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15

March

Permanent residence in Romania

Permanent residence in Romania

Permanent residence of Romania is granted to applicants who have lived in the country for a five-year period with a temporary residence permit. The state actively attracts foreign applicants with the aim of developing the economic sector, the emergence of new enterprises and jobs for the indigenous population. The features of the country’s migration policy are given in the local law “On the regime of foreigners”. Below are ways to obtain the status of a permanent resident, requirements for applicants, a step-by-step instruction for relocation to Romania and expected expenses.

What is permanent residence of Romania

Permanent residence of Romania is a status granted to persons for permanent residence in the state without time limits and additional documentary requirements. This document can be counted on by foreigners who have spent from 5 years in the country with a temporary residence permit, have a permanent income of no less than the minimum wage (about 670 EUR, as of 2023), know the state language at a conversational level. Also, the applicant for a permanent resident card should register an address (registration) in the country and medical insurance.

The status of a permanent Romanian resident gives the owner access to the following privileges:

  • free crossing of the state border with the possibility of staying abroad for up to two years without canceling the permanent residence;
  • most of the rights of local citizens (employment, education, medical care, organization of commercial activities), except for the possibility to vote and take a part in elections, work in public positions;
  • the prospect of naturalization in the country after 3 years after the opening of permanent residence and obtaining a European Union passport;
  • the ability to immigrate together with family members (spouse, children under 18, not married) and arrange a residence permit for them;
  • voluntary change of tax residence with payment of mandatory contributions to the local treasury at low rates (as for EU countries) and the prospect of subsequent receipt of pension payments;
  • social guarantees - assistance with integration into society, the financial support provided by the status.

Among the disadvantages of permanent residence, one can note the impossibility of visiting the countries of the Schengen zone on the basis of this document, since Romania, as of 2023, has not signed an agreement to join this association (accession is planned for early 2024).

Grounds for obtaining permanent residence

To move to a permanent place of residence in Romania, an immigrant needs to arrange a temporary residence permit. Obtaining the first residence permit is possible for applicants on a number of grounds listed in local legislation, for example, for work, study, business, family reunification, for professional or special activities. In order to subsequently apply for permanent residence, a foreigner needs to be in Romania for at least 6 months a year over a five-year period. Often, applicants extend their residence permit several times until they observe the census of sedentary life.

Employment

Persons registered as permanent employees of a Romanian company (or transferred within an international corporation) have the opportunity to move to the country and apply for a resident card. Employers have the right to employ foreign citizens only after the approval of the General Immigration Inspectorate, if there is a shortage of personnel in the country for the corresponding profession. The employee’s salary must be no less than the minimum gross income established by law. To obtain a residence permit, the applicant must have a work contract in his hands.

Education

Residency in Romania is granted to immigrants who are starting an educational course in the country. The interested person can acquire the necessary knowledge in secondary, vocational and higher educational institutions, as well as undergo an internship or improve their qualifications. The foreigner needs to have sufficient financial resources to provide for living in the country, and pay for education before applying for a residence permit. The resident card is issued to the applicant after presenting a certificate of enrollment in a university or other accredited institution.

Real estate

The status of a temporary resident in Romania is not directly granted for the purchase of housing. However, within the framework of supporting foreign investment, local legislation provides for the registration of a residence permit for persons who acquire real estate as a business asset for an amount from half a million euros. The purchased premises can be used by the applicant as an office or for similar purposes. Investing funds in the amount of 500,000 EUR allows the immigrant to receive a temporary resident card immediately for 36 months instead of the standard twelve.

Business and investments

Moving to Romania is available to persons who plan to register a company in the country or invest financial resources in the assets of an existing organization. The minimum investment amount for the applicant is 100-150 thousand EUR, depending on the legal form of the company. Foreigners submit a business plan to the authorized body and receive approval from the foreign trade and investment assistance center or the Ministry of Energy, Small and Medium Enterprises and the Business Environment. The applicant must also create at least 10-15 jobs for Romanians.

Economic or professional activity

Romanian legislation provides for the right to immigrate for foreign citizens who are representatives of free professions, and plan to carry out work in their specialty in the country (including “digital nomads”). Also, persons arriving to perform tasks in accordance with the emergency decree “On conducting economic activity” can claim the status of a resident. The applicant must have the appropriate education and successful experience in the chosen field, already implemented abroad, which is confirmed by documents.

