Romania is a beautiful country full of culture and rich in history. It’s also a great place to live with its vibrant cities, stunning countryside, delicious cuisine and friendly citizens. Whether you’re looking for a new home or just an adventure to the medieval castles or the Black Sea, Romania could be the perfect destination for you.
In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the key aspects to consider when moving to Romania, from visas and residency requirements, to the cost of living, job opportunities and more. We’ll also provide you with insider tips on how best to settle in after arriving.
Finding A Job
When considering potential job opportunities in Eastern Europe, Romania should not be overlooked. Boasting the presence of a number of multinationals, along with an affordable cost-of-living and a low unemployment rate indicating economic stability, this country has much to offer expats looking for work abroad.
If you are IT professional searching for a career relocation and new challenge, Romania is the perfect choice. As a citizen of any EU/EEA state, you will have an added bonus due to existing reciprocal employment agreements, making it more inviting.
When you’re seeking work in Romania, the legal requirements will differ based on whether or not you are a citizen of an EU/EEA state. If so, your process of applying for occupation and living in this country is much simpler – citizens from Romania that live there as well as those within the EU are given priority by their government. Therefore should you be considered a third party national, it’s essential to prove that no Romanian or EU individual can fill the role instead.
Regardless of your status as an EU member or a third party national, applying for a work permit in Romania is necessary. The Romanian administration will place you under one of several different categories based on your situation and qualifications:
• permanent worker
• probationer worker
• seasonal worker
• cross-border worker
• skilled worker
• detached worker
• If you’ve been selected to be transferred to your current employer’s base in Romania, then as an ICT (inter company transfer) worker it presents a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth.
The General Inspectorate for Immigration will require some specific documents from you that vary by category. As a foreign national, you are allowed to work full-time in Romania up to 8 hours per day with one employer, individual or legal entity. If you possess an approved work permit, then it’s possible for another employer to hire you on a part-time basis of 4 hours each day.
Foreign National Employment
If you are a foreign national looking for permanent job in Romania, the General Inspectorate for Immigration requires that you apply for both work authorization and a Romanian Employment Visa (D/AM) before starting. You or your employer will need to provide the following:
• application form
• proof that your employer is legally permitted to hire you
• company’s Certificate of Registration
• company’s Certificate of Attestation
• tax attestation
• employment agency’s certificate
• job description
• job offer
• proof that the company has advertised the vacancy
• copy of the minutes of the selection process (this is also to prove that you are a better choice of candidate than a EU national)
• declaration that you are medically fit to work and that you have minimal knowledge of Romanian
• proof of accommodation
• proof of financial support
• 2 x photos (3cm x 4cm and in which 70% – 80% of the photo features your face and taken on a white background)
• police clearance documentation for both yourself and your employer
It can take up to a month for your work permit to be approved. However, if you are an EU citizen, the process is much simpler. To get started quickly and efficiently, contact the General Inspectorate for Immigration with all of the necessary documents:
• work contract in original/copy or a certificate issued by the employer (original)
• an application form
• a printed screen from the general registry of employment records (REVISAL), in particular the section concerning information regarding the work contract, stamped and signed by the employer in order to authenticate it
• tax receipts
For all residents and visitors, registering with a physician is necessary. Romania has opportunities in the IT/Digital industry particularly suitable for those who have skills in this area; Adobe, Amazon and Microsoft are among some of the big international operators here. Moreover, if your background is telecommunications then you will find even more advantages as Orange and Vodafone are also established here – resulting in an ever-growing telecom sector!
For those working in finance, the banking sector of Romania is extensive and offers many opportunities for international banks based locally. In terms of work hours, Romanian citizens enjoy a convenient 40-hour week consisting of five 8-hours days from 9am to 5pm.
You can take a minimum of 20 days off per year, which you may split up or alternatively, choose to use as one extended break consisting of 15 working days. Moreover, if pregnant women require maternity leave for 126 consecutive days at 85% salary rate from the prior 6 months; fathers are granted 5 special paternity-days within 8 weeks post childbirth.
With the current minimum wage, your spouse can be paid €446 each month or €5352 for 12 calendar months of work. If they are a citizen from an EU member state, then working is acceptable; however, if they come from a third-party nation outside the European Union (EU), then extra paperwork will have to be filed for permission and authorization.
