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Romania's laws during the communist regime say that if you LEFT Romania, no matter what age, your citizenship was revoked.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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