We re-registered on Monday as permanent residents of Bucharest (Vitan, frate), at the little house next to the passport office on Strada Nicolae Iorga.
How things have changed since we last did it (pre-EU membership).
For a start, the Interior Ministry’s website clearly states, in Romanian and English, which documents you need.
Secondly, there is a proper queuing system, using numbered tickets, meaning you can go outside for a smoke while you wait your turn. (Not that we had to: there was nobody in front of us in the queue. The English are not queuing up to get in to Romania. Gandul’s campaign did not work).
Thirdly, the women behind the counters now speak English. This is a vast improvement on days gone by, when being mono-lingual appeared to be the primary qualification needed to work here.
Fourth, not only do the women speak English, they actually give you the impression that they want to make the process (which can still involve a fair bit of paperwork – that has not changed) as easy as possible. A few years ago their job was seemingly to prevent you ever being able to get a residence permit. (Anyone who ever had to get one of the Little Green Books – pictured below – will know what we mean).
Finally, instead of waiting a month for your residence certificate, you collect it the same day. Efficient or what?
We should point out that the office we went to only deals with EU citizens. It is no doubt still a nightmare for anybody else. Maybe readers can confirm or otherwise?