Are you Ukrainian and want to come to Romania? Here’s what you need to know
If you’re a Ukrainian citizen trying to escape the Russian attacks and find refuge in Romania, we’ve made a short guide to help you better understand the national entry regulations or find accommodation, transport, and even a job once you’ve crossed the border.
Where can I cross the border from Ukraine to Romania?
Coming from Ukraine, you can cross the border directly to Romania or enter the country via the Republic of Moldova. There are several border crossing points between Romania and Ukraine, namely Halmeu/Dyakovo, Sighetu Marmației/Solotvino, Siret/Porubne, and Isaccea/Orlivka (ferry crossing). So far, the busiest customs have been those at Siret, Sighetu Marmatiei, and Isaccea, so do expect queues at these points, especially if you’re traveling by car.
A map of the border points between Romania and Ukraine and real-time waiting times can be checked on the website of the Romanian Border Police - here. Plus, for further details, you can call +40219590 - the help-line activated by the Romanian Border Police, available in the Ukrainian language.
A list of border crossing points between Ukraine and neighboring countries is available here.
What documents do I need to enter Romania?
Ukrainian nationals can enter Romania with a short stay status by presenting a valid passport at the Romanian border crossing point. This document lets you stay in Romania for 90 days.
You can still enter Romania even if you don’t have a passport by applying for asylum at the border. In this case, you can present another type of identity document (national ID card, birth certificate, etc.) or just declare your identity, without an ID document, for humanitarian reasons.
Suppose the security situation does not allow re-entry into Ukraine until the expiration of the period for which entry and stay on the territory of Romania were allowed. In that case, Ukrainian citizens must present themselves at the nearest territorial structure for immigration.
All Ukrainian children are welcome in Romania, even without an identity document. However, things go faster at the border if you also carry an identity document of the minor or a birth certificate. Unaccompanied children can also cross the Romanian border from Ukraine.
If you’re a Ukrainian man, you can also enter Romania as long as you meet the conditions for leaving Ukraine and those for entering Romania.
You do not need a negative COVID-19 test or vaccine certificate to enter Romania. Also, Ukrainian citizens are exempted from quarantine regardless of whether they arrive directly from Ukraine or transit through the Republic of Moldova. Also, you don’t need to fill in the Digital Form for entering Romania.
Can I bring my pet with me?
You can also bring your pets to Romania even if they are not vaccinated against rabies or microchipped. The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) has granted a temporary derogation from the observance of certain rules for the entry of pets from Ukraine on the national territory.
Pet owners are required to fill in the Pet Location Form and then complete all the formalities and procedures after entering Romania.
There is a public group on Facebook where people offer various solutions to Ukrainian pet owners coming to Romania (such as foster or accommodation).
How can I get asylum in Romania?
Asylum is a form of protection that allows you to stay in Romania. You are considered an asylum seeker from the moment you ask for asylum, either in writing or verbally, and you cannot be removed (deported) to your country of origin.
You can apply for asylum directly at the border crossing point or later at other points on the territory of Romania, but before your visa/dreptul de sedere expires.
You have to fill in an asylum application form with your personal details, and you will be fingerprinted and photographed upon registration. The standard form may be completed in your mother tongue with the help of a designated official.
You have to submit all the documents at your disposal that are relevant to your personal situation, including the passport, and will receive the temporary identity document for asylum seekers issued by the General Immigration Inspectorate (IGI).
Until the completion of the asylum procedure (which also includes a preliminary interview and a secondary interview), you have the right to remain on the territory of Romania, and you are protected against expulsion, extradition, forced return from the border or from the territory of the Romanian state.
It usually takes one to two months to be offered refugee status. Those seeking asylum in Romania can’t leave the country while their asylum claim is processed.
For further information about the asylum procedures, foreign citizens can contact the Romanian National Council for Refugees (CNRR) - here.
Accommodation for Ukrainian refugees in Romania
Many Romanians, NGOs, and companies have reacted almost immediately to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, rushing to start donation campaigns or other initiatives aimed at helping the refugees looking for safety in Romania.
If you’re coming to Romania and need a place to stay, check this map. This platform brings together all the accommodation offers provided by individuals across Romania or even other countries such as Belgium, Austria, or Bulgaria. Just choose a region to see all the offers available.
Plus, the platform also helps you find solutions to other types of needs you may have, such as food, shuttle, medicine, child care, or jobs.
Romanians have also gathered on Facebook to offer accommodation and other types of help. The most popular public groups on Facebook where you can find accommodation offers are Uniti pentru Ucraina (United for Ukraine) - here, Solidari cu Ucraina (In Solidarity with Ukraine) - here, and Voluntari in Europa (Volunteers in Europe) - here.
Dora the chatbot (available here) can also help you find accommodation. Press the START button to begin chatting with Dora and tell her your needs.
Also, if you come to Romania and do not apply for asylum, you can benefit from free accommodation in temporary accommodation and humanitarian assistance camps or other accommodation locations established by the county/Bucharest committees for emergencies.
