Romania’s immigration legislation, as mentioned in the Ministerial Ordinance 3630/2018, Government Emergency Ordinance 194/2002 and Government Emergency Ordinance 25/2014, highlights the importance of the expat’s studies, not only for applying to the Romanian workforce in general, but also to apply to a specific job, that may require a level of studies. Even if many employers look for experienced employees to occupy the job, they must keep in mind that, through Romanian legislation’s perspective, the level of studies is mandatory to occupy a certain position.

The relationship between the position in a firm and studies is rooted into Romania’s legislation and procedures ( Ministerial Order 3630/2018 Annex, article 3, point b.) who states clearly that, if someone wants to apply to a job, they need to have the qualifications for that position (studies, experience).

In Romania’s legislation, these conditions can be found by searching the job’s COR code (as stated by the Government Resolution 1352/2010, articles 1 and 2). COR in the acronym that stands for ‘The classification of the occupations in Romania’ (‘Clasificarea ocupatiilor din Romania’). COR codes are described as a specific series of numbers, that groups all jobs in different categories. Every number in this series has a meaning, as they group the jobs by the domain, by the level of studies required and by name. All jobs in Romania are attributed a COR code.

COR codes are of utmost importance, as they explain exactly one’s position in the firm. Usually, these codes organise the level of studies in 5 categories (as stated by the Government Resolution 1352/2010, article 3)

  • at least a bachelor’s degree (example: 241- the group for Administration Professionals)
  • either a highschool diploma or secondary education (example: 342 – Sports and fitness workers)
  • highschool diploma (example: 4411 – Library clerks)
  • in some cases, COR codes mention the need of very little education (usually primary school is enough) as these jobs are considered ‘Elementary occupations’ (example: 962 – Other elementary workers)
  • undefined (or defined by other legal rules) – in this case, the specific job is usually established in other laws or it is not relevant to the position.

Regarding the different procedures of immigration, as mentioned in the Ministerial Ordinance 3630/2018, the legislation states different rules and describes different procedures, depending on the expat’s citizenship. This is an important step, as the procedure differs from EU,Swiss and EEA citienzs (Ministerial Ordinance 3630/2018 art. 3, point a.) to non-EU citizens (Ministerial Ordinance 3630/2018 art. 3 point b.) The difference comes from the country the university is based in. A degree issued by an university based in the EU has a different procedure than one from a non-EU country (Ministerial Ordinance 3630/2018 article 4)

The legislation states that for non-EU, Swiss or EEA citizens (Ministerial Ordinance 3630/2018 article 4) that have a bachelor’s/master’s/doctorate degree issued by a non-EU, Swiss or EEA University, they are required to get their diplomas equated, so that they can join the workforce. CNRED is the institution that certifies the expat’s degree and equates the level of studies to the Romanian system. This institution usually requests that diplomas are either apostilled or over-legalized (it depends on what country is part of the Haga Convention 1961).

Besides the mandatory link between one’s level of education and the position in which the expat can be hired, the importance of studies comes from the fact that in many immigration procedures, there is a mandatory step where one’s studies have to be equated into Romania’s educational system.

For example, in the case of a highly skilled worker, the legislation explains, as per Government Emergency Ordinance 25/2014, art. 2, paragraph 1, point i., 15, 16): ‘A highly-qualified worker is a person with adequate and specific skills, proven by qualifications obtained during graduate or postgraduate education, or through relevant professional experience acquired in Romania or another EU country’. As the explanation mentioned, graduate education is a mandatory condition for an expat to come as a highly skilled worker.

In conclusion, it is in the employer’s best interest to check the level of studies of the applicant, so as to be in line with the Romanian legislation, as the relationship between the position in a firm and the level of studies is interdependent on each other.

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