The Romanian passport is an official document issued to every Romanian citizen who wishes to travel abroad. Within two decades, Romania has gone from a hard-line communist state in the former Soviet bloc to a new democracy with fewer and less strict requirements for travel abroad. Membership in the European Union, since 2007, allows Romanians to travel anywhere in the EU with just a valid national ID card, overturning a past of extreme travel restrictions.
Under communism, relatively few Romanians had the right to hold passports and travel outside their country. After the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, when dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed, the country embarked on a multiparty democracy and restrictions on travel outside Romania loosened considerably. Since Romania became a member of the European Union (EU) along with Bulgaria, in January 2007, any Romanian can travel with just a valid national ID card (carte d'identité), no passport or visa, to all 25 EU member states. However, the flow of impoverished Romanian workers is still restricted in the EU's ten richest countries, restrictions the EU will allow to remain in place until 2013.
Anyone wishing to obtain a Romanian passport must supply the following to the Romanian Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform or to an official Romanian diplomatic mission: certified copies of your photo ID and birth certificate (and the same for your spouse, plus a marriage certificate and proof of divorce, if applicable); evidence of residency in Romania; proof of commitment to Romania and the Romanian people; a statement of good conduct from the Romanian police; and for people who wish to repatriate to Romania, a form requesting repatriation. Anyone who wishes to apply for a Romanian passport should contact the interior ministry for applications and for further information about requirements.
The Romanian passport is an official state travel document issued and owned by the Romanian Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform. It is a standard-size, 32-page, burgundy-coloured passport with "Romania" and "Passport" in gold on the cover framing a gold Romania Coat of Arms in the centre. Standard passports are issued only until Fall 2009. The old passports are being replaced, since December 2008, with required biometric passports, which utilise smart card technology with an embedded computer chip. The chip contains important information on the passport, and an image and fingerprints of the holder. Now on the passports of most major developed countries, the biometric chip is meant to ensure security and guard against fraud.
Romania is a Balkan nation in southeastern Europe; with 21.5 million people, it has the seventh largest population in the EU. Romanians may travel with a valid Romanian national ID card to any other European country. They can also travel visa-free to most of Central and South America and a handful of African nations. Romanians can obtain a visa upon arrival at a few African, Middle Eastern, Asian and Pacific countries. Before travelling to Australia, they must register on the Internet. But to enter countries in most of the world, including important destinations such as China, Russia, the United States and Canada, Romanians must first obtain a visa to accompany their passport. Countries usually charge a small fee for visas, and many impose time limitations on Romanians. Check with the destination country at least two months in advance for visa requirements. Some require a one-month application process.
A person who holds a valid Romanian passport may enter any international-travel entry point in Romania. While abroad, the passport endows the holder with all the rights of Romanian citizenship, including assistance and protection from Romanian embassies and consular offices. Thanks to EU membership, as time passes, Romanians with a valid passport will be granted more visa-free and visa-on-arrival entries to countries across the globe.
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