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. 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.
Access to the labour market is granted under the same conditions set out by law for Romanian citizens. Accordingly, there is no labour market test, sectoral 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).
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. 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.
From the discussions held with the stakeholders, it appears that in 2019, so 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, very few asylum seekers are interested in accessing employment. However, there were some asylum seekers legally employed. There is still a reluctance of employers to hire asylum seekers because of their nationality or because their lack of knowledge of the asylum law; thus, they are not aware of asylum seekers’ right to be legally employed.
Rădăuţi: It was reported that asylum seekers prefer leaving to obtaining employment. There were a few asylum seekers legally employed, but the number of asylum seekers working without a contract is higher. It was also mentioned by the stakeholders that employers are reluctant to hire asylum seekers because they fear controls from Labor Inspection (ITM) or IGI- Migration Directorate.
Şomcuta Mare: Asylum seekers have not faced obstacles in finding a job as they are informed by IGI-DAI and NGOs about the available jobs in the area. The persons accommodated in the Regional Centre are also periodically informed of available jobs by AIDRom. They usually work in the unskilled sector.
Galaţi: 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 County Agency for Employment Galaţi (AJOFM) held an information session regarding the available jobs in the county. AIDRom also informs asylum-seekers about the available jobs in the area. 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. Since most of the asylum seekers in 2018 and 2019 were unskilled workers, they did not face obstacles in the labour market, except, for some jobs where knowledge of Romanian language at an intermediate level was required.
Timișoara: 2-3 asylum seekers were legally employed. They found these jobs in the community of foreigners from Timișoara. One of the obstacles faced by asylum seekers in finding a job is the reluctance of employers to hire asylum seekers due to their precarious legal status. They prefer to hire beneficiaries of international protection in order to have legal certainty for a longer period. Most of the employment opportunities offered to asylum seekers came from the community of foreigners or refugees from Timișoara. 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.
Information sessions related to employment were held in different Regional Centres in 2019.
In Rădăuţi, an employee from the Territorial Inspectorate of Labour (Inspectoratul Teritorial de Munca, ITM) held an information session on the right to work and illegal employment. ITM and the IGI Migration Directorate for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection held the same information session in Galaţi. NGO representatives were also present.
The number of applicants who were employed as of the end of 2019 was 26.
 Article 17(1)(o) Asylum Act.
 Article 6^1(1)-(5) Asylum Decree.
 Article 17(1)(o^1) Asylum Act.
 Article 6^1(4) Asylum Decree.
 Information provided by IGI-DAI, 20 February 2020.