Approaching a company directly is the easiest way to land your desired job in Romania. However, if you’re still having trouble finding one, there are two main recruitment agencies for this area that can help you out as well. Searching through online job boards and newspapers may also be useful if you have already arrived in Romania.
Applying For A Job
When applying for a job at an international company, your one-page CV/resume should be all that is needed; however, it can help to know some basic Romanian. Discrimination of any kind including race, nationality, ethnicity language religion and sex are prohibited by law in Romania so you have the right to be judged solely on merit.
Requirements For Moving To Romania
Journey to Romania is gaining even more traction as a tourist destination, and it also houses an abundance of expats working in the area. Whether or not you must obtain visas will be determined by your nationality and purpose for visiting.
If you are a British passport holder, then no visa is necessary for entering Romania; however, if your stay extends beyond three months, then it’s essential to register as a Romanian resident. To do so requires obtaining the certificate from the General Inspectorate for Immigration. Also note: EU/EEA members don’t need visas either but must be registered with immigration before beginning any job in Romania, or if you plan to stay more than 9o days in Romania.
If you are an American citizen and plan to travel abroad, make sure your US passport is valid for at least 3 months past the date of departure from Romania. For stays longer than 90 days in Romania, it’s mandatory that a visa extension be acquired from the Immigration Office. that means you need to register as a resident of Romania.
Different long-stay visas exist depending on one’s purpose for their trip – such as family reunification, study or even work permits!
For American citizens, a Romanian residence permit remains free entry and residence for 90 days within any 180-day period. Beware that the authorities caution against attempting to reenter after departing; doing so will not “reset” the clock on your allowance. So if you’ve already spent 90 days in Romania and attempt to return, you may be denied access. If you already spent 90 days in Romania, you can only return after another 90 days, when the 180 days term expire.
It’s important to plan ahead and make sure your stay doesn’t exceed this duration!
european or uk residents
If you are a European Union or UK resident, it is mandatory that you register with the local authorities if your stay in Romania will exceed a specific timeframe or should you plan to work during this period. Fortunately, applying for an eVisa can be done quickly and easily online!
Obtaining an electronic visa to Romania will cost you US$68, plus a small service fee. Standard processing carries a fee of US$30 while rush and super rush options are priced at US$55 and US$85 respectively.
Obtaining a visa can take anywhere from two days to 15 days, depending on the consulate and if you opt for expedited processing of your request.
If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA state, relocating to Romania is significantly easier. This is because the Romanian government offers special privileges and advantages for their citizens as well as those from other EU countries.
Therefore, if you’re not a resident or native of either country, your employer will need to demonstrate that no suitable candidate can be found amongst these two groups in order for you to secure work in Romania.
If you originate from a third party nation, you will still be required to obtain a work permit in Romania. The Romanian government has classified these permits into different categories which depend on your particular situation:
• Permanent worker
• Probation worker
• Seasonal worker
• Cross-border worker
• Skilled worker
• Detached worker
• ICT (inter company transfer) worker – if you are being transferred to your existing company’s base in Romania
Get Health Insurance
Before taking out health insurance, make sure to examine vital criteria such as the annual and lifetime policy limits, potential exceptions that could negatively impact you, if particular types of healthcare providers are mandated for treatment plans and also evaluate if medical evacuation is provided in an emergency.
All too often, shoppers of health insurance overlook crucial details such as benefits and coverage in pursuit of the cheapest premiums. Nonetheless, these cheaper plans may carry hefty out-of-pocket deductibles, or potentially cap your benefits you can receive under them. After all, some plans are low cost for a reason, so it is important to think carefully before making any purchase decision.
Before searching for the optimal healthcare plan, clients should first assess their requirements and outline their yearly budget. Once they have established these parameters, only then will it be time to analyze premium comparisons and make an informed decision.
Before committing to a plan, make sure you read the policy wordings thoroughly. If there is something unclear, don’t hesitate to ask your insurance provider for clarification. Some essential questions that can be posed to your insurer include:
- Is there a cooling-off period where you may cancel and receive your premium in full?
- Does this plan require “Moratorium” or is it subject to “Full Underwriting”? Furthermore, do you need to go through a medical examination before joining?
