Living in Romania

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Romania, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Romania. Read about how our embassy in Bucharest can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Romanian authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Romania before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Romania since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Romania.

Visas and residency if you were living in Romania before 1 January 2021

If you applied for your new ‘permis de ședere’ residence card by 31 December 2021, your rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement pending a decision on your application. You should continue the process to get your new residence card if you do not have it yet.

You must renew your permis de ședere when it expires. The renewal process is the same as when you first applied. Read the Romanian government guidance for ‘permanent residence in Romania’.

EU Entry/Exit System

In Autumn 2024, the EU will introduce a new digital border called the Entry/Exit System (EES). The EES will require all third country nationals visiting the EU, including UK nationals, to create a digital record and provide their biometric data (fingerprints and facial image) at the border when they enter the EU’s Schengen Zone.

UK nationals who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (lawfully resident in the EU before 1 January 2021) will be exempt from registration in EES, provided they hold the correct documentation.

If you are not a Withdrawal Agreement beneficiary but can produce a valid, recognised residence document then you are also exempt from registration in the EES. In Romania, the document that allows exemption is the “permis de ședere” residence card. If you have a valid “permis de ședere”, you will not need to register in the EES when travelling.

We strongly urge all UK nationals, lawfully resident in the EU before 1 January 2021, to make sure their “permis de ședere” remains valid, to replace it if lost or stolen and to keep it with them when travelling

Pending applications

If you have not had a response to your permis de ședere application, contact your local immigration office. All applications made up until 31 December 2021 and not finalized before that deadline will continue to be processed.

Keep hold of the certificate of application given to you when you applied for your permis de sedere. This certificate is proof that you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, until the final decision on your application is made.

Check the Romanian government’s guidance under the ‘Pending applications’ section for further details.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for a new residence status, the permis de ședere, was 31 December 2021.

You can still apply if you have reasonable grounds for missing it. However, you may be fined for a late application or receive an official letter of warning from the Romanian authorities.

Applications will be considered on a case by case basis. You should apply as soon as possible.

Check the Romanian government’s guidance under the ‘Late applications’ section for further details.

Appeal process

If your application is refused, you will be notified about the appeal process and your deadline to appeal.

Find out more about how to appeal in the Romanian government’s guidance ‘Appeal Procedure’ section.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Romania at any time in the future. Find more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance. They must travel to Romania and submit a permis de ședere application as your family member (scroll down to the English version, and select the ‘permanent stay in Romania’ section).

Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Romanian authorities issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Romania.

Check the Romania travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling to other EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. If you have citizenship of an EU or EFTA country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Romania using your EU or EFTA passport.

Romania is now part of the Schengen area. Visits to Romania count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area.

On 31 March 2024, Romania joined Schengen for border control-free travel via air and sea. Border controls will continue to remain at all land and river borders, including those within the Schengen zone. You will need to show your passport at land and river borders, although your passport should not be stamped.

Visits to any other Schengen countries in the 180 days before you travel to Romania will count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

If you’re travelling to Romania (and all other Schengen countries) without a visa, make sure your whole visit to the Schengen area is within the 90-day limit.

If you stay in Romania with a Romanian residence permit or long-stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for travel to the Schengen area.

Different rules apply if you are travelling to other EU and Schengen countries as a resident of Romania. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Romania before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your permis de ședere residence card or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence card, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residence card, show your certificate of application.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Romania, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Romania with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.


You must register for healthcare as a resident in Romania.

Read our guidance on healthcare in Romania and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

You should also read the guidance on:

Working in Romania

If you are planning to move to Romania and work, you may need a visa.

Read the Romanian government’s guidance on working in Romania as a foreign national and how to get a visa. You can apply online for a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide:


If you work in Romania, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Romania before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement if you have a permis de ședere residence document, or have applied for one.

If you live in Romania and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers. 

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Romania.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Romania before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Romania officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator if needed.

Studying in Romania

If you are planning to study in Romania, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Romania to check what fees you have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Romania before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Romania before 1 January 2021.


