How Long it Takes to Hire a Foreign Worker

Most employers are aware that when looking for a new employee, time is of the essence. In the days, weeks or months when an important position remains unfilled, a company can lose considerable money and valuable resources. Therefore, it is important for employers hiring abroad to know the terms needed to bring in different workers from abroad.

There are many reasons why employers decide to use foreign workers: labour shortage, need for specific expertise, internationalisation strategy, etc. In the case of recruiting foreign workers, a specific procedure will be followed. Regulations vary depending on the area where the worker lives.

According to the legislation in force, in order to hire foreign citizens, a Romanian employer must fulfil certain obligations and follow certain steps which, in the case of non-EU citizens, are not very simple.

As a result, the period and the level of difficulty regarding the employment process of a foreign worker depends on the origin of the citizen to be employed in Romania. The formalities are complex and can take up to six to eight months and cost several hundred euros in government fees alone for each person (work permit, work visa, residence permit).

In order to hire a foreign citizen, an employer must prove that he has undertaken all the necessary formalities to fill the vacancy with priority by a citizen of an EU or European Economic Area member state, a citizen of the Swiss Confederation or a foreigner with a long-term right of residence in Romania.

Which are the steps to follow to hire a foreign worker?

If you are considering employing foreign workers, the first step is to create an internal strategy that will help you to set the main objectives for the integration of these foreign citizens. Another necessary step in hiring a foreign worker is to choose the employee profile that best suits the needs and activities of the employer.

Thus, there are several options, according to art. 2, paragraph (1) of GC 25/2014:

  • Permanent worker – the foreign citizen employed on the territory of Romania with an individual employment contract for a fixed or indefinite period, concluded with an employer on the basis of a work permit.
  • Trainee worker – foreign citizen employed in Romania on the basis of a work permit, holder of a higher education degree or who is following a higher education in a third country, who participates in a traineeship program in Romania, for a fixed period of time, in order to improve his/her professional training or to obtain a professional qualification, as well as to improve his/her linguistic and cultural knowledge;
  • Au-pair worker – a foreigner employed temporarily by a host family in Romania to improve his/her knowledge and language skills in exchange for light housekeeping and childcare activities;
  • The seasonal worker is the foreign citizen who maintains his/her main residence in a third country but resides legally and temporarily on the territory of Romania, being employed with a fixed-term employment contract.

The foreign citizen to be employed on the territory of Romania must be qualified for the position the employer intends to fill. In other words, they must have a minimum level of training and technical skills for the vacant position. The recruitment process involves a number of steps, steps that depend on each other.

A new step is only started after the previous step has been successfully completed. For most of these legal steps the time for verification, processing and issuing the requested document is 30 days. If additional checks are needed, the time can be extended by up to 15 days. Once the selection process is successfully completed, the employer can start the immigration process.

Another necessary step is to obtain the work permit

Depending on the length of stay and depending on the employment contract, work permits can be for permanent employment or for secondment. The work permit for secondment is valid for 1 year within a period of 5 years.

From the second year of presence in Romania, the employee must sign a work contract with the company in Romania and obtain a new work permit. The work permit for local employment is granted to permanent workers.

The long stay visa for employment/departure is another step to follow

The application for a long stay visa must be submitted to the Romanian consulate abroad.

Residence permit in Romania

This is obtained by submitting an application to the immigration authorities. The foreign citizen must be present at the time of application.

Discover how you can bring value to your team by hiring foreign workers

What you need to know if you choose to hire workers from outside the EU, EC or EEA

If you want to employ a worker from outside the European Union you should know that first and foremost you will need to obtain an employment permit for them. The employment permit requires the preparation of a file and the payment of a fee to the General Inspectorate for Immigration in the county where the employing company is based.

The fees will be determined according to the category to which the worker belongs. The following documents are required for the employment permit:

  • a request for employment motivation;
  • original and copy of the company’s registration certificate with the Trade Register;
  • the tax certificate of payment of the state budget;
  • the job description for the vacant position;
  • proof of publication of the vacancy advertisement;
  • offer of employment from the company/firm;
  • CV of the foreign worker to be hired;
  • the declaration made by the foreign citizen that he/she is medically fit to work and that he/she has a minimum knowledge of Romanian;
  • criminal record of the foreign citizen;
  • the criminal record of the company that is going to employ the foreign citizen;
  • two photographs of the foreign citizen;
  • a copy of the valid border crossing document (passport).

What are the conditions that a foreign citizen from outside the EU, EC or EEA must meet in order to be employed in Romania?

The following conditions must be met for a foreign citizen from outside the EU, EC or EEA to be employed in Romania with an employment permit:

  • He/she fulfils the special conditions of training, work experience and authorization;
  • He/she proves that he/she is medically fit to carry out the respective activity;
  • Does not have a criminal record that is incompatible with the activity he/she is going to perform;
  • The employer has paid up to date the obligations to the state budget;
  • The employer carries out an activity compatible with the function that the foreign citizen should exercise;

A foreign citizen has the right to apply for a long-stay visa for employment within 60 days from the date of obtaining the employer’s notice of employment. This visa is approved by the National Visa Centre and is granted for a limited period, generally 90-180 days.

Why recruit foreign workers? Some reasons

You may have noticed that more and more companies are turning to international recruitment. Most of the time they have no other options. Some key industrial sectors are struggling to find skilled workers in Romania.

There are several reasons for this: an ageing population and a shortage of qualified staff for occupations that require a high level of skills or expertise. In Romania, the territories are large, as are the ambitions, but there are not enough people to meet the needs of expansion and development.

Choosing to hire foreign workers will open you up to new ways of working. It is clear that the presence of employers from elsewhere, from other countries, brings with it a set of differences. These employees will have different ways of thinking about a solution and solving a problem.

They will also have different ways of working, which could bring new perspectives to your business. A diverse team performs better. The best social connections are made at work.

Hiring foreign workers promotes your business internationally. Here’s a hypothetical situation: you collaborate with an international recruitment firm and participate in an international immigration fair. Dozens, even hundreds of candidates apply and are interested in a career in your field.

Imagine for a moment the potential to promote your business/company elsewhere. In addition to this international component, you can also promote your company nationally. The more diversity and interest there is in your company, the more your company will be visible to all stakeholders in your sector.


We will call you back if the call is received outside business hours. Calls may be recorded.


We will call you back if the call is received outside business hours. Calls may be recorded.