- Are the services of an accessible 24 hour help line available for free around the world at any time (7 days per week)? Most providers offer such benefits these days.
- Are pre-existing conditions excluded from coverage upon sign up and if so, how long are they not included for?
- Is the plan open to everyone, or are there restrictions in place for local nationals? Some insurers only provide expatriates with coverage abroad and do not accept local nationals into overseas plans.
- Does this coverage extend throughout your lifetime without interruption? Generally, most insurers will keep offering current clients cover year after year regardless of age or claims history; however, premiums can significantly increase as you get older.
- Do the insurer’s terms permit any physician, consultant or hospital within their plan? Are there any limitations in this regard? Generally speaking, global plans do not put restrictions on either doctors or hospitals. However, almost all of them demand that you call their assistance line prior to granting approval for acute care.
- Does the insurance company provide direct settlement of hospital bills, regardless of location or do you have to pay out-of-pocket?
- What is the process for filing outpatient claims with this insurer? Do they require preauthorization or can you simply pay and submit a claim? Lastly, how long does it typically take before money is refunded from the insurer – 14 days or 28 days?
Rent Or Buy Property
Lease agreements in Romania tend to last for 12 months, but shorter leases can be negotiated. To secure a lease, a deposit will be required, which will typically be equivalent to two months worth of rent. Rent is paid on a monthly basis and usually includes basic utilities (gas, water and electricity), but this is not guaranteed to be included in the rent, you might have to pay this as an extra. Most rentals will usually be unfurnished, but furnished apartments can still be found for a higher price.
You may be surprised to learn that most Romanians do not like to use estate agents. The general consensus seems to be that they earn too much for doing too little. Most of the time, many people find a place through word of mouth, but you can also keep an eye out for local advertisements and see what pops up. It is also worth having a quick search on Facebook for expats in Romania groups, as there may be expats who are advertising rentals or who can offer you advice.
Also, there are plenty of good apartment on the websites of the real estates agencies, but they are usually more expensive.
Non Romanian citizens may freely buy and sell any property. Some foreigners who are not EU citizens may purchase a home or apartment in Romania as well, but they are not entitled to own the land itself. The real estate landscape in Romania is always changing when it comes to foreigners, so if you are unsure about something, you should check with your lawyer.
You should always use a local registered lawyer to “verify” the property. This is essentially the same as a title search in the United States. A local Romanian lawyer will verify the owner’s title deed and land survey documents, and will obtain a report from the Land Registry.
Once checks have been conducted, an offer made, and a price negotiated, a contract can be drafted. This can be prepared by a notary or an attorney, but the signing of the contract will always be legalized by a Notary Office. You will also need to pay the deposit from your bank account.
Both parties should attend the closing of the sale, where the notary will collect the necessary fees, the contract will be signed, and the new deed will be registered with the Land Registry. The sale will be finalized and processed within bank accounts.
Moving Your Belongings
Deciding if you can manage to move your belongings on your own or require professional assistance is vital. Unless you are travelling with minimal items and making a short trip by car, it’s likely that expert help will be needed in order to transport all of your possessions abroad. Gather various quotes from multiple companies first, ensuring that they come to evaluate the scope of work necessary for the task at hand.
If you’re sending your belongings to a distant country, it would be beneficial to pay extra for the removals firm to securely package them. Ensure that they are aware of any fragile or valuable items that need special attention and wrapping in order for them to make their long journey undamaged.
Before confirming any pricing, make certain that you understand what is included in the cost. Will your service provider pack and unpack? Disassemble and reassemble furniture? If intending to store items during relocation, does this price include delivery to the destination home or must these be collected separately? It is essential that all needs are met with clarity before any commitment.
To ensure a smooth moving process, it is essential to get an accurate time frame for the arrival of your items and contact information from any agents handling the removal in your new country. Additionally, make sure that you communicate all potential complications such as not having access to an elevator or parking limitations beforehand so that there are no surprises on moving day.
Utilizing a removals company may necessitate that you acquire their insurance policy, so it’s essential to guarantee that you are sufficiently protected for any possessions of actual or sentimental worth in the event they get lost or damaged during the move. Don’t forget to take your time and thoroughly complete an inventory of all items being transported—this will serve as evidence if something goes missing or is destroyed.
