Beneficiaries of international protection who for objective reasons lack the necessary means of subsistence have the right to receive, upon request and within the limits of the state’s financial resources, a monthly non-reimbursable aid (“aid”) for a maximum period of 12 months. The amount of aid is related to the reference social indicator under the terms and conditions established by Government Decision. More exactly the amount of the financial aid is 1,08 ISR and equals 567,54RON/ €115.
The Integration Ordinance states that to ensure effective access to social rights, the competent authorities take into account the specific situation of the beneficiaries of international protection.New provisions were added by the amendments, stipulating that at IGI’s request, local support teams may be set up to integrate beneficiaries of international protection and other foreigners who have a right of residence in Romania, as well as citizens of the Member States of the European Union, the European Economic Area and citizens of the Swiss Confederation. The local support teams are composed of IGI-DAI, local public administration authorities, public institutions and NGO representatives. Further rules will be published, prescribing how these support teams are established, how they operate and what their responsibilities are.
The timeline for the submission of the application for inclusion in the integration program was prolonged from 30 days to 3 months from the date the international protection was granted, by the amended Integration Ordinance. Another legal provision introduced by the amendment prescribes that NGO representatives may participate at the interview conducted by the integration officer of IGI-DAI with the beneficiary of international protection. The scope of the interview is to establish the type of assistance or activities necessary for the social integration of the applicant.
The duration of integration programmes for beneficiaries of international protection is prolonged from 6 months to 12 months, which may be extended with 6 months.
Conditions for aid
The non-refundable financial aid is granted for an initial period of 6 months, with the possibility of extending it to 12 months. In order to receive non-refundable aid, beneficiaries of international protection must be enrolled in the integration programme. However, some groups, referred to as “special cases”, are exempt from the obligation to be enrolled in the programme. The special cases are:
- Unaccompanied children;
- Persons with disabilities;
- Persons who have reached retirement age and do not benefit from retirement;
- Pregnant women;
- Single-parent families with juvenile children;
- Victims of human trafficking;
- Victims of torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological or sexual violence.
In 2020, 588 beneficiaries of international protection were enrolled in the integration programme and in total there were 1,003 beneficiaries, of which 32 were unaccompanied minors.
In 2021, 986 beneficiaries of internatioal protection were enrolled in the integration programme and in total there were 1625 beneficiaries, of whom only 23 were unaccompanied minors.
In 2022, 795 beneficiaries of international protection were enrolled in the integration programme and a total of 1803 were in the programme, of whom 1008 continued the programme from 2021. There were 28 unaccompanied minors enrolled in the integration programme during 2022.
In 2022, 74 beneficiaries were enrolled in the integration programme in Timişoara and 22 were excluded, according to the director and 34 continued the programme from the year before. In Giurgiu, 28 beneficiaries were enrolled and 34 excluded, while 41 continued their integration programme from 2021. Only 15 beneficieries finalised the one-year integration programme in 2022. In Galati 66 beneficiaries were included in the integration programme, one continued the programme from 2020 and 98 were excluded. In Şomcuta Mare 160 beneficiaries were enrolled, of whom one unaccompanied minor. In Bucharest 495 beneficiaries were enrolled, and 990 persons were following the integration programme (including the ones enrolled last year) and 249 were excluded. In Rădăuţi 107 were enrolled and 83 contnued the integration programme from 2021.
The provision of aid is subject to the actual residence of the beneficiary, which is mentioned on the Residence Permit. The beneficiary of international protection is included in the integration programme coordinated by the IGI-DAI office territorially competent for the area where he or she resides.
In case a beneficiary would like to change his or her place of residence, he or she has to communicate this intention to IGI-DAI where he or she started the integration programme and has the obligation, within 15 days from the date of moving to the new address, to present him or herself to the IGI-DAI office territorially competent for the area in which he or she now resides or, as the case may be, to the relevant territorial entity of the Aliens Authority, to register him or herself and to make the necessary changes to the identity document.
IGI-DAI reported that 1,564 beneficiaries of international protection benefited from non-refundable financial aid in 2022.
Application procedure for aid
The authority responsible for granting non-refundable aid is the County Agency for Payments and Social Inspection (Agenția Județeanăpentru Plățiși Inspecție Socială, AJPIS). The funds necessary for granting aid are provided from the budget of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection through the Agency for Payments and Social Inspection of the County.
The application for non-refundable aid is drafted individually by each beneficiary of international protection who fulfils the conditions set out in the law or by his or her legal representative or guardian, according to a template established by IGI. This requirement raises issues in practice for unaccompanied children in Bucharest. An unaccompanied child beneficiary of international protection may not access non-refundable financial aid due to the fact that he was not appointed a legal representative by DGASPC, since the legal representative only assists unaccompanied asylum-seeking children during the asylum procedure and not after they are granted a form of protection.
