Romanian government to issue all-time high 13,500 work permits for foreign workers in 2019

Sorin Melenciuc 05/12/2018 | 10:09

Romania’s government plans to increase quotas for non-EU foreign workers in 2019 up to 13,500 work permits, a all-time high number, on high demand from local companies claiming they are affected by workforce crisis, according to a project released by the Labour Ministry, consulted by Business Review.

“We are proposing the establishment for the year 2019 of a quota of 13,500 newly admitted workers on the Romanian labor market,” the project says.

Last year, the government decided to issue 7,000 work permits for foreign workers in 2018, out of which 5,200 for permanent and posted workers, but it increased the total number to 8,000 permanent workers and to 13,200 including the posted workers, seasonal and other types of foreign employees.

The authorities said that the General Inspectorate for Immigration, a branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, issued between January 1 and September 30 this year 6,519 new work permits for foreign employees.

During the first seven months of this year, Romania issued work permits for 4,395 foreign employees which came mainly from Vietnam, Turkey, Nepal, Serbia and Sri Lanka, according to Labor Ministry data sent to Business Review.

These figures show a record request for foreign employees in Romania, where businesses struggle with workforce shortages in sectors such as construction, HORECA or logistics.

In January-July 2018, The General Inspectorate for Immigration issued 4,395 new work permits for foreign employees mainly from Vietnam, Turkey, Nepal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, China and Moldova.

Official data show the total number of non-EU foreign employees in Romania – permanent and posted workers – was 17,089 in July 2018, an all-time high.

In December 2017, Romania registered 6,709 work permits in use for non-EU foreign citizens, up from 5,594 at the end of 2016.Statistics don’t include EU citizens, which don’t need a permit to work in Romania.

China and Turkey are by far the two leading countries of origin of migrant workers in Romania, followed by Vietnam, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Serbia. But the real number of foreign workers in Romania is much higher, due to unreported work.

Vietnam could become in the next period the main source of foreign workers in Romania as the two countries have recently signed a memorandum in order to ease the access of Vietnamese workers on the Romanian market.

Employers claim it’s harder than ever to find new workers in Romania in sectors like construction works or shipbuilding and prefer to bring foreign workers.

The impressive economic growth Romania experienced during the last few years put increasing pressure on employers to find skilled workers in order to expand their businesses, but recent official data show Romania is far from being considered in a ‘workforce crisis’ situation.

However, the Labour Ministry claims that more than 63,000 jobs are available and the companies offering them never find workers.

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