Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 30/04/21


Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

Beneficiaries of international protection have the right to be employed by natural or legal persons, to carry out voluntary activities, to exercise free professions and to carry out legal acts, to carry out acts and deeds of commerce, including independent economic activities, under the same conditions as Romanian citizens.[1] There are no differences between refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries in relation to access to employment.

Beneficiaries participating in the integration programme are registered as individuals looking for a job at the National Agency for Employment, within 30 days of signing the protocol.[2]

In order to carry out measures to stimulate employment, the National Agency for Employment, through its agencies, has the obligation to draw up an individual plan for each person included in the integration program and register them as a person looking for a job, according to the legal provisions. For this purpose, IGI-DAI provides information on the education and professional profile of the beneficiaries. The National Agency for Employment may also collaborate with NGOs in order to inform, counsel or provide other services to beneficiaries of international protection.

Unemployed beneficiaries of international protection included in the integration programme may also benefit from relocation, mobility or activation allowance, if they are registered as unemployed.[3]

  • Obstacles to access in practice

Although beneficiaries of international protection have the same rights as Romanian citizens when it comes to access to labour market, there are some fields where there is limited or no access. For example, doctors with refugee status or subsidiary protection do not have the right to practice medicine in Romania,[4]unless they are married to a Romanian citizen, they are family members of an EU citizen, or they have a Long-Term Residence permit granted by Romania or an EU Member State.[5]

Legally there are no limitations imposed on beneficiaries of international protection regarding access to labour market. In practice, knowledge of Romanian language (and in some cases English) may hinder beneficiaries’ access to labour market. In addition, many of the beneficiaries do not have diplomas that certify their studies, which makes it impossible for them to apply for certain positions.

In practice, access to labour market also depends on the economic power of the city or region.

Timișoara: There are jobs available and beneficiaries may easily find a job, even if they do not speak Romanian, in fast-food shops owned by people from the foreign community. As a consequence, they may work and face no language barrier.

Bucharest: IOM reported that the difficulties encountered by the beneficiaries of international protection in 2018 in accessing the labour market, still persists in 2019. Mainly for beneficiaries who do not have diplomas, certificates of studies or qualifications. Some of the employers are not aware of the conditions under which foreigners can be employed in Romania and of the status of beneficiaries of international protection. Another difficulty encountered is the level of knowledge of Romanian language, which usually is required at an advanced level.[6] This is still the case in 2020. It was also reported by JRS that beneficiaries are reluctant to finding a job (as jobs may not be on their level, are poorly paid, or they plan to leave Romania in the near future)

Şomcuta Mare: According to the JRS representative, persons accommodated in the centre are periodically informed about available jobs in the area by AIDRom. There are a couple of companies which constantly recruit people in the unskilled labour sector. There were 2 beneficiaries of international protection legally working in Baia Mare. No problems or difficulties in accessing the labour market were reported by the JRS representative, who also mentioned that if the beneficiaries are willing to work, jobs will be found for them. Even though there are jobs available, beneficiaries have not expressed interest in seeking employment. Beneficiaries do not intend to remain in Şomcuta Mare because it is a small city and there is no community of foreigners; they prefer to go to Bucharest.

In 2020 ASSOC mentioned that in general is not difficult for beneficiaries to find a job. However, it is impossible for them to find a job in a field where higher education is required due to the bureaucratic procedure of equivalence of diplomas and because they are not proficient in Romanian.


Galaţi: It was reported that several beneficiaries transferred their integration programme to Bucharest where there is a foreign community. 95% of the beneficiaries are leaving Galaţi and heading to Cluj or Bucharest. There are jobs available especially in the unskilled labour sector and employment offers are received from different companies and periodically from AJOFM. Employers from the construction industry are coming directly to the centre. The employers are requiring a basic or intermediary knowledge of Romanian language or English. There were beneficiaries who accepted to work for 1,200 RON / €255 and others who refused such jobs.

Rădăuţi: it was reported that the majority of beneficiaries are leaving Rădăuţi and heading to bigger cities such as Iasi, Cluj or Bucharest or even to other countries. There are only 2 families living in Rădăuţi. It was reported that due to the pandemic the number of available jobs decreased.


Giurgiu: According to the JRS representative, the main obstacles in finding a job are the language barrier, the lack of diplomas and the lack of qualifications.

AIDRom reported that many beneficiaries face discrimination on the grounds of colour / race (they are referred to as “gypsy” or “terrorist”) and language barriers. Most beneficiaries have no documents proving their professional qualifications or experience; there are cases where persons with higher education are working in the unskilled sector.[7]

As for the impact of the pandemic in accessing the labour market AIDRom stated that there have been many layoffs or reduced working hours and therefore wage cuts. Many of their beneficiaries worked in HORECA sector, which was the most affected.[8]

Recognition / equivalence of professional qualifications

According to the Asylum Act, beneficiaries of international protection have the right to equal treatment to Romanian citizens regarding the equivalence of studies or periods of study, the recognition of diplomas, attestations and certificates of competency, as well as of professional qualifications which give access to regulated professions in Romania, in accordance with the regulations in force.[9]

If the beneficiary would like to be employed in a position according to his or her qualifications, he or she has to obtain the recognition and validation of his or her diplomas. The request for recognition and validation of diplomas is assessed by the National Centre for Recognition and Validation of Diplomas (CNRED), within the Ministry of Education.

