Immigration options available in Romania for non-EU citizens

by  Oana Stratula, Partner, Attorney at law

For non-EU citizens is still difficult to find a way to live in Romania, considering the numerous conditions that they must fulfill.

Visa Granting Regime

The visa application has to be submitted to the diplomatic missions or the consular offices of Romania from abroad. The request to be granted a visa must be accompanied by documents to justify the purpose and conditions of the travel and by proof of sufficient means of subsistence during the stay in Romania as well as for departure from the territory of Romania.

Depending on the purpose of which they are issued, visas may be:

Airport transit visa

The airport transit visa is granted when a visa from a third country is available. Such a visa allows the foreigner to stay within the neighborhood of the airport for a maximum of 5 days.

Transit visa

The transit visa is a visa that allows a foreigner to transit the Romanian territory. Visa can be issued for one, two or several transits, each transit period must not exceed 5 days.

Short-stay visa

The short stay visa is a visa that allows foreigners to request entry onto Romanian territory, for an uninterrupted stay or several stays the duration of which may not exceed 90 days within any period of 180 days preceding each day of stay in Romania. This type of visa can be issued with one or more entries.

The right to remain in Romania, granted to the foreigner by means of a visa for short-term stay, cannot be extended.

Short-stay visa may be granted for various purposes such as tourism, visit, business, transport, sports activities, cultural activities, scientific activities, humanitarian, short-term medical treatment or other activities which are not contrary to Romanian law, providing the stay in Romania is justified.

Refusal to grant a short-term visa may not be contested.

Long-term visa

Visa for long-term stay may be granted to foreigners upon request, for a period of 90 days, for one or several travels. The visa for long-term stay grants foreigners the right to temporary residence and allows them to request the extension of the right to temporary residence and obtain a residence permit.

The long-term visa may be granted for various purposes such as:

a.Long-term visa for carrying out economic activities

This type of visa shall be granted to foreigners who are supposed to carry out economic activities in an independent manner or within family associations.

b.Long-term visa for carrying out professional activities

The visa shall be granted to foreigners who are supposed to exercise a liberal profession in Romania, in conformity with the special legislation.

c.Long-term visa for carrying out commercial activities

Such type of visa may be granted to foreigners who are shareholders or associates, with management or administration functions, of commercial companies which are Romanian legal persons, that are going to make an investment.

They have to fulfill certain conditions, starting with a business plan. For this type of visa they will have to prove the availability of the necessary funds for carrying out the activity, to an amount of at least 100.000 euro, in case they are associates in a limited liability company, and 150.000 Euro, in case they are shareholders of a stock company.

They will make, within 12 months from the obtaining of the residence permit, an investment suitable to the business plan, bringing contributions in the form of capital or technology to a minimum amount of 100.000 Euro for a limited liability company and 150.000 Euro for a stock company.

They will create, within 12 months from the obtaining of the residence permit, at least 10 new jobs for a limited liability company and at least 15 new jobs for a stock company.

Other types of long-term visas, depending on the purpose of which they are issued, may be: employment, study, family reunification, religious or humanitarian activities, scientific research activities, diplomatic and official visa, or other purposes.

Extension of the temporary right of residence in Romania

Non-EU citizens who have entered Romania based on a long-term visa may request the extension of the right to temporary residence. The right to temporary residence may be successively extended for periods of up to one year.

Granting the right to long-term residence

The right to long-term residence may be granted, upon request, for an undetermined duration, to foreigners who hold the right of temporary residence or to beneficiaries of international protection in Romania.

Non-EU citizens holding a long-term right of residence have the right to establish or move their domicile on the territory of Romania under the same conditions as Romanian citizens.

EU Blue Card for highly qualified employees

The EU Blue Card is a permit issued to highly qualified non-EU citizens that certifies the right to reside and work in Romania. This permit gives the holder certain privileges regarding the right of residence and work in an EU Member State.

Residence permits

The non-EU citizen who has been granted or, by case, extended the right of residence in Romania, shall be issued a residence permit, as follows: temporary residence permit, single residence permit, residence permit for detachment purposes, EU Blue Card, long-term residence permit.

The temporary residence permit shall be issued to foreigners upon granting or extension of the right to temporary residence, except for work or detachment purposes. When it comes to work, it will be issued a single residence permit, and for detachment, a residence permit for detachment purposes.

The long-term residence permit shall be issued to non-EU citizens, that obtained the right to long-term residence, for a period of 5 years and may be subsequently renewed for the same period. When it comes to family members of Romanian citizens, there is a period of 10 years and may be subsequently renewed for the same period.

Romanian citizenship

Romanian citizenship may be granted, on application, to foreign citizens, provided that they meet certain requirements. One of this conditions is that they were born and they domicile, at the date of the application, in Romanian territory or, although they were not born in this territory, they have domiciled under the law in Romanian territory for at least 8 years or, if they are married to and living with a Romanian citizen, for at least 5 years from the date of the marriage.

Other conditions are about their conduct and age, as in they have reached the age of 18.  They cannot engage in or support actions against the rule of law or national security.

Also, it is required that legal means for decent living are ensured for them in Romania and that they have not been sentenced, in Romania or abroad, for any criminal offence that would make them unworthy to be Romanian citizens.

They have to speak Romanian, have basic knowledge of Romanian culture and civilisation and to be aware of the provisions of the Constitution and the national anthem of Romania.