1. What is permanent residency?
With a somehow misleading name, permanent residence is actually not so „permanent” at all.
Permanent residency is a right offered to foreigners who want to live and work in Romania, based on a residency permit issued by the General Inspectorate of Immigration (IGI), which is valid for 10 years for EU residents and family members of non-EU, and 5 years for non-EU citizens. After this period you should apply for a new permit, as it does not renew automatically.
2. Who is eligible for permanent residency?
You can apply for permanent residency if you have lived legally and without interruptions in Romanian for at least 5 years and you can speak Romanian. However, EU citizens are not tested for Romanian language.
3. What qualifies as „legal stay”?
Your stay in Romanian is considered „legal” if there were no orders of removal taken against you or restrictions to the right of free movement.
Example: if you were deported from Romania for committing crimes against the state or if the authorities consider you to be a threat against national safety, then you will not obtain the residency permit, even if you have lived in Romania for over 5 years.
Not every misdemeanor or crime turns your stay automatically into an „illegal” one, just the very serious offences. If you get a speeding ticket, for example, it should not affect your right to residency.
However, we recommend you fully comply with both Romanian and EU legislation during your stay in Romania, in all cases.
4. What is a „continuous stay”?
Your stay is considered continuous if you have not left Romania for more than 6 months in total, over the course of one year.
Example: If you were away from Romania between June 2015 and May 2016 on various vacations, which amount to more than 6 months in total, then you are not eligible for permanent residency.
These are not considered interruptions to your continuous stay:
- absence for compulsory military service
- absence for pregnancy or birth giving, following serious illness
- participation in education programs, professional development or absence on work related issues, for a maximum of 12 months in a row.
Example: If you leave the country for 7 months on voluntary military service, when you return to Romania you’ll need to wait another 5 years in order to get permanent residency.
5. Where do I submit the permanent residency file?
You should file for permanent residency at the IGI Office (General Authority for Immigration) in the county where you legally reside at the moment.
Example: if you obtained a residency permit in Bucharest, but you actually live in Brasov, then you will file for permanent residency in Bucharest.
6. Can I lose my permanent residency?
Yes, you will lose your permanent resident status if you leave Romania for over 12 months in a row.
7. What is the difference between temporary residence and permanent residence?
Temporary residency (certificate of registration with CNP) is offered to foreign citizens who comply with the legal provisions, even if they have never lived in Romania. The permit is valid between 1 and 5 years, depending on the case.
By comparison, permanent residency is offered to foreign citizens only after 5 years of temporary residence and is valid for 10 years. Permanent residency is usually an intermediate situation between temporary residency and Romanian citizenship, considering that a permanent resident has many of the rights that Romanian citizens have.
If you have any questions or require assistance in the process, so that everything goes smoothly, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website for more information: www.rrpb.ro.
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