Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 14:57 GMT

Romania: Law of 1996 concerning the Status and the Regime of Refugees in Romania

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Publication Date 5 April 1996
Cite as Romania: Law of 1996 concerning the Status and the Regime of Refugees in Romania [Romania],  5 April 1996, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b5001b.html [accessed 27 August 2014]
Comments This is an unofficial translation. This Law was adopted by the Chamber of Deputies on 7 March 1996 and promulgated on 1 April 1996. It was published in the Official Gazette dated 5 April 1996.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date of entry into force: 05 April 1996

CHAPTER 1 - General Provisions

Article 1

In Romania, refugee status is granted, upon request, to the foreigner who proves that he has justified fears of being persecuted in his country of origin for reasons of race, nationality, religion, membership to a particular social group or for his political opinions.

By the term "country of origin", it is understood, in the case of a person with several citizenships, each country of which the respective person is a citizen, or in the case of a person without citizenship, the country where the respective person has his domicile.

The foreigner who obtains refugee status in Romania has to comply with the Romanian legislation and international conventions relating to refugee status to which Romania is a party.

Article 2

Refugee status can also be granted for humanitarian reasons to the foreigner who does not fulfill the conditions provided by paragraph 1 of article 1.

Article 3

Refugee status is granted, upon request, also to the wife or, as the case may be, to the husband and the minor children of refugees, except in cases in which these categories of persons find themseles in one of the situations stipulated in article 4.

Article 4

Refugee status cannot be granted to the foreigner who:

a) has committed an offence against peace or humanity, or an offence in the sense of the international conventions to which Romania is a party;

b)has committed in Romania intentionally, before or after applying for refugee status, an offence for which the law provides a punishment of more than three years of imprisonment, or has committed a serious common law offence outside Romania;

c) has committed deeds which are contrary to the Charter of the United Nations or international treaties and conventions concerning refugees and to which Romania is a party;

d) has several citizenships and, without a real and well founded reason, did not request the protection of one of the countries of which he is a citizen;

e) presents, through his behavior or membership to a particular organization or grouping, a threat to Romania's national safety or public order.

Article 5

During armed conflicts in which Romania is not involved, refugee status can be granted within the limits of existing possibilities and for a determined period of time to persons coming from those zones of conflict. The Government establishes the measures which are necessary for solving such situations and submits them urgently to the Parliament for approval.

CHAPTER 2 - Procedure for granting refugee status

Article 6

The foreigner who requests to be granted refugee status in Romania will submit a written, motivated request either to one of Romania's diplomatic missions or consular offices or to the General Directorate of Border Police, Aliens, Migration Problems and Passports or its territorial units.

If the application is submitted to a unit of the border police, the foreigner will be authorized to enter Romania if he is in possession of documents for crossing the border and necessary visa or, in the absence of these, if he has arrived directly from the territory where his life or liberty is threatened in the sense of article 1.

The time limit for submission of application for refugee status is ten days from the date of entry into the country but no later than the expiry date of the visa.

Article 7

In the case of a minor foreigner, who has not attained the age of fourteen years, the formalities regarding the granting of refugee status will be carried out by his legal representative.

Article 8

After receiving the application for refugee status, the General Directorate of Border Police, Aliens, Migration Problems and Passports or its territorial units shall examine the document which has been presented by the claimant for crossing the border and shall issue the individual with a certificate which will serve as a temporary identity document in Romania.

Application for refugee status submitted to Romania's diplomatic mission or consular office abroad shall be transmitted to the General Directorate of Border Police, Aliens, Migration Problems and Passports, which will issue a temporary identity document to the person concerned.

If the claimant does not have the necessary material means, the organs to which the claim was submitted will establish his place of residence and issue him a document with which he can travel there free of charge. In such situation, the claimant will be provided with the assistance necessary for his upkeep for the duration of the procedure foreseen for determination of his refugee status.

For reasons justified by the public interest, protection of national security, public safety, maintenance of public order, protection of public health and morality, protection of the rights and liberties of other persons - even if the foreigner has the material means for his upkeep - the territorial unit of the General Directorate of Border Police, Aliens, Migration Problems and Passports to which the claim was submitted can establish his place of residence and can order his accompanied transportation to the respective place.

Article 9

The interviewing of the claimant and the analysis of the reasons invoked by him for obtaining refugee status is within the competence of a Commission appointed by the Government and made up of representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. The representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Romania can attend the working sessions of the Commission.

