.

If the child is registered on the identity card or the passport of one of the parents, the proof of citizenship is done by any of these papers.

If the proof for the citizenship of the child under 14 cannot be done as stipulated by the previous line, the proof will be the certificate released by the civilian registration authorities.

The proof for the citizenship of the found children under 14 is done by the birth certificate.

Art. 23. – If necessary the Romanian legations or consular offices may release proofs of citizenship, at request, for Romanian citizens abroad.

Losing Romanian citizenship

Art. 24. – The Romanian citizenship can be lost by:

a) withdrawing Romanian citizenship;

b) accepting the disclaiming of the Romanian citizenship;

c) other cases stipulated by the law.

A. By withdrawing the citizenship

Art. 25. – The Romanian citizenship can be withdrawn from a person that:

a) being abroad, commits very serious crimes that injure the interests of the Romanian state or its authoritativeness;

b) being abroad, enlists himself in the army of a state that Romania break any diplomatic relations with or is at war with;

c) has illegally obtained the Romanian citizenship.

Art. 26. – The withdrawing of the citizenship has no effects on the citizenship of the spouse or the children of the person to whom the citizenship was withdrawn.

B. By accepting the disclaiming of the citizenship

Art. 27. – The disclaiming of the Romanian citizenship can be accepted, for substantial reasons, in the case of a person who turned 18 and who:

a) is not under charge or defendant in a criminal case or has to do a penal punishment;

b) is not searched for debts to the state, to certain individuals or corporate bodies from the country, or in case he has such debts, he pays them back or presents adequate guarantees for solving them.

Art. 28. – Losing the Romanian citizenship by accepting the disclaiming has no effect on the citizenship of the spouse and underage children.

However, if both parents obtain the acceptance for disclaiming the Romanian citizenship, and the underage child lives with them abroad or leaves the country together with them, the underage child loses the Romanian citizenship at the same time with his parents, and if the latter lost their citizenship at different dates, on the last of these dates. The underage child that leaves the country, in order to live abroad, after both of his parents have lost their citizenship, also loses his Romanian citizenship when he leaves the country.

The dispositions from the previous line adequately apply also in case only one parent is known or alive.

In the cases stipulated in lines 2 and 3, the child who turned 14 is being asked for his consent.

C. Other cases of losing the Romanian citizenship

Art. 29. – The underage Romanian citizen child, adopted by a foreign citizen, loses the Romanian citizenship if the foster parents, or after case, the foster parent expressly requests this, and the foreign law stipulates that the adopted child acquires the citizenship of the foster parent.

If the adoption is annulled or declared invalid, it is considered the child who is not 18 yet has never lost his Romanian citizenship.

Art. 30. – In the case stipulated in art.5 line3, the found child loses the Romanian citizenship if, by the time he turned 18, his filiations towards both his parents has been established and they are foreign citizens.

The Romanian citizenship is also lost if the filiations has been established only towards one parent foreign citizen, the other parent remaining unknown.

The date of losing the Romanian citizenship as stipulated in lines 1 and 2 is the date of establishing the child’s filiations.

The procedure of withdrawing and accepting the disclaiming of the Romanian citizenship

Art. 31. – The Romanian government stipulates, by decree, the withdrawing or, if this is the case, the accepting of disclaiming the Romanian citizenship, on a proposal of the Justice Minister, expressed accordingly to the procedure stipulated by art. 14-19.

Art. 32. – Any authority or person that knows any reason for the withdrawal of the Romanian citizenship may apprise, in writing, the committee within the Ministry of Justice, with the obligation of bringing the proofs he has.

The apprised committee may ask for data or information from any authority or person that has knowledge of the existence of a situation as that stipulated in art. 25.

Art. 33. – The request for disclaiming the Romanian citizenship is made personally or by an authorized person who has a special and authentic mandate, which is left with the committee that works with the Ministry of Justice, and which will act according to the stipulations of art. 14-19.

Art. 34. –The date of losing the Romanian citizenship by withdrawal or accepting the disclaiming is the date when the Government decree is published in the Romanian Official Press Body.

Art. 35. – The instructions stated in the art. 33 are also applied adequately to the cases stipulated in art. 29 and 30.

Transitory and final dispositions

Art. 36. – The persons that acquired and kept the Romanian citizenship according to the previous legislation are and remain Romanian citizens.

Art. 37. – The ex- Romanian citizens that, before 22 December 1989, had lost the Romanian citizenship from different reasons, may reacquire it by request at the legations or Romanian consular offices from abroad and in the country at the State Notary Office in Bucharest, on the basis of a legalized declaration, even though they have a different citizenship and they do not establish their residency in Romania.

Those to whom the Romanian citizenship was withdrawn from them against their will or from other reasons they cannot be blamed for, as well as their descendants also benefit of the dispositions from line 1.

Art. 38. – The requests regarding the granting of the citizenship and the acceptance of disclaiming the citizenship are subjected to a tax stipulated by the law.

Reacquiring the Romanian citizenship according to the stipulation in art. 37 is free from any consular taxes, by derogation from the line 1 stipulations.

Art. 39. – The persons to whom the Romanian citizenship was granted have all the rights and liberties, according to the law, as well as the obligations stipulated by the Constitution and the state’s laws for the Romanian citizens.

Art. 40. – The Romanian citizenship titled “honorary citizenship” may be granted to some foreigners for special services in favour of the country and the Romanian people, on the Government proposal, with no other formality, by the Romanian Parliament.

The persons who acquired the honorary citizenship enjoy all the civilian and political rights that are recognized to the Romanian citizens, except the right of electing and being elected and that of carrying out a public rank.

Art. 41. – For the situations where the child who turned 14 is asked for his consent, this must take the form of an authenticate declaration taken in the presence of the notary.

Art. 42. – The present law comes into force within 30 days from it being published in the Romania’s Official Press Body.

The requests that are to be resolved when the present law comes into force will be solved according to its stipulations, except the requests for reacquiring the Romanian citizenship, brought in up to this date, according to the Decree-law no.137/1990

Art. 43. – On the date when this law comes into force, The Law no. 24/1971, The law of the Romanian citizenship, the Decree-Law no.137/1990 regarding some instructions which refer to the Romanian citizenship, the stipulations of art. 3 and 8 from the Decree-Law no.7/1989 regarding the repatriation of Romanian citizens and that of ex-Romanian citizens, as well as any other instructions contrary to the present law are abolished.

This law was adopted by the Senate during its meeting from 25 February 1991.


This law was adopted by the Deputies Assembly during its meeting from 25 February 1991.


According to art. 82 line m) from The Decree-law no.92/1990 for electing the Parliament and the President of Romania, we promulgate The Law of the Romanian citizenship and we demand its publication in the Romania’s Official Press Body.


The Romanian Citizenship law detailed above was exclusively translated for the “Romanian Citizenship , Romanian Passport” web site. The translation is not a substitute for the original Romanian law, nor is it a legal document and as such it has no legal validity. This translation is the property of the “Romanian Citizenship , Romanian Passport” web site and no parts of it can not be copied, duplicated, distributed, stored in a database on any kind, presented in public or transferred to a third party, without the written consent of the web site owners beforehand.