Romania has joined the growing list of countries offering digital nomadic visas to remote workers, despite having a higher minimum income requirement than some other Central and Eastern European countries.
Romania’s parliament passed a law on December 21 that will position the country as one of the most attractive places in Central and Eastern Europe for the ever-growing number of digital nomads around the world.
Long considered one of the best places for remote working in the region, thanks to its relatively low cost of living and super-fast internet that reaches even the most remote rural areas of the country, Romania wants to become a leading destination for digital nomads.
“We want international citizens to live and enjoy our beautiful country, where innovation blends with traditions and nature,” said Diana Buzoianu, Romanian MP for the Progressive USR-Plus party and initiator of the digital nomad visa program .
“I think the program will help us develop our national brand image and become a leader in this area,” she adds. “Other countries are using digital nomadic visas to attract millions of euros to their national economies. Romania will now be able to do the same.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a paradigm shift in the way people work across the world, with physical location never less important. It also offered a new opportunity for developing countries to attract money to their economies.
Currently, in Central and Eastern Europe, Croatia, Estonia and Georgia already offer digital nomadic visas, which allow remote workers to live in the respective countries for up to 12 months at a time, usually provided that they do not intend to provide services to businesses in their host country.
They also have a catch: high minimum income requirements that freeze some low-income digital nomads.
Not as accessible as some competitors
Romania’s digital nomad visa will be no different. Beneficiaries must be employed by a foreign company or offer services through an independent company located outside Romania, and the required minimum income has been set at three times the Romanian average gross monthly salary (approximately 1,100 euros), which means that Digital nomads -be will have to earn around 3,300 euros per month.
They will also need to prove that they have earned this amount in each of the three months before applying for their visa.
This minimum income requirement is much higher than Georgia, which started offering its digital nomad visa last summer as a way to boost overseas travel to the country after tourism was hit hard by the pandemic. of Covid-19. The country requires its digital nomads to earn at least US $ 2,000 per month, or approximately € 1,655.
Romania’s digital nomad visa is, however, slightly cheaper than Estonia, which became the first country in the region to offer a digital nomad visa, just months ahead of Georgia. His minimum income requirement is 3,504 euros per month. Remote workers in the country, however, have access to its world-leading e-government infrastructure.
For its part, Croatia, which launched its digital nomad visa in January, asks digital nomads to earn 16,900 kuna per month (around 2,240 euros).
A boost for digitization
While happy that his legislation has been approved, Buzoianu also warned that the Romanian public administration at local or national level will have to answer very specific questions that will become increasingly urgent: how can it provide public services and how can it protect its own rights citizens who work in other states, as well as residents who are not Romanian nationals, but who have come here while continuing to work remotely for an employer based abroad .
“In this context, governments around the world are starting to implement new public services and policies that respond to the current reality where a large part of their citizens live and work abroad, remotely or remotely,” says -she.
“While the private sector has experienced a faster evolution in the use of digital tools, the public sector is only now starting to adopt measures that meet the real needs of digitization. Digital nomads will bring with them relevant experiences and knowledge from their countries which will contribute to the simplification of bureaucratic processes in Romania.
“Today we adopted a law that responds to Romania’s need to attract both human capital and financial resources and to better promote Romania in the eyes of foreigners. However, this is not enough. As the labor market evolves, our infrastructure will need to adapt in order to be attractive and competitive.
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