January 5, 2012

On December 29, 2011, the Romanian Government announced the national work permit quotas for 2012.  In addition, the Romanian immigration authority established a new category of work permit (EU “Blue Card”) for highly-skilled workers.

Work Permit Quota

As a follow up to our earlier Romanian work permit quota client alert (http://www.pro-linkglobal.com/uploads/immigration_alert/gb.pdf), effective January 1, 2012, new national quotas are now in place for Romanian companies sponsoring non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) foreign national workers. The quotas are as follows:

  • 3,000 work permits for local employment
  • 700 work permits for seconded employees
  • 1,000 work permits for highly-skilled workers
  • 100 work permits for seasonal workers
  • 100 nominal (nominal-wage) work permits
  • 200 work permits for internships
  • 300 work permits for athletes
  • 100 work permits for cross-border workers

Work permit numbers have decreased for the locally-employed compared to last year and work permit numbers increased for seconded workers.

EU “Blue Card” Introduced

European Union (EU) Blue Card programs are being implemented amongst all EU-member countries.  The Romanian Government recently announced Blue Cards are now available for highly skilled non-EU applicants possessing the appropriate qualifications. This new work permit category will receive a quota of 1,000 work permits separate from the national work permit quotas listed above.

In general, the purpose of the Blue Card is to facilitate intra-EU movement of highly-skilled workers.  Basic requirements include a written commitment from potential Romanian employer for a job position which matches applicant’s academic and professional qualifications. Blue Card applications must be supported by an applicant’s higher education certificates and/or documents proving professional experience relevant to the proposed position.

The general advantages granted by the Romanian Blue Card scheme are as follows:

  • Shorter immigration process includes no need to undergo the initial phases of a traditional work permit application nor undergo Romanian labor recruitment efforts;
  • Shorter processing time of approximately 15 days versus 30 days for traditional work permit applications;
  • Blue Card holders will enjoy an extended validity period (term of employment contract + three months) up to a maximum of two years versus traditional one-year work permits.   Therefore, Blue Card extensions can be made up to every two years rather than renewing every year.
  • Once a Blue Card holder has accrued 18 consecutive months of stay in a participating EU-member country, Blue Card holders can benefit from expedited processing of work authorization in another participating EU country.  In addition, permanent residence status can be granted by an EU-member country to Blue Card holders who have resided in the EU for a period of five consecutive years;
  • Blue Card holders can apply immediately for their family members to join them in Romania (i.e., family reunification) versus a potential waiting period imposed on overseas family members wishing to join certain, traditional work permit holders. ‎


Companies considering assignments to Romania should consult with their immigration service provider to confirm availability in the work permit category for which the employee candidate qualifies.   For highly-skilled workers (e.g., technical workers, IT workers), companies should consider the newly-announced “Blue Card” scheme as a viable option for working both in Romania and for possible,  future assignments in other EU-member countries.

This news alert was provided in coordination with our Romanian KGNM–Move One Relocation.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.