Asylum seekers have the right to be housed in one of the six Regional Accommodation and Procedures Centers for Asylum Seekers managed by the General Inspectorate for Immigration (IGI).
Transport for Ukrainian refugees in Romania
Private companies and even individuals have been offering transport to Ukrainian citizens at the border who wanted to get to bus stations, train stations, or the airport, free of charge. So, once you’ve crossed the border to Romania, you’ll most likely find buses or private cars ready to provide transport, free of charge.
One such example is the international transport company Romfour, which said it offers free bus rides to Ukrainian citizens arriving at the Siret customs point who want to get to bus or train stations.
However, pay attention to those offering transport services. Volunteers at the border are there to help, and they do it free of charge so avoid people trying to make you pay for the trip. Try to ensure that you have enough information about who you are traveling with and what route you will take, and maintain possession of your documents. To learn more about how to stay safe, check this webpage.
Railway transport operator CFR also offers free travel by train on Romania’s territory. Based on the identity documents confirming the entry in Romania, you can obtain a free “Help Ukraine Ticket” valid for second class Regio and Interregio trains, including the seat reservation on the trains with compulsory reservation. You can buy free travel tickets from the ticket offices in the railway stations and the CFR Calatori travel agencies or from the train staff. Further details here.
STB, the overground public transport company in Bucharest, also introduced special buses for Ukrainian refugees arriving at the North Train Station or the Henri Coanda International Airport. These buses transport the Ukrainian citizens from these two locations to the accommodation centers provided by the authorities. The announcement (which also includes a photo of such a bus) was posted on Facebook - here.
Similar to the accommodation, you can also check the Refugees.ro website to find transportation - here, as well as the public Facebook groups and the Dora chatbot listed above in the accommodation section.
Transport for Ukrainian refugees from Romania to other EU countries
From Romania, you can travel to other countries in the European Union (EU) by car, by train or by plane. Bucharest’s main airport is named the Henri Coanda International Airport and is located in Otopeni, but Romania also has airports in Arad, Bacau, Baia Mare, Cluj-Napoca, Constanta, Craiova, Iasi, Oradea, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Targu Mures, Timisoara, and Tulcea. By train, the state operator is CFR Calatori, and you can book tickets here.
But there are also free travel options from Romania. For example, CFR Calatori announced that Ukrainian refugees could take the train to Hungary free of charge. Thus, CFR Calatori will issue a free ticket for the trip to the border, and then the MAV conductor (representing the Hungarian transport company) will give you the free pass to Budapest or the next border. Further details, in Romanian, are available here.
Transport company Romfour also said they could transport refugees to Italy free of charge (every Friday) and offer discounts on other international routes (such as France or Germany). For further information, call +40756 427 384. More details are available here.
FlixBus also provides free rides for people fleeing from Ukraine. Tickets are available for trips from Bucharest to several European cities, and the traveling vouchers can be obtained via an online application on the company’s website or by e-mail. Further details here.
Air carrier Wizz Air also announced that it offers 100,000 free seats on all continental Europe flights departing from Romania, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, available throughout March. In addition, as many refugees have already started moving and may be stranded in other locations, the air carrier also offers a EUR 29.99 rescue fare on all other flights (excluding the UAE, Iceland, and the Canaries), as well as a EUR 69.99 rescue fare on all flights to the UAE, Iceland and the Canaries. You can book a Wizz Air flight here.
The National Association of Travel Agencies (ANAT) also launched a campaign aimed at helping refugees from Ukraine reach their families abroad by creating transport corridors within the EU or to countries where ANAT members operate charter flights. They offer assistance in Ukrainian at the phone number +40742 070 509.
You can also look for other options on the Refugee.ro platform, as well as the public Facebook groups and the Dora chatbot listed above.
I am a Ukrainian refugee. How can I find work in Romania?
Romania’s labor bureau ANOFM informed local employers that Ukrainian citizens wishing to work in Romania do not need an employment permit for a maximum period of 9 months in a calendar year. To benefit from all the services and rights provided by law, the Ukrainian citizens can request the granting of refugee status during the nine months. We wrote about this here.
If you’re in Romania and you’re already looking for a job, try this recruitment platform. For both the employer and the employee, the Jobs for Ukraine platform has a simplified registration process that involves three steps: creating an account, completing a profile (for the employee) / adding a job (for companies), and the possibility to apply for a posted job or contact a candidate.
Best Jobs, one of the biggest recruiting platforms in Romania, has also announced an initiative aimed at helping Ukrainian citizens. It introduced a label on its platform – Ukrainian friendly job – that helps companies signal the jobs that suit Ukrainian refugees.
Where can I learn Romanian?
To start with, you can check this list of basic expressions in Romanian provided by the Dopomoha.ro platform. You can find helpful phrases such as Salut (Hello) or Numele meu este… (My name is…) and their translation in Ukrainian.
Follow this link to find all the news and articles we have published so far on the situation in Ukraine
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)