Romanian Immigration Guide – 2020

The Romanian immigration guide below provides you with a valuable understanding of the main Romanian immigration procedures. The guide explains general immigration concepts, such as: travel visas, residency permit rules, or the procedures around Romanian work permit application.

The guide does not cover all specific situations, therefore, for any specific guidance related to your case, we advise you to request guidance from an immigration consultant.

Basic concepts first

A visa is a standard format sticker that is generally glued into your passport (on one of the passport’s pages). A Romanian visa gives holder the right to enter and stay in Romania for no more than 90 days. Types of visas that can be extended beyond the 90 days limit are only long-term visas (type D). A travel visa for Romania can be obtained from a Romanian consulate in your home country.

A Romanian work permit (or work authorization) is an official document issued by Romanian Immigration authorities that gives holder the right to carry out employment activities on Romanian territory. A Romanian work permit must be applied for by the employer of the foreigner and is generally valid for 12 months.

The Romanian residency permit is an identification card that is issued to foreign nationals, giving them the legal right to reside in Romania for more than the 90 days allowed under the travel visa. Residency permits are issued by the Romanian Immigration Office and can be valid for up to 5 years, depending on the purpose of the foreigner’s stay in Romania (i.e., employment, business activities, studying, volunteering, family reunification, etc.).

It is a residency permit (see above explanation for “residency permit”) that is issued to foreign nationals who fulfill specific conditions. The main condition for qualifying for a Romanian permanent residency permit is to already have registered a period of legal residency in Romania of minimum 5 years. Compared to a simple residency permit, which in most of the cases is valid for 1 or 2 years, a permanent residency permit for Romania can be valid for at least 5 years.

Types of travel visas

Foreigners of certain nationalities must apply for a Romanian visa if they want to travel to Romania. Therefore, before traveling or moving to Romania, it is very important to check visa requirements for Romania, otherwise your entry to the country could be denied. The list of countries whose nationals must apply for visa before traveling to Romania can be found here.

This is the type of visa you must apply for if you want to travel to Romania for a short period of time, and you are a national of a country for which a visa is required to enter Romanian territory. The short term visa can be valid for a maximum period (or maximum accumulated periods) of 90 days of stay in the country, counted within 6 consecutive months. The short term visa (type C) can be obtained for the following purposes of travel to Romania:

  • tourism
  • private visit (visiting individuals)
  • business
  • sports activities
  • cultural and scientific activities
  • governmental missions.

Short term visas cannot be extended for more than their validity period. Therefore, if you intend to extend your stay in Romania through a residency permit, you would want to rather apply for a long-term visa (please refer to details below).

Depending on your travel plans, short-stay visa can be issued with one entry or multiple entries into the country.

The long term visa for Romania (type D) is issued for immigration purposes, to foreigners who want to move to Romania for long term. It can be valid for a maximum period (or accumulated periods) of 90 days of stay within 6 consecutive months. However, the period of stay in Romania can be extended through a residency permit application.

The residency permit application (if needed) must be fulfilled after traveling to Romania, at the local Romanian Immigration Office. Residency permit applications require the applicant’s presence at the moment of submission of the file. The long stay visa (type D) can be obtained for the following purposes of stay in Romania: work, study, economic activities, family reunification, professional activities, humanitarian or religious purposes.

Transit visas (types A or B) allow entry on the Romanian territory only for the purpose of transit. It can be granted for airport or border transit, and allows validity of maximum 5 days.

Applications for any types of visas must be submitted to the Romanian embassies, consulates or missions in the applicant’s country of residence (please find an updated list here). The long-term visas can be granted only if prior approval from the Romanian Immigration Office was received by the consulate. Only by special exceptions, transit visas or short-term visas can also be issued by Romanian border checkpoint officers.

IMPORTANT: Before applying for any travel visa for Romania, please ensure that your passport meets the following criteria:

  • its validity exceeds the validity of the visa for which you apply with at least 3 months
  • it was issued during the prior 10 years.

Among the countries whose citizens need a visa to enter Romania, there are certain countries whose citizens need to obtain an invitation letter approved by the Romanian Immigration Office prior to applying for the travel visa.

Romanian work permits – types

Under this type of work permit a foreign individual can be directly hired by a Romanian employer under an employment contract. The work permit for regular hires is a document that can be requested only by the Romanian employer. The individual cannot apply for the work permit by oneself.

This type of work permit can be valid for the same period for which the employment contract with the foreigner is valid. It gives the foreign employee the right to be granted with Romanian residency permit for minimum period of 12 months. The residency permit is extendable as long as the work permit is valid and the employment contract is in place.

Minimum monthly salary that must be paid to the foreign employee under the regular work permit is the minimum Romanian national salary, as follows:

  • for year 2019: 2,080 LEI/month
  • for year 2020: 2,230 LEI/month

Same as the regular work permit (please see above), the work permit for highly-skilled employees is also applicable for local hires. The difference is that, under the work permit for highly-skilled employees, the individual must have higher-level education (university degree) and he/she must be remunerated with a minimum monthly salary. The monthly salary must equal at least the level of 2 average national salaries, which for 2019 is set at: 10,326 LEI/month.

Based on this type of work permit, the foreign employee can apply for a Romanian residency permit with a validity of 24 months. The residency permit can be extended as long as the work permit is valid, and the employment contract is in place.

