How to Get a Residence Permit in Romania (and Also Renew It)

Foreigners are allowed to legally stay in Romania for up to 90 days. If you want to spend more time in Romania, you will need to get a residence permit if you are not a member of an EU / EEA country.

And today, we’re going to learn how to get a residence permit (aka Permis de Sedere) in Romania, as well as how to renew one.

NOTE: I have separate articles for EU / EEA residents interested in staying long term in Romania, as well as a guide to those interested in the new-ish digital nomad visa:

Now, let’s move on and learn more about the residence permit, if that’s what you need/want to get.

The Romanian Residence Permit: Things to Know

Known in Romanian as “Permis de sedere,” the Romanian residence permit has suffered some minor changes recently, adding one extra step for non-EU / EEA citizens who want to stay in the country, therefore complicating the process a bit.

I’ll cover everything below, in the “how to get the permit” section.

Usually, the amount of time on each residence permit is 1 year, and it can be renewed if you continue to meet the requirements.

The only problem is that you’ll have to deal a bit with the Romanian bureaucracy to get your residence permit – something that is not extremely enjoyable, but at least you don’t have to go through this often!

Fortunately, based on the experiences shared by this blog’s readers, the office workers are doing their best to keep this experience as pleasant as possible.

But let’s move on and learn how to get a residence permit in Romania if you are not an EU / EEA citizen.

If you are only interested in renewing your permit, scroll down toward the bottom (the procedure is the same for both EU and non-EU citizens).

How to get a residence permit in Romania as a non-EU citizen

getting a permis de sedere in Romania

Things are a bit more complicated if you are a non-EU citizen who wants to stay in Romania for more than 90 days.

The main thing that makes getting a residence permit more difficult for an US, Canadian or any other non-EU citizen is the fact that self-sufficiency is not accepted as a valid reason to live here, nor is a retirement visa available.

To get a residence permit in Romania, you need to complete two main steps: first, get your Long-Stay Visa. Second, while the visa is still valid, apply for the Residence Permit.

1. Getting your Long-Stay Visa in Romania

In order to get a residence permit in Romania, as a non-EU / EEA citizen, you first need to apply and get a Long-Stay Visa here.

IMPORTANT: You can’t apply for a residence permit unless you have this Long-Stay Visa! You are not allowed to apply with a short-stay/tourist visa.

Only with a valid Long-Stay Visa you can apply for a residence permit, but no later than 30 days before it expires.

The Long-Stay Visa in Romania is, despite its name, quite short: usually for 90 days. It replaces the regular short stay visa.

You must apply for this visa BEFORE arriving in Romania. Depending on your purpose, the procedure will be different:

  • If you plan to work in Romania, your employer must get a work authorization for you.
  • If you plan to study in Romania, you must get your authorization from the Romanian Ministry of Education
  • For family reunification, your spouse or sponsor must get authorization for you.
  • If you plan to launch a company (or what is called “other purposes” here), you need a varied set of documents

Fortunately, you can access this official website (with links to app downloads there) to submit all documents online.

You will still need to submit them in person, but this step helps you make sure that you do have all the required papers and everything is filled up completely.

2. Getting your residence permit

Now that you have the Long-Stay Visa, you can and must apply for your Romanian residence permit. You must apply when you have at least 30 days left on your visa.

Depending on what activity you apply to get the permit for, you will need different types of documents.

The taxes you have to pay also vary depending on the type of application, but usually you should expect to have to pay at least the following:

  • 120 Euros consular tax
  • 259 RON (around 53 Euros) for the residency permit (permis de sedere) itself

Please have in mind that these taxes might change, use them more as a guideline and double check with the embassy for actual costs!

Now, let’s check out the various types of situations and documents required for applying for the Permis de sedere.

1. Required documents for a Romanian residence permit for starting a company

The documents you need to submit when applying for a Romanian residence permit as a company owner are:

  1. Residence permit application form (available on the site/app shared above)
  2. Your passport (original AND copy)
  3. Company’s documents
  4. Documents from the Oficiul Național al Registrului Comerţului in Romania
  5. Proof of 50,000 Eur investment
  6. Proof of earning at least 500 Eur/month from the company’s activity
  7. Rental agreement (original AND copy)
  8. Proof of health insurance
  9. Doctor’s note (you can get this anywhere, stating that you don’t have any diseases that are a threat to public health)
  10. Payment of fees mentioned above (120 EUR + 259 Lei)

This method used to be the easiest way for self-sufficient people who are non-EU citizens to get their residence permit in Romania.

It was cheap and relatively easy to achieve, and it still is for most people who don’t meet any of the other requirements, but it got a bit more complicated as you can see above.

There are two new requirements: first, the fact that you need to ear at least 500 Euros per month (which means you have to pay some extra taxes and potentially social security contributions).

