Freedom of movement


Country Report: Freedom of movement Last updated: 31/05/23


Felicia Nica

Asylum seekers are allocated to a specific reception facility through a dispersal scheme operated by IGI-DAI. The Regional Centres for Accommodation and Procedures for Asylum Seekers are located in the following areas:

Source: AIDRom, Support for asylum seekers in Romania:

According to the Asylum Act, asylum seekers are not allowed to leave their place of residence without authorisation from IGI-DAI.[1] The request to leave the residence has to include the address, the full name of the person with whom the applicant will be staying and the period of time and reasons for his or her request to leave.[2] Authorisation is issued following an individual, objective and impartial assessment. In case IGI-DAI refuses to grant authorisation, its decision shall be motivated.[3]

The provision of material conditions is subject to the applicant’s actual residence in the assigned centre. This is monitored by IGI-DAIthrough its database. If an applicant leaves the Regional Centre without permission and does not return in 72 hours, IGI-DAI may apply Reduction or Withdrawal of Reception Conditions.

While in previous years, applicants were transferred from Timişoara to other Regional Centres due to limited capacity, starting from April 2022 around 70-80% of asylum seekers were transferred to other centres within two to three days of their arrival. As of June 2022, by order of the general inspector of IGI, all asylum seekers from Timişoara centre were transferred. According to the Director of the Regional Centre of Timișoara and NGO representatives, asylum seekers are not informed beforehand about the transfers. IGI-DAI officers jointly with the special police forces/gendarms wake them up on the morning of the transfer. No problems were reported with regards to the transfer process.

According to the director of Timişoara, food packages were not offered to asylum seekers when they were transferred to other centres in the second half of 2022. An AIDRom representative stated that there were moments when asylum seekers did not receive transfer packages, as there were more than 1,000 asylum applicants transferred in 2022 and only 385 transfer packeages forseen in the implemented project.

According to the AIDRom representative, asylum seekers are informed on the spot by the integration officer and AIDrom representative. When the transfer is conducted, special police forces / riot police / rapid intervention police forces attend. According to AIDRom, they only attend to supervise the transfer process. An information note, written in Romanian and English, is given to the asylum seekers on the day of the transfer. In general, transfers are conducted once a week. AIDRom assists to the transfer procedure and provides them with packages.

According to IGI-DAI, in 2022, 208 decisions assigning a specific residence,[4] reception centres, for the asylum seekers, were taken, in line with article 19(4) of the Asylum Act, compared to decisions 26 decisions taken in 2020.[5]

From June 2022 until 25 February 2023, another order of the general inspector of IGI was given to transfer asylum seekers from one regional centre to another in order to hinder contact with smugglers. The transfer procedure was described by the director of Galati centre as follows:

The asylum seeker was transferred from the centre where the asylum claim was made in a maximum three days; in the next centre the preliminary interview was conducted within another three days; in seven days from the arrival in the second centre, the asylum seeker was transferred to a third centre where the personal interview was conducted. After a maximum of seven days the person was again transferred to a fourth centre where the decision was communicated. If the decision was not issued and communicated within seven days, the applicant was subject to another transfer. This chain of transfers stopped when an administrative decision was issued as the appeal was assessed by the Regional Court with jurisdiction in the locality where the regional centre was located.

CNRR reported that this measure was not entirely effective. From the practice encountered by the CNRR legal counsellors, due to this practice the asylum procedure tended to be more difficult, applicants were less cooperative because of the length of the asylum procedure. Moreover, the legal counsellor in Timişoara centre noticed that the human trafficking networks were still widespread, and the asylum seekers remained in contact with the smugglers, who were well aware of this chain of transfers.[6]

The director of Galati centre also mentioned that this measure entailed a lot of human and financial resources.

While the capacity of Tudor Gociu centre is 96 places, during 2022 the capacity was reduced to 25 and even to 10 places by order of the general inspector. When this occurred, asylum seekers were transferred to Giurgiu centre. According to CNRR, the asylum seekers returned and remained in Bucharest. The asylum seekers declared that they wanted to stay in Bucharest as they were already integrated there and it would be difficult for them to find a job and housing in Giurgiu. They lived in private accommodation or with friends from their community. They were afforded material assistance from Giurgiu centre.[7]

The ITPF Timişoara representatives reported that to discourage Timişoara being an intermediary stop, the Border Police jointly with IGI and the Jandarmerie conducted raids twice a day at the usual meeting places of migrants.




[1]  Article 19(g) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 7 Asylum Decree.

[3]  Article 19(g) Asylum Act.

[4] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 10 March 2022.

[5] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 20 February 2020.

[6] Information provided by CNRR, 7 February 2023.

[7]  Information provided by CNRR, 8 March 2023.

Table of contents

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