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30 March 2021

Romania: Refugee and migrant figures for 2020


In 2020, 84 330 third country nationals (TCNs) had legal residence in Romania. Their legal stay was mostly granted for the following reasons, in order of prevalence: employment, family reunion, study, research, international protection and long term residence.

Migrant workers

From January to December, 28 740 requests for work authorisation were submitted. Of these, 27 453 were approved for all types of worker (e.g. permanent; posted; highly skilled; seasonal; commuting). Most migrant workers came from Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Vietnam, and were mainly employed by companies in the counties of Ilfov, Constanta, Timis, Iasi and Brasov. The number of work authorisations issued in 2020 was smaller than the quota of migrant workers that had been set for 2020, which was 30 000.


6 158 asylum requests were lodged in Romania in 2020, especially at reception centres in Timisoara, Bucharest and Maramures. Most asylum seekers came from Afghanistan (2 384), Syria (1 459) and Iraq (416). 2 480 asylum requests were resolved at the administrative level, with 667 people granted international protection. In the same reference period, 103 family reunification applications from people with international protection in Romania were approved. 

Integration programme participation

From January to December 2020, 1 003 refugees partook in the national integration programme; an increase of 23% in comparison with 2019. Of these over 500 came from Syria, 120 from Somalia, 87 from Iraq and 76 from Afghanistan. 744 refugees received Romanian language training.


37 people in need of protection were transferred from Turkey to Romania in 2020, finally concluding the transfer quota for 2018 and 2019, of 109 persons from Jordan and Turkey. Of the refugees waiting to be resettled in the Emergency Transit Centre from Timisoara (with a capacity of 200 places), only 142 have so far been transferred to Sweden and Norway.

Measures adopted by immigration authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic

The validity of all documents which expired during the imposition of the national emergency/alert state has been extended for a period of 90 days following the cessation of restrictions. Asylum applications continue to be lodged and processed as usual.


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Posted by
Luciana Lazarescu
Country Coordinator

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