Second, the proof that the company realized a contribution of capital or a technology transfer of at least 50,000 EUR. So yes, things are a bit more complicated.

(Update: according to our readers who discussed this in detail with the authorities, for US citizens, the 50,000 Euros criteria DOES NOT apply, meaning that  the entire process should be a lot easier).

2. Required documents for a Romanian residence permit for work / employment

If you’re applying to get a residence permit based on your work visa, you will need the following documents:

  1. Application form
  2. Passports (original and copy)
  3. Proof of accommodation / rental agreement (original and copy)
  4. Your employment contract
  5. Screen print from your employer’s register of evidence of employees, signed by your employer
  6. Salary slip
  7. Doctor’s note (you can get this anywhere, stating that you don’t have any diseases that are a threat to public health)
  8. Payment of fees for the residence permit

Depending on the type of job you have, you will get a permit for the entire duration of your work contract, but not higher than 1 to 2 years in most cases and 3 in special ones.

3. Required documents for a Romania residence permit for studies

If you’re planning to study in Romania, here are the documents needed to get the residence permit:

  1. Residence permit application form
  2. your passport (original and copy)
  3. Letter of acceptance from the school in Romania
  4. Letter of authorization for studying in Romania
  5. Proof of self-sufficiency (the minimum GROSS salary in the country – find the updated amount in my article about salaries in Romania)
  6. Proof of legal ownership of accommodation space (contract) – original and copy
  7. Doctor’s note (you can get this anywhere, stating that you don’t have any diseases that are a threat to public health)
  8. Proof that you have paid the fees

If you’re planning to study in Romania, make sure to also read my previous article detailing monthly expenses for international students in Romania.

4. Required documents for a Romania residence permit for family reunification

If you have a Romanian spouse or sponsor, here are the documents required for getting the residence permit:

  1. Application form
  2. Passport (copy and original)
  3. The ID of the Romanian citizen
  4. Marriage certificate (in Romania or translated in Romanian)
  5. Alternative: letter from the sponsor declaring that they live together and/or that the relationship is not bigamous or polygamous
  6. Personal declaration stating that the applicant is not married with somebody else
  7. Proof of accommodation in Romania (original and copy)
  8. Proof of a valid health insurance policy
  9. Doctor’s note (you can get this anywhere, stating that you don’t have any diseases that are a threat to public health)
  10. Proof that you have paid the fees
  11. For sponsors (not spouses): Proof of sufficient financial means to support the partner.

IMPORTANT: Children are guaranteed to get the residence permit as part of the family reunification process, but they can only apply after the parent(s) get their own permit.

In other words, make sure to time this correctly if your child arrived in the country at the same date as you did, otherwise you risk them overstaying their visa!

How difficult is it to get your residence permit in Romania?

getting a residence permit in Romania

As long as you have all the necessary paperwork, everything is very easy. There were stories in the past of people being denied their stays (either visas or extensions) but that only happens if you do not meet the requirements.

Now it’s even easier to check all documents before you visit to the physical office by submitting them online (use the official site I mentioned above).

For example, our reader John K wrote this reply to another article:

“So much easier to make contact with a non-profit school or charity and arrange a volunteer contract which is sufficient for imigrare.

Of course you still need health insurance, lease, doctors note, possibly proof of income (my pension record), volunteer contract (I tutor kids), but its far cheaper than opening a dummy company.

I’m applying for my third renewal next month. I suggest you visit imigrare and get a print-out of what you need and submit a copy with your package, they will use it as a checklist. I suggest you submit on the earliest day they accept it.”

So you don’t really have to go the dummy-company route in order to get your permit!

Some of our readers also had success contacting various NGOs and getting the necessary paperwork from them. So you have your options, but it’s not simple.

Where to submit your application?

You have to visit the Immigration office in your current city, or you can try it online.

If you are in a small city or village, there might not be a local Immigration office there, but one that serves the entire county in a nearby, larger city.

Just Google “birou imigrari” and the name of your city to find out where you can find the closest one!

Recently, an online portal was opened for this. You can check it out here.

What happens if you don’t get your residence permit

If you stay longer than 90 days in Romania, as an US citizen or other non-EU individual, without getting the residence permit, you will incur a fine of up to $600 and you could also be banned from returning to Romania for a period of time that depends on the length of the overstay (but usually no longer than 1 year).

If you have valid grounds for not getting the permit, like medical emergencies or school/employer failing to give you the required documents, you can request a waiver of the ban at the Immigration Office – this has to be done before leaving the country.

If you want to find out even more, you can check out this article which fully details how an US family moved to Romania and what they had to do to make their stay legal and permanent.

