The right to work and reside in Romania of the nationals of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss Confederation nationals
Working right for EU/EEA and Swiss Confederation nationals
Nationals of the EU/EEA and Swiss Confederation working in Romania, either based on a Romanian employment contract or based on a secondment agreement, have free access to the Romanian labour market and no work authorisation has to be obtained for them. Still, they have to comply with the provisions of the Romanian Labour Law when concluding an employment contract in Romania.
Within the framework of provisions of transnational services, the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation-based employer has the obligation to inform the competent Romanian labour authority whenever their employees are seconded in Romania. In this respect, a specific notification in a format provided by the law has to be filed with the competent authority, within a specific deadline. Failure in fulfilling this obligation is subject to fines.
Also, the Romanian beneficiary of the service has the obligation to have available certain documents related to the individual’s secondment to Romania (i.e. Romanian notarised translation of the employment contract, service contract between companies, secondment letter, A1 certificate, etc.) in case of an audit from the labour authorities.
Right to reside in Romania for EU/EEA and Swiss Confederation nationals, as well as for their family members
EU/EEA and Swiss Confederation nationals residing in Romania for a period longer than three months should obtain an administrative document named a 'registration certificate'. Such document is issued by the competent immigration authority within one to two days from the date of filing the application.
The registration certificate is issued with a validity between one to five years, depending on the supporting documentation available.
Depending on the purpose of stay of the individual, different documents may be required to sustain the registration certificate application (i.e. secondment letter, employment contract, proof of family relationship, etc.).
The non-EU family members of EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation nationals/Romanian nationals may be subject to different immigration compliance requirements for entering and staying in Romania, such as:
- Obtaining Romanian entry visas, if necessary.
- Obtaining a residency card if their stay in Romania is intended to be longer than three months.
A Romanian permanent residency card could be obtained as well if certain conditions are fulfilled. Such document has a validity of five years, with the possibility of further extension.
The right to work and reside in Romania of third country nationals (non-EU)
Working right in Romania of non-EU nationals
A 'non-EU national' is an individual not holding Romanian, EU/EEA, or Swiss Confederation citizenship.
As a general rule, a non-EU national may perform working activities in Romania, as a local employee or a secondee, only if a work authorisation for employment or secondment is obtained in advance.
Any type of work authorisation is issued by the competent Romanian immigration authorities, based on the official request of the Romanian company, either as employer or beneficiary of the service.
The work authorisation for employment is issued for several categories of workers: permanent workers, highly skilled employees, seasonal workers, trainee workers, cross-border workers, and au pair workers.
The work authorisation for secondment is issued for secondees performing activities in Romania based on a service agreement concluded between their employer and the Romanian beneficiary of their services or under an intra-corporate transfer (ICT).
As a matter of exception, in certain circumstances and subject to the fulfilment of certain specific conditions, some categories of non-EU nationals may perform working activities in Romania without having previously obtained a work authorisation for employment/secondment, such as: non-EU nationals having a right to reside in Romania as family members of Romanian citizens or non-EU nationals employed by companies based in the EU/EEA or Swiss Confederation and seconded to Romania, students concluding an employment contract with limited working time, etc.
The issuance of the work authorisation is conditioned by the fulfilment of certain general conditions (required for all types of work authorisations), as well as specific conditions applicable to each category of worker. Some of the specific conditions required for the most common work authorisations are listed below.
Work authorisation for permanent workers
Some of the main special conditions required for obtaining such work authorisation are:
- The Romanian employer intends to conclude a full-time employment contract for a defined or undefined period of time.
- The Romanian employer is conducting a selection process and no Romanian, EU/EEA/Swiss national, or non-EU national holder of a Romanian permanent residency permit is available to occupy the vacant position.
- The candidate fulfils all the conditions provided by the legislation in force for occupying the vacant position, including but not limited to the educational condition.
Work authorisation for highly skilled workers
The main special conditions required to be proved for obtaining the work authorisation for highly skilled workers are:
- A minimum 12 months employment contract.
- The non-EU national should prove high professional qualifications sustaining the highly skilled vacant position.
- A minimum salary level is required (i.e. currently the minimum level is of two Romanian average salaries).
Work authorisation for secondment purposes
Such work authorisation could be obtained for non-EU nationals seconded to Romania by their employers headquartered outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland area if:
- there is a service agreement concluded between the foreign employer and the Romanian beneficiary of the service, or
- the Romanian beneficiary of the service and the foreign employer are part of the same group of companies, or
- the Romanian beneficiary of the service is a representative office or a Romanian branch of the foreign employer in Romania, and
- the duration of the secondment is for maximum 12 months within a five-years period, and
- the non-EU national has the required qualifications required to perform the activity in Romania.
Work authorisation for secondment purposes for ICT workers
Some of the main special conditions required to be fulfilled in order to obtain a work authorisation for an ICT worker are:
- The individual is subject to an ICT from an employer headquartered outside the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation to a Romanian entity.
- The individual will perform work in Romania only as manager, specialist, or trainee.
- Duration of the transfer is up to three years (for managers and specialists) or up to one year (for trainees).
- The foreign employer and the Romanian company are part of the same group of companies.
- The secondment letter contains specific elements provided by the Romanian law.
- A certain level of education, experience, and qualification is required for managers and specialists.
- A minimum duration of foreign employment contract is needed.
Foreigners, holders of valid residency permits as ICT workers issued by other EU member states authorities, could be transferred to Romania:
- Under a short-term mobility structure, for a period up to 90 days in any 180 days.
- Under a long-term mobility structure, for a period longer than 90 days.
For both the above-mentioned structures, the Romanian beneficiary has the obligation to obtain a work authorisation. However, there are differences in the list of documents required for the applications and the moment when the non-EU national is allowed to start working as an ICT worker.
Additional obligations to inform the labour authorities about the secondment conditions are falling under the Romanian company’s responsibility.
Right to reside in Romania for non-EU nationals
A non-EU national may travel to Romania and stay here for a period up to a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period, with or without a short-term visa priorly obtained from a Romanian Consulate abroad (depending on the individual’s nationality). However, based on such short-term visa, the non-EU national is not allowed to work in Romania but only to perform specific activities allowed under the visa granted.
Generally, non-EU nationals having a stay in Romania exceeding 90 days within any six-month period need to apply for a long-term visa and subsequently for a temporary residency permit. Nationals of the United States (US), Canada, and Japan are exempted from obtaining Romanian long-term visas.
The documentation required for obtaining Romanian long-term visas/residency permits depends on the type of immigration document required (e.g. secondment, employment, family reunion).
The residency permit may have different names and validity, depending on the purpose for which it was issued.
Obtaining the status of a Romanian long-term resident and the long-term residency permit depends on fulfilling certain conditions provided by the law, generally related to the duration of the stay in Romania of the non-EU national, the value of one's investment, level of knowledge of Romanian language, etc.
Personal numerical code
The personal numerical code granted by the competent immigration authority to non-Romanian nationals, through their residency documents (i.e. registration certificate, single permit, EU Blue Card etc.), also represents their fiscal number.
Fiscal registration number
The individuals who are not required to obtain residency documents in Romania may fulfil their fiscal obligations here by registering with the fiscal authorities through a fiscal agent or a representative in order to obtain such a fiscal number.