Romania is not currently part of the Schengen Area, which ecompasses 26 European countries that have established visa and border control-free travel between them. However Romania, along with Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Croatia, is set to join the Schengen Agreement in the near future. These four countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Croatia) however, do allow visa holders to travel among them, even if they only have a visa for one of the countries.
If you are planning on visiting Romania, depending on your nationality and purpose of travel, you may have to apply for a Romania visa beforehand. Fortunately, Romania has made the visa application process smoother by digitizing part of it.
The Different Types of Romanian Visas
Romania visas are divided into four main categories:
- The Romania Airport Transit Visa (A Type), which allows the holder to enter the international area of a Romanian airport to wait for a connecting flight to another destination.
- The Romania Transit Visa (B Type), which allows the holder to transit through the territory of Romania for a maximum of 5 days, on their way to another country.
- The Romania Short Stay Visa (C Type), which allows the holder to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period. The Romania Short Stay Visa is issued for the following reasons:
- Private visit
- Partaking in sports activities
- Partaking in cultural, scientific or academic events
- Official government mission
- The Romania Long Stay Visa (D Type), which allows the holder to enter Romania and request the right to stay in the country for longer than 90 days (a Romanian residence permit). As such, the visa itself is valid for no longer than 90 days, but if you receive a residence permit, you can stay in the country long-term for employment, study, or family reunification purposes, among other reasons.
- You cannot request a Romanian residence permit if you enter the country on a short-term (C) visa.
How to Apply for a Romania Visa
You can apply for a Romania visa in the following ways:
- By yourself. If you’re applying for a visa along with someone else, everyone has to submit their own applications. Even if you have a minor child, you must start a separate application on their behalf.
- Through a legal representative, if you are:
- Traveling with a tourist group
- Through an accredited tourist agency, if you are travelling to Romania as part of an organized trip.
Keep in mind that you should apply for a visa at least two weeks before you intend to travel to Romania, but no earlier than three months.
Steps For Applying for a Romania Visa
- Begin the application online
To start your Romania visa online application, visit the website of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the online application process, you have to answer several questions and upload electronic copies of your required documents. All the documents you attach on the online application tool have to be in one of the following formats: jpeg, jpg, tif, png, bmp, txt, rtf or pdf. They cannot exceed the size of 2 MB, and must be in either English or Romanian (if they are not, translate them by an authorized translator).
- Submit the documents at the Romanian consulate/embassy
When applying for a Romania visa, you must have several documents which support your application. You must have the originals of all the documents you submitted online when you appear at the Romanian consulate.
The Romanian consular services review your application, inform you of the outcome and tell you whether you need any additional documents. Bring copies of the required documents when you travel to Romania, because the immigration officers may ask to see them before deciding whether to allow you entry into the country.
- Schedule and attend a Romania visa appointment
Once your application is validated, the Romanian consular services set up an appointment when you must appear in person before the Romanian consulate to get your original documents verified and lodge your Romania visa application file. At the appointment, you have to pay the Romania visa processing fee.
- Wait for processing
You can use the online application service to check on the status of your application.The Romanian consular staff will inform you when you can go back to the consulate to receive the results of your visa. If your Romania visa is approved, they will affix it on your passport, and you are allowed to travel to Romania.
How Long Does it Take to Process a Romania Visa?
The time it takes for a Romania visa to be processed may be between 10-14 working days or longer. The Romania visa processing time depends on the specific case. As such, the Romanian immigration authorities advice that you apply at least 2 weeks before you intend to travel, but not earlier than three months. If you are applying for a long-stay visa, you should apply a minimum of 45 days before you intend to travel.
You need permission form immigration officers at border points. A Romanian visa does not allow you to automatically enter the country. You will still have to go through immigration control at the border points. It is the immigration officers who ultimately decide whether you can enter, so you must have all the documents necessary to convince them. They will want to see proof you will leave after your visa ends, how long you will stay, and what you are travelling for. So, it is best that you carry copies of the documents you submitted for the visa application with you.
Can You Enter Romania if You Have a Schengen Visa?
Yes, the Romanian government allows the holder of a valid Schengen visa to enter Romania, provided that the Schengen visa is still valid and has at least two more entries. You can only stay in Romania with a Schengen visa for the time that the visa is issued for or the time you have left. You can also enter Romania if you already have a valid visa that was issued by Bulgaria, Cyprus or Croatia.
Anyone who wants to travel to Romania to stay for a period longer than 90 days, has to apply for a Romania long stay visa, except EU/EEA/Swiss nationals. For more information, Reach out to Jakes Embassy expert visa consultants to guide you on the visa processing application.