Have in mind that they made the move back in 2015 and things changed a bit since then, but apparently not by a lot.

Also, make sure to read the comments below this article for extra useful information on the matter, shared by our readers who went through this process.

How to Renew an Existing Residence Permit in Romania

renewing your residence permit romania

Renewing your residence permit is very similar with getting a new one, as you will basically have to provide the same documentation once again.

Even though the process of renewing your Romania “permis de sedere” (residence permit) is a lot more straightforward and easy, there are still some things that you should keep in mind.

First, the year you are usually given on your residence permit starts to be counted from the day you APPLY for the said permit, and not when you receive it. So always check the dates on your permit!

Also, our reader Brandon Xavier shared this experience with us (it was on a different article that was merged with this one):

“Something unexpected happened while I was renewing that might be important for others to know.

Due to a number of things (some beyond my control, some not) I had some delays getting my company operating (not a dummy company, BTW).

While the agent was reviewing my documents, she noticed on the constator no revenue had been reported.

She warned me that this was going to be problem, and took notes while I explained all the delays in the startup (everything from waiting for my partner to finish some certifications, to COVID caused delays, to dealing with the bureaucracy of the ONRC, etc.). She was very understanding and said she would help try to get this solved.

She was right about it being a problem. I got a call almost 30 days later from the immigration office wanting to know why the business was not operating yet and when it would be.

I explained to the gentleman about all the delays, but he was pretty insistent that I needed to show some proof of the company operating before he would approve the renewal. We agreed that I would emails him copies of some receipts as soon as I could.

So, I got to work opening up the business on a limited basis and made copies of the first few receipts to email to him.

Almost 30 more days later I got a notification that my case was “Resolved”. I had to email back to find out exactly what that meant. It was then they called me and told me my permit de sedere was ready to pick up.

I do not know if this is a permanent change in policy or what. But you might want to investigate further if you’re planning on staying here long-term as an administrator of a “dummy” company.”

So there can always be surprises and particularities, on a case by case basis. But in 99% of the cases, things should go smoothly and without any problems or hiccups.


I have to admit that writing this article has been a nightmare. Going through the official websites and trying to translate their words – which are very specific and technical – was difficult.

But you have above what I consider to be the best and most complete guide to getting a Romanian residence permit. I hope you will find it useful – but if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to let me know by commenting below.

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46 thoughts on “How to Get a Residence Permit in Romania (and Also Renew It)”

  1. For the manager of a company visa for Americans.

    I spoke with a lawyer in Romania today (who’s does this for a few other Americans already), and she informed me that the 50,000 euro criteria does NOT apply to Americans. It is waved and you do not need to show proof.

    Just wanted to let you know as maybe it’s changed from any research done previously and for any fellow Americans the read this.

      • Hello Calin
        I am not sure if you can help me with the problem I did not find yet in MAE ‘s link. I have double citizenship : one Romanian and one Canadian. I am in a common-law relationship for 15 years, recognized here in Canada. I am planning to retire and take my Canadian man with me in Romania. What kind of documentation my Canadian needs to be able to live in Romania without having a company? I don’t want him to work anymore: he will be retired from Canada and I want him to enjoy life as a retired person in Romania. I hope you could answer me. Thank you in advance.

  2. I just want to say a huge thank you to Calin for this article and share today’s experience.

    So with the uncertainty of Brexit and with the chaos surrounding UK politics at the moment I have known for some time that I needed to get a residents permit. Today armed with all the documents listed by Calin I made the journey with my 8 year old daughter to our county town of Resita and took the plunge.

    We soon found the birou de imigrari tucked behind the Police inspectorate and nervously I went in and explained in my best Romanian why I was there. The officer on duty was a nice guy and luckily there was no-one else waiting so I didn’t feel under pressure, he didn’t speak English but we got through ok. I explained the main reason I wanted it was because of Brexit and the uncertainty and also explained that ultimately after coming to Romania for nearly 30 years that I would be applying for a Romanian passport.

    He gave me a form to complete and I needed to show all the documents Calin listed, but it’s worth mentioning here that he required photocopies of my passport, medical card and bank details. I thought the bank details would be a deal breaker as he was concerned it wasn’t a Romanian bank, but I explained that the debit card I had for the same account had a link logo on and meant I ciukd access funds from here and it seemed to do the trick.

    He took my documents and the form and after taking my photo told me to return 4 hours later. We did and I had the certificate. And, here’s the added was for 5 years!!

    Also worth mentioning it didn’t cost a penny, When I said I was expecting to pay he said it was free.

