How can a foreigner obtain the right to stay in Romania?

  1. Residence permit

For non-EU citizens, residence permit grants the right to stay in Romania for a longer period than 180 days (which is confered by short-stay, followed by long-stay visas) and it is a mandatory step in order to gain the long-term right to stay and, by doing so, the Romanian citizenship, if they are not able to claim it in the name of a Romanian ancestor.

In general, the steps to obtain such permit are the following:

– for some countries, their citizens cannot travel to Romania without an invitation given by a Romanian a citizen/firm; – if you are from a country for which a visa is required, you must gain a short-stay visa first (granting you the right to stay for a maximum of 90 days in Romania) and then a long-stay visa (which grants the right to stay for another 90 days, with one or more entries); – residence permit.

All the documents for long-stay visa and for the residence permit must be submitted at least 30 days before the right to stay expires, so time management is essential. art. 51 alin. (1)

Anyone who starts this procedure is obliged to select a purpose for remaining in Romania, for obtaining the visas and the residence permit, based on which there are different conditions and documents required. The legally recognized purposes are: bussiness activities, professional activities, work, studies, family reunification, scientific research, religious activities, management of a company, orconducting other activities that do not infringe the Romanian laws, voluteering and long-term medical treatment. The above do not refer to the residence permit for work purposes (single permit or EU Blue Card), which will be treated below as a distinct matter.

Apart from this particular requirement, the main conditions are to have a medical insurance, to prove that you have the means to sustain a decent life in Romania and that you are not a threat  for the national security.

Based on the purpose you opt for, you will have easier and less expensive requirements to fulfill. Also, for every renewal of the residence permit all the conditions will be assessed once again, so they should be well established from the very start based on the purpose you have selected, having all the documents updated, in order to be accepted for every renewal. It is important, for example, to have always the proof of a legal place to stay or, depending on the case, to know how to register for commercial activities and keep track of this registration.The copies of the documents you submit for obtaining the residence permit, such as identity and travel documents, police record issued by your country of citizenship, as well as any other non-Romanian documents, must be, as a general rule, apostilled / superlegalized, translated into Romanian and legalized by a public notary.

If the authorities consider necessary, they can demand you an interview during the residence permit requesting procedure.

The duration of the right to stay granted by the residence permit is different for every purpose and should be renewed once a year. As a general rule, after five years you will not be able to use this residence permit anymore and you must gain the permit for long-term right to stay, which comes with the right to establish your legaldomicile in Romania.

  1. Single permit/EU Blue Card and work in Romania

For work purposes you are going to deal with a specific procedure, as presented herein below.

There are different kind of workers: permanent workers, posted workers, seasonal workers, trainees, corss-border workers, highly qualified workers, workers that are in change of employers, ICT workers (transfered in the same company to a Romanian representative) and workers au pair.In any case,  you have to obtain a work permit issued by a Romanian employer. Therefore, a work agreement must be singed in advance and submitted to the General Inspectorate for Immigrationwith all the other documents required

There are a number of conditions to be met for the granting of work permits:

– the vacant positions cannot be occupied by Romanian citizens or EU Member States / EEA or by permanent residents in Romania

– you meet the specific training, work experience and authorization conditions for carrying out a particular labour

– you prove that you are medically capable to engage in the respective activity

– you do not have a criminal record incompatible with the work that you are doing or are going to perform in Romania

– you fall within the annual quota approved by Romanian Government Decision

– the Romanian employer has no unpaid obligations to the state

– the Romanian employer carries out activities compatible with the job for which the foreigner is required to work;

– the Romanian employer / beneficiary of the services was not punished for undeclared work or illegal employment during the last 6 months prior to the settlement of the application for permanent / seasonal / trainees / cross-border / trained / au pair / detached / ICT workers.

These conditions are not required if you are in the following cases: you are administrator of a company with foreign participation and you are the only person appointed to this position; you are a professional athlete and you have proof that you pursued a similar activity in another country;  you seek a work permit for cross-border workers; you seek a work permit for seasonal workers.

In addition, there is a long list of exceptions for persons who do not need a work permit at all.Second,with a copy of the work permit, you should apply for the long-stay visa for employment purposes or for deployment, if such is the case.

Third, after entering in Romania, you must obtain the „single permit” (also called „EU Blue Card”) by submitting a number of documents that prove you meet the legal conditions, before the right to stay granted by visa expires. The single permit/EU Blue Card should be renewed every year (if your work agreement is longer than 1 year) and once at 2 years for those who are highly skilled workers, with the mention that in their cases it is allowed to stay for an additional 3 more months after the availability of the work agreement expires.

  1. Registration certificate / residence card – citizens of EU, EEA & Swiss Confederation

In order to stay for a longer perion than 3 months, citizens of EU, EEA & Swiss Confederation have to obtain a registration certificate. This certificate implies that you will be registred under the law with the right to stay for 5 years in Romania,for one the followingaffairs: you are a worker in Romania, you have the legal means to support you and you family for the duration of your stay, you are registered for studies in the Romanian educational system, you are related to a EU citizen that finds in one of the above or to a Romanian citizen.

So, while you are being in Romania during the maximum 3 months granted in lvirtue of the free movement right, for obtaining a registration certificate you must submit an application file with a specific content, depending on the purpose of your stay.

Some copies of the documents you submit must be apostilled / superlegalized (by case), translated and legalized by a public notary.

Usually, the registration certificate is issued on the same day.

The „residence card” is a document issued for family members of persons who have obtained the registration certificate in a maximum of 90 days after you submit the specific application.

If you want to legally stay in Romania for a period exceeding 5 years and you are a citizen EU / EEA / or member of his/her family, you can apply for permanent residency.

What about family members and partners?

In case of non-EU / EEA & Swiss Confederation citizens, the family members and partners and dependents of an adult who applies for residence permit (called sponsor) can obtain the right to stay in Romania in an easier way. The purpose of such application is for family reunification so, first of all, they do not have to justify another specific purpose.

The family member is a restricted „term”, referring to the persons who are in a relation with the sponsor as husband/wife or unmarried minor childrens. With a special approval from the Romanian authorities, this right can be extended to the sponsor’s parents or his/her unmarried major child (in Romania, majority is reached at 18 years old).

In addition, this right can be claimed by people who have a child with a Romanian citizenship, despite tthat they are not married, and by major children of the Romanian citizens who cannot sustain by themselves for medical reasons and they require a residence permit.

Note that the notion of child is applied to adoptions without any discrimination.

In case of EU / EEA & Swiss Confederation citizens, family members are considered the direct descendants  and ascendants  and, of course, the husband/wife of the person who applies for a registration certificate. In their cases, a residence card will be issued, as mentioned above.