Uncover whether insurance is covered in the quoted rate from your removals company, or if you’ll need to pay an additional fee for protection.
Moving without a moving company
If you’re handling the move on your own, it’s important that you make sure to find out what paperwork is necessary and what duties or taxes might be required (or if you are eligible for an exemption from them). Thankfully, a removals company can arrange any customs and importation documents for you.
To ensure an effortless journey, remember to gather the essential documents like passports and air tickets ahead of time and store them in a safe yet easily accessible place such as your carry-on luggage.
Register For Healthcare
As an expat living in Romania, if you are paying your dues through contributions, you’re eligible for state health insurance via the National Health Insurance Authority. Your required fees will be taken out of your paycheck. Furthermore, some individuals may even qualify for free healthcare services such as war veterans or those surviving on a limited budget and with disabilities.
After you have been assigned your tax ID number, rest assured that your employer will ensure healthcare is sorted out for you. However, it’s wise to double-check and confirm that the appropriate deductions are being made; expats may face challenges in this area. Additionally, don’t forget to check if your workplace has an agreement with a nearby medical clinic.
In case you are having your own company, you have to register by yourself for the National Health Insurance, this can be done by submitting some declarations and documents to the Authority that is in charge with this contribution. Our lawyers can help you with this kind of services as well, just contact us for any questions.
Learn The Language
If you are planning to move to Romania, you may be curious about the language proficiency required in order for you to live comfortably there. Will English suffice or should you brush up on your Romanian? We have put together some helpful information that will answer all of these questions.
Romania’s official language is Romanian, which is the mother tongue of the majority of its citizens. However, many other nationalities reside in this cosmopolitan European nation such as Hungarians (6.5%), Roma (3.2%) and Ukrainians, Germans, Turks, Russians and Lipovani Tartars – thus several other languages are also spoken here including:
Romanian is the native language of over 90% of Romania’s population. Other minority languages, such as Hungarian (predominately found in Transylvania), Romani and its various dialects, Ukrainian, and German are likewise protected by law if spoken by a certain percentage of people in specific regions. In fact, after Hungarian, Romani is currently the most widely-spoken minority language throughout Romania.
Approximately thirty to forty percent of Romania’s population is estimated to be conversant in English, which makes it the main foreign language taught in schools. Moreover, numerous global IT giants including Adobe, Microsoft and Amazon have established headquarters there; Orange and Vodafone are merely two examples among many others. If you happen to work for one these companies then it follows that their operating language will be English.
According to Education First, the Romanians rank 20th in the world for their proficiency in spoken English – making them some of Europe’s exceptional communicators. You can rest assured knowing that you won’t experience any difficulty comprehending or expressing yourself within cities and tourist spots.
If you are already versed in Latin or conversational Italian, then Romanian will be a breeze for you to learn. But even those who aren’t acquainted with either of the two languages can easily pick up Romanian due to its phonetic composition and use of the Latin alphabet containing some distinct accentuated letters. Pronunciation is straightforward; it’s written how it sounds.
When visiting a foreign nation, it is always wise to learn some of the language – not simply out of politeness but also due to the fact that many Romanians, especially those in rural communities and older generations, do not know English or are not proficient. If you decide to take your linguistic knowledge further and properly commit yourself to studying Romanian, there will be plenty of resources available upon reaching Romania.
Teaching English in Romania
If you’re planning to teach English in Romania, the market for native-English speakers may be modest yet is steadily increasing. In order to capitalize on this opportunity and get ahead of your competitors, having a TEFL or TESOL certificate will surely provide an advantage over other educators without it.
Having teaching experience in Cambridge English exams, international schools or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is advantageous, as these tests measure a person’s ability to use the language for study, migration or work. It would be an added bonus if you were knowledgeable about the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). This test examines a student’s writing, quantitative skills and comprehension of written texts which are vital requirements when applying to graduate management programs like MBA. With your help we can ensure that our students reach their full potential.
By specializing in teaching English for specific industries, such as tourism and hospitality, business and finance or summer schools, you may have an easier time finding a job. Additionally, most language institutions will require at least a Bachelor’s degree from their teachers; the more qualifications you possess in both TEFL and academic subjects can help make your job search quicker.
If you’re searching for a translation or interpreting job, it’s essential that you have an excellent command of the Romanian language and possess all required qualifications.