    However as I left the office elated and so excited we walked back to the car and Zara realized she had left her mobile in the office!! Yes I know she’s only 8 but when we are here I insist she has a phone with her in case we get split up or she somehow wanders off, so we rushed back and the office was shut and the door had an old style “plumbe” seal on it preventing access. I called her mobile and we could hear it ringing inside. On the door was an emergency contact number, I took the plunge and called it and luckily it was answered by the same man. He told me to hang on and came back to the office to provide access, how nice was that?

    He was a really nice man and after the initial questioning seemed to warm to us and started to show his curiousity to how I ended up there.

    All in all a great day with a great result, thank you Calin for the inspiration and information.

    • Wow, Shane! I am really happy to read about such a perfect and pleasant experience here in Romania! I am happy that everything went well and getting the permit for 5 years definitely saves you from a lot of trouble. Congrats and thanks for sharing all the details with fellow readers!

  3. Great information!

    I am interested in applying for a Romanian residence permit under the category of being a manager of a company. I checked the rules here:
    I am wondering a few things (all quotes taken from the website above):
    1. Can this company be a foreign company, such as one registered in another EU state (i.e Bulgaria)?
    2. It clearly states on the website ‘as an administrator of the company, on the date of the request you are not associated or shareholder of the company concerned or to another Romanian legal entity and have not had these qualities in the past 2 years’. I don’t understand this – how can I create a company and not be a shareholder or be associated with the company?
    3. ‘proof of the financial means of support amounting to at least 500 EUR per month from the activity exercised in accordance with the mandate agreement.’ Does this mean 500 euros x 12 months (the duration of the permit) = 6000 euros? Can this be proven with a statement from my overseas bank account ?
    4. ‘To obtain your residence permit you must be insured in the state system. Therefore, you will need to present to the territorial body of the General Immigration Inspectorate where you request the granting of this right a certificate issued by the Health Insurance House or the individual employment contract accompanied by the ReviSal “print screen”, if you are employed in Romania.’
    I am not a resident in Romania. How can I be insured in the state system as a nonresident?
    5. You mentioned in the article that US citizens are exempt from the 50,000 euro startup capital requirement. Do you know if Canadians are as well?

    Thank you!


    • Hello Manny,

      I will answer to your questions on a point by point basis. Great finds and questions, by the way!

      1. No, it has to be a company created and registered in Romania.

      2. I think they mean that you are just the administrator or the owner of the company, and not in a partnership. This is vague and strange (I checked the Romanian version and it’s the same), but I do think they refer to the fact that you should be the sole owner of the company.

      3. I didn’t see that mentioned anywhere – but yes, a bank statement from anywhere should be enough.

      4. Yes, this is a problem that the family who moved from the US to Brasov had. What you will actually have to do is get private insurance in Romania and use that as a proof of being insured in the country. Only afterwards you will be able to get state health insurance and drop the private one if you want to.

      5. Unfortunately, I am not 100% sure about this, but I would say that Canadians are exempt as well.

  4. Hi,

    I’m a US citizen who just received his residence permit this week (as a firm administrator)! I’d like to share my experiences. It was much less traumatic than I thought it would be! BTW, I primarily speak English and my Romanian is still extremely poor. And the experiences I describe relate to the Bucharest office on Strada Eforie.

    First, some general advice. 1. Be patient. If you’re not a patient person, you will learn to become one. 2. From my observations, Romania is not a particularly customer-centric country. Once you accept that, it’s easy to get used to it. In other words, don’t expect “service with a smile” every where you go. NB: Not saying this as a negative, just a level set for your expectations. It is what it is. 3. Always bring the originals and copies of every document. Always.

    The first thing you need to do is find a place to live, and get a registered contract. Assuming you’re renting, you may get some push back from your prospective landlord about a registered contract. You absolutely need this. If the landlord is unwilling to provide one, say thank you and move on to the next apartment on your list. There WILL be another one in the area and price range you’re looking for.

    Now, to get your company formed. Hire an avocat. Seriously, don’t even think about trying it yourself. I paid 1000 RON, plus the initial 200 RON bank deposit, plus 200 euro to register his office as my headquarters (sediu). Then he went and filed all the paperwork, and arranged for the notary public and translator (more on this below). All I had to do was meet up at the notariat to sign the papers. That was a bargain considering the potential headaches and grief waiting for an inexperienced, non-Romanian speaking guy like myself. Of course, your experience and pricing may vary.

    Notariats: Unlike in the US, notary publics are much more formal. You cannot simply bring a document and have them add their seal after watching you sign it. They are more like a combination of paralegals (they actually draw up the papers) and the courthouse where papers get filed. And if you are not a Romanian speaker, you are REQUIRED to have a licensed translator read the documents to you in English. When I was forming the company, the notariat charged about 200 RON and the translator 300 RON. Later, when preparing the power of attorney for my accountant, I shopped around and paid 95 for the notariat and 100 for the translator. Also, be aware most notariats fall into the “not customer-friendly” category – but there are some nice ones – don’t be afraid to shop around — for example: if they say “go away until next week”, just smile and say “No thanks, I’ll go to the one down the street”. And ALWAYS call the notariat – don’t just drop in to schedule an appointment – even the nice ones don’t like that.

