Saturday, 18 December 2010

FAQ: Why was your mom's Romanian citizenship revoked?

Question
I don't think your family's citizenship was revoked automatically by leaving. I know plenty of people who left and retained their citizenship. I also know others who had to intentionally renounce their Romanian citizenship in order to get citizenship in another country (e.g. Austria). The people I know who renounced it were either already out of the country or had an offer of citizenship before they left (e.g. from Germany or Israel). In both cases, they were able to get it back after 1990 as long as their new country of citizenship allowed dual citizenship.

Answer
My family left when Romania was communist; they basically committed "high treason" because they left permanently and have never been back.

Romanian citizenship during the Communist regime.
I have been told that any Romanian who left during the Communist regime were considered traitors by having committed "high treason" and thus revoked of Romanian citizenship. However, since the fall of Communism, laws have changed. Th
e 1991 law basically cancels the revocation of citizenship due to its extreme political nature, therefore, my mom still has citizenship (we just have to prove it). My grandfather's is a different matter. He willingly renounced his citizenship. If we had wanted his to be restored, that would be another legal matter.

Question
Where was your grandma from? What was her original citizenship? Did she actually get Romanian citizenship? Marriage alone doesn't grant citizenship. It only helps you get a long term residence permit.

If you want your kids to have Romanian citizenship, then just give birth there. Have you tried different lawyers? Maybe a different lawyer would provide different results.

Answer
Grandma was born in the US to German parents. However, US citizenship laws at that time allowed my aunt to get US citizenship since my grandma wasn't married at the time. My mom was only Romanian since her father was Romanian and my grandmother was a couple months short of the 10 years necessary to pass on citizenship. I've asked my grandmother about this American-Romanian citizenship stuff, but she can't remember. I'm not sure if she's just getting old or has blocked it from her memory. Romania wasn't the nicest place when she lived there.

Can't just give birth in Romania. Laws have changed. That's like saying if I gave birth in Korea my kids would be Korean. It's jus sanguine (meaning citizenship is passed on by ancestry, like the majority of countries nowadays), not jus tierra (citizenship is given by the country where you give birth, like the US).

it has nothing to do with my lawyer. It's just the way things are in Romania. Everyone seems to say something different and then change their mind a day later.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Monday, 15 November 2010

FAQ: Why do you need your father's license?

Question
It would be sad to give up after having gotten this far and spent over 6 years trying. Keep it up, in my humble opinion. If you tell them your father doesn't want to cooperate perhaps they can work around him. After all you don't lose your rights due to someone else's non-cooperation (even a parent). The authorities are able to look up his birth record in their municipal archives with his name and date of birth, aren't they?

Answer
He's not Romanian. Only my mother is, so they can't look him up. My mom's not in the computer system either since they didn't have IDs when she was born. Sigh, it's been more than 6 years. I first contacted the Chicago consulate back in Sept 1999. I believe that the Lima embassy purposely left off the ID number to render the birth cert invalid. The embassy in Korea is the third embassy / consulate I've dealt with (due to moving) and they all ask for MORE paperwork.

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Visit to the Seoul embassy

Still waiting to hear if my grandmother, grandfather, or mother are registered in Romania.

I went to the embassy here in Seoul, Korea. Good news is that I could understand most of what they said. Bad news is, I presented all my docs and basically they said that there was a problem with my birth cert. When I got it, I noticed that the ID number was left off. I asked and said it wasn't necessary. However, it IS necessary since without that, I'm not registered as a Romanian.

So they said that I have to get my parents' licenses and their birth certs and present those. My father has refused to give me his, saying that people will steal his identity and my mother's name on her US driver's license doesn't match her birth name, so we'd be back where we started.

My lawyer is also working on stuff over there, but honestly I'm ready to give up. I finally got a birth cert and it's basically null and void.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Friday, 15 October 2010

FAQ: What does the UNHCR say about rights to citizenship?

Question
If Romania is a signatory to the UNHCR, then you have a right to Romanian citizenship. You have a right to return to the country of your birth. You cannot lose your citizenship unless you specifically denounce/renounce citizenship (and this is a specific process). Bureaucrats are playing politics.

The solution is often beating them at their game before they play. Do the research. Quote the law at them. Treaties are legally binding and modify existing law (e.g. the Constitution) unless specifically overturned in court. What often happens is that something is rejected on a technicality. This protects the bureaucrat from responsibility.

The solution is twofold- give them legal basis to grant your claim and thereby protect them from mistakes. If Romania give Grandma citizenship, then she's got it. Next step (separate) apply for your own citizenship. One step at a time. You don't always dump all ingredients into a pan to make bread (dough must be kneaded, etc.) so why should you do other things that way?

Best wishes.

Answer
Romania's laws during the communist regime say that if you LEFT Romania, no matter what age, your citizenship was revoked. Here's what makes it worse. When my grandfather he left he wasn't even given a Romanian passport, just papers.

My grandmother was Romanian through marriage. She left with my mom and my aunt. They were given "stateless" passports, which according to the UNHCR isn't possible. I guess the loophole is that they were on my grandma's passport. Since she was a naturalised Romanian citizenship, maybe they could revoke her citizenship. And since my mom and my aunt were underage, they were simply put on my grandma's passport.

I've tried. Seriously I have. I'm ready to pull my hair out.

So in theory, if you want to uphold communist regime laws, then no one in my family HAS citizenship and we'd have to re-acquire it. My mom and I can't since our Romanian language skills aren't that good. They have to be fluent. And one the main reasons why I'm doing this is so that my kids can be citizens and I have to get citizenship before they're born and it looks like that's not going to happen.

I've tried quoted laws. For the past 10 years I've been searching for laws, Israel has the most compentent info. I FINALLY got my birth cert, after nearly a decade. Now they say it's no good. It's a Catch 22. Simply put: they don't WANT me to have citizenship, so I probably won't get it.

Until you've dealt with Romanian govt officials, you really have no idea what you're getting yourself into. I have a lawyer and he's also given the run around. They don't want us. That's it.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Husband left Korea

He's decided to go back and work in Peru for up to a year.

Edit: He came back in February 2011.

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Saturday, 31 July 2010

A bit of good news

In August 2008, we found out that if we can prove that my mom is still a citizen, then I'd be a citizen. We sent the documents, but due to personal issues on both sides (myself and my lawyer) we decided to put the project on hold in August 2009. We started up again earlier this year after I got my Romanian birth cert!

The Chicago consulate doesn't recognise her citizenship on the basis that her passport has long expired, she doesn't speak Romanian, and she hasn't lived there since she left. Fortunately, the UNHCR and the Romanian Consitution disagree with the Chicago consulate.

Giving Up Romanian Citizenship
According to Romanian law, my mother can't have had her Romanian citizenship revoked, because it was required by birth.


This is from EICEE.

(1) Romanian citizenship can be acquired, retained or lost as provided for by the organic law.
(2) Romanian citizenship cannot be withdrawn if acquired by birth.

This is from UNHCR:
Article 5 (section 2) of the Constitution of Romania that was adopted by the Romanian Parliament on 21 November 1991 indicates that Romanian nationality acquired by birth cannot be taken away from anyone (Monitorul Oficial 21 Nov. 1991). The UNHCR also has an English copy of Romanian citizenship laws.

Next Steps
Therefore if either my grandfather, grandmother, or my mother is still registered as a Romanian according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, then I would be Romanian and could get the passport. I doubt that my grandmother would be listed as a citizen, since she was naturalised and therefore her citizenship was easier to revoke. We're hoping that my mom is still a citizen, since my grandfather passed away and my mom is closer to me by ancestry.

So,
if can prove that my mom is still a citizen and hasn't renounced her citizenship or had it revoked, then I'd be a citizen. We're 100% sure that she never renounced it since she couldn't talk when she left Romania. Now we just have to prove that Romania never revoked her of her citizenship, which incidentally, is no illegal according to UNHCR and the Romanian Constitution.

I should find out by September. That's about two months. Though I'm not holding my breath since things seem to take a long time to get done in Romania.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Monday, 12 July 2010

FAQ: Why not go to Romania?

Question
You said, "The fact that I don't speak Romanian, nor have even stepped foot in the country isn't helping the matter."

Not only is it "not helping", it's the key part of the problem. If you just went there and integrated into the system, you'd probably be able to resolve your citizenship quest within a year. Two at tops. Romania is a place where you have to be there in person to get things done.

In Romania things are much like here in Korea. There's the official rules and procedures, and then there's the actual rules and procedures. Even without bribing people or getting an acquaintance to pull some strings for you, being there in person to argue your point of view or to push to get something done will get a lot more accomplished than writing and calling offices.

I think that you're making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Answer
First, I have a lawyer, IN Romania and he's been trying to do this since 2007. He has power of attorney, so that's not the issue. There's lots of paperwork and our case isn't exactly cut and dry either. Second, I don't have the means to go to Romania for two years. First off, I'd need a visa and don't think I'd be able to get one since Romania's now part of the EU. Second, if I don't have a visa, my husband won't get one either. Third, I suppose I could just go there every couple of months, but I don't have a job that lets me leave for months at a time.

Anyways, I did get my Romanian birth cert while in Peru Smile Anyways, I have a lawyer in Romania and he's run into the same issues. I'm not the one making a mountain out of a mole hill, it's the govt.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Sunday, 20 June 2010

Husband arrived

He's here in Korea. Hopefully he'll stay!

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Thursday, 3 June 2010

FAQ: How do you become Romanian?

Question
One thing you should keep in mind, is the whole point of this process is to prove that you are in fact a Romanian citizen from birth. You aren't becoming a Romanian citizen; Romanian law made you a Romanian citizen from birth by virtue of the fact you were born to a Romanian citizen parent. The fact that you were born outside Romania (and never even lived in Romania) makes no difference insofar as Romanian citizenship law considering you a Romanian citizen from birth. All you are doing is documenting and proving the fact that you were always considered a citizen under Romanian law.

Answer
I agree with you. I do. Try convincing the authorities otherwise. They're saying that my mom is no longer a citizen. They've told her to have her father go to the embassy and swear he never gave up citizenship. He died more than 10 years ago. The fact that I don't speak Romanian, nor have even stepped foot in the country isn't helping the matter. They, like most countries, are saying that a birth cert isn't proof of citizenship, but a passport is.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

FAQ: Name change

Question
Based on your early messages on this thread, it seems your mother was able to change her legal name in Romania without first obtaining a Romanian passport. Is there any reason you cannot do it the same way she did it?

Answer
I don't think so. Her name was changed becuase she was naturalised as a US citizen. She was also only 9 at the time and changed it because she didn't like it. I was an adult when I changed mine. My mom changed her name after she was Romanian. She was Romanian at birth. I changed my name after I became Romanian (since I just got my birth cert in early 2010, I guess that's when I "became" Romanian.

Question
I don't see why that should make a difference. Your mother changed her name as a child when she naturalized, and you changed your name as an adult when getting married. Nevertheless you both changed it outside Romania, and needed to get your foreign (meaning non-Romanian) name change recognized in Romania. Your mother got her name change recognized in Romania about 5 years ago (shortly after you started this thread) and did so without ever obtaining a Romanian passport.

All the Romanian government cares is that the name was changed outside Romania. How or when it was legally changed outside Romania would make no difference insofar as registering the name change with Romania. So I don't see why you shouldn't be able to have Romania register your name change any differently than your mother did.


Answer
I completely agree with you, however, the RO govt doesn't. I believe my mom had to change her stuff since she was a Romanian since birth. Anyways, the important thing is that she is still passport and not allowed to register her marriage in Romania by the Chicago consulate

The difference would be that she already had a Romanian passport. It wasn't valid, but anyways her application for a Romanian passport AND Romanian marriage cert was denied based on.
1. She didn't speak Romanian.
2. She hadn't lived there in decades.
3. She didn't have a valid marriage cert and couldn't get a passport.
4. She didn't have a valid passport and couldn't get a married cert.

It's not logical, I know. That that's the whole point; the system isn't logical.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

FAQ: Registering your marriage with Romania

Question
What if you don't inform them of your being married, request the passport under your maiden name, and then once you have the passport you can let them know you are married and have a new name (if you even want to bother at that point)?

Answer
No can do. I have to show current documentation, which would be my US passport, which has my married name.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Monday, 31 May 2010

FAQ: Are you done yet?

Question
Sounds like you are the verge of completing the (lengthy) process you are already in the midst of to obtain a Romanian passport. Considering that you already have your Romanian birth certificate (something that can only be issued to a Romanian citizen [if the person was born outside Romania]), you should be able to complete your original process much quicker than this new idea.
So, are you almost done?

Answers
You'd think that with the birth cert I could easily get my passport, right? Nope, the counsel in at the Romanian embassy in Lima, Peru, didn't give me a Romanian ID number. So the people at the Romanian embassy in Seoul, Korea, couldn't find my name.

And then there the Catch 22 of not getting a passport without a marriage cert and not getting a marriage cert without a passport. Basically, I'm in the same situation that my mom was in years ago when we went to the Chicago consulate. I've emailed my lawyer and am waiting to hear back from him.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Moldovans get Romanian citizenship

I was given an article about Moldovans being given Romanian citizenship. I was told yesterday that the government of Romania is actually actively trying to get citizens of Moldova to become citizens of Romania. The informant told me nearly the whole population of Moldova qualifies for Romanian citizenship since nearly all of them had ancestors who were Romanians before the war.