Marriage

The opportunity to move to Romania is available to spouses of local citizens, recognized refugees and residents (provided that the residence permit of the host party is issued for at least one year). The right to immigrate is also available to unregistered partners, provided that they have common children with the inviting person. The main document for the applicant is a marriage certificate (or birth of a child). If the spouse moves to a resident of Romania, the host party must have sufficient living space for cohabitation and be financially secure to support the dependent.

Family reunification

Owners of a Romanian residence permit or permanent residence card are entitled to invite their children under 21 years old (or 26, if they are studying at a university full-time), not married, including the child of a registered partner. Citizens of the state can also petition for the relocation of first-degree relatives in the direct ascending line - their own or spouse. The right to family reunification can be used by other family members of the host party, provided that they need constant care or cannot provide for themselves. The corresponding family ties are confirmed by documents.

Scientific research activity

Foreign citizens invited by licensed Romanian organizations to participate in scientific research have the right to apply for a temporary resident card. Applicants from abroad undertake to obtain approval from the state Ministry of Innovation to carry out the planned activities. The applicant must enter into an official contract with the host company indicating the tasks to be performed and the time frame for their implementation, which is the basis for applying for a residence permit.

Religious activity

Moving to Romania is possible for representatives of the church who come to the country to carry out professional activities (with the necessary experience) with the permission of the State Secretary for Religious Affairs. An immigrant can immigrate if he is invited by a religious organization that has the appropriate license. Applications from refugees are examined by state anti-terrorist bodies on an individual basis. The immigrant must have a reserve of funds in the amount of three times the average salary in Romania (approximately 4000 EUR in 2023).

Long-term treatment

Foreigners who need medical assistance and have an invitation from a private or state specialized hospital move to Romania. Along with the applicant, an accompanying person can move if the person requiring treatment is unable to care about him/herself. To receive a resident card, the applicant provides the authorized bodies with a letter of admission from the relevant medical institutions indicating the diagnosis and the expected duration of stay.

Refugee status

Immigration to Romania is possible for foreign citizens who need political asylum and cannot stay in their home country for objective reasons, for example, due to racial or religious discrimination. International asylum is also granted to persons who have become victims of trade exploitation. In 2023, Romania continues to accept Ukrainians who can request temporary protection in the country. Applications from refugees are considered with the participation of law enforcement agencies on an individual basis.

EU citizenship

Owners of a passport of any of the European Union countries have the opportunity to permanently stay in Romania without temporary and visa restrictions. After moving, foreigners should register their place of stay in the country (register). Similar conditions are provided for owners of the EU Blue Card and resident status within the framework of ICT mobility.

Documents required to apply for permanent residence

To request the initial status of a temporary resident in Romania, an interested person provides the following to the authorized bodies:

  • an application filled out in Romanian;
  • a passport for travel abroad;
  • proof of financial security;
  • a medical insurance contract;
  • a certificate of no criminal record in the country of residence;
  • confirmation of the basis for applying for a residence permit.

The dossier for obtaining Romanian permanent residence looks like this:

  • proof of legal border crossing and stay in the country;
  • medical insurance;
  • certificate of income or its analogue;
  • confirmation of address registration in the country;
  • a certificate of no criminal record, issued by Romanian authorities;
  • civil status certificates (if applicable).

Documents in a foreign language must be translated into Romanian, apostilled and notarized.

How to relocate to Romania for permanent residence

Foreigners can immigrate to Romania by choosing a basis for obtaining a local resident card or having a passport from another European Union country. Life in the country attracts applicants with low prices: the approximate monthly expenses per person, excluding rent, are approximately 540 EUR. Businessmen are satisfied with low taxes - for example, 1% for micro-enterprises. Immigrants to Romania are also people who have a profession in demand in the local labor market and want to get paid more for their work than in the countries of the former USSR.

To move to Romania, an immigrant step by step does the following:

