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

Asylum seekers have access to the labour market following 3 months from the lodging of the application, if no decision has been taken by IGI-DAI due to no fault of the applicant, or during the appeal stage.[1] This means that if a decision was made in the administrative phase of the procedure, the asylum seeker is allowed access to labour market even sooner than 3 months. Persons, who at the time of filing an application for asylum, have a right of residence on the territory of Romania and are working legally, may continue to work.[2]

Access to the labour market is granted under the same conditions set out by law for Romanian citizens.[3] Accordingly, there is no labour market test, sectorial limitation or other restriction laid down in the law.

The Asylum Decree prescribes that asylum seekers may benefit, upon request, from mediation services, professional information and counselling services provided to persons seeking employment by the County Employment Agencies (AJOFM).[4]

In order to be registered as a job seeker by the AJOFM and to benefit from the aforementioned services, asylum seekers must present the documents requested by law, except for the civil status documents issued by the country of origin, together with their temporary identity document issued by IGI-DAI and a certificate which confirms their right to work. The same conditions apply for asylum seekers’ participation in a vocational training programme or the evaluation of professional competences acquired through non-formal means.

Diplomas or certificates of education or graduation, as well as certificates of professional competence, qualification or other relevant documents, are accepted only if they are recognised on the territory of Romania according to the applicable legal provisions.

According to the law, asylum seekers who have access to the labour market have the right to benefit from measures promoting employment, as well as protection within the unemployment insurance system, under the conditions provided by the law for the Romanian citizens.[5] Moreover, the provisions of the Asylum Decree on access to employment for asylum seekers also refer to the possibility to participate in vocational training programmes.[6]

From the discussions held with the stakeholders, it appears that in 2019, like in 2018, asylum seekers have not faced obstacles in finding a job, as information about available jobs were provided to them. The jobs advertised by stakeholders were in the unskilled labour sector. As a result, asylum seekers did not encounter problems related to the lack of Romanian language knowledge, diplomas or other documents that would prove their qualifications. The majority of asylum seekers were reportedly unskilled workers in their country of origin.

Bucharest: According to the JRS representative, it was noticed that there are asylum seekers who are interested in accessing employment and employers are more open to offer them employment. The director of Stolnicu mentioned that around 45 asylum seekers were employed during 2020.

Rădăuţi: It was reported that asylum seekers prefer leaving to obtaining employment. There were a few asylum seekers legally employed in wood processing, but after the first month they quit.

Şomcuta Mare: Only one asylum seeker was working, as far as JRS knew. Asylum seekers are considered to not face many obstacles in finding a job as they are informed by IGI-DAI and NGOs about the available jobs in the area. AIDRom periodically informs the persons accommodated in the Regional Centre of available jobs. They usually work in the unskilled sector.

Galaţi: it was reported that there were asylum seekers working in the unskilled sector, when the pandemic started they were the first to let go by the employer. It was reported that IGI-DAI received several job offers for asylum seekers in the unskilled labour sector and that information thereon was disseminated to the asylum seekers together with the NGOs. The NGOs are also drafting the request for the issuance of the certificate from IGI-DAI, which attests that the asylum seeker has the right to work.

Timișoara: according to the director of Timișoara Regional Centre around 10 asylum seekers were employed. JRS reported that many asylum seekers are reluctant to work in the construction sector or at farms. It was further mentioned that there are available jobs, but in general they are not interested. The AIDRom representative reported that they receive a list of the available jobs from AJOFM on a weekly basis and they inform the asylum seekers accordingly. She also reported the fact that the asylum seekers cannot legally work during the first 3 months and that the majority do not stay in Timișoara for that long.

Giurgiu: the director stated that 7 asylum seekers were employed in 2020, out of which 4 were in probation period. JRS reported that 3 asylum seekers lost their jobs because of the pandemic. It was also pointed out that finding a job in 2020 was harder.

The number of applicants who were employed as of the end of 2019 was 26.[7] As for 2020, IGI-DAI reported that they have no statistics on the number of asylum seekers employed. It is provided only the number of asylum seekers with right to work (970).[8]


[1]        Article 17(1)(o) Asylum Act.

[2]        Ibid.

[3]        Ibid.

[4]        Article 6^1(1)-(5) Asylum Decree.

[5]        Article 17(1)(o^1) Asylum Act.

[6]        Article 6^1(4) Asylum Decree.

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

[8]        Information provided by IGI-DAI, 16 February, 2021.

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