IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Romania’s 2017 work permit quotas for local hires and seconded workers have been exhausted.

What does the change mean? Work permits will not be processed in the local hire or seconded worker categories unless new quotas are issued. Pending applications will remain on hold for up to 45 days before they will be rejected. Quotas remain available for other work permit categories, including those for intracompany transfers, high-skilled workers, interns, seasonal workers and cross-border workers.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits for local hires and seconded workers.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for work permits in the categories listed above.
  • Impact on processing times: No work permits will be issued for the categories in question this year unless new quotas are issued. Pending applications will be delayed or rejected, depending on whether new quotas are issued.
  • Next steps: Work permit applications for both local hires and seconded workers continue to be accepted even though quotas have been exhausted.

Background: Romania set its 2017 quotas for foreign workers as follows:

Category Quota
Local hire/permanent 3,000
Assignee/seconded 700
Intracompany transfer 700
Highly skilled (EU Blue Card) 500
Interns 100
Seasonal 400
Cross-border workers 100
Total 5,500

News that the quotas for local hires and seconded workers had been exhausted was somewhat of a surprise, especially given that quotas remained available until the end of the year in 2016. Authorities have not yet said whether new quotas will be issued. Pending applications will remain on file for 30 days, after which a 15-day extension may be granted. It is not clear at this point whether the 15-day extension will automatically be granted or if host employers will have to request it. If no new quotas are issued at the end of the 15-day extension period, applications will be rejected and will have to be resubmitted when new quotas are available. Supporting documents that expire before new quota numbers are issued will have to be resubmitted.

BAL Analysis: Businesses may need to adjust timelines and start dates if they had planned on hiring a worker in the local hire or secondment category this year. It is not clear at this time whether new quotas will be issued and, if so, when they will be issued.