August 8, 2011

Following the European Parliament’s June 2011 vote in favor of Romania joining the 25-member Schengen Area, Romania’s Minister of Administration and Interior (MAI) made an August 3 announcement that Romania is moving ahead with amending its border control and immigration policies to align with the European Union’s (EU’s) Schengen policies.  In conjunction with this announcement, the MAI has also announced that the July 31 implementation of new immigration legislation encompasses changes to Romania’s protocols and requirements for obtaining work and residence permits in addition tointroducing EU “Blue Card” legislation.

Romania’s favorable bid to join the Schengen Area resulted in important changes to legislation creating new standards for issuing non EU-national assignee work and residence permits along with upgrading border control systems and consular posts in anticipation of joining the Schengen Area.   Romania’s MAI is now implementing the July 31 changes to meet the necessary legal framework required by the EU.

Requirements Under the New Legislation  

Under the new legislation, applications for combined residence and work permitsmust be supported by higher education certificates (i.e., university degrees) and relevant professional experience.  A significant change for non-EU workers includes the requirement that all work permit applicants must submit their academic certificates for legalization by a Romanian consular post and undergo academic equivalency credentialing by the Romanian Ministry of Education.  The academic credentialing process is lengthy and will add time to processing standard work permit applications forlocalized and seconded assignees.  Non-EU workers sponsored by Romanian companies will also be required to submit legalized police certificates.

Romania is also directly addressing intra-regional movement of nationals of EU countries and non-EU nationals working in other EU countries. One of the most important changes includes Romania following most EU countries introducing the new EU “Blue Card” application for non-EU nationals, highly-skilled professionals. Romania’s intra-EU policies will also stipulate that all Seconded National Experts (SNE’s) (i.e., civil service members from EU and Schengen Area countries) will have their immigration records stored in an online database.

Client Advisory 

Clients are advised that as with any new immigration legislation, implementation by the Bucharest immigration Authority will take time to phase in these changes, including amending application forms and training the immigration and consular staff.  As immigration officers have been instructed to process all work and residence permit applications in accordance with the new legislation,  assignees and clients should be prepared to supply additional documents, such as legalized education and police certificates, which may add unforeseen delays to work and residence permit approvals.  Clients with assignees currently undergoing Romanian immigration processes, or considering assignments in the near future,should contact their Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration specialist to ascertain the appropriate protocols and requirements under the new immigration legislation.

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.