Entry/Departure Requirements for U.S. Citizens and Special Provisions for Dual Nationals
Entry Requirements for U.S. citizens
You must have a valid passport to enter Romania. Check the expiration date on your passport carefully before traveling to Romania on a European airline or in transit through a European country that is part of the Schengen area. Entry into any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area, requires that your passport be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure. This requirement may also apply if you are transiting a Schengen airport for several hours en route to a non-Schengen destination, such as Romania. If your passport does not meet the Schengen requirements, you may be refused boarding by the airline at your point of origin or while transferring planes in Europe. For this reason, we recommend that your passport have at least six months validity remaining whenever you travel to Romania or will be transiting a Schengen airport. To ensure that your travel plans are not disrupted, plan ahead to renew your passport before traveling. Visit the Department of State’s passport website for information on applying for a new or renewal passport.
For additional information, please visit the website of the Department of State for information on Travel to European Countries in the Schengen Area.
Visits and Residence Permits
U.S. citizens can stay in Romania without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Upon entry or exit from Romania, immigration officers will check the amount of time you stayed in Romania without a visa in the 180-day period preceding the date when your passport is being checked. U.S. citizens who leave the country and return after spending less than 90 days in the 180-day period prior to their return, will be admitted for the remainder of the 90 days. U.S. citizens attempting to re-enter Romania after having already spent 90 days in the country in the 180-day period prior to their return may be denied re-entry to Romania.
For stays longer than 90 days, you must obtain a temporary residence permit from the Romanian Immigration Office in the area of your residence.
Departure of U.S. citizens
Americans who overstay will be subject to heavy fines and will require an exit permit from the Immigration Department in order to leave the country. You must visit the local office of the Immigration Department to apply for the exit permit 24 to 48 hours in advance of your trip. In exceptional circumstances, the overstay fines may be paid upon departure and the exit permit may be obtained at the airport or border crossing point. However, the decision of issuing the exit permit at the airport is at the discretion of the border police officers and the process may delay your boarding/departure.
In addition to the fines, which could amount to U.S. $600 per person, you might also be banned from returning to Romania for a period of time that depends on the length of the overstay, usually from six months to one year. If you wish to request a waiver of the ban, you must do so before departure by making an appointment with a senior official of the Immigration Department to provide evidence of an acceptable reason why you could not file for an extension of stay (medical emergency or hospitalization; the school or employer were unable to provide you with the necessary documents). Not having informed yourself about the stay permit requirements is not grounds for a waiver. If you do not request a waiver or a waiver is not granted to you prior to departure, an interdiction will be placed in the Romanian Border Police system, which will result in a hold at Romanian Passport Control and you will be turned around if you attempt to enter the country before the interdiction expires. The Embassy cannot assist you in removing your name from the Border Police records.
Please check that your U.S. passport has at least three months validity remaining upon your departure from Romania if you will be transiting a Schengen area airport, to comply with the travel requirements of the Schengen countries.
Dual nationals (U.S.-Romanian citizens)
U.S.-Romanian citizens in Romania are subject to the requirements and responsibilities of Romanian law. Romanian immigration officials may require U.S. minors holding Romanian citizenship to provide written consent from both of their parents to exit Romania.
Per Law 21/1991, all children born to a Romanian citizen parent, in Romania or abroad, acquire Romanian citizenship at birth and are subject to Law 248/2005 concerning travel of minors. Art. 2 of Law 248/2005 states that minors with Romanian citizenship may leave the country only accompanied by both parents or with the consent of both parents, even if they also hold the nationality of another country and present a foreign passport upon departure from Romania. A standard statement of parental consent to travel, which must be provided by the absent parent, is available on the website of the Romanian Border Police. The statement is not required if the parent traveling with the child has full custody and can present evidence.
Information about prevention of international child abduction can be found on the website of the Department of State.