ROMANIA – Changes to the Immigration Rules
Effective 9 November 2018, Law no. 247 introduces some changes to the immigration rules which may affect foreign national workers.
The legislative changes are being studied by the immigration authorities who are expected to release further instructions implementing the changes in the near future.
What are the changes?
Here we note the key changes to the immigration rules:
The processing time for invitation letter approvals by the General Inspectorate of Immigration is reduced from 60 days to 45 days. The minimum required salary for foreign workers has been reduced: Standard locally-hired or assigned workers and intra-company transferees must now be paid the minimum gross salary of RON 1900 (rather than the average gross salary, as previously, which is RON 4162); Highly-skilled workers must now be paid at least twice the average gross salary or RON 8324 (compared to 4 times the average gross salary or RON 16648 as previously); The minimum means of support for family members is now the minimum gross salary (RON 1900 per dependent). The standard process for obtaining a work permit for local employment has changed as follows: It is no longer necessary to obtain approval of the applicant’s degree certificate from the Romanian Ministry of Education (acknowledgement of studies). However, the employer should still ensure that the foreign worker has suitable professional training and experience for the job; The job advertisement now only needs to appear in a Romanian national newspaper for one day, even if suitable unemployed Romanian or EU national applicants were found in the Work Force Agency system. (Previously the advertisement had to be published for three days if suitable candidates were found). A new Au Pair work authorisation category has been introduced. The fees for work authorisation have decreased from EUR 200 to EUR 100 for standard locally-hired or assigned workers and intra-company transferees, and from EUR 50 to EUR 25 for holders of residence permits for students or postgrads or for family reunification, and for change of employer or position applications. A new obligation has been established to notify the immigration authorities within 30 days of the end of a foreign national’s employment contract or assignment. New penalties will be imposed on non-compliant sponsoring companies: RON 5000-10,000 for obstruction of a compliance audit; RON 1500-3000 for failure to make available the required documents and information by the deadline; RON 1500-3000 for failure to notify the immigration authorities within 30 days of the end of a foreign national’s employment contract or assignment.
Note that there is no change to the policy of annually publishing an immigration quota.
Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice, but also to bear in mind that further communications from the immigration authorities are expected in the near future.