The request should include the following documents:[10]

  1. Standardised application;
  2. Certificate (act) of study for equivalence or recognition:
    • Copy if studies are in Romanian, English, French, Spanish or Italian;
    • Copy and legalised translation into Romanian for other languages;
  3. Transcript or any other document from the education institution certifying the courses taken. If the recognition of the specialisation, or the field of study is not mentioned in the diploma,
    • Copy if studies are in Romanian, English, French, Spanish or Italian;
    • Copy and legalised translation into Romanian for other languages;
  4. Other relevant documents e.g. full programme of course for the pursuit of a regulated profession in case of study documents obtained in third countries:
    • Copy if studies are in Romanian, English, French, Spanish or Italian;
    • Copy and legalised translation into Romanian for other languages;
  5. Copies of personal identification documents i.e. passport, identity card, proof of name change if applicable;
  6. Processing fee of 50 RON / €11.

The CNRED website also mentions that Apostille or over-legalisation is required for the authentication of the diplomas subject to recognition. For states parties to the Hague Apostille Convention, diplomas subject to recognition must be addressed to the Hague Apostille by the competent authorities of the issuing countries. Education titles in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus are covered by the Hague Convention Apostille, whereas other EU Member States are exempted.

For States who are not party to the Hague Apostille Convention, education titles shall be legalised or accompanied by the Certificate of Authenticity issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin. The legalisation is applied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the Embassy / Consular Office of Romania in that country or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and its Embassy / Consular Office in Romania and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania. For countries where there are no diplomatic missions of Romania or who do not have diplomatic missions in Romania, titles are endorsed by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country.

When requested, CRNED did not clarify whether this procedure also applies to beneficiaries of international protection. However, in case Apostille is required for beneficiaries, this would be contrary to the essence of international protection, as the person would be required to request the over-legalisation or Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and its Embassy. According to AIDRom representative in Timișoara and Save the Children, if the beneficiary of international protection has studied in the country of origin, CNRED does not require Apostille or over-legalisation. CNRED only requires Apostille if the studies are completed in another country. However, according to IOM, depending on the country of origin, CNRED may require Apostille or over-legalisation of beneficiaries’ diplomas.[11]

The recognition procedure lasts 30 days according to AIDRom. Beneficiaries receive assistance from them and from the Department of International Relations of universities where they would like to apply.[12]

No cases of such were reported in Rădăuţi, Galaţi, Timișoara in 2020.


Şomcuta Mare:It was reported that 2 beneficiaries of international protection, medical doctors, from Iraq and Syria, respectively, requested the equivalence of their professional qualifications. The Iraqi national submitted the request at the Ministry of Education at the beginning of 2019 and received an answer in June 2019. He was informed that he needs to pass 8-9 exams in order to receive the diploma. The Ministry does not inform the applicant where he or she is supposed to take the exams; it only mentions that they have to be accredited institutions. The 2 beneficiaries had to inquire at universities if it is possible for them to take the necessary exams. One university informed them that they have to enrol at university and take all the courses from the first academic year until the last one. Later on,the beneficiaries were informed by one person from the community that they have to present the explicit curriculum, with all the subjects taught in their country of origin. The Iraqi national submitted the curriculum at the Ministry of Education and he received the diploma. The ASSOC representative, reported that they had no cases of such in 2019.[13]

ASSOC representative reported that they have 2 unresolved requests for recognition and validation of a BA and a MA diploma, lodged in 2019. He is not aware of the reason of delay.

IGI-DAI does not keep statistics on the number of beneficiaries of international protection in employment.




[1]           Article 20(1)(c) Asylum Act.

[2]           Article 24 Integration Ordinance.

[3]           Article 25 Integration Ordinance.

[4]        The issue was debated during a meeting on 26 October 2017 with representatives of the Romanian Government, the College of Doctors, IGI, NGOs, UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The conclusions of the meeting were that the Government will analyse the proposals and will try to find solutions. See EMINET, ‘Obținerea dreptului de practică de către medicii străini, în contextual deficitului de personal din sistemul de sănătateromânesc’, 26 October 2017, available in Romanian at:

[5]        Article 376(1) Act 95/2006 on Health Reform.

[6]        Information provided by IOM Romania, 18 November 2019.

[7]        Information provided by AIDRom, 3 MArch 2021.

[8]        Ibid.

[9]        Article 20(1)(r) Asylum Act.

[10]       CNRED, Recunoaşterea studiilor superioare ale cetăţenilor din state membre UE, SEE şi din Confederaţia Elveţiană, membrii de familie ai acestora, posesorii unui permis de şedere pe termen lung CE și refugiați, în vederea accesului pe piața forței de muncă, available in Romanian at:

[11]       Information provided by IOM Romania, 18 November 2019.

[12]       Information provided by AIDRom, 3 March 2021.

[13]       Information provided by ASSOC, 5 March 2020.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation