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I don't think your family's citizenship was revoked automatically by leaving.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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