On 5 March 2024, Law 28/2024 amending and supplementing some normative acts in the foreigners' sector was published in the Official Gazette. In the following, we will review the most important new changes introduced by the legislative texts concerned, which mainly refer to the status adjustment of highly qualified workers and the EU Blue Card.

  1. Amendments to Government Emergency Ordinance No. 194/2002 on the regime of foreigners in Romania

During their stay in Romania, foreigners are required to report any changes in their personal situation to the territorial unit of the Romanian Immigration Office within 10 days. This includes changes such as:

  • Change of name
  • Change of nationality
  • Change of domicile or residence
  • Conclusion, dissolution, or annulment of marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Death of a family member on Romanian territory
  • Extension of validity or change of the document for crossing the state border
  • Additionally, any change in employment status must be reported to the same authority within 3 working days.

For EU Blue Card applicants and holders, family reunification procedures are now clearer. Family reunification applications can be submitted together with the Blue Card application, and both will be processed simultaneously. The applicant must have sufficient means of subsistence, in addition to those required by law for their own maintenance, amounting to at least the minimum gross basic salary per country guaranteed in payment for each family member for a period of 3 months. If necessary, the sponsor may be called for an interview, and failure to attend without a valid reason may lead to the rejection of the application.

Highly qualified foreign workers must now earn a salary at least equal to the average gross wage in the country, rather than the previous requirement of double the average gross wage. These workers can obtain a right of residence for up to 3 years.

GEO 194/2002 thus provides clearer conditions for highly qualified workers and EU Blue Card applicants.

  1. Amendments to Government Ordinance No. 25/2014 regarding the employment and posting of foreigners on the territory of Romania

The individual employment agreeement for highly qualified workers can be concluded for a period of at least 6 months and not 1 year, as it was previously provided for. The Ordinance clarifies the skills that the highly qualified worker must have, i.e. at least 6th level according to the ISCED or CEC classification.

The employer applying for an employment permit must actually carry out on Romanian territory the activities for which the foreigner needs to be employed. The main purpose of the employer's activity should not be to facilitate the entry of foreigners into Romania and the employer must pay his obligations to the state budget not only for the last quarter, as previously provided.

  1. Amendments to Government Emergency Ordinance No 102/2005 on the citizens of the Member States of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation exercising their right to travel in Romania

The time limits of 10 days for declaring any relevant change in civil status and 48 hours for the loss, damage or destruction of documents issued by the Romanian authorities also apply to citizens of the European Union or, where applicable, their family members. Declarations are submitted to the territorial unit of the General Inspectorate for Immigration of the place of residence or domicile of the citizen/family member.

  1. Amendments to Government Emergency Ordinance No 204/2020 on the introduction of certain implementing measures for the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, concerning the legislation on the right of entry and residence on the Romanian territory

Similarly, the 10-day deadline for declaring changes to the territorial unit of the IGI also covers the British citizen who is in Romania and continues to reside in Romania after the end of the transitional period; the family members accompanying or joining him/her after the end of the transitional period if they were family members before the end of the period; and the children born or adopted after the end of the period. If the right of residence of the above-mentioned beneficiaries ceases, they may apply to the General Inspectorate for Immigration or its territorial units for temporary residence.

  1. Amendments to Law No 122/2006 on asylum in Romania

In the case of a decision to remove a foreigner who is a person receiving international protection in Romania from a Member State, both the information in the long-term residence permit and in the EU Blue Card will be taken into account.