    OK, you have your place to live and a company formed now. Time to work on the residence permit. First, get your certificate of health. Go find a policlinica and ask at the front desk. In my case, it cost 30 RON and about 10 minutes of my time. Never saw a doctor or other health professional – gave a lady 30 RON and my passport and she came back 10 minutes later with the document all filled out and signed. Your experience may vary. Make you sure you have private health insurance – if you bought a policy off the internet print out the contract and make sure it shows the start and end date of the contract. That’s all they looked at on mine – no details of the coverage, deductables, repatriation, etc. Now make a copy of everything — including your passport – you need a copy of the picture page and the stamp page with your latest date of entry in Romania. You also need to pay the taxes and fees. If you don’t have a local bank account (not every bank will allow you to open an account without residence status – example: BT as of circa 1/7/2019), you can look up the amounts and account numbers and go to a CASH-handling branch (this eliminates most mall branches) of CEC and BCR to pay these. You’ll also need a printout of your latest bank statement showing you have the necessary funds to live. On mine they just looked at the date and the balance at the top – they didn’t poke thru all the line items. A whole 10 seconds was spent on that.

    Time now to visit the immigration office. Gather up all your originals and copies of everything and head down. If you’re going to Strada Eforie, you turn right as soon as you enter the building and go thru the double doors, then enter the first doors on the left. You’ll be in a big room with two windows on each side. You want the windows on the left hand side (as you’re entering). All the agents there speak very good English, are extremely helpful and quite pleasant to deal with. (This is after having to visit several times – your experience may vary). When it’s your turn, approach the window and tell the agent you need to apply for a resident permit as a firm administrator. They will ask you for your documents and sort thru them to make sure you have everything needed. The first time I went, I was missing a few and the lady very kindly wrote out a list of what I needed and where I needed to go (I was missing a constator because I have a Romanian partner for my business). If you’re missing anything – just go get it and come back.

    One thing they will check is if you are within the 60 day period you have to file your application. In my case there was some vagueness (possibly due to translation) in how the rule is worded and I was not in that 60 day period. Don’t worry! They give you a form to go pay a small fine – 50 RON if you pay within a few days or 100-500 RON if you wait. I paid the fine that day and returned with the proof. (They accepted the application anyway and just added the proof of payment when i returned)

    After you have everything, they will fill out the application – you’ll sign some stuff and they take your picture. Then you get to come back in 30 days and pick up your permit!

    A couple of things I was expecting but never came up: That 50K euro requirement was never mentioned nor was I even asked about my company’s current assets at all. And even though I had it with me, they never asked for my criminal background check (BTW, if you need one – go to the US embassy to pick up a couple of fingerprint cards, take the cards to a police station on Stefan Cel Mare where they will take your fingerprints, then setup the request at the FBI website and overnight the cards to them – turn around time was about 4 days and cost was $18 – no need to deal with 3rd party services).

    All in all, it was a far simpler and pleasanter experience than I had expected. The anxiety and uncertainty of doing something this important really made me nervous and scared. But having gone thru it once now, my best advice is: be nice, be patient, and if you have any questions – ask nicely at the immigration office – those people were absolutely awesome to deal with!

    Good luck!

    • One other bit of advice: As soon as you form your company, hire an accountant (contabil). You’ll need him/her working on getting you set up to pay taxes, handle employee contracts, etc. There’s a fair bit more bureaucracy here than you’ll find in other places.

      Also, when hiring an avocat or contabil, be sure you speak the same language – or have somebody available who can translate well including the professional lingo. While my avocat was excellent at what he did, we did have a language barrier that caused some unnecessary grief.

    • So you didn’t need a work permit, you just formed the company and applied to the residence permit directly?

  5. Cu placere! I should have also thanked you for all the valuable information provided here.

    Hopefully by sharing some of the details of the process – like what line to stand in at the immigration office (nothing worse than standing in line over an hour only to get to the window and find you’ve been in the wrong line LOL) or the simplicity of getting the certificate of public health — it will help relieve some anxiety for others.

  6. Hi Peter,

    I just finished renewing my residence permit, and maybe some of my experiences will be helpful to you and others.

    NB: Some of the following is based on living in Bucuresti and will obviously not apply if you are in a different area. Also, my permit is based on me being the owner/administrator of a company – your requirements might vary if you’re here for other purposes.

    First, sadly the office on Strada Eforie closed in December 2019. The functions there have moved to the office on Strada Nicolae Iorga (just west of Piata Romana off Bdul Dacia) — the same office where one would go for family-related visas. That in and of itself isn’t so bad, but with COVID precautions in place, it’s not so pleasant.

    You can no longer just go down to the office and wait in line to ask questions. They almost always want you to have an appointment (the only exception I’m aware of is when I was picking up my permis de sedere – they called me and I was able to just go and pick it up). How do you get an appointment? It seems you fill out your online application and they will email you a date/time to come down with your documents shortly afterwards.

    You CAN also talk to the guard at the entrance to the courtyard and get an adhoc appointment scheduled – but these are limited in number and may require you to come back several hours later (not sure if you can schedule for another day). Bottom-line: it’s better if you can get an appointment scheduled ahead of time.

    Regarding insurance: When I went to renew, I was told my private Cigna policy was not acceptable and I must have the state issued insurance. I do not know if a European Health card is acceptable. Basically what they did was go to this website to check whether I had the state insurance. I didn’t.

    Not a big problem, if you need it, go down to your local ANAF office – they’ll give you about a 5 page form of which you basically just fill out your name and address and sign the last page, then pay about 1300 lei for a year (minimum annual health contribution), then carry the documents to a local insurance house (in Bucuresti, go to CASMB near Baneasa) and they sign you up. The whole process can easily be done in a day (depending on your luck with how busy the offices are).

    The medical certificate was required. I got mine the same way as last time: walk into the nearest policlinica, ask nicely, pay the fee, and don’t ask for a receipt (*wink, wink*).

    And I agree, the website is awful for finding information and requirements. Another reason this website is so awesome and such a blessing! (Thanks again Calin!). The best way I found to get information from the website is to start an application (you can cancel before submitting) and see what documents it asks you to upload. Also, I did not have to submit a photo – they take your picture when you go to present your documents.

    Good luck!

  7. I am a US citizen married to Romanian wife in America in March 2021.

    I am in US at the moment, and want to move to Romania with her.

    Do I need to file first for the Romania Family Reunification Visa (D/VF) before I can get the resident permit?

    So is it 120 Euro for the D/VF Visa + 53 Euro for the Resident Permit?

    Since I am a US citizen and we have been married for 4 months, how long do you think the resident permit will last? I read they can grant it for 6 months to 5 years, so do you think the marriage-based one will grant me 5 years?

    Also, the resident permit requires you to stay 6 months continuously – but is there a way to avoid this so we can leave Romania to go to other countries maybe non-Schengen without getting it revoked?

    I read that you need to spend 5 years in Romania before you can become eligible for citizenship.

    Chad Ding Dong

    • The family reunification is the reason that will grant you the residence permit, so that is what you have to apply for. That costs around 53 Euros.

      Normally, for US citizens, it’s given for 1 year. I don’t think you will be able to get a longer one, although you never know. It sometimes depends on who you get at the office and the impression you leave them. If it’s a good one, you might get more years 🙂 (don’t try to bribe them tough!)

      Regarding the 6 month-rule, it’s actually 6 to 10 months in a 5 year period and is related to obtaining citizenship. This means that if you want to apply for Romanian citizenship, you need to have continuously lived in Romania for at least 4 years and 2 months during the past 5 years.

      But as far as I know, if you’re not interested in applying for citizenship, you are free to travel to other countries for 6 months or more after receiving your residence permit (so there are no limitations here as far as I know).

  8. Hi everybody!

    My last renewal went very smoothly! Whew! (Bu I still stressed over it)

    Now, I have a question I hope somebody can help with. I’m changing apartments on 1 September. I already have the registered contract in hand and I’m pretty sure I know what documents I need to file. But I’m puzzled about the taxes to be paid. Does anybody know the cost for reissuing a residence permit for a change of address? Or know where to look it up?

    Thanks in advance,

    Brandon Xavier

  9. One small update to the process: As of January 2021, you no longer pay any taxes at BCR. Both taxes are paid at CEC.

    • Yes, that is the official partner of the state (as well as a smaller bank whose name I can’t remember). There are talks about creating a bank that would handle all these, but it will probably be a long time before that happens.

  10. I am a non EU resident of Romania and have a valid temporary residence permit which will expire Feb 2022. I would like to avoid having to renew it every year. What is required to have a temporary residence permit valid for longer then 1 year?

  11. Hi
    I am a British citizen and married to a Romanian, I would like to live in Romania with my husband, however I am worried about the proof of means of subsistence; ie would savings be sufficient (self sufficient) instead of employment (husband is not employed) and how much would be needed?

    • In this case, things would be pretty straightforward: since the husband is already a Romanian citizen, he can apply for a “viza de reintregire a familiei” (family reunification visa) for you and no additional income proofs would be required.

      • Hi Amy – i am having similar problems. Authories have told my foance that one we are married i can apply straight for the residency permit.

        So you may be able to do this? Please let me know if you found out anything further – i know its difficult.
        Aimee 🙂

      • Also my experience with visas is that you HAVE to apply in the UK. I left romania to do just that – the process was very long and the visa was ultimatley rejected without any real reason
        I applied for a voluntary visa as i was volunteering on a farm.
        You need various bits of information and the first step is applying online. You upload all your documents then get an appointment an appointment in the london or manchester consulate where you submit everything, pay a fine and they send it off. I had a terrible experience, you cannot contact either of them to ask questions, they dont offer any support and they dont clearly state the info you need for everything required to ensure the visa (in english at least i have spent MANY hours researching)
        If you go on to the romanian embassy visa and apply for ‘e-visa’ you can start there.
        Best of luck

  12. Hey – great article that is helping me through a really hard time. I plan to marry my romanian man in romania – he is being told by authorities this is the only way to keep me there (im a uk woman) he has libed there since birth
    I was convinced that i needed a visa -( family reunification) in order to get the residence card but
    If i marry on romanian land, in his county, and go to the immigration office i can apply for the residency card?
    I have legalised police checks, birth certificate, hopefully a marriage certificate and i will insure than i apply within 30 days of my leaving date.
    I didnt imagine marrying the man i love would be such a stress. I dont want to have to keep leaving him
    Any thoughts or suggestipms? Thanks in advance.

      • I think that its amazing you keep such a well put together website for us. I found this after hours and hours and hours of research.

        The only thing im confused on is this (im unsure if you can offer help but ill give it a try)
        As im without visa – after the marriage does HE have to apply for a visa (no eu family reunification) or something and then the residence permit.

        Im unsure if after marriage, say i have 30 days legally left in the country without visa would i have to return to the uk AGAIN 🙁 or could we stay together and do this from alba (his local city)?

        Thanks in advance – can we dontate to your website?
        When you are so desperate for answers it really is so kind when so one helps.

        • Yes, you can apply for the visa from Romania after you get married. I would do it at most 30 days before your permit expires as it can take up to a month (maybe even more) to actually receive it. The best thing to do, for your complete piece of mind, would be to take your to-be husband to the immigration office and ask the questions there (maybe even a phone call will do it).

          Things could be done a bit differently from city to city, but usually you will find people that are very understanding and helpful. So again, don’t worry – as long as you do get married in time and apply for the visa, all will be fine. Enjoy your new life in Romania!

  13. Time for my annual update! 🙂

    First, guards no longer control access to the courtyard at the Strada Nicolae Iorga office in Bucuresti. On the the hand, it’s nice not having to line up on the street. But on the other hand, I REALLY took for granted how much they contributed to ensuring you were in the right line (i.e. “Stand in this line for window 1”, etc.) and managing the chaos of so many people in such a relatively small area.

    The purposes (commercial activity, students, etc.) for each window are posted on a regular sheet of paper over each window. If you’re unsure which window to go to, check window 1 first – I suspect a good percentage of the readers here would need this window (I don’t recall the exact list of it’s purposes, but I remember thinking it would be used by many people posting here)

    This also means there’s nothing (i.e. a guard) preventing you from standing in line to ask questions. Although, I cannot say how agents respond to such unscheduled contacts. I suppose it’s worth a shot if you’re at your wit’s end trying to find an answer and have run out of places to look (here, the web, etc.)

    Second, the agent told me that as of this year, your rental contract no longer needs to be registered at ANAF. (While I don’t doubt the agent, can anybody else confirm this?) This should be good news for landlords – they hate paying the 2-3% – I forget the exact % – tax to register the contract at ANAF. (Side note: Be aware when renting an apartment from an individual, that many [but not all] owners don’t understand that renting an apartment is a business that has expenses – they will expect you to pay every expense from taxes to repairs to normal wear and tear – effectively making their apartment a “broken ATM” that pays them every month without them ever having to put any money into it)

    Hope this helps and good luck!

    • Thanks for the update, Brandon! It is indeed interesting to hear that the contracts no longer need to be registered – I personally doubt that is the case, especially now when they’re trying to get all the money they can… but sometimes things that don’t make sense actually work 🙂 I can only hope that it won’t be long before people needing this will be able to do it all online. Waiting is line is something I never enjoyed.

      • I was as surprised as anybody to hear that the contracts did not need to be registered anymore. Especially since I’ve had some issues in the past regarding contracts: Once when I unwisely believed the owner two years ago who told me that contracts no longer need to be registered (true in regards to ANAF, but an endless source of comedy to Immigrations) and again last year when changing my address (the agent refused to believe my “original” was actually an original document – that was quite a pain to get straightened out) I guess that’s why I wondered if anybody else had a similar experience or if this was some kind of local policy at this particular immigration office.

