Things to know
Romania's Capital City.
Bucharest, in southern Romania, is the country's capital and commercial centre. Its iconic landmark is the massive, communist-era Palatul Parlamentului government building, which has 1,100 rooms.
Nearby, the historic Lipscani district is home to an energetic nightlife scene as well as tiny Eastern Orthodox Stavropoleos Church and 15th-century Curtea Veche Palace, where Prince Vlad III (“The Impaler”) once ruled.
Romania’s capital sometimes gets a bad rap, but in fact, it's dynamic, energetic and lots of fun.
Many travellers give the city just a night or two before heading off to Transylvania, but that’s not enough time.
Allow at least a few days to take in the very good museums, stroll the parks and hang out at trendy cafes and drinking gardens. While much of the centre is modern and the buildings are in various stages of disrepair, you'll find splendid 17th- and 18th-century Orthodox churches and graceful belle époque villas tucked away in quiet corners.
Communism changed the face of the city forever, and nowhere is this more evident than at the gargantuan Palace of Parliament, the grandest (and arguably crassest) tribute to dictatorial megalomania you’ll ever see.
Bucharest is often referred to as "Little Paris" and it’s true that French influence is apparent throughout the city.
From the small French-like signs in the parks to the Haussmannian-style architecture dotted throughout the city, there are traces of France almost everywhere you look.
Buzzing and lively with a host of things to see, do and eat!
Coined the ‘new Berlin’ – Bucharest is buzzing; the party scene is powerful, yet the scars from the Soviet hold lie just under the surface.
Probably the youngest Old Town in the world, Bucharest Old Town is that a decade old!
The aim of the redevelopment of Centru Vechi (the Old Centre, as the locals call it) was to entice locals and tourists alike to enjoy some social drinking while spending a bit of coin.
The plan has been successful, this area is jumping.
Streets and streets of bars, restaurants, kebab shops, and pumping music, all housed in grand buildings.
Warning – local beer, Csíki Sör, is pretty cheap in Bucharest but vodka comes in at £2.50
The other nickname Bucharest has gained in the past decade or so alongside "Little Paris" is ‘New Berlin‘, owing to the sheer amount of street art around nearly every corner, as well as a buzzing ‘Berlinesque nightlife’ when the sun sets over the city.
And it’s true that people in Bucharest like to party; throughout the city (particularly in the old town), you can find dozens of clubs that are open well into the early hours of the morning.
Public transport is far from reliable in Romania, but the good thing is that taxis are very affordable and disposable, so you rarely have to ride public transportation, especially if you are a foreigner. If you have to go somewhere outside of the city, you can take the train, it is also very affordable. A monthly pass for public transport is staggeringly cheap – around 13$ a month
How does Bucharest Compare?
Bucharest is a vibrant city with lots to offer in every way, plus – it’s cheaper than most European capitals.
The average cost of living in Bucharest is €836, which is in the top 36% of the least expensive cities in the world, ranked 5909th out of 9294 in a recent global list and 1st out of 47 in Romania.
The median after-tax salary is €816, which is enough to cover living expenses for 1 month.
Ranked 549th (TOP 6%) in the list of best places to live in the world and 1st best city to live in Romania. With an estimated population of 1.88M, Bucharest is the 1st largest city in Romania.
While rents can be high, they don’t come anywhere close to those that you’d encounter in London or other large cities in Western Europe.
Rent will, however, be your main concern while living here.
You can find places where you’ll pay €117 for a studio – if it’s far from the centre, while anything above €392 means you’ll be getting decent accommodation in the best part of the city.
A larger apartment for the whole family, in the city centre is over €687.
The average cost for all utilities (meaning sewerage, water, gas, building management, garbage, electricity, TV and internet) in an 85m2 apartment in Bucharest, would be at around €117 per month in the summer months and €265 per month in the winter months.
Internet speed is lightning fast in Bucharest! You can get 1GB/s download speed for about €8 every month.
Cost of Living
Income tax in Romania is charged at a flat rate of 16%, while social security contributions amount to 15.5% for employees, and up to 32.6% for employers (depending on working conditions).
For those ex-pats who are moving to Romania and will work here, the state will require them to pay income tax. This tax applies to both residents and foreigners. That Personal Income Tax stands at 10 per cent.
Foreign individuals, regardless of their domicile, will be taxed in Romania only on their income in Romania.
Non-resident individuals, as well as ex-pats, are taxable on their worldwide income as soon as they become tax residents in Romania.
