Last updated: 10 February 2022
- Filed under:
- Legal News
- Cristina BOJICA
The situation of remote foreign employees of a non-resident company in Romania carrying out their activity using information and communication technologies (ICT), and of foreign citizens who own a company registered abroad who work from Romania has been regulated by Law no. 22/2022 amending and supplementing the GEO no. 194/2002 on the regime for foreigners in Romania.
The normative act therefore enshrines in national legislation the term "digital nomad", a concept widely used worldwide, designating the person who uses ICT to work remotely and who can thus work while traveling and moving across countries.
The digital nomad is someone acting in the field of new industries, such as programming, digital graphics, SEO, online advertising, social networks, content writing, digital marketing, etc.
The legal text defines the digital nomad as: “the foreigner employed on basis of an employment agreement in a company registered outside Romania and who provides services using information and communication technologies or who owns a company registered outside Romania in which they provide services using information and communication technologies and who can perform their activity as employee or their activity within the company remotely by using information and communication technologies”.
It is important to underline that "foreigner", in the meaning of the Romanian legislation, is the person who has neither the Romanian nationality, nor that of another Member State of the European Union or of the Economic Area. European, nor of the Swiss Confederation.
The status of digital nomad is therefore intended for nationals of countries other than those mentioned above. However, these people working remotely raises several problems related to the immigration process and obtaining a long-term visa and a temporary residence permit.
Tax implications are not to be neglected either, so the tax status of digital nomads must be carefully considered in the context of both the provisions of the Romanian Tax Code and the conventions aimed at avoiding double taxation between Romania and the different States of residence of these persons.
Rights and obligations of the digital nomad
A digital nomad enjoys all the rights provided for in the international treaties joined by Romania. They can stay on the territory of the country as long as they abide by the legislation in force, but for enjoying social protection of the Romanian State in the same conditions as Romanian citizens, they must establish their residence or domicile in Romania.
Long stay visa in Romania
Digital nomads can obtain a long-stay visa and a temporary residence permit, which can be extended. The long-stay visa is granted, upon request, to digital nomads who wish to travel and stay in Romania, if a certain number of conditions are met, in addition to the standard application file for obtaining the long-stay visa.
The law does not distinguish between the various types of workers who use ICT and can apply for such a visa.
Conditions to be met cumulatively:
- Produce proof of means of subsistence resulting from the activity carried out in an amount of at least three times the average gross monthly salary in Romania for each of the six months preceding the date of submission of the visa application, amount to maintain for the period of validity of the visa (in 2022 the average gross salary is 6,095 lei, respectively approximately 1,243 euros).
- Perform remotely the activities from which the applicant gets their income, using information and communication technologies.
Standard documents for the long-stay visa application (list of examples, not exhaustive):
- Documents proving that services are provided remotely, by using ICT, or proof of the remote management, through ICT, of a company registered abroad, at least three years before the visa application date ;
- Documents regarding the respective company ;
- Documents certifying that due taxes, duties and contributions are paid up, and that the person / company does not have a record of tax evasion and fraud or criminal facts (equivalent to a criminal/tax record) ;
- Proof of means to travel, medical insurance, means of survival and accommodation conditions.
The Romanian authorities may request other documents they deem necessary.
Extension of the right of temporary residence right
The first extension of the temporary right of residence for digital nomads is granted for six months.
Subsequent extensions of the right of temporary residence may be granted if the foreigner continues to fulfill the conditions provided for by law and if they produce a certificate justifying their income, issued by the competent tax body.
Some rankings place Romania in the top tier of the most attractive countries (3rd in the world according to the Digital Nomad index) for teleworking or remote work, considering tax facilities (for example, for workers in the IT sector), but also cheaper living conditions than in other European countries or Internet speed.
The changes newly introduced by Law No. 22/2022 align with similar measures taken in this area by other states in the region, such as Croatia or Czechia.