Moving to Romania
Moving to Romania need not be a stressful experience for you or your family as long as you are prepared and carry out thorough research beforehand. From deciding where and when to move to clarifying the paperwork and administration requirements, we take a look at the various aspects involved in a move to this Eastern European country.
There are many reasons that you may choose to move to Romania. As the 6th largest city in Europe, the capital, Bucharest, offers lots of job opportunities, an abundance of beautiful architecture, plenty of history and culture as well as dining and entertainment. Romania’s vast size means that it borders many countries. Situated on the west coast of the Black Sea, it shares borders with Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia. It has plenty of diversity to offer, from the pretty beaches along the coast of the Black Sea to the Carpathian Mountains, the suburbs of the cities or the rural rustic towns and villages – whatever you are looking for you are sure to find the perfect location for you and your family.
The cost of living is much lower than other parts of Europe, or indeed the world, with property prices being more affordable than English-speaking parts of the world and rents being much lower. In fact, many people choose to rent rather than buy in Romania. With a low cost of living it may also please you to know that the rate of income tax is only 16%, again a lot lower than many other countries.
Where to live in Romania
This really depends on the type of lifestyle you are looking for. As a very large country, there are a lot of areas to choose from but which one offers the most for you? The weather in Romania is characteristic of a Central European country. The seasons are very distinguished and you can accept long hot summers and harsh winter with lots of snowfall, especially in mountainous areas, in fact in many Eastern European countries it is not unusual to see snow in April. If you are looking to enjoy a Mediterranean lifestyle then you will probably want to be closer to the Black Sea with its beautiful beaches. If you are wanting something a little more secluded then the central mountainous region may be more suitable for you.
If you are moving to Romania with your job then it is probably pre-determined where you will live and it will more than likely mean a move to Bucharest. Bucharest is also known as Little Paris because of its sophistication and beautiful architecture. It boasts the largest building in Europe, the Palace of the Parliament, which is not only the largest in European but is only second in the world in size after the Pentagon. If the suburban life is for you then aside from Bucharest you can also choose from Iasi, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara, although none are anywhere near as large as Bucharest.
When to move to Romania
Does it really matter when you move to a new country? What is the difference between moving to Romania at the beginning of the year or the middle/end of the year? Well, whilst you may not think it makes a difference there are actually a few things that you should consider. We mentioned that the weather was very cold in winter and very warm in summer. Psychologically this could have a huge impact on how you view your surroundings. Imagine how much better everything looks on a summer’s day in comparison to the midst of winter. If you are moving to Romania with your family and you are all a little apprehensive about the move, arriving in the freezing cold when everything looks less than welcoming may not give you that warm and fuzzy feeling about your new home. Much better to arrive in spring or summer when the leaves and flowers are out in bloom and everything looks much warmer and brighter.
For some, it may not make a difference, especially if you are relocating for work, but the cost could be a consideration. When planning a move it is worth enquiring with your international moving company to see if there is any difference in price between moving in the height of the summer versus moving at quieter times of the year. If you are planning on flying you and your family to Romania when you make the move, it is also worth having a look at the difference in flight costs to see if they are much different.
Carry out your research first
Moving to Romania, or indeed any country is a huge move. You are leaving behind the familiarity of the life that you know to take on a new set of challenges in a country that you don’t know. You may have visited the country before but the sheer size of Romania means that many that already live there probably still have much to learn. You can reduce any stress, worries, uncertainties or potential issues by carrying out your research first. There is a wealth of information available online about the various aspects of living in Romania from information about the climate to the best areas to live and where to avoid.
If you can, it is highly recommended that once you have a rough idea of where you think you might want to leave that you visit there first to check out the area, have a look for yourself and spend some time finding out what is there and how it compares to what you expected. If this is not possible though you will need to conduct thorough research using as many trustworthy sources of information as possible. Have a look at the expat websites where you can learn the good and the bad from people’s own experiences. There are forums where you can post your questions to those that have already made the same move as you and have lots of wisdom and experience to share. You may be able to connect with these people to have a further chat about what to expect.
Before you move to Romania you need to understand the requirements of living and working in the country. As with all countries, there are visa obligations that must be met which will entitle you to stay between 3-6 months whilst you apply for a permanent residency. If you are moving for work purposes then this should be all explained to you and you should have help from your company’s HR department. If you don’t have any help then it is important you understand the exact requirements. You can’t just book a flight, turn up and stay indefinitely – there are procedures and protocol to follow.
In addition to the visa applications, you will need to ascertain if there are any other forms or paperwork that you need to complete. If you are going to be working are you responsible for paying your own tax or is this down to your employer? What are the regulations surrounding self-employment? Some countries offer small businesses reduced taxes in their first year or two to help them to establish themselves. Other countries require a different set of taxes to be paid depending on the category of business. You will need to be familiar with all of these different rules and regulations what applies to you.
Another consideration to make is your finances. Whilst you have an existing bank account that you have used for some time how will this work abroad? Will you need to open a new bank account to ensure that your salary can be paid to you in the local currency and how will you pay your utility bills? Whilst we are on the subject of utilities you will also need to investigate things like mobile phone connection, broadband, satellite and cable TV etc. You may be surprised to know that Romania has the 10th fastest broadband speeds in the world and the fastest speeds in Europe.
When you move to most new countries there will generally be a large amount of the population that speak English as their second language. Whilst this is certainly the case for many destinations that have been popular with tourists for many years it is not always so with other countries such as Romania. It is advisable therefore to enrol in a language course, if you are planning to move to Romania, to help you to learn the basics and to settle in quicker. The Romanian language is not considered to be a difficult language to learn and having a basic grasp and understanding will help you to feel more at home and less isolated.
Romania is a large country and not one that you will see all of. It is important to have a way to get around when you get there though. If you have a car then you will have a means of transport but if you are working in Bucharest, driving into the city every day for work may not be your idea of fun. Instead, you may want to look at the public transport alternatives. Bucharest, like many large cities, has an underground rail system and most cities have trams, trolley buses and buses. You can buy tickets at local street kiosks or newsagents which are then validated when you board the bus or tram. The rail network covers most of the country so you can get to most places. When you decide on where to live you need to research how you can get to the various places you are likely to travel to regularly.
Whilst we have offered you some useful insights and information there is far more information available than we could cover in one article. Use online sources, look at the forums, try and connect with people who already live there and make sure you find out as much as possible before starting your new life in Romania.