What is the family reunification visa (D/VF)?
This visa allows you to come to Romania in order to be reunited with a family member, who is either a Romanian citizen or a foreigner who has a valid residency permit for at least 1 year.
For example, you cannot apply for family reunification visa if your spouse is in Romania on a simple travel visa or they entered the country with their ID as EU citizen, without being a Romanian resident.
Who qualifies as a family member?
According to European law, family members are spouses and first-degree relatives e.g. mother, father and children. However, children can enter Romania on a family reunification visa only if they are under 21 years old.
What is a sponsor?
The sponsor is a Romanian citizen, or foreign citizen with a Romanian residency permit, who supports you during your stay in Romania as family member.
Should the sponsor do anything before you apply for visa?
- If the sponsor is a Romanian citizen or EU citizen, then you can directly apply for the D/VF visa without any prior formality.
- If the sponsor is a non-EU citizen with a Romanian residency card, than he must first obtain an approval from the immigration office in order to be reunited with his family. Without this approval, he cannot call you to Romania as your sponsor.
Do I need a family reunification visa in all cases?
Firstly, you should check your country’s requirements for travel to Romania and see if you really need a visa. As an example, EU citizens can travel to Romania without visas, which applies to many other countries.
Secondly, you should bear in mind that you need a family reunification visa (D/VF) if you want to enter the country and remain in Romania long-term as a family member. In other words, you cannot get residence on family reunification if you come to the country on a tourist or business visa. The only exception is for spouses of Romanian or European citizens, who can enter the country any way they want and later just apply for residency as family member.
How can I apply for the family reunification visa?
You can apply for family reunification visa at the Romanian embassy or consulate in your home country. For example, if you are an Indian citizen and want to be reunited with your Romanian child, you can apply for visa at the Romanian embassy in India.
Your visa file must include a series of documents, the most important being the proof that you are indeed a family member of the Romanian citizen, e.g. birth or wedding certificate.
How long can I stay in Romania based on this visa?
The family reunification visa is a D/VF visa, which means you can stay here long term, for a maximum of 90 days.
If you want to stay longer, you must apply for a Romanian residency permit at least 30 days before your visa expires, so in your first 60 days of legal stay.
If you overstay your visa you can get a fine. And if you overstay for a very long time, you can even get deported or, in some cases, even get banned from future travels to Romania.
Is a visa different from a residency permit?
Yes, a visa usually grants you the right to enter Romania and stay here for a limited period of time, in this case maximum 3 months. But if you want to live in Romania for a longer period or even work here, you will need a residency permit.
Therefore, the first step is to apply for a visa in your home country. And if you want to actually live in Romania, the second mandatory step is to apply for a Romanian residency permit at the Immigration Office (IGI) after you arrive in the country.
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