Romania approves special immigration regime for Ukrainian citizens

Romanian authorities have approved recently a series of derogations from the provisions of Romanian immigration legislation, with the purpose to allow Ukrainian citizens to work in Romania without the requirement to obtain a work permit and a Romanian long-stay visa.
immigration regime for Ukrainian

More exactly, a new Emergency Ordinance (Ordinance no. 20/2022) was adopted on March 8, 2022, which provides for a specific exemption. The new exemption says that all Ukrainian citizens who agree on and sign an employment contract with a Romanian company can extend their right of stay in Romania by directly obtaining a residency permit for work purposes from the territory of Romania.

This means that they will not be required (as per the general rule applicable to non-EU citizens) to leave the country for obtaining a long-term work visa and afterwards a work permit.

Thus, according to the new regulations, Ukrainian citizens will have two additional options for settling in Romania:

  • direct employment, without no requirement to obtain a visa and a work permit, or
  • requesting temporary protection under the European Directive, which automatically provides the right of residence and work.

The responsible authorities will publish within the next few days the application procedure for these regulations.

As per the new regulations, Ukrainian nationals who do not have documents proving their professional experience and qualification necessary for the job, or a criminal record proving they are compatible with the job, may sign a declaration on their own responsibility, on the basis of which they will benefit from the provisions of the new regulation.

In the case of these persons, the right to work will be limited to a maximum of two years, and in the following days the Romanian authorities will publish the employment procedure for this category of foreigners.

In the same time, the newly introduced exceptions are not applicable in the case of regulated professions in Romania, according to the legislation in force (such as doctors, pharmacists, architects, etc.), regardless of whether the activity is carried out as an employee or independently.

The new measures implemented by the government are welcome in the current context, in which there is a massive influx of people in Romania, many of whom are very well skilled. Thus, they will be able to have the necessary means for living in case they choose to stay in Romania.

It’ also important to know that the new measures are not applicable to family members of Ukrainian citizens. For them, the previous conditions remain in force, namely obtaining admission, long-stay visa and residence permit for the purpose of family reunification.

Nevertheless, family members also have the possibility to apply for temporary protection (second alternative described above), once the procedure is published by the Romanian authorities. This will be established in the following days or weeks.

Facilitating free access to work and the possibility of regulating the right of residence in an easy and fast way, both for Ukrainian citizens and for their family members, would place Romania on the list of European Union countries with a favorable immigration regime.

This could increase Romania’s attraction and retention for Ukrainian citizens, so it will no longer be just a transit area to Western countries for many Ukrainian nationals.

Picture of Florin Stoicescu

Florin Stoicescu

Tax & Legal consultant since 2005.

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