AIDRom reported that in Timișoara, unaccompanied children’s cases are taken over by DGASPC and are represented by the social worker/case manager within DGASPC Timișoara. In Bucharest, there are still difficulties in monitoring unaccompanied minors due to the lack of staff at the level of DGASPC, as well as the workload of their employees.
Children have access to financial aid only when they are 18. Until then, the money is collected in an account on behalf of the beneficiary. Upon leaving the centre, the child will live in a DGASPC centre, and the director of the centre becomes the legal representative of the child.
In practice, the application is made within 3 months of the date of granting international protection, with an NGO’s assistance. IGI-DAI forwards the file of the beneficiary to the AJPIS for review. The application must be accompanied by the decision granting international protection, the temporary residence permit, as well as a certificate attesting the registration in the integration programme issued by the territorially competent IGI-DAI office.
In order to establish the right to aid, the AJPIS makes a social investigation within 10 days from the receipt of the application to confirm that the applicant lacks the necessary means of subsistence.The Executive Director of the AJPIS approves granting the financial aid, starting with the following month in which the application was registered with the territorial agency, on the basis of the documents submitted by IGI-DAI. Until the first month of payment of the aid, beneficiaries who have no means of subsistence shall receive from IGI-DAI material aid equal to the amount granted to asylum seekers, within the limits of available funds, but for no more than three months.
IGI-DAI reviews the situation of each beneficiary of aid, twice a year, depending on the active participation of the person in the activities stipulated in the individual integration plan and submits to the competent AJPIS proposals for extending the period of granting, suspending or terminating the payment of aid.
AIDRom reported that if the integration officer decides that the participation of the beneficiary is inconsistent, or they have not learned enough, he or she may exclude them from the program and they will, therefore, lose the financial aid. The financial aid is also lost if they find a part-time job. In order to receive the aid after the first 6 months, beneficiaries must submit a certificate to AJPIS that they are students or persons enrolled in AJOFM. Enrollment at AJOFM should be done by IGI-DAI; however, it is done by AIDRom where possible. The financial aid may also be lost when these documents are not lodged in time. Another challenge in accessing this help is that the money must be collected directly from AJPIS, and this can only be done 2-3 days a month and there is no monthly fixed day. The practice is that the AJPIS representatives contact the beneficiaries by phone, informing them when they can pick up the money. In case the beneficiary does not pick the money up in time, they are returned to the central fund, and an application has to be submitted to recover the aid.
The same procedure for collecting the financial aid was also reported by IOM Romania. Difficulties may occur when beneficiaries of international protection move to another county, which falls within the competence of another IGI-DAI centre.
No problems to obtain financial aid were reported in Şomcuta Mare, Galaţi, Rădăuţi, Bucharest.
The JRS representative in Galati reported that AJPIS considered that the application for the financial aid should be submitted within 3 months of the decision being issued and not of the decision becoming final. A complaint was filed in this regard and the court decided that the commencement date for the 3 months time limit is the day when the judgment has become final. The financial aid is lost for the entire family if one of the members of the family is working and the amount per family member is more than the the financial aid.
Beneficiaries of international protection who participate in the integration programme, who do not meet the conditions for receiving non-refundable financial aid and who have no means of subsistence, are supported in order to fulfil the legal conditions for obtaining the minimum guaranteed income.
Beneficiaries of international protection also have the right to benefit from social insurance, social assistance measures and social health insurance, under the conditions provided by the law for Romanian citizens.
 Article 20(1)(m) Asylum Act.
 Article 20 (5^1) Asylum Act.
 Article 14^1(1) Integration Ordinance.
 Article 14^1(2) Integration Ordinance.
 Article 14^1(3) Integration Ordinance.
 Article 16 Integration Ordinance.
 Article 17(1) (2) Integration Ordinance.
 Article 20 integration Ordinance.
 Article 60(1) Asylum Decree.
 Article 33(2) Integration Ordinance.
 Information provided by IGI-DAI, 16 February 2021.
 Information provided by IGI-DAI, 10 March 2022.
 Information provided by IGI-DAI, 22 February 2023.
 Article 60(1) Asylum Decree.
 Article 52(2) Asylum Decree.
 Information provided by IGI-DAI, 22 February 2023.
 Article 20(5) Asylum Act.
 Article 60(2) Asylum Decree.
 Information provided by IOM ROMANIA ROMANIA Romania, 19 February 2022.
 Information provided by IOM Romania, 19 February 2022.
 Article 60(2)-(3) Asylum Decree.
 Article 60(5) Asylum Decree.
 Article 60(4) Asylum Decree.
 Article 22(3) Integration Ordinance.
 Article 60(6) Asylum Decree.
 Information provided by AIDRom, 14 January 2021.
 Information provided by, 19 February 2022.
 Article 22(1) Integration Ordinance.
 Article 20(1)(g) Asylum Act.