I was told this by a Moldovan who is now in the process of getting Romanian citizenship and he says the new law in Romania says it must take no longer than six months to process applications.
Apparently it is rather easy to get a Moldovan passport and once you have it, you can then get Romanian citizenship very easily. Unfortunately, I don't qualify for a Moldovan passport.


Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Monday, 24 May 2010

FAQ: Why is it taking so long?

Question
Hi naturegirl321 (again),

I assume you are still too busy to have completed this? (BTW, the fact that you now have your Romanian birth certificate means they officially recognize you as a citizen. So the hard part is over, you just need to finalize the paperwork formalities.)

Anyways, I'm researching the same issue you had with your mother changing her name after she came to the U.S. What document(s) did your mother have to submit to the Romanian consulate to change her name in Romania? Was it just her U.S. naturalization certificate, or did they need anything else as well? If so, what else? And did they need her original U.S. naturalization certificate or just a photocopy? Do they also require copies (or originals) of your and/or your mother's photo ID card (i.e. U.S. Driver License or U.S. Passport)?

And one thing I didn't get clearly from your post, was why your mother had to change her name on her U.S. Marriage certificate, if she was already going to just change her name in Romania to match her U.S. name?

Thanks again!

Answer
Not too busy, just moved to Korea. I need to get my marriage cert legalised by the Romanian embassy in Lima. My husband has been calling for over a month and they haven't picked up the phone.

Also, here's the catch.
In order to get my RO marriage cert, I need a valid RO passport.
In order to get a RO passport, I need a RO marriage cert.

I don't really think that the birth cert proves citizenship. I think the passport does. And I still don't have that. My mom has her birth cert and was denied a passport. They told her the same thing at the Chicago consulate, no passport they won't issue her with a marriage cert. No marriage cert, they won't issue her with a passport.
It's a catch 22. I have a lawyer working on it.

Plus, neither of us speaks Romanian. I can read and understand a bit though.

Timewise for my mother's name change in Romania, it took 9 months. For her name change on my birth cert and her marriage cert it was 7 months.

She didn't submit antyning to the consulate. They refused to help her at the Chicago consulate. She had to get her cousin in Romania to help. She had to give a power of attorney and her old birth cert as far as I know, as well as her US naturalisation cert. I believe she just sent regular photocopies.

My mother had to change her name because she had only used TWO of her THREE names. She had TWO names on my birth cert and my marriage cert. And THREE on her naturalisation cert. And the THREE on her naturalisation cert weren't the same THREE on her Romanian birth cert. ONE name had been Americanized.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Monday, 12 April 2010

FAQ: What does your timeline for Romanian citizenship look like?

Question
Hi naturegirl321,

Thank you for posting the looong multi-year process you've gone through to document your Romanian citizenship. It is a MAJOR help to anyone considering going through the same steps. (And this thread is one of the top Google results when searching to get Romanian citizenship through parents/grandparents.) And congratulations on getting your Romanian birth certificate. It sure sounds like they finally recognized (admitted may be a better word!) you are a Romanian citizen by birth.

Do you think the major complication in your process was the differences in how your mother's name was recorded in Romania and in America? If you didn't have that problem (meaning if your mother's name had been registered exactly the same in both the United States and in Romania) how long do you think the process would have then taken you?

Also, how long did it take to get a certified copy (I assume it was certified?) of your mother's Romanian birth certificate, once she requested it? (I think you mentioned she requested it through the consulate in the U.S.)

If not for the name change complication, do you think this process could have been done without a Romanian lawyer? How long did it take to update your mother's name registration? (I got the impression the name correction was done on her U.S. documents, rather than on her Romanian papers?)

And how much did you have to spend for all the lawyers services? Can you mention who the lawyer is and if they are quick and efficient? Also, how much did the whole process cost you in dollars so far from beginning to end?

And on what basis did the Romanians finally accept that your parent/grandparents citizenship was valid? (Based on the obstacles you mentioned throughout the thread.)

I think the most important piece of information you can share with us, is a list of all the documents you needed to complete this whole process. i.e. Your mothers birth certificate, marriage certificate, any old Romanian or American passport or exit papers, your birth and marriage certificate, certified translations of all the above?, Hague Apostil on all of them?, police (criminal) reports of you or your mother in either Romania or the US?, or any other documents the Romanians demanded to complete this.

Good Luck! (You truly deserve it after putting in almost 6 years of work -- which I'm sure was very time consuming for you -- to get this working correctly!)

Answer
Yep, I'm happily amazed that it's first on google.

Problem that I have now: I'm married and in order to get a Romanian marriage cert, I need a valid Romanian passport. In order to get a valid Romanian passport, I need a Romanian marriage cert. I don't have either.

