work permit

Work Permit: Romania’s Enhanced EU Blue Card Framework

March 28, 2024 | xpath.global

Romania, a key player in the European Union, has recently undergone significant legislative changes that greatly impact its immigration landscape. The alterations are mainly centered around the EU Blue Card, a work-authorization permit designed for highly-skilled professionals from non-EU countries. These sweeping changes aim to make Romania a more attractive destination for foreign talent.

Effective March 8, 2024, Romania has relaxed its EU Blue Card framework, aligning with the revised EU Blue Card Directive. The key changes include extended permit validity periods, expanded eligibility based on professional experience, and relaxed rules for family reunification and employment contract duration. This article delves deep into these updates, discussing their implications for foreign workers and employers alike.

The Scenario at Hand

On March 8, 2024, Romania enacted a set of laws that soften its EU Blue Card framework. This was done in line with the updated EU Blue Card Directive, and included other changes like extending permit validity periods and easing access to certain work permits.

The changes brought about through these reforms can be classified into several categories. Each of these categories has distinct implications for the foreign workforce and businesses operating in Romania.

Extended Validity Periods

The first significant change is the extension of work permit validity periods. Permanent worker residence permits can now be valid for up to two years, a notable increase from the previous one year. Similarly, EU Blue Card permits can now be valid for up to three years, a substantial leap from the previous two years. These extended periods will allow foreign workers to stay in Romania for longer durations before they have to address permit renewal issues or businesses have to source new employees.

Work Authorization Exemptions

Certain foreign nationals can now work in Romania without a work permit, a privilege they did not have before. This group includes foreign nationals with an EU Blue Card issued by another EU Member State, provided they have resided for at least 12 months in the first EU Member State or at least six months in the second EU Member State. The exact implementation of this rule remains to be clarified.

EU Blue Card: Professional Experience

Foreign nationals can now qualify for an EU Blue Card based on adequate professional experience, regardless of their academic qualifications. This marks a departure from the previous requirement for all applicants to have academic qualifications.

Professionals with an EU Blue Card issued by another EU Member State can now carry out business activities in Romania for 90 days in any 180-day period without needing a Romanian work authorization. This new rule facilitates business travel and reduces administrative burdens.

Family Reunification and Employment Contract

Family reunification applications can now be submitted simultaneously with an EU Blue Card application, and are processed concurrently. Additionally, EU Blue Card applicants now only need an employment contract of six months, down from the previous 12 months.

Foreign students can now work up to six hours per day, an increase from the previous limit of four hours per day. Secondment work permits have also seen changes, with their validity period now extended to 180 days.

As per experts, Romanian authorities may introduce further regulations to refine the implementation of these EU Blue Card reforms. Several EU Member States are yet to implement the revised EU Blue Card scheme domestically.

Conclusion

Romania’s immigration policies have undergone significant changes with the recent implementation of EU Blue Card reforms. These changes aim to make the country an attractive destination for foreign talent, thus addressing the talent shortage faced by many European nations. As Romania continues to evolve its immigration landscape, it will be fascinating to see how these changes impact the country’s ability to attract and retain highly skilled foreign workers.

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