Romania > Overview
last update: May 2012
Romania is traditionally a country of emigration rather than immigration. In fact, immigration is small and inconspicuous. She is also recent, since the 90s.
Most immigrants come from the Republic of Moldova. In terms of non-European immigration, it comes mainly from Arab countries and China for trade and the creation of small businesses, and Central Asia and Africa for asylum seekers. Romania is also a transit country to the Central and Western Europe, coming from Ukraine and Turkey.
Romania participates in the European border surveillance, especially for EU external border with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. It opened two detention centers, in Otopeni, near Bucharest International Airport, and Arad, near the Hungarian and Serbian borders.
A reception system for asylum seekers has also set up. Today, about 12% of asylum applications receive a positive response. Very few negative responses are challenged on appeal.
Asylum seekers are housed in accomodation centres. The accommodation is basic, and the centres are understaffed. Applicants receive a daily amount of 1 euro for food and other needs. There is no legal support or activities facilitating social integration. In both areas, you will need to appeal to NGOs, when they exist.
Reception centers and shelters for asylum seekers are in Bucharest, near the border with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova (Galati, Radauti, Maramuresi), near the border with Hungary and Serbia ( Timisoara), and the latest, to the Bulgarian border (Giurgiu).
The procedure usually lasts a few months. Lately, several applicants have gone through an accelerated asylum procedure that lasts between 3 and 7 days and then they end up in retention centers.
If the procedure lasts for asylum more than a year, applicants are allowed to work, but it is very difficult for foreigners to find work.
The same problem applies to persons who obtain refugee status. Access to paid employment, and even black jobs, is very difficult.
Romania participates in the Dublin II Regulation. If your fingerprints are taken and entered in the Eurodac database (when you apply for asylum for example but also just because of "illegal entry") you risk being sent back to Romania, if you want to seek asylum in another country later.