After Bulgaria, Romania has opened its doors to skilled Bangladeshi labor, expanding employment opportunities in the agriculture, construction and service sectors in Eastern Europe.
Romania has decided to recruit around 40,000 foreign workers, including Bangladeshis, according to a report in Romanian media. The European country has already opened its consular office in Dhaka to facilitate the visa process, a foreign ministry official said. Immigration fees were set at Tk 1,65,000 each.
Romania’s consular mission in Bangladesh granted work visas to 5,400 Bangladeshi citizens between April and July.
Earlier in February this year, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told reporters that Romania was sending a six-member consular team to Dhaka for three months to issue around 5,000 visas, with 3,400 visas on hold.
Momen said around 1,000 workers have already left for Romania, adding that Romania needs construction workers, electricians, housekeepers and workers in manufacturing units, in addition to doctors and nurses. nurses.
Bulgaria, another southeastern European country, is hiring skilled garment workers from Bangladesh.
In another development, Greece became the first EU country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to recruit workers.
All visa holders will go to Romania under the “employment” category.
The workers’ monthly salary would start from $615 to $1,400, depending on their skills and qualifications.
“Previously, Bangladeshis had to travel to India to get Romanian visas. Thanks to the efforts of our government, Romania has opened a temporary consular office in Dhaka, and our workers are benefiting from it,” said Md Shahidul Alam, Managing Director of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), entrusted to The Business Standard (TBS).
More than 10,000 applications for work-related visas were submitted to Romania in the first three months of this year by foreign nationals, mainly from Asian countries, reports Romania-insider.com.
To cope with the high number of applicants, the Romanian government has decided to make it easier to obtain visas by opening temporary diplomatic missions.
The Balkan state is preparing similar missions to Nepal, and the Romanian embassy in New Delhi, India, will grant more work visas.
Some 161 Bangladeshis lived in Romania until 2020, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
However, the organization said that many Bangladeshis frequently take illegal routes to reach various European countries and that at least 21 Bangladeshis arrived in Romania illegally in 2020.
In 2020, the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment set the migration cost for workers heading to Romania through a government agreement at Tk 1,65,000 each. The cost charged by private recruiters is not less than Tk10-Tk12 lakh per person.
Following a bilateral consultation between the foreign ministers of the two countries in October 2021, Romania agreed to open a temporary consular office in Dhaka.
Earlier in 1975, Bangladesh opened its first mission in Romania, but it was closed in 1995, while Romania closed its mission in Bangladesh in 2000. Bangladesh has recently reopened its embassy.