What is the residence permit?

The residence permit is the official document certifying the right of the citizen from outside the European Union to establish his / her residence on the Romanian territory for a determined period of time.

How to obtain the residence permit?

As a general rule, a prerequisite for obtaining a residence permit is the possession of a long-stay visa. This attests to the arrival of the foreign citizen in Romania for a certain purpose, a purpose according to which the documents necessary to obtain the visa are determined.

Subsequently, in order to obtain a residence permit, the foreign citizen must personally submit a series of documents to the General Inspectorate for Immigration and online, on its website, at least 30 days before the expiration of the long-stay visa in Romania, in order to to regulate the stay and extend it.

What documents must be submitted?

The residence file must contain:

  • citizen’s passport, in original and copy
  • application for a residence permit
  • long-stay visa
  • proof of legal ownership of the living space, in original and copy
  • proof of social insurance
  • medical certificate confirming that the foreign citizen does not suffer from any diseases that may endanger public health
  • the statement regarding the purpose of the stay, which must correspond to the one in the visa
  • taxes

Can I live anywhere?

No. The living space, legal and stable, of the foreign citizen must be proved by a sale-purchase contract, lease or loan or by the written statement by which the owner takes the person into their home.

So, just staying in a hotel or in an apartment via AirBnb will not be enough.

What does the social insurance mean and when do I have to get it?

The social insurance certifies that the citizen is insured in the state health system.

At the first application for a residence permit, it is not mandatory for the foreign citizen to have a social insurance, but this will be mandatory when he wants to change his initial permit.

The proof of insurance in the social system is made on the basis of a certificate issued by the Health Insurance House, valid on the date of submission of the application.

How long is the residence permit valid?

Depending on the purpose of staying in Romania, the validity of the residence permit varies from 1 to 5 years.

Thus, if the purpose of the stay is to carry out a commercial activity, it will be issued for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of renewal.

For having a job based on a valid employment contract, the duration of the residence permit can be 1 year, this being the general term, but it can also be granted for 2 years, for highly qualified workers. However, the right of temporary residence for work purposes may correspond to the period of validity of the employment contract, but only for periods of less than 1 year.

Those who can benefit from a 5-year residence permit are usually the family members of a Romanian citizen or citizens who are part of the European Union.

What do I need to know after I get my residence permit?

An essential criterion on the basis of which a foreign citizen can obtain the right to stay in Romania is the purpose for which he comes. Therefore, it is important that the purpose which the permit is obtained for remains the same throughout the stay in Romania, under the sanction of revoking the right of residence.

Can I extend my stay in Romania?

Yes. The foreign citizen who benefits from a valid residence right in Romania can obtain a long-term residence permit, which is valid for 10 years for the family members of a Romanian citizen and 5 years for the other purposes provided by law.

It is important to know that, in order to obtain a long-term residence permit, the foreign citizen must have had a continuous stay in Romania for the last 5 years, which means that the period of absence from Romania cannot be longer than 6 months, consecutive and does not exceed 10 months in total.

The residence file must also contain proof of social health insurance and legal ownership of the living space, as well as proof that the foreign citizen knows the Romanian language to a satisfactory level and that it does not pose a danger to public order or national security.

What are the benefits of holding a long-term residence permit?

Unlike the temporary residence permit, the long-term residence of the foreign citizen gives him a regime similar to that of the Romanian citizen.

Thus, the foreign citizen enjoys free access to the labor market, along with the freedom of association, affiliation and membership of a trade union or professional organization; the possibility to travel abroad in the same regime as the Romanian citizens; access to all forms of education and  professional training; public health care and others.

Raluca Corjescu

Legal intern at R&R Partners Bucharest

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