Resettlement to Romania

Resettlement to Romania

For more detailed information on resettlement to Romania, a full country profile can be viewed here at Know Reset.

Resettlement in Romania is governed by provisions contained in Law no. 122/2006 on Asylum in Romania which defines who is eligible for refugee status and provides the general framework for resettlement. Government Decision No. 1596/2008 on resettlement in Romania regulates the resettlement quota and the relevant administrative procedure for resettlement. (It expired at the end of 2010 and the Government of Romania is in the process of issuing another Government Decision to address future resettlement quotas and operations undertaken by Romania).  

The Romanian Immigration Office (RIO) is the main institution in charge of refugee resettlement in Romania. Its General Director also holds the position of the President of the Resettlement Committee, which has been established to determine the states where resettlement operations are to take place and the number of refugees in need of resettlement to Romania.  The Resettlement Committee is composed of representatives from the Ministry of Administration and Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The RIO implements the decisions made by the resettlement committee after approval by the two other ministries. 

According to Government Decision No. 1596/2008, selection missions to countries of asylum are considered the main method for selecting refugees to be resettled to Romania. However, dossier selection may be used if a selection mission to an asylum country cannot be organized, based on a decision of the General Director of the RIO.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be considered for resettlement to Romania, an individual must meet the following requirements: 

  • He/she has been recognized as a refugee in accordance with Article 1A of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention and its Protocol by a State or by UNHCR; 
  • He/ she does not benefit from effective protection on the territory of the country of asylum; 
  • He/she does not have integration perspectives in the country of asylum; 
  • He/she does not have perspectives for voluntary repatriation to the country of origin under conditions of safety and dignity; 
  • He/she does not present a threat to public order, national security, health or public moral; 
  • He/she presents potential for integration in the Romanian society; 
  • He/she has expressly accepted to be resettled to Romania.

Family Reunification for Resettled Refugees

Resettled refugees may lodge an asylum application at the RIO office or its territorial branches in respect of their family members located outside the territory of Romania.
The Emergency Ordinance 194/2002, also known as “Aliens Law” in Romania, at Section 5, Article 46 (Long Term Visa granted for family reunification) stipulates: 
  • A sponsor in possession of a temporary stay permit, with the validity of one year, or of a permanent stay permit, or the beneficiary of the refugee status or subsidiary protection, can solicit family re-unification for: 
  1. husband/wife,* 
  2. minor unmarried children, belonging to the sponsor or to the wife/husband of the sponsor, including those adopted and in the effective care of the sponsor or of the wife/husband of the Sponsor.
  • The Romanian Immigration Office can approve, if conditions required under the law are fulfilled, family reunification for other following categories:  
  1. First grade relatives in ascending line for the sponsor or its wife/husband, in case they are in the impossibility of supporting themselves independently and they do not benefit of adequate family support in the country of origin.  
  2. Adult unmarried children of the sponsor and of its/wife/husband, in case they cannot support themselves independently due to medical reasons. 
  • Unaccompanied minors, benefiting of the refugee status or of subsidiary protection, can solicit family reunification for:  
  1. First grade relatives in ascending line or the legal guardian; or
  2. When those do not exist or cannot be identified, any other relative of the minor.


*Romania does not recognise same-sex relationships/ marriages. Therefore there are no provisions for such couples in refugee- related laws.


Source: this information has been taken from the Romania country chapter in the UNHCR Resettlement Handbook.