Virginia, US

May 17 2019

EU Blue Card Salary Level Increased

Romania

At a Glance

Effective March 15, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for EU Blue Card applicants in Romania has increased to RON 10,326, up 24 percent from the previous threshold. Employers should adjust salary levels of current permit holders, and budget for the increase when planning recruitment.


The situation

Effective March 15, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for EU Blue Card applicants in Romania has increased to RON 10,326, up 24 percent from the previous threshold. The exchange rate at the time of the publication of this alert is RON 1 = USD .23.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under an EU Blue Card must increase the foreign national’s salary to comply with the new rule.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew an EU Blue Card on or after March 15, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending EU Blue Card applications as of March 15, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.

 

Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances may only be included if they are specified in the employment contract; guaranteed and fixed; and not paid in kind. Holiday allowance cannot be included.
  • Market salary rate. As before, salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the proposed position.
  • Sufficient salary to support dependents. As before, the salary must be sufficient to sustain the foreign national and any dependents for the entire duration of stay.

 

Background

  • Related changes in Romania. Romania tied minimum salary requirements for foreign workers to the national minimum wage as part of a November 2018 immigration overhaul. This included a 50% reduction of salary requirement for EU Blue Card applicants from RON 16,648 to RON 8,324. Salary requirements for other permit types were increased, and divided based on whether the position required university studies, in January 2019.
  • Minimum salary increases in Europe. Although average salary increases between one and 10 percent are typical across Europe, Eastern European countries have been increasing salary levels more aggressively in recent years to align with a growing economy and high labor market demands. EU Blue Card minimum salary amounts are generally tied to prevailing wage amounts in each country and are represented in the map below:

Looking ahead

Recent immigration policy in Romania, including an immigration overhaul and increased quota levels, reflects the need to attract more foreign talent in light of Romanian workforce moving to other European countries. Fragomen expects Romanian authorities to continue seeking to streamline the immigration process to make Romania a more attractive destination to foreign workers.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.