The improvement of the investment and business environment in the Republic of Moldova by facilitation of entry and stay on the territory of our country of foreign investors, as well as of the persons managing foreign investments, was one of the main objectives of the Bureau of Migration and Asylum /BMA/ fulfilled in 2017. This allowed increasing the attractiveness of our country as a trade partner and investment destination for the international partners.
For this purpose, a number of normative acts supporting the observance of our country’s commitments related to the development of services and business environment for foreigners were adjusted in 2017 based on a series of communitarian directives and international agreements to which the Republic of Moldova is a part. Hence, the criteria for providing the right of stay were modified for shareholders and partners, qualified workers and persons in management positions; facilities were established for investors (for investments of at least 60 monthly average salaries or 4 newly created jobs).
At the same time, the legal framework was reviewed for foreigners’ presence in the Republic of Moldova: the number of categories of persons benefiting from facilitated regime while reviewing the application for providing the right of stay was extended; the stay of some new categories of citizens of the European Union was regulated.
Increased attention was paid to simplifying the documentation procedures. The deadline for reviewing the documents was reduced (from 30 days to 15 days); the period for which the right to stay is granted was extended (from 2 to 8 years); the procedure for submitting the documents before the foreigner’s entry in the Republic of Moldova was accepted.
In 2017, access into the country was facilitated for foreigners from 23 states, by cancelling the obligatory invitations: China, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Belize, Republic of Columbia, Dominican Union, Fiji Republic, Grenada, Republic of Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Republic of Kiribati, Lesotho Kingdom, Federal States of Micronesia, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau, Independent State Samoa, Democratic Republic São Tome and Principe, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincentian and Grenadine, Democratic Republic of East Timor/Oriental Timor, Tonga Kingdom, Republic of Trinidad Tobago, Tuvalu. In total, foreigners from 85 states need to obtain an invitation to apply for entry visa for the Republic of Moldova.
Entry and regulation of foreigners’ stay in the Republic of Moldova
The Bureau of Migration and Asylum provides to foreigners services related to: request of invitation, extending of visa, provision of the right to stay, right to repatriation, documentation with identity documents, record-keeping and deregistration of domicile and residence, authorised emigration. The provision of these services is organised based on the one-stop-shop principle in Chisinau and at the regional level (Balti, Comrat and Cahul). Hence, the foreigners may approach the documentation one-stop-shops of the BMA in Chisinau, Balti and Comrat/Cahul, having the right to go to the most convenient office for them. This fact reduces substantially the time and financial expenditures for solving the emerged problems.
During 2017, the BMA continued the activities for decentralizing the services provided to the citizens, including to foreigners, from centre towards the regional services.
Hence, the regional one-stop-shops received 15% of the total number of 20417 applications for foreigners’ documentation, registered during 2017, and this is a 4% increase for the number of applications received in the field as compared to the previous periods.
Call Centre – a new service provided by the BMA
By the end of the previous year, BMA has launched a Call Centre which provides accurate and operative information regarding immigration, asylum, and legal status of foreigners in the Republic of Moldova. It was created thanks to the project implemented by the International Organization for Migration, in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Moldova and financially supported by the US State Department.
The Call Centre operators provide to applicants information regarding the conditions for providing/extending the right of temporary stay, including for the purpose of family reunification; the requirements for issuing the invitations necessary for the visa to enter the Republic of Moldova; the procedure for recognizing the status of stateless person. The list of data which are provided by the Call Centre operators covers also the range of the documents to be submitted for obtaining a long-stay visa for the purpose of family reunification, for authorised immigration, etc.
A number of 2700 calls was received since the launch of the Call Centre until presently, and the number of calls is continuously increasing.
Objectives proposed to be fulfilled during the current year will contribute to:
• further enhancing and optimising the services provided to foreigners by implementing the procedure of on-line reception of the applications for invitations and implementation of the Governmental Service of Electronic Payments (MPay);
• facilitating access to the labour market for the immigrant workers;
• optimizing the process of admission of foreigners to the Republic of Moldova by simplifying the procedure of obtaining the invitation, etc.