The organs mentioned in article 6 shall submit to the Commission, within ten days, the application for refugee status and the documents that are of use in order to decide on the case.

The Commission's record keeping and secretariat work are provided by the Refugee Office of the General Directorate of Border Police, Aliens, Migration Problems and Passports.

The Commission shall decide on the acceptance or rejection of the application within 30 days from its receipt.

Article 10

The foreigner requesting to be granted refugee status has, pending determination of his request, the following obligations:

a) to submit, in writing, a motivated application with the data indicated by the organ to which the application is to be submitted;

b)to hand over the document used for crossing the border and to receive the document provided by paragraph 1 of article 8;

c) to answer to the calls of the organs having attributions in granting refugee status and to provide them with complete and true information regarding his person and his request;

d)not to leave the place of residence without the authorization of the organ to which the request was submitted or that of the Commission mentioned in article 9;

e)to present himself for the medical examinations established for him;

f)to have a correct and civilized conduct and to obey the laws of the Romanian State and the measures established by the Romanian organs with competence in refugee matters.

The foreign citizen who applies for refugee status is entitled, until his application is processed, to a temporary identity document, free transportation up to his place of residence and the assistance necessary for his upkeep, under the conditions provided by article 8.

Article 11

The Commission shall reject the request to be granted refugee status, if the applicant:

a)does not fulfill the conditions provided by paragraph 1 of article 1;

b) finds himself in one of the situations provided by article 4;

c) does not provide, with ill intention, all the data and information needed by the Romanian organs competent for solving the claim;

d) attempts to obtain refugee status by presenting erroneous data or information;

e) does not comply with the obligations provided by article 10;

f) has already been granted refugee status by another country against which he cannot invoke the application of paragraph 1 of article 1.

Article 12

The acceptance or the rejection of the application for refugee status is made by a motivated decision, which is communicated to the claimant immediately. The communication is given in writing.

Article 13

The decision of the Commission can be challenged by the applicant for refugee status by lodging an appeal within ten days from the date of its communication.

The appeal shall be judged, under an emergency procedure, by the court of first instance within the radius of which the Commission has its headquarters or by the court of first instance where the applicant has his residence. The appeal shall be judged by a panel of two judges, with the mandatory participation of a prosecutor.

Against the decision of the court of first instance, the appellant or the prosecutor can file an appeal within five days of its pronunciation - for those who were present in court - or of its communication - for those who were not present in court. The decision pronounced in last appeal is definitive and irrevocable.

At the request of the appellant, the court can order in-camera hearing.

The appellant can be assisted or represented by a lawyer and the court shall provide him, free of charge, with an interpreter.

The procedures provided for by the present law are exempted from payment of fiscal charges.

Article 14

After the final decision by which the request for granting of refugee status was rejected, the concerned person, if he continues to stay in Romanian territory, is subject to the provisions of the Law regarding the regime of foreigners in Romania.

A new application for refugee status can only be submitted if the reasons on the basis of which the previous request was rejected have ceased to exist.

CHAPTER 3 - The rights and obligations of refugees

Article 15

Refugee status confers on its beneficiary the following rights:

a)to remain in the territory of Romania and to obtain the documents necessary for proving his identity and for crossing the border;

b)to choose his place of residence and circulate freely, under the conditions provided by the law for foreigners;

c)to be employed by physical or juridical persons, to exercise liberal professions, to engage in trade and other juridical acts, under the conditions of the law;

d)to be remunerated and benefit from other material rights deriving from activities undertaken, as well as from social security, under the conditions of the law;

e)to follow primary education under the conditions established by law for Romanian citizens, and the other educational levels under the same conditions as foreigners;

f)to benefit from a treatment as equally favorable as the one accorded to Romanian citizens with respect to the freedom to practice one's own religion and religious education for his children.

g)free access to the judiciary and to administrative assistance;

h) not to be expelled or returned, except for national security or public order, and when such measures are taken, the concerned individual cannot be sent to territories where his life or freedom would be endangered on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership to a particular social group or political opinions;

i)to receive on request, within the state's financial possibilities, reimbursable aid established at the level of the minimum salary per economy, for a period of maximum six months, if for objective reasons he lacks the necessary subsistence means. For well-founded reasons, this aid can be extended for a period of up to three more months.

