I am thinking of going to Romania in a couple of months, and would like to stay for a longer time than the 90 day short-stay period. Normally, you would apply for a long-stay visa before you arrive in the country you're moving to.
However, over a beer in a pub in Germany someone told me a better approach is to enter the country with a 90-day permit, and then apply for a long-term visa or residency permit from inside the country. "Romanians," this guy said slightly drunkenly, "are friendly and are really happy to have people, especially comparatively well-off Westerners, come into the country. You should go to the office with a Romanian friend, smile, and you'll get a permit." (He then went on to imply some bribery might help things too.)
Illegal options aside, what is the best approach for getting some kind of visa or permit for long-term stay in Romania?
- Apply for a long-term visa before entering the country (* see comments below)
- Apply for a short-term (90-day) permit, and apply for something else inside the country
- Another option?
(I am an Australian citizen; long-stay visas are typically tricky for me since I work remotely over the net for an Australian company - I often don't seem to meet the employment requirements for a visa, for example, since I'm employed by a company from another country. I've been refused a visa once before despite having enough money, a full-time employment contract, no history of breaking visa conditions, and a good character record and of course no criminal record. Off the record, I was told there was no good reason why, it was just not matching the categories perfectly. I've been using the working holiday visa program, but Romania doesn't have one for Australians.)