October 12, 2011

Effective September 29, 2011, non-European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) foreign nationals above the age of 14 must provide fingerprints and a digital photograph when they apply for a Residence Permit in Romania. Residence Permits will now be issued in the form of a biometric Residence Card.

What’s Changed?

Under European Union (EU) guidelines, member-EU countries are to implement standardized residence permit documentation in the form of encrypted biometric Residence Cards.  Romania is one of several EU/EEA countries that are currently implementing these new guidelines.  Prior to September 29, non-biometric identity cards were issued.

The new Residence Cards will be the definitive immigration document that authorizes holders to stay in Romania and enables that identity and immigration status.  Residence Cards will indicate the specific purpose of stay (e.g., employment, family reunification, permanent residency). The holder’s biometric data will be stored in the immigration authority’s system and personal data will be securely encrypted in the plastic identity card issued to the foreigner.

For EU/EEA nationals, earlier this year residence documents underwent significant changes to conform to the new EU regulations. Since June 24, 2011, new Registration Certificates granted to EU/EEA citizens and their family members are no longer issued for unlimited validity. Instead, Registration Certificates are valid from one to five years.  Romanian Registration Certificates are issued as separate paper documents.  According to EU regulations, EU/EEA Registration Certificates are to be issued within at least one to two days after applying for the certificate.


Companies are advised that non-EU/EEA assignees who have pending Residence Permit applications must schedule an appointment to revisit their local Immigration Service office to provide the necessary fingerprints and photos. Non-biometric Residence Cards issued prior to September 29 will remain valid until their expiration date.

Please note that as the Immigration Service has just received the biometric devices, it is expected that issuance of non-EU/EEA Residence Cards will take at least 4-6 weeks.   It is important that visa nationals who are required to travel outside Romania while awaiting issuance of their Residence Card to check that they are issued with a 90-day, multi-entry “D/AM” visa to ensure ability to re-enter Romania. For those foreign nationals having only a single-entry “D/AM” visa, application with the local Immigration Service must be made for a “Replacement Certificate” to permit re-entry to Romania.

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.