  1. Obtaining a long-term visa.
    For a stay in the country for more than 90 days, foreign citizens open a national entry permit on one of the grounds specified in local legislation. The applicant forms the appropriate dossier and applies to the Romanian consulate or embassy in the country of residence, having paid the visa fee of 120 EUR in advance.
  2. Moving and registering your stay.
    Upon approval of the petition, a visa is pasted into the foreigner’s passport, with which he has the right to cross the state border. The applicant needs to organize a move (buy tickets for transport, rent real estate, prepare luggage and financial reserves), and upon arrival in Romania - to register a local residence.
  3. Obtaining a residence permit.
    The foreigner applies for a temporary resident card at the territorial representation of the Immigration Service no later than 30 days before the expiration of the entry permit. The applicant can book a meeting time online on the official portal of the state body. The registration of a resident card will cost the applicant 52 EUR, the preliminary waiting period for a decision on the request is up to 45 days.
  4. Extension of a temporary residence permit.
    A Romanian residence permit is usually granted to foreign citizens for a period of up to one year. If there is a basis for staying in the country and the residence permit is renewable, the applicant can apply for a renewal of the document. To re-receive a temporary resident card, a foreigner also applies to the immigration authority, pays a state fee, and provides the necessary dossier.
  5. Obtaining the status of a permanent resident.
    After five years of continuous residence in Romania, a foreigner can apply to the immigration service for permanent residence, provided that he meets other requirements of the legislation. The resident card will also cost the applicant 52 EUR and will be issued within 30-45 days, if the immigrant does not require additional information or documents.

Illegal stay

Foreigners who have violated the migration legislation of Romania (for example, the period of permitted stay in the country) can be fined up to 250 EUR. Illegal immigrants are subject to methods of voluntary or forced expulsion with an obligation to cover the costs of deportation. A foreigner may be prohibited from re-entering the territory of Romania and other European Union countries. The authorities of the country also initiate administrative lawsuits against illegal immigrants.

Important about relocation to Romania: what an immigrant need to consider

  • Cost of living in the country
    With approximate basic expenses per person of 570 EUR per month, the average salary in the country is 720 EUR. Prices for renting real estate start from 200-300 EUR for a one-room apartment located not in the city center. Residents of Romania pay mandatory insurance (medical, property) every month, spend on utilities on average from 70-100 EUR.
  • Sources of income
    Despite the decrease in the unemployment rate in Romania, this indicator still remains high compared to Western European countries - 5.4% as of 2023. A foreigner should make sure in advance that he will be able to find a job in the state after moving, or have alternative sources of income, for example, a pension or a salary received from foreign companies for remote task execution.
  • Education system
    Primary and secondary education in Romania is free, including for state residents. Studying at universities will cost a foreigner 1000-3000 EUR per year of the educational course. Only citizens of countries that are part of the European Union can claim free education at the university.
  • Attitude of local residents to immigrants
    Romania is a tolerant and loyal country to foreigners, with a friendly and welcoming population. The country upholds the principles of democracy and equality, any discrimination is persecuted, including - on a national basis. Foreigners can expect easy integration into society if they make enough effort.
  • Climate
    Romania is located in a continental climate zone, characterized by cold winters and warm summers, with an average annual temperature within 8-11 °C. Residents of the countries of the former USSR usually do not need to adapt to the surrounding weather conditions after moving. The warmest is in the south of the state, located on the Black Sea coast.
  • Difficulty of Moving (Transfer)
    Direct air communication between Romania and the Russian Federation/Ukraine in 2023 is not carried out. Residents of these countries can reach their destination with transfers at transit airports or by land transport (train, bus, personal car). From other countries (for example, Belarus and Kazakhstan) you can fly to Romania by direct flights. Travelers by private car must have a CTP (compulsory motor third-party liability insurance) policy - a “green card” to cross the state border.

Reviews of immigrants

Foreigners who have moved to Romania for permanent residence note the relative ease of legalizing their stay due to a large selection of grounds for obtaining local residence. In positive reviews of immigrants, low prices for real estate and life in general, pleasant climatic and environmental conditions, prospects for the development of commercial activities, especially in the field of small business, are noted. Satisfied moved foreigners also low taxes (including personal income tax up to 33% compared to the maximum 45-50% in Western European countries), inexpensive but high-quality medical care, ease of integration and mastering the state language.

Among the disadvantages of moving, a foreigner attributes low Romanian salaries, if compared with other EU countries, and a lack of vacancies in the local labor market. Not all immigrants are satisfied with the long census of sedentary life in the state to obtain the status of a permanent resident and citizenship. Most of the moved persons in the reviews recommend immigrating with the support of international law specialists to avoid complex bureaucratic procedures.

Assistance of the specialists in relocation

Professionals in the field of jurisprudence help foreigners to choose the optimal immigration program to Romania and get the requested status in a short time. International law specialists provide a range of services, from independent dossier formation to recording and accompanying the client at a reception in state bodies. The assistance of migration lawyers allows foreigners to quickly and easily move to the EU with the receipt of local residence or citizenship. Applicants can find out the details by signing up for a free consultation.

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