The three complications that we had according to the Chicago consulate.
1. My mom changed her name
2. My mom doesn't speak Romanian.
3. My mom has never been back to Romania.

The name change alone took a couple of years, We had to change her birth cert, which took 9 months. She actually has a new Romanian birth cert to match her US naturalisation papers. Her US naturalisation papers have NOT changed. It took about 7 month to change my birth cert and her marriage cert. She doesn't have a Romanian marriage cert or valid Romanian passport. She and my aunt shared one with their mom, and that was many, many years ago. I don't have a certified copy of my mom's birth cert. Just her orginal and mine.

With the name complication, I don't know. When I got my Romanian birth cert from the embassy in Lima, I just had to fill out three papers in Romanian, show my mom's birth cert and my birth cert. That was it. Took about 2 weeks to process that.

THAT being said, we had been denied at the Chicago consulate multiple times. I think it depends where you go. The lawyer has been paid for by my mom, but the total cost will be less than $2000 if everything goes smoothly. As for my lawyer being quick and efficient, HE is, but Romanian paperwork and bueracracy IS slow and painful, so it's not his fault.

Other costs
my mom's new birth cert $100
My new birth cert $60
Notarising my birth cert $25
Translation and application for my Romanian birth cert $200

The basis on which they gave me a Romanian birth cert was because my mom was born in Romania. They didn't, like Chicago, say that I couldn't get it because my mom hadn't been to Romania in years or didn't speak Romanian; because that doesn't matter. My mom wasn't even WITH me when I applied and I didn't show her old passport either.

Documents vary, but you'll need
Romanian parent's birth cert
Your birth cert (with Hague apostille)
Application papers
birth cert must be translated, the embassy does that.

That's it. My mom's marriage cert wasn't needed. Nor was mine. I will, however, need my marriage cert to get the passport. My lawyer and I are taking a break now and going to start trying for the passport in the summer. I just moved to Korea and we both have had a lot on our plate.

But the most important thing to remember is that different embassies ask for different things. We spent a couple of YEARS getting stuff that the Chicago consulate wanted, only to be we needed more documents and then since my mom hasn't been back to Romania and doesn't speak Romanian that she can't be Romanian. The Chicago consulate kept giving us the runaround.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Got my Romanian birth cert

I actually got my birth cert last month in January, but I haven't posted for a while since I've moved twice internationally in two months. In January I moved from Peru to the US where I spent about a month with my family and dragged my massive suitcase, big backpack, and carry-on with me. And then in February I moved to Korea, and dragged the same stuff with me minus some paperwork like tax stuff and photo albums, with me.

Here's what happened in January 2010
Ok, so good news. Kind of. The counsel got back to Peru so I applied and got my Romanian birth cert! Yea! So now, I need to register my marriage. Of course, the embassy was closed for another couple of weeks due to updating their computer system. Now they're open and I've left Peru. I'm moving back to Korea. I'm a bit wary about the CNP. There is none. When I asked the counsel he said it wasn't important.

So just great. I have, however, gotten an official translation of my marriage cert by a translator in Romania.

Two things have to be done.
1. Register my marriage. (in order to do that, I need a valid Ro passport)
2. Get a Romanian passport (in order to do that, I need to have my marriage cert registered)

Am I the only one that sees the illogical situation? It's a Catch-22.

I've contact my lawyer, who says he will see what he can do. Right now, I'm busy with moving back to Korea and my new job and he's busy as well, so we're just going to wait until summer and take it from there.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Monday, 22 February 2010

Applying for my birth cert

I haven't posted for a while since I've moved twice internationally in two months. In January I moved from Peru to the US where I spent about a month with my family and dragged my massive suitcase, big backpack, and carry-on with me. And then in February I moved to Korea, and dragged the same stuff with me minus some paperwork like tax stuff and photo albums, with me.

Here's what happened in December 2009.

I'm going to apply for my Romanian birth cert. I need to fill out three forms in Romanian.

1. Form stating I want to be registered as a Romanian and that there's no reason why I shouldn't and that everything is true.
2. Information about my birth certificate with attached birth certificate.
3. Form stating that I agree with everything and want to be registered as a Romanian.

I had to show my apostillised US birth cert and my mom's original birth cert. I also had to pay a total of $200, which covered the registration fee and the translation fee.

I should hear back from them in a couple weeks.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Moving to Korea again

This time for good I hope! I'd like to start a family there. I'll spend a month in the US and then go to Korea to start working March 1st. My husband should be joining me in June.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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