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Romanian Parliament Considers Digital Nomad Visa Legislation

 

Romanian parliamentarians, in cooperation with the Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digitalisation, submitted a draft law on the 12th of May, 2021, regulating a new digital nomad visa.

The draft will modify the Emergency Ordinance no. 194 of the 12th of December, 2002, for the regime of foreigners in Romania. This change will introduce new grounds for third-country nationals to obtain a visa permit in Romania, reports Emerging Europe.

Diana Buzoianu, MP and the initiator of the digital nomad visa program, addressed the public this week, shedding some light on the new immigration route:

“Digital nomads are defined as foreign citizens who want to live in Romania for a longer period of time, while still working remotely for an international employer, or for a company they have registered in a third country. We invite international citizens to live in and enjoy our beautiful country, where innovation intersects with traditions and nature. I believe the program will help us build our country brand, becoming a leader in this area.”

If implemented, Romania would join a host of European countries offering remote workers – who have seen their ranks swell thanks to the pandemic – residence permits.

Georgia, Croatia, and Estonia already offer digital nomad visas, and Romania’s program is primed to have a similar structure to that of its European counterparts.

The main conditions for employees or business owners who can conduct their business remotely are:

  • The applicant must prove employment or ownership of a company registered outside of Romania;
  • For the six months before applying, the applicant must prove that they had an income amounting to at least EUR 1,100 Euros per month (the national average income).
  • The applicant must have health insurance covering the duration of the visa.
  • The applicant must have a clean criminal record.

The proposed minimum threshold of EUR 1,100 for Romania’s digital nomad visa is considerably below that of neighboring countries Estonia (EUR 3,504), Croatia (EUR 2,240), and Georgia (EUR 1,655).

“The reason behind that value is that I want to attract people who could also bring resources here, but not limit the visa to just a small percentage of employees or entrepreneurs,” commented Buzoinu on the proposed amount. “The average income in a country is a good criterion related to the average cost of living. I believe that setting the amount in relation with the average income is a way of attracting more digital nomads.”

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