Article 16

The beneficiary of refugee status has the following obligations:

a) to know and obey the Constitution, the laws and other normative acts issued by the Romanian authorities;

b) to have a correct and civilized conduct, to obey the measures established by the Romanian authorities competent in refugee matters and to answer their requests;

c) to refrain from provoking any situations of conflict or incidents with the population and from committing any deeds which may infringe on the penal law;

d) to obey the rules concerning the juridical regime of foreigners, to the extent to which the law does not provide otherwise;

e)to reimburse the assistance received in accordance with article 15.i), if he has achieved an income which makes this possible without affecting either his own or his family's maintenance. The reimbursed amounts will be revenue to the state budget.

CHAPTER 4 - Withdrawal and cancellation of refugee status

Article 17

Refugee status is withdrawn from the foreigner who finds himself in one of the following situations:

a) has voluntarily re-acquired his lost citizenship or has acquired a new citizenship and is enjoying the protection of the country of which he became a citizen;

b) has voluntarily re-acquired the protection of his country of origin;

c) has voluntarily re-established himself in the country which he had left due to fear of persecution in the sense of paragraph 1 of article 1;

d) can benefit from the protection of the country of which he is a citizen, as the reasons on the basis of which he was granted refugee status have ceased to exist, even within the terms provided by article 22;

e)has no citizenship but can return to the country of his domicile because the reasons on the basis of which he was granted refugee status have ceased to exist;

f) has renounced his refugee status in writing, personally or, in the case of a minor child under fourteen years, through his legal representative;

g) has received approval for establishing his domicile in Romania or has been granted Romanian citizenship.

Article 18

Refugee status can be canceled if:

a)it has been granted on the basis of false statements made by the applicant or obtained by him fraudulently;

b)after being granted refugee status, the foreigner has committed one of the deeds provided by article 4 or it has been discovered that he had committed such a deed before the final decision by which he was granted the status.

Article 19

The withdrawal and cancellation of refugee status are effected by a decision of the Commission mentioned in article 9 at the proposal of the General Directorate of Border Police, Aliens, Migration Problems and Passports.

These measures do not affect the family members of the person concerned.

Article 20

The provisions of articles 12, 13 and 14 will apply, as appropriate, in cases of withdrawal or cancellation of refugee status as well.

Article 21

The foreigner whose refugee status has been withdrawn from or canceled will be treated in accordance with the legal provisions regarding the juridical regime of foreigners in Romania.

The person concerned cannot be sent to the country where his life or liberty would be exposed to danger on account of the reasons mentioned in paragraph 1 of article 1.

The foreigner whose refugee status has been canceled and who by his deeds endangers, or threatens with endangering, Romanian national safety or public order is excepted from the provisions of paragraph 2.

CHAPTER 5 - Final provisions

Article 22

The refugee status is granted for a period of three years from the date the application was approved. An extension of this status can be requested, examined and determined in the same conditions as the initial application. An extension can be granted for a period of two years from the date of cessation of the initially granted status.

The foreigner who stays in Romanian territory after cessation of his refugee status will be treated according to the legal provisions concerning the juridical regime of foreigners.

Article 23

The procedure of granting refugee status also applies to foreigners who obtained a permit of stay in Romanian territory, for the reasons provided in paragraph 1 of article 1, before the coming into force of the present law.

Article 24

The personal status of the refugee is governed by the law of the country where he has his domicile or, lacking a domicile, by the law of the country where he has his residence.

Article 25

The Ministry of Interior can approve the request made by a refugee, during his stay in Romanian territory and depending on the degree of his integration in society, to establish his domicile in Romania, under the conditions of the Law concerning the Regime of Foreigners in Romania.

Article 26

The expenses incurred by the implementation of article 15.i) of the present law will be allocated to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, on the basis of the argumentation presented, from the Government's budgetary reserve funds, during the first year of the implementation of the present law; following that, the necessary funds will be included in the State budget.

Article 27

For the implementation of the provisions of the present law, reception and accommodation centers for refugee status applicants shall be established under the subordination of the Ministry of Interior.

The financial resources which are necessary for the setting up and running of these centers, as well as those for covering other expenses incurred by refugee status determination procedures, shall be provided for from the State budget and shall be allocated to the Ministry of Interior.

Article 28

For the implementation of the present law, the Government will issue a decision within thirty days of its publication in Romania's Official Gazette.

Article 29

The present law will come into force on the thirtieth day following its publication in Romania's Official Gazette.

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