Important changes in the Romanian immigration legislation

In brief

Law 247/2018 for amending and supplementing certain normative acts on the regime for foreign nationals on Romanian territory was published.

Law 247/2018 amends and supplements Government Emergency Ordinance no. 194/2002 and Government Ordinance no. 25/2014,to transpose into the national law Directive (UE) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, professional training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational project schemes and ”au pair” work, but also introduces some measures to simplify the procedures for obtaining the right to work and stay for certain categories of foreign nationals.


In detail

Amendments to Ordinance no. 25/2014 on the employment and secondment of foreign nationals on the territory of Romania, and for amending and supplementing certain normative acts on the regime of foreign nationals in Romania

  • The Government will continue to approve annually the quota for new foreign workers entering the Romanian labour market, but without any further breakdown by category of workers;
  • The fees for issuing employment / secondment work authorisations are to be reduced by 50%, as follows:
    • From EUR 200 to EUR 100 for employment / secondment work authorisation;
    • From EUR 50 to EUR 25 for work authorisations issued for seasonal workers, foreign nationals granted with temporary right of stay for study purposes and employed after graduation, foreign nationals with a right to stay for family reunion purposes and in case of a foreign national changing employer or position with the same employer.
  • The conditions for obtaining the work authorisation necessary for employing a permanent or cross-border worker have been simplified by removing the need for documents attesting the foreign national’s professional training and experience, i.e. the certificate of studies recognition required to occupy a vacant position and documents attesting to certain professional qualifications;
  • For permanent workers, trainees and cross-border workers, the requirement to confirm and provide back-up documentation attesting that the foreign national fulfils the condition on professional training and experience in the activity has been transferred to the employer, which has to include the information in the selection report;
  • Vacancies can be made public by publishing an advert in any mass media - it is no longer necessary to publish such adverts on three consecutive days regarding vacancies if the certificate issued by the Unemployment Agency states that work force is available;
  • The minimum salary for highly-qualified workers has been reduced from four gross national average salaries in Romania to two national gross average salaries;
  • Additional conditions have been introduced for issuance of work authorisations for trainees, so such foreign nationals need to have a higher education diploma obtained in the two years preceding the application or already be enrolled in a cycle of studies leading to such a diploma;
  • The concept of “au pair” worker has been introduced, as a foreign national employed temporarily by a host family, to improve the worker’s linguistic knowledge and proficiencies, in exchange for certain easy housework and child-care activities;
  • Work authorisations for “au pair” workers are issued if certain special conditions are met, such as: the foreign national is 18 to 30 years old, completed lower secondary education, the employer undertakes the obligation to cover the worker’s expenses related to subsistence, accommodation and social health insurance, the employer has different citizenship to the "au pair" worker and there are no family relationships between them;
  • New civil offences have been introduced, sanctioned with a fine of RON 1,500 to RON 10,000 for preventing in any way General Inspectorate for Immigration staff from exercising in whole or in part employer inspections or not providing them with the required documents and information, within an agreed deadline;

Amendments to Ordinance no. 194/2002 republished, on the regime of foreign nationals in Romania

  • Extension of the temporary right to stay for “au pair” workers is conditioned upon conclusion of a part-time employment agreement for a period of up to one year, with a maximum work time of 25 hours / week.
  • The salary threshold for the extension of permanent workers’ right to stay has been reduced from the level of the gross average salary in Romania to the national gross minimum salary.
  • The support means required for the extension of the right to stay for secondees / ICT workers have also been reduced, from the level of the gross average salary in Romania to the national gross minimum salary.
  • In addition to the proof of support means required for the sponsor for his own subsistence, the extension of the temporary right to stay for family reunification purposes is now conditioned by providing proof of support means, amounting at least the level of the national minimum gross salary for each family member.
  • The applicability of study visas has been extended for “trainees” admitted to a professional training programme in Romania, provided, among other conditions, that there is a professional training agreement concluded between the host company and the foreign individual containing certain elements provided by law;
  • For students attending an EU intra-mobility programme, specific rules have been introduced for granting the right to stay for study purposes in Romania.
  • The provisions regulating the conditions for granting the right to stay for carrying out scientific research activities have been supplemented. An obligation has been introduced to include certain elements in the acceptance agreement between the research-development entity and the researcher, and by introducing specific rules for granting the right to stay of researchers in Romania as part of an EU intra-mobility programme and their family members.
  • Additional obligations have been introduced for host entities with which foreign nationals have voluntary agreements;
  • The host entity is obliged to notify the Immigration Office regarding the termination or suspension of the legal relationship with a foreign national. Failure to do so constitutes a civil offence, sanctioned with a fine of between RON 1,500 to RON 3,000.
  • New conditions have been introduced for foreign nationals exempt having to obtain a visa to enter Romania if they do not comply with the declared purpose of stay in Romania or violate the regulations on employment of foreign nationals, including six-month bans on entering the country.
  • The deadline for settling invitation requests has been reduced from 60 to 45 days as of the filing date.
  •  “Au-pair” workers’ period of stay on the territory of Romania are not taken into consideration when obtaining the permanent right to stay.
[Source: Law no. 247/2018 for amending and supplementing certain normative acts on the regime for foreign nationals on Romanian territory published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 941 / 7 November 2018]


The takeaway

By publishing the law 247/2018 for amending and supplementing certain normative acts on the regime for foreign nationals on Romanian territory:

  • A series of measures aimed at simplifying the procedures for foreign nationals obtaining the right to work and stay on the Romanian territory are introduced;
  • The transposition of Directive 801/2016 is ensured.


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