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Romania – Work Permits and Working Legally

Working Legally in Romania

Romania, with its rich history and growing economy, has become an increasingly attractive destination for expats seeking employment opportunities in Eastern Europe. However, before pursuing a career in Romania, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements for working in the country. One crucial aspect of working legally in Romania is obtaining a work permit. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the necessity of work permits for expats, who must make the application, types of work permits, eligibility criteria, application procedures, required documents, costs involved, and sources of reliable information for expats.

Necessity of a Work Permit in Romania

Yes, in most cases, expats are required to obtain a work permit to work legally in Romania. Romania, like many other countries, has specific regulations in place to ensure that foreign workers have the legal right to work within its borders. However, there are certain exemptions and categories of foreign workers who may not require a work permit to work legally in Romania.

Who Applies for a Work Permit

In Romania, the responsibility for applying for a work permit typically falls on the employer who intends to hire an expat worker. It is the employer who must initiate the application process and meet the necessary requirements to secure a work permit for their prospective employee. As an expat, you do not directly apply for your work permit; instead, your prospective employer should take care of this process on your behalf.

Employers in Romania must demonstrate that they have a legitimate need for hiring a foreign worker and that they will provide fair treatment, compensation, and working conditions in accordance with local labor laws. They must also ensure that they comply with the legal requirements for employing foreign nationals.


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While most expat workers in Romania will require a work permit to work legally, there are a few exemptions to this rule:

  • European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens do not need work permits to work in Romania. They enjoy the freedom of movement within the EU/EEA and have the right to work in Romania without restrictions.
  • Family members of EU/EEA citizens may also work in Romania without a work permit.
  • Highly skilled workers who meet certain criteria may be eligible for a “Single Permit,” which combines both work and residence permits and allows them to work in Romania without a separate work permit.
  • Foreign nationals who have been granted asylum or refugee status in Romania may also work without a work permit.

It’s important to note that even when exempt from obtaining a work permit, expats in Romania must still meet other legal requirements, such as registering their residence with the appropriate authorities and obtaining any necessary residence permits.

Types of Work Permits for Expats in Romania

Romania offers different types of work permits for expats, each designed to cater to various categories of foreign workers. The type of permit you may be eligible for depends on your specific circumstances and the nature of your employment in Romania. Here are the primary types of work permits:

Temporary Work Permit

A Temporary Work Permit is typically issued to expat workers who have secured employment in Romania for a limited duration. This permit is suitable for short-term assignments, projects, or seasonal work. The employer must apply for this permit on behalf of the employee.

Permanent Work Permit

A Permanent Work Permit is issued for expat workers who intend to work in Romania for an indefinite period. It is suitable for those who have secured long-term employment in the country. The employer must apply for this permit on behalf of the employee, and it can be renewed periodically.

Secondment Work Permit

A Secondment Work Permit is granted to foreign nationals who are temporarily assigned to work in Romania by their employer’s foreign office. This permit allows them to work in Romania for a specific project or assignment. The application must be submitted by the employer.

Seasonal Work Permit

A Seasonal Work Permit is suitable for expat workers employed in seasonal industries such as agriculture or tourism. This permit is issued for a limited duration and is typically tied to the specific season for which it is required. The employer must apply for this permit on behalf of the employee.

Procedure to Apply for a Work Permit in Romania and Processing Time

The process of applying for a work permit in Romania involves several steps, and it’s essential for both the employer and the expat employee to be aware of these procedures. Here’s an overview of the typical steps involved:

  1. The employer initiates the work permit application process through the Romanian Office for Immigration (ORI).
  2. The employer must provide necessary documents, including the employment contract, proof of the employee’s qualifications, and a statement explaining the need for hiring a foreign worker.
  3. ORI reviews the application and conducts a labor market test to ensure that there are no suitable Romanian candidates available for the position.
  4. If the application is approved, ORI issues a work permit, and the expat employee can then apply for a residence permit.
  5. The processing time for a work permit application in Romania may vary but generally takes several weeks to a few months.

It’s important to note that obtaining a work permit is just the first step. expat workers must also obtain a residence permit, which allows them to legally reside in Romania while working for their employer.

Documents Required for a Work Permit Application in Romania

When applying for a work permit in Romania, both the employer and the expat employee must provide a set of documents to support the application. These documents are essential to demonstrate the legitimacy of the employment and the need for hiring a foreign worker. Here are some of the key documents typically required:

  • A copy of the employment contract between the employer and the expat employee, specifying terms and conditions of employment.
  • Proof of the expat employee’s qualifications and skills, such as diplomas, certificates, or professional licenses.
  • A copy of the expat employee’s valid passport with a minimum of six months validity.
  • Health insurance coverage for the duration of the employment contract.
  • Proof of payment for the work permit application fee.
  • Additional documents may be required depending on the specific type of work permit being applied for.

It’s essential to ensure that all required documents are complete and accurate, as incomplete or incorrect submissions can lead to delays or even the rejection of the application.

Costs Involved in Applying for a Work Permit in Romania

Applying for a work permit in Romania comes with certain costs, both for the employer and the expat employee. These costs can vary depending on the type of permit and other factors. Here are some of the typical expenses associated with obtaining a work permit:

  • Work permit application fee: The fee for submitting a work permit application varies depending on the type of permit and may range from several hundred to over a thousand Romanian Lei (RON).
  • Health insurance costs: Expats must have health insurance coverage for the duration of their employment in Romania, and the associated costs are the responsibility of the employee.
  • Residence permit fees: Expats who require a residence permit must pay the associated fees at a Romanian consulate or embassy in their home country.
  • Legalization and translation costs: Some documents may need to be legalized and translated into Romanian, incurring additional expenses.

It’s essential for both the employer and the expat employee to budget for these expenses when planning to work legally in Romania. Being aware of the costs involved can help avoid any financial surprises during the application process.

Reliable Information on Working Legally in Romania

For expats considering employment in Romania, accessing reliable information on the legal requirements and procedures is crucial. Here are some reliable sources and websites that provide valuable information on working legally in Romania:

1. Romanian Office for Immigration (ORI): The official website of ORI offers comprehensive information on work permits, residence permits, and immigration procedures in Romania. It provides guidance on the application process and required documents.

2. EURES – The European Job Mobility Portal: EURES provides information on working and living in Romania for EU/EEA citizens. It offers resources and job listings for those seeking employment in the country.

3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania: The official website of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides information on consular services, including visa and residence permit requirements for foreign nationals.

4. Expat-Center Romania: Expat-Center offers support and information to expats living and working in Romania. They provide insights into work permits, legal requirements, and practical advice for expats.

5. Ministry of Public Finance of Romania: The Ministry of Public Finance’s website provides information on tax and financial matters relevant to expats working in Romania.

These sources can serve as valuable references for expats seeking up-to-date and reliable information on working legally in Romania. It’s essential to stay informed and consult official sources when navigating the legal requirements and procedures for employment in the country.

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