The UK has a double taxation agreement with Romania so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Romania. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Romania.

Read guidance about:

National Insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Romania. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Romania.

If you plan to move to Romania and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Romania. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Romania.

Read guidance on National insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland

You can also check your UK National Insurance record.


UK Benefits

Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Romania.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Romanian benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Romanian social security benefits. You should:


Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Romania.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Romania, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s Moneyhelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on how to buy property abroad.

Driving in Romania

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Romania. Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Romania.

Read guidance on:

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey or Guernsey licence

If you live in Romania you can use your current valid driving licence. However, you may exchange it for a Romanian licence if you wish. You must exchange your UK licence for a Romanian licence before your UK licence expires. You will need a ‘certificate of entitlement’ to be able to apply for a Romanian driving licence.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Exchanging your Isle of Man licence

If you have a licence from the Isle of Man you will need to take a test to exchange your licence. You will need a certificate of entitlement to be able to apply for a Romanian driving licence.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Certificates of entitlement and other documents needed to exchange

A certificate of entitlement sets out the categories of vehicles you are entitled to drive.

You should obtain this from the DVLA if your licence was issued in Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland), or your issuing authority if your licence was issued in Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man. You will need to get the certificate translated into Romanian. See our list of translators in Romania.

Find out the documents you need to exchange your licence in the Romanian government’s guidance under the ‘Driving licence’ section.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Romania, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Romanian disabled parking card. This can be done through the social assistance departments (DGASPC) (in Romanian) or town halls.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Romania

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Driving outside Romania with a Romanian licence

You can use your Romanian licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Romanian licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Romanian licence you may need to apply for an IDP(in Romanian).

Read the EU guidance on:


You cannot vote in local municipal, national or European Parliament elections in Romania.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Romania, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Romania, read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Romania.


If you’re moving to Romania with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:


Dial the European emergency number 112 in Romania. It is the only emergency number in Romania.

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

Read the guidance if you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Romania.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Bucharest.

Returning to the UK

Tell the Romanian and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 14 May 2013
Last updated 1911 AprilJune 2024 + show all updates
  1. The "Visas and residency" section has been revised to reflect the introduction of the EU Entry/Exit Scheme (EES), scheduled for Autumn 2024.

  2. Passports and travel section updated after Romania joined Schengen for border control-free travel by air and sea.

  3. Important information in the Working in Romania, and National insurance sections if you work in Romania, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  4. Visas and residency guidance updated, following the 31 December 2021 residency deadline for people with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

  5. Guidance reviewed for Money, tax and banking, Benefits, Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, and Useful information sections.

  6. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in Romania, Professional qualifications, Studying in Romania, Emergencies, and Returning to the UK sections

  7. Professional qualifications section updated for British citizens who are moving or moved to Romania after 1 January 2021 and those living there since before 1 January 2021.

  8. Working in Romania section updated: new guidance for frontier workers

  9. Healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working in Romania section updated with link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on working or providing services; and education section updated with link to DIT guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  10. Updated with additional details on how to apply for the new residency card

  11. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines

  12. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on residency, pet travel and moving to Romania

  13. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers

  14. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  15. Updated to include additional information on residency and a new section about how to get your professional qualifications recognised

  16. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  17. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement.

  18. Brexit Update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  19. EU Exit update: we have added new information on returning to the UK, updated the passports and visa section and added the latest on pensions post-Brexit

  20. EU Exit update: Added the latest statement from the Romanian Government on UK Citizens' Rights in Romania in the EU Exit section.

  21. We have added the latest announcement from the Romanian Government.

  22. We have added the registration link for the outreach event aimed at UK nationals in Brasov and the surrounding region.

  23. Registration for Cluj, Bucharest, Iasi and Timisoara outreach events

  24. EU Exit update: added link to citizens outreach meetings in Romania to EU Exit section

  25. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  26. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  27. EU Exit update: new information about voting rights added to Voting section

  28. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving.

  29. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in Pets section.

  30. Updated March 2018

  31. First published.