On Tuesday December 12th, the Chamber of Deputies debated and adopted by the decision-making chamber, the draft law concerning the implementation of the visa programme for digital nomads, in Romania. The draft law introduces a new purpose for which the long-stay visa is granted, namely for third-country nationals from non-European member States.
In September, the draft law was voted and adopted in the Senate, as first chamber, while today’s vote is decisional. As follows, the law will enter into force after it is enacted by the Romanian president and published in the official gazette.
The USR PLUS draft law defines “digital nomad” as a foreigner who wishes to travel, or reside in Romania for a period longer than 6 months and who is employed under an employment contract with a company registered outside Romania or has a company registered in a third country, and continues to work for the employer or manage the company remotely using information and communication technology from Romania. This draft law offers the possibility for digital travelers to obtain a long-term visa, in Romania.
“I have registered this draft law because I want to give Romania the tools necessary to promote the county abroad, as other European States have already done using the Digital nomads visa. With this instrument, we will attract financial resources to Romania, similar to other Member States that have done so successfully. Today, my fellow colleagues voted in plenary session the adoption of this legal proposal, and for that I thank them. I am pleased that such a matter is of interest to all public institutions, including the Ministry of Research, Innovation and digitization, the MFA and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and that together we will promote Romania effectively in the eyes of non-residents, while we continue to develop the national economy! Today, we adopted a law that addressed Romania’s need to attract both human capital and financial resources and to better promote Romania in the eyes of foreigners. Nonetheless, that is not enough. As the labor market changes, our infrastructure will have to adjust in order to be attractive and competitive,” said Deputy Diana Buzoianu, the initiator of the law.
Thus, in a few years from now, the public administration at local or national levels will have to answer very specific questions that will become increasingly pressing: How can it provide public services and how can it protect the rights of its own citizens who work in other States, as well as residents who are not Romanian nationals, but who have come here while continuing to work remotely for an employer based abroad. In this context, governments around the world are starting to implement new public services and policies that address the current reality where a large share of their citizenry live and work abroad, remotely or from afar. While the private sector has seen a faster evolution in the use of digital tools, the public sector is starting only now to adopt measures that address the real needs concerning digitization. The digital nomads will bring with them relevant experiences and knowledge from their countries of which will contribute to the simplification of bureaucratic processes in Romania.
What does the visa mean for digital nomads:
A strategic plan accompanied by a series of reforms that are aimed at implementing the visa for digital nomads will position Romania at the top of Member States, considering the financial resources that will be drawn to our economy, as well as the investment, and the new companies that will be established in Romania by future digital nomads. Thus, if Romania attracts 2.000 digital nomads annually, who would spend on an average 2.000 euros per month, that would lead to around 50 million euros that will be inflicted in the national economy within a year. Overall, this translates into a significant economic impact for the Romanian economy.
Among the States which have implemented the legal instrument concerning digital nomads are Germany, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Croatia, Norway and some non-EU Member States such as Costa Rica, Georgia, Dubai, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Mexico, Australia and Thailand.
Greece succeeded, this year alone, in receiving over 1500 digital nomads. “It is clear that the presence of digital nomads will motivate the local and national public administration to implement measures that are aimed at digitizing public services. Moreover, digital nomads will be able to bring innovative business opportunities, since many of them already work in such businesses. It is the Romanian decision to go further and become competitive and attractive in this sense, in order to keep up with other States that have already shown interest in attracting digital nomads,” said Deputy Diana Buzoianu.
In addition, various studies already show the tendency of digital nomads for entrepreneurship. If Romania succeeds in attracting digital nomads and has a friendly system for registering SMEs, as well as one stop shop concerning online platforms for entrepreneurs, it will be able to attract a new category of entrepreneurs who will register their start-ups here.
Photo: Facebook/Diana Buzoianu