To obtain a tax residency in the country, ex-pats will need to:
Be a resident in Romania and fulfil at least one of the following conditions: have the primary domicile located in the country, stay in Romania for more than 183 days within a 12-month period or prove you have vital interests in the country, such as personal or financial;
Prove that you are a non-resident in Romania, but you perform an independent activity via a permanent establishment in the country;
You are a non-resident, but you are obtaining the income in Romania.
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Eligibility to Work in Bucharest
In order to obtain a work visa, several steps are required, one of them being employed in one of the categories of workers:
1. Employment of foreigners as permanent workers
The employment of foreign citizens can be done by concluding an individual full-time employment contract for a determined or indefinite period.
For this, the Romanian employer is obliged to submit the necessary diligence to fill the vacancy and the foreigner must meet a series of conditions, in order to obtain an employment permit.
Thus, the employer will have to make an organizational chart specifying the occupied and vacant positions, a certificate regarding the available labour force for the vacant job, publish through mass media in Romania a job announcement, make a firm offer of employment, etc.
Instead, the employee must submit documents such as curriculum vitae, criminal record issued by the country of origin, a statement on his own responsibility regarding the fact that he is medically fit and has knowledge of Romanian and English, two 3x4 cm photos, and so on.
2. Employment of foreigners as trainee workers
Also, there is the possibility of hiring for an internship with a determined duration in order to obtain a professional qualification or to improve the professional training as well as improve linguistic and cultural knowledge, but this duration of the internship cannot be extended.
3. Employment of foreigners as seasonal workers
The employment permit for seasonal workers is issued to the employer in order to employ a foreign citizen with a full-time individual employment contract for a determined period, for an activity that takes place depending on the succession of seasons.
Thus, in addition to the necessary diligence in view of employment, submitted by the employer, it is necessary to meet the conditions of professional training, experience inactivity, or authorization provided by the legislation in force for the occupation of that job.
The list of sectors comprising the activities carried out according to the succession of the seasons is established by the decision of the Government.
4. Employment of foreigners as au pair workers
Being an au pair means being employed by a host family in Romania so that the employee can improve his / her language knowledge and skills in exchange for light housework and childcare activities.
The employment permit for au pair workers is issued to the employer, a member of the host family, for the employment of a foreigner with an individual part-time employment contract for a maximum of 1 year.
5. Employment as cross-border workers
This type of employment targets workers from the states in the border localities for the states that have a common border with Romania.
6. Employment of highly qualified foreigners
The employment permit is issued exclusively to the employer as a legal entity in order to employ a foreigner in a highly qualified job, with an individual full-time employment contract for an indefinite period or for a determined period of at least one year. The extension of the contract can be done without obtaining a new employment permit.
Thus, in addition to curriculum vitae and documents such as certificate of recognition of studies, diploma of studies or certificate of qualification accredited in Romania, both in regulated and unregulated professions are required.
In addition, evidence is required that attests to a level of knowledge compatible with the qualifications in post-secondary or higher education, of the higher professional qualification necessary for employment, only in the case of regulated professions.
Thus, after obtaining the employment permit, documents can be submitted in order to obtain the right to stay for the purpose of employment, and subsequently, after a period of time can be requested long-term stay in Romania.
Currently, the job market in Romania is not particularly dynamic. High unemployment combined with a low growth rate makes finding a job in Romania rather difficult for foreigners.
EU nationals may encounter fewer difficulties since no work permit or visa is required by the Romanian authorities since the country has entered the EU.
As the country's most prosperous city, the job market in Bucharest is relatively better. Foreigners with specialist skills will find it easier to obtain a position, particularly in multinational companies with branches in Romania.
Interviewing for a Job in Romania
Interviews are a mandatory step in the recruitment process of companies in Romania.
You should prepare carefully before an interview and research the company you are applying to. Usually a recruitment process will consist of a series of interviews with various persons from the company at different hierarchical levels, as well as personality and technical tests.
Tips for a successful interview:
Dress neatly and conservatively. Interviews in Romania are extremely formal occasions.
Arrive before the interview starts.
Bring your CV, business card, and copies of the certificates or other requested documentation.
Ask relevant questions.
Thank the interviewer for their time.
Work Contracts in Romania
Employment contracts are mandatory in Romania.
The contract must be in writing, should identify the employer and the employee, and include the title of the position, the description of the responsibilities, the duration of the contract and commencement date, salary, benefits as well as other details required by law.
It is common to have a trial period at a new job. The length and requirements of this period are specified in the contract. The contract should be signed by the employer and the employee and registered with the Local Labor Inspectorate.
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