This type of work permit is specifically designated to situations of international assignments of employees to Romanian companies. More exactly, under such contractual structure the foreign employee would remain employed by his foreign employer, and would be assigned to carry out his/her activities for a temporary period, for the benefit of a Romanian employer.

A work permit for international assignee is valid for a maximum period of 12 months, beyond which it cannot be extended. As per Romanian immigration law, an international assignment of a non-EU national in Romania is limited to a maximum period of 1 year within 5 consecutive years.

Romanian residency permits (non-EU nationals)

Depending on the purpose of stay in Romania and on fulfilling the applicable conditions, Romanian immigration authorities can issue Romanian residency permits of the following types:

A regular residency permit can be issued to a foreign national (non-EU national) based on fulfilling the applicable conditions for a specific purpose of long-term stay in Romania. Te permit can be generally granted after obtaining a long-term visa – type D (please refer to the above for long-term visas).

Therefore, the specific conditions applicable for the type of visa required must be fulfilled prior to the residency permit application – e.g. if the foreign’s individual purpose of stay in Romania is volunteering activities, he/she must fulfill the applicable conditions for obtaining long-term stay right in Romania for this purpose.

This type of residence permit is issued within a timeline of approximately 30 to 45 days from the application date, and cannot be valid for over 12 months.

The single permit for Romania is applicable to foreign nationals whose purpose of stay in Romania is local employment with a Romanian company, or international assignment from a foreign company. This type of residency permit can be issued by Romanian Immigration Office after the foreign national gets the long-term visa for employment or work assignment (D type). Some exemptions from obtaining long-term visa for Romania apply to nationals of certain countries, such as: USA, Canada, Australia, etc.

This type of permit is generally issued within a period of 30 to 45 days as of the application is submitted, and can be valid for up to 12 months. It can be extended, assuming applicable conditions are still fulfilled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Romania member of the European Union?

Yes, Romania is member of the European Union as of 1 January 2007.

Is Romania part of the Schengen area?

No, Romania is not yet part of the Schengen area. Nevertheless, it applies similar immigration rules as those applied by Schengen area member countries.

Do I need a travel visa in my passport for entering and staying in Romania?

If you are citizen of any EU states, no visa is required for entering and staying in Romania. If you are citizen of a non-EU member country, depending on your citizenship, you may need a visa to be stamped in your passport prior to traveling to Romania. For verifying whether you need a Romanian travel visa, please check the official list updated by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, here: List of countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when traveling to Romania.

I’m national of a country whose citizens must obtain a visa for traveling to Romania. How do I get a travel visa in my passport?

Travel visas are generally issued by the Romanian consulates abroad who deal with the immigration affairs. If you wish to apply for a Romanian entry visa, you need to reach out to the Romanian consulate in your country of residence. Ask the consulate for the list of documents that are required for a visa application. If there is no Romanian consulate in your country, please try to contact the consulate in one of your neighboring countries.

I have a travel visa issued by a country member of the Schengen Area. Can I use it for traveling to Romania?

Yes, you can travel to Romania if you have a valid Schengen visa in your passport (with two or multiple entries). Or if you have a valid residence permit for any country part of the Schengen area.

If there is no requirement for me to obtain a Romanian travel visa, is there anything else I should have in place prior to traveling to Romania?

No, there are no other requirements. And you can travel to Romania for a period/periods of no more than 90 days. Of course, depending on the purpose of your travel, the border police may have reasons to ask you different questions or documents proving the purpose or period of your stay.

I want to relocate to Romania. How can I do that?

There are many and different purposes for which you can choose to live in Romania for a long term. Some of them are: work (as employee or seconded to a Romanian company), studies, business activities, or sports activities. Depending on the specific purpose of your stay, different legal requirements and procedures apply. For example, if you want to enter into discussions for an employment offer with a Romanian company, you would need to know that a work permit application may be required (if you are citizen of a country which is not an EU member). The work permit application must be done by your future Romanian employer. You must not start any employment activities in Romania until the work permit is issued by authorities.

How long does it take to get a work permit for Romania?

It depends a lot on your specific situation. The official deadline for having the work permit issued by the authorities is of 30 days from the date your employer submits the application. However, to be able to submit the work permit application, you or your employer will need to fulfill other mandatory steps before. Such steps are: certification on availability of Romanian or EU candidates for the same position, tax certification to be obtained by your employer, etc. Therefore, it may take 60 to 90 days from initiation of the work permit procedure until its issuance.

I’m national of a country from outside of the European Union and have already obtained a Romanian residency permit. How can my family members join me in Romania?

If you have a Romanian temporary or long-term residency permit which is valid for at least 12 months, you can apply for family reunification approval. The application for obtaining the approval must be done with the Romanian Immigration Office.

More exactly, you must submit an application, accompanied by relevant documentation (i.e. housing proof, marriage certificate, etc.). Through this application, you, as a sponsor, request for long-term visas to be approved for your family members. Once the application is submitted, you must wait for the authorities’ approval, which can take up to 90 days. The approval will be issued in writing. Afterwards, it must be used by your family to apply for long-term visas at the Romanian consulate in their home country. For a list of Romanian consulates abroad and their contact details, please check the following link: Romanian consulates and embassies abroad.

Updated at: 1 May 2020

We encourage you to keep checking our Romanian immigration guide, as it will continue to be updated with useful information.

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