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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