Country Report: Overview of the main changes since the first report Last updated: 31/05/22
The previous update was published in April 2021.
- Access to the territory: UNHCR Romania reported that 69,589 persons were prevented from entering the country from January to the end of November 2021, based on statistics received from IGI-DAI, correlated with statistics received from the Border Police. In 2020 UNHCR Serbia reported that 13,409 persons were collectively expelled from Romania to Serbia from 1 January to 31 December, the highest number of pushbacks registered since UNHCR Serbia began monitoring pushbacks in spring 2016. Higher numbers were registered in the second half of the year. According to the Border Police, interpretation at the border for asylum information is still lacking. Asylum seekers complained about ill treatment by Border Police /Gendarmerie officers at the border.
- Asylum seekers: the number of asylum seekers increased by 2% in 2021 with 9,591 new asylum applications registered, compared to 6,158 in 2020. 1,551 unaccompanied children were registered in 2021, compared to 980 registered in 2020.
- Interpretation: The availability and quality of interpretation has remained an issue.
- Videoconferencing: interviews and court hearings were held through videoconference.
- Accelerated procedure: the number of asylum applications assessed in accelerated procedures in 2021 increased to 1,968 compared to 885 in 2020, and 315 in 2019. Asylum applications of Afghan nationals were also assessed in an accelerated procedure until August 2021.
- Integration programme: In 2021, 986 beneficiairies of international protection were enrolled in the integration programme.
- Cessation and review of protection status: In 2021, IGI-DAI issued 34 cessation decisions and 15 withdrawal decisions were issued.
- Reception conditions: In 2021 the hygienic conditions continued to deteriorate in all centres, except Giurgiu, in part due to the high number of asylum seekers accommodated. Conditions were described by several stakeholders as dirty with worn equipment, furniture and bedding. However, renovation work was started in Bucharest, in the Vasile Stolnicu regional centre and in Timisoara. Due to the renovation work in Timisoara and the Vasile Stolnicu centre (Bucharest) the total capacity of the centres was reduced from 1,100 places to 751 places. In order to increase the number of accommodation places in the regional centres, IGI aims to extend the accommodation capacity by 500 places in 3 centres, using AMIF funds, as follows: Timişoara and Rădăuţi would have an additional 100 places and Galaţi another 300 places. In addition, IGI-DAI, took over a public building, administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convert it to an accommodation centre for asylum seekers. The building is located in Crevedia, Dâmbovița County and will have a capacity of 500 places.
- Reception conditions in detention: The capacity of the Arad detention centre is to be increased: in May 2021, the authorities started the construction of another facility, with a capacity of 240 places of accommodation, a sports field and leisure spaces. The construction of the facility is being funded by AMIF. The director stated that the construction works will be finalised in June-August 2022.
- Return to Serbia: In 2021, Romania continued to return persons to Serbia based on the readmission agreement. 475 persons (mainly Afghan, Pakistani and Indian nationals) were returned to Serbia from the Arad detention centre and around 200 from the Otopeni dentetion centre.
The War in Ukraine
- War in Ukraine: From the beginning of the crisis to 19 April 2022. 751,951Ukrainian citizens had entered Romania. According to UNHCR Romania 85,000 remained in the country. Due to the pressure under which the asylum system of the country came due to the conflict in Ukraine, the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs signed an operational plan with the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) at the end of March 2022. The plan foresees the gradual deployment of up to 120 EUAA personnel and interpreters to country.
- Legislative provisions: On 27 February 2022, the Romanian Government adopted Emergency Ordinance 15/2022 on the provision of humanitarian support and assistance by the Romanian state to foreign nationals or stateless persons in special situations, coming from the area of the armed conflict in Ukraine, later modified by Emergency Ordinance 22/2022. On 18 March 2022 Government Decision no. 367 on the establishment of conditions for ensuring temporary protection, entered into force.
- Access to the territory: Ukrainian nationals who are able to present a valid passport at the border crossing can enter Romania and can stay up to 90 days. Temporary protection is granted for a period of one year and will be able to be automatically extended for periods of 6 months, for a maximum of one additional year, if the conflict situation persists. Visa-free entry with a biometric passport remains possible. If individuals apply for asylum in Romania, Ukrainian nationals can also enter the country on the basis of another type of identity document (national identity document, birth certificate etc.), or on the basis of their declared identity, without an identity document, for humanitarian reasons. 
- Information provision: In respect of COVID-related restrictions, UA nationals are not required to quarantine upon arrival, regardless of whether they arrive from Ukraine or through the Republic of Moldova. Information provision and legal counselling is provided at the main border crossing points from Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova (Halmeu, Sighetu Marmatiei, Siret, Stanca, and Isaccea). Information provision is also provided in reception centres, as well as through two hotlines (+40 730 073 170 / +40 721 206 926) and an online platform.