The situation created by the conflict in Ukraine has generated a wave of migration to Romania and other European countries, with Ukrainians but also citizens of other countries in the region seeking safe areas to settle, at least until At the end of the war. Beyond the challenges resulting from crossing borders, many of them will very soon be faced with financial constraints, so it is important that they are informed of the conditions under which they can work in the countries where they settle.
Opinion piece by Raluca Bontas, Partner, and Mihaela Vechiu, Head, Global Employer Services, Deloitte Romania
In Romania, there are work opportunities among employers active in the local market, but also for those operating in other countries, including Ukraine. Sometimes these procedures are cumbersome, but perhaps the unprecedented events we are witnessing will determine the authorities to relax them.
First, those fleeing the war need information on the routes available to reach Romania, the means of transport available and the conditions for entering the country. Generally, they should know that they can cross the Romanian border, during this period, with a short-stay status, on the basis of their valid passport or identity card. If they do not have a valid identity document, Ukrainians can enter our country on the basis of an asylum form, submitted to the border police. At the same time, it should be mentioned that in these cases the digital COVID-19 certificate or any other proof in this regard is not required at the border. For those interested, a non-governmental organization has launched, with the help of the Romanian authorities, a platform that gathers all the information necessary to obtain the right to enter and stay in Romania, as well as the details of the passage of borders.
Medium and long term solutions
For Ukrainians who wish to stay in Romania in the medium and long term, there are a number of opportunities in the labor market, which involve both employment in a company in the country and an employment relationship with Ukrainian entities. or other states, under remote working arrangements.
To work in the Romanian market, without the need for a work permit, Ukrainian citizens must conclude a full-time employment contract with a local company, for a period of at least nine months during a calendar year.
At the same time, they can work in Romania as digital nomads, a status recently regulated by the authorities. The digital nomad visa allows an individual to obtain a residence permit in our country while performing remote work. To obtain such a visa, the main condition is that the applicant is an employee of a company abroad or is the owner of a company registered outside Romania for more than three years.
In both cases, the applicant must obtain a long-term visa from a Romanian consulate located in the country of origin (Ukraine in this case) and, under special conditions, the consular offices of other states could accept requests.
Persons entering Romania on the basis of a asylum will have free access to the labor market either on the basis of the residence permit, confirming the form of protection obtained, or on the basis of a certificate attesting that the application has been processed (if the application is not completed within three month).
The conditions for access to the labor market must be relaxed
Therefore, there are work opportunities in Romania for citizens who are forced to leave their country because of the war, either within local companies or remotely, for entities of other states, including the Ukraine, but immigration regulations are still rigid and should be relaxed. , at least in such situations. For example, the processing of asylum applications could be accelerated (currently the deadline is 30 days, but it can be extended indefinitely by the authorities), and certain immigration processes could be simplified, at least by removing the requirements of official documents issued by the authorities of origin, impossible to obtain in such circumstances. Also, other solutions that deserve to be studied are the abolition of the long-stay visa in these situations or the possibility of applying for a visa in Romania, given the difficulty of traveling.
In the context of such challenges, the time has probably come for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Inspectorate for Immigration and the Ministry of Labor to analyze the legislation and procedures imposed in the field of immigration and take the necessary steps to simplify them. In fact, the case of Romania is not unique. Most European states have similar requirements for immigrants to issue work permits in their territory, and since many Ukrainians also target other EU countries, there is already pressure to simplify acceptance procedures in the labor market, as there are discussions regarding the activation of the European directive on temporary protection, which is in fact a mechanism designed to facilitate such situations. Therefore, it is desirable to activate this mechanism as a matter of urgency and to complement this measure with the simplification of the regime applicable to digital nomads, but also with measures related to the infrastructure of the authorities in charge of managing the immigration processes.
In conclusion, given that exceptional situations call for exceptional measures, European states and not only must mobilize to support Ukraine by all means, including by facilitating the access of its citizens to the labor market of European Union.