        It was interesting to note that it’s now possible for the owner to register contracts with ANAF online. Rather than your original documents getting stamped and written on, you receive 2 PDF documents you can print out. Or maybe this was always a possibility and the fact that my landlord is a professional landlord with a contabil handling the documents made this more practical (as opposed to an individual handling a single contract). Regardless, the agent was only interested in the actual contract signed by me and the landlord and specifically said they did not need the registration documents. I asked when this changed and the agent (who was rather young) said “this year”.

        Hopefully somebody else can corroborate this! (Because it did seem odd to me also)

        Thanks and best regards!

  14. So, I started going through your step by step process and I already ran into a problem with the very first step. When applying for a long stay visa, which you say is required before arriving in Romania, it asks for a Romanian address, which I presume is where you will be “living” during your stay. There are no such places that rent for 1, 2 or even 3 months. So are you suggesting you rent an apartment for a year before arriving in Romania? How does that even work?

      • Makes sense, but why can’t you apply after coming to Romania? I know you said it’s better to apply before you arrive, but is it entirely necessary? I figure if you have 3 months with which to do all that is necessary, surely that should be enough time, even for applying for long stay visa.

      • If they do ask for a proof of residence for the Long Stay Visa, it does make little sense, indeed. But I’m not the one making the rules 🙂

        I looked at the online documentation though and they don’t mention requiring proof of residence for the long stay visa (it’s required for the residence permit, which is obtained once you are in Romania). Are you applying for a digital nomad visa (as that’s the only one that requires proof of address)?

        • I was just following your check list in your original review. Where it tells you to apply for the long stay visa with a link to the site. I visited the site and what looked like the application process, it was asking for all kinds of info, including a Romanian address. Perhaps I was mistaking a residence permit for a long stay visa, but I was simply following the steps you provided.

  15. As a US citizen, I’m eligible for the “visa-exempt” ninety days. I’m interested in visiting Romania (or any place else) for more than ninety days but not necessarily permanently. Is that possible without a job offer or admittance to a school?

    From the crowd-sourced and, I figure cost of living would be less than two-thirds of my US social security and pensions. I could take a class in Romanian (already speaking Spanish & Italian, it shouldn’t be hard) but having a class or a job to go to makes it hard to explore the country.

    I’m sure there’s a lot more to be seen in a country that size than ninety days can support. Is there any way to avoid having to count days and stay away for three months between visits?

  16. Hi Calin,
    Thank you for the very useful information about immigrating to Romania.

    I have always wanted to live in Romania. So far, everything I see on this page supports that dream.

    Do you think being a Russian is a problem? I am actually a refugee from Russia (status given in Canada) but travel on a Russian passport. My common-law partner is Canadian (note that we are a same-sex couple). We are looking for a place to be and love.

    My questions are:
    1. Do we need to provide any sort of criminal check?
    2. Does my being Russian create any kind of immigration hurdles?
    3. What are the prospects of opening a restaurant business in provincial Romania, NOT in Bucharest?
    4. Do we need to fly to Romania first? Or could we start immigrating online?

    Thank you,

    • Hello Elena,

      You are indeed in a very peculiar situation and I am not 100% sure about my answer. I am not sure how or if your nationality would influence the situation (or the refugee status).

      Your should try the online portal I shared above for starting the application process, but I’ve had many people reach out to me and say it’s not working. But worth trying to test the waters and maybe get in touch with an official.

      You will need a criminal background check at some point. As for opening a restaurant business… it really depends on the city and its location.

      I am sure that it could work though, especially if done well. I would still recommend one of the larger cities, though – the small ones are tricky.

      • Elena hi
        Im a Canadian living here in Canada since I can’t remember lol. I’m living on pension and I’m Romanian born, thinking to move back home soon.
        Not in big city. I’m originally from NW or Romania.
        My advice for u2 is to check with Romanian Consulate and NO worries about being Russian citizen.
        And move on.
        I wish you both the best luck.

  17. This article is written very well, but, I still have 3 questions.
    I am collecting information for my Mother-in–Law.

    I understand that she must get the Long Stay-Visa before applying for Residence Permit.

    And, depending on her purpose the procedure will be different.

    But, her purpose is not among the four you have listed.

    Question 1: How she must apply as a Retired Person receiving Pension?
    Question 2: She is 77 years old, is she too old for this Visa?
    Question 3: Anything she should do differently as a Canadian Citizen?

    Than you.

    • Unfortunately, Romania doesn’t offer a retirement visa at the moment. So she would still have to meet one of the requirements for receiving the permit. Romania still doesn’t make it easy for people to retire here, unfortunately.


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