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April 27, 2023

Foreign Workers Keep Leaving Romania for Western European Countries

Over 15,000 people from Bangladesh are expected to obtain Romanian work visas, to engage in work activities during the summer season in the country, but less than ten per cent of those who reach Romania, decide to stay in the country, with the majority of arrivals heading to Germany and Portugal, among other countries in Western Europe.

According to Bangladesh’s foreign affairs minister, Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Romania isn’t entirely pleased with its Bangladeshi workers, as only a few of them have remained in the Eastern European country after obtaining the work visa. This situation leaves Romania dealing with labour shortages, despite hiring workers to tackle this particular challenge, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Bangladeshi Minister also pointed out that Romania prefers to recruit through government-to-government collaboration, considering the practice “more comfortable” to recruit people in a well-regulated manner.

Previously, a consular team from Romania went to the Bangladeshi capital to facilitate visa procedures for these nationals, while last summer, over 5,400 work visas were granted to Bangladeshi citizens. In order to speed up the process, additional staff was deployed to the Embassy of Romania in New Delhi, India, and Romanian authorities would be ready to do it all once again.

However, many workers from Bangladesh that had obtained visas in Romania were later caught trying to enter Germany, with 860 citizens from Bangladesh reaching Germany in the past, as the Minister points out. They were sent back to their home country through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

“From Romania, they go to other countries, such as Germany and Portugal. Why should we allow Bangladeshis to come to Romania if they don’t stay? Romania cannot be a springboard to other countries,” the Bangladeshi said, quoting the Romanian side, also describing the situation as unfortunate.

The Romanian government issued a significant number of visas to foreign workers in 2022 – a total of 100,000 of those, and it intends to continue issuing the same number of visas in 2023, as Romanian employers are struggling with labour shortage.

An analysis by Profit.ro conducted in 2021 reveals that foreigners account for only 1.1 per cent of employees in Romania, while those from the EU and EEA countries represent 0.84 per cent of workers in total, despite the increased number of work visas granted in recent years.

Bangladesh opened its first consulate in Romania in 1975, which was closed 20 years later, in 1995. Romania, on the other hand, closed its consulate in 2000, but a new consulate was opened in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in order to facillitate the recruitment of personnel, which Romania needed for work on the country’s subway and highways.