Living in Romania
What UK benefits are available to Britons living in Romania, information on working in Romania and earthquake advice
Entry and residency requirements
From 1 January 2007, UK/EU citizens who enter Romania have the right to stay for a period of 3 months from the date of entry. If intending to stay for a longer period than 3 months, UK/EU citizens can apply for a registration certificate issued by the General Inspectorate for Immigration.
To obtain the registration certificate/residence card, you must submit a number of documents to the territorial units of the General Inspectorate for Immigration in the county where you reside, depending on the purpose of your stay in Romania. The registration certificate is issued in the same day and is valid for a period of up to 5 years, and not less than one year.
For further information please visit the website of the General Inspectorate for Immigration.
The European Commission guide to free movement is a useful source of general information and guidance.
Your Europe Advice provides custom-made legal advice on your rights within the EU free of charge, within 8 calendar days and in any official EU language.
The secret of a successful long-term move to Romania is to integrate with your local community as much as possible by learning the language and registering with the Municipality as well as the General Inspectorate for Immigration.
Working in Romania
From 20 June 2007, citizens of EU and EEA member states do not need a work permit or any other document in order to get employment in Romania.
British citizens can sign individual work contracts with Romanian employers, in accordance with the law applicable to Romanian citizens.
This type of contract needs to be registered at the Territorial Labour Inspectorate in the area where the employer has its headquarters, according to Romanian Law 130/1997. (Government Emergency Order No. 56/2007, in force as of 20.06.2007, does not apply to Citizens of EU and EEA member states).
See also the general information on living and working conditions and relocating to Romania. Please follow the links to Romanian institutions provided for further specific advice.
Driving Licences and vehicles
UK driving licences seized by the Romanian authorities and forwarded to the British Embassy in Bucharest are automatically sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Contact details can be found on the DVLA’s website.
Social security rights and pensions in Romania
For information about social security rights and pensions, please read European Social Security leaflet (PDF, 144KB, 2 pages) which gives you a basic information on your pension, benefit and healthcare rights and responsibilities. Don’t listen to rumours. Instead, use official sources to start planning ahead today.
If you have retired, and you live in Romania, you could claim your pension from the UK. For detailed information on how to claim your state pension, please check the Pension Service or the Department for Social Development.
If you spend time in both the UK and another EEA country or Switzerland, and are unsure about how this affects your UK pension, benefit and healthcare rights, always consult the relevant UK authority.
Embassy help in a natural disaster
Earthquakes are not uncommon in Romania and small tremors are recorded throughout the year.
There were two tremors in 2009. The first earthquake, registered at 5.3 magnitude, occurred on 25 April 2009; the second, at 5.8 with its epicentre in the Black Sea, occurred on 05 August 2009. There were no casualties or significant damage. However, there was a major earthquake in Romania in 1977 which measured 7.2 in magnitude. This was centred in Vrancea. The earthquake resulted in 1,570 deaths and c. 11,000 people were injured. 90% of the victims were in Bucharest.
The Romanian Government is responsible for assisting foreign nationals immediately after a major earthquake or serious natural disaster. It is important to co-operate with the authorities.
Despite much research and speculation, nobody can predict when or where a large earthquake might occur, but there are things you can do to be ready. These can make the difference between life and death.
In the event of a major earthquake we will try to locate British nationals affected by the disaster and check on their condition. Please note, however, that the Embassy may also be severely affected by an earthquake and may not be in a position to offer immediate assistance. Local infrastructure including roads, phone systems and hospitals are also likely to be affected.
We recommend that you make preparations at home and at the office to help you survive an earthquake. We have gathered the following information and advice from several independent sources, including:
Other sources of information are available. We strongly recommend that you do your own research based on your family and other circumstances.
Prepare your home or office
- make sure you know how to shut off gas, water, oil and electricity
- check your property for stability, checking chimneys, roofs, walls and foundations. You may need to seek expert advice from an engineer
- secure appliances such as water heaters, air conditioners, and tall, heavy furniture to load-bearing walls
- do not have heavy pictures, glass or mirrors over the bed
- attach picture frames with closed hooks
- keep breakable items, heavy objects and flammable or hazardous liquids in secure cabinets, on lower shelves or outside
- remove heavy items from the top of shelves and cupboards
- assemble and maintain an emergency and first aid kit
- carry a small torch and a whistle with you
- install fire extinguishers and learn how to use them
- know the emergency exits of your building and keep them clear
- know your safe spots in each room, under strong tables, desks or against interior walls
- know the danger spots – near windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces, kitchen stoves and tall, unsecured furniture
- conduct drills at home or at the office to find safe locations and exits
- keep a stock of emergency food, water and other supplies such as extra blankets, clothing, hats, shoes and a portable radio with spare batteries to listen to news. Don’t forget to keep some money handy
Prepare your family
- make sure your family knows the safe and danger spots both indoors and outdoors
- decide where you will meet if separated during an earthquake
- parents of school-age children should find out about the school’s emergency plans
- conduct practice drills at home to make sure everyone knows the safe areas and exit routes
- learn first aid and CPR. Make sure that you have first aid kits and that you know how to use them
- know your route home from work/school on foot as transport may not be running and roads inaccessible
- make arrangements to stay with family or friends living outside the city in case you are evacuated
- have a friend, colleague or relative ready to act as a link
If you are inside a building during an earthquake
- stay calm and do not rush outside
- duck, cover and hold under a table or strong desk or stand in a corner. Do not stand in doorways. If you are in bed, stay there until the shaking stops
- turn off the gas
- stay away from windows and outside walls in high rise buildings
- never use an elevator to exit the building. Exit as soon as the door opens
If you are outside, in a car or train, during an earthquake
- go to an open area and stay away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines
- if in a public area, do not rush for the doors. Crouch down and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms
In a car or on a train
- stop your car and pull over to the side of the road. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside the car until the shaking stops
- on a train, hold onto a secure item and follow the instructions of the crew.
After the earthquake
The Romanian Government is responsible for assisting all affected people, including foreigners, immediately after a major earthquake.
- your safety is paramount
- listen to the media and public announcements for instructions and news reports. Follow instructions and advice. Stay calm and help others
- think carefully before using your car. The roads will need to be clear for emergency vehicles
- visually check for leaks and damage to plumbing and electrical wiring. If damaged, turn off at the source and report
- do not enter damaged buildings until they have been pronounced safe by an expert
- check your building for structural damage and report it
- be prepared for aftershocks
- if you evacuate the premises, leave a message for your family/colleagues to say where you have gone
The information contained in these notes is intended for your general guidance only. While care has been taken in compiling these notes, the accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed and, of course, law and procedures may change from time to time. For these reasons, neither Her Majesty’s Government nor any member of the British consular staff can accept liability for any costs, damage or expenses which you might incur as a result of relying on these notes
Published: 14 May 2013
Related guides: Notarial and documentary services guide for Romania