Cluj-Napoca mayor on city's overcrowded, understaffed immigration office: "I will do everything I can to help"
Emil Boc, the mayor of Cluj-Napoca, said he would do everything he could to help push to the attention of the responsible Bucharest authorities the issue of the overcrowding at the city's Immigration Office (IGI).
Last week, foreigners had to stay overnight inside and on the terrace of Iulius Mall, where the Cluj Immigration Office (IGI) is located, so that they could secure a spot in the overcrowded line the next day, as reported in this Romania Insider story.
"Unfortunately, everything is in the hands of the national authorities, Ministerul de Interne (the Interior Affairs Ministry). We, as local authorities, have no competence at all," according to a response to the story shared by expat Aaron Roberts on the Foreign Students Cluj-Napoca group on Facebook.
"I will pass [this on to], and I will discuss this situation with the National Authorities to solve it. They told me before that being an external border of the EU, they have to pay attention to every detail, especially in the context of the Schengen inspection and control in Romania in this period."
IGI's service is open every morning during weekdays, and it is divided based on the requester's EU/non-EU citizenship status. The service for documents deposit for EU citizens is available from 8:30 to 10:00, followed by non-EU from 10:00 to 12:00.
The problem arose as Cluj's international community increased as work and universities returned to pre-pandemic levels, because of the ongoing Ukraine crisis, and the growing number of government scholarship recipients. IGI has only two counters serving the entire city.
PATRIR, the Romanian Institute for Peace, in partnership with LADO (Human Rights Defense League) Cluj, has called for a meeting with the local authorities and other relevant bodies on October 28 at Cluj International Hub, where Boc was present during its opening earlier this month.
(Photo: Emil Boc Facebook page)