Registering as a Romanian resident

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?

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  • Ethan

    I remember getting my visa renewed in 2001. I was the only person there who did not bring a gift. Envelopes, flowers, wine, packages… all passed through the window without a word. I’m glad it’s different now.

    • Parmalat

      Those were the good times!

  • After my trips by train to Bulgaria stopped working back in 2010, I had to get a permis de sedere and it was quite complicated to get one as an American freelance photographer. I had to open a company as the basis for my permis and I was forced to employ a lawyer and it took a few months. It turns out though that I was lucky being an American as citizens of the US (also Japan) are not required to invest 70,000 euros up front in their company as people from the rest of the world are 🙂 I was really shocked by this figure. Ultimately, the easiest way to live in Romania as a non-EU freelancer or independent person is to marry a Romanian. Very few foreigners though come here to live who are not with some company. Just look at how negative a reputation Romania still has:

  • Thank you for the information, it’s really useful, and information here is always so hard to get, and for it to be reliable as well. I much appreciate taking your time to write this ^^

  • Andy H

    “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?”

    You’ll be able to find out for yourself soon enough

  • Andy H

    Yes, I got mine last year. Very smooth and easy. Though the-card-that-looks-like-a-bulletin-but-isn’t took much longer than a day. A month-ish if I recall.

    And yes that green book was a right pain.

    • Andy H

      Mind you I love the fact that the “permanent residency” (ie ten years) is much easier to get and needs much less paperwork than the “temporary residency” (5 years).

      • Yes, mine is the 5 year temporary version. I can’t apply for a permanent one.

  • Mister Rearguard

    I got my permanent resident thinghy back in mid 2007. I do recall it was all done in one day without too much hassle, apart from asking me to bugger off to some Doctor for a ‘one day health insurance policy’ it wasn’t such a nightmare.