(Un) moving to Moldova

    photographer Andrei Benimetsky

    I think no one is surprised that there are many articles on the Internet and on Habré in particular about a successful (or not) transition from the CIS countries to the EU countries, the USA, Asia, etc. Some articles are useful, others are not very good, but even if the authors talk little about everyday affairs, there is no reason to rejoice for them. I, alas, did not have to move for a significant period in any “popular”, in terms of emigration, country, but the desire to write something from it does not become less. Almost two years ago I wrote an article about moving to Russia , but now I would like to paint about a hypothetical move to a country that I know better and which is rarely mentioned in runet (especially in the context of emigration), and on Habré it’s completely in passing.

    A little introductory about the country

    Moldova (or Moldova) is a former Soviet republic in eastern Europe, bordering on Ukraine (east, north and south) and Romania (west), landlocked and sandwiched between two rivers - Prutom (west) and Dniester (east). Proclaimed independence from the USSR on August 27, 1991, on March 2, 1992 joined the United Nations, from March 2 to August 1, 1992 participated in an armed confrontation with Transnistria human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    One of the few countries from the former Soviet Union, where the form of government is a parliamentary republic. Parliamentary elections are held once every four years (and more often over the past decade), after which the ruling coalition is formed and the prime minister and the government are accountable to the parliament. Until recently, the president was elected by parliament, but after the political crisis (the ruling coalition could not get enough votes to elect the president), the president began to be elected by popular vote. Over time, the role of the president weakens (from the recent, the Prosecutor General was reassigned to Parliament), but the current president promises to change it and do it “as it should.”

    According to European statistics, Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. The average nominal wage in April-June 2018 according to official statistics:
    Budget sector330 $
    Real sector$ 400
    In the IT field$ 830
    Finance and Insurance$ 695
    Scientific and technical activities$ 500
    Agriculture250 $
    Arts, recreation and leisure220 $

    Official unemployment in the country for 2017 - 3.4%. The minimum old-age pension is about $ 60, the average is about $ 75. The official living wage for the capital (Chisinau) is about $ 120, for other cities and villages - $ 100.

    As a matter of fact: the official average salary reflects the typical “I eat cabbage, it is meat, we eat cabbage rolls” due to the gap between the capital and other cities. The subsistence minimum is understated, but you can survive on it, especially if you have your own vegetable garden (and the majority has one.)

    The state language is Moldovan (as written in the Constitution) or Romanian (as written in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Court said so). In fact, this is one language with regional differences, until 1989 Moldovan used Cyrillic. Russian is the language of inter-ethnic communication, official information is duplicated in it, and most of the population knows it. The currency is the Moldovan Leu (MDL), at the time of writing, 1 USD = 16.78 MDL.

    Entry and stay

    Moldova has an agreement on visa-free regime with many countries of the world, including with all CIS countries. In most cases, the rules are standard - 90/180 (you can stay in the country for 90 days for 180 days). When entering the country through the airport or the official border, there is no need to register anywhere; when crossing the border through the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, a foreigner must register for migration in the nearest police station within 72 hours.

    To stay in the country for more than 90 days, you must obtain a temporary residence permit. It is issued to the Bureau for Migration and Refugees for those who officially work, are treated, study, family members. The cost and the necessary package of documents depends on the type of permission. The permit is issued for a period of one year and can be subsequently extended an unlimited number of times. After 5 years of residence under the RAF (3 years for a spouse), you can get a permanent residence permit (or residence permit). After 10 years of residence in the country, you can apply for citizenship.

    Communication and Internet

    There are three main mobile operators in the country: Orange, Moldcell, Unite. Sim cards of all three can be bought in many shops and shops of communication without documents, you will need to provide an identity card for a subscription.
    Orange Colibri 75500 MB, 150 SMS, 120 min$ 4.5
    Orange Colibri 1402.5 GB, 500 SMS, 350 min$ 8.3
    Orange Tigru 1755 GB, 400 SMS, 200 min$ 10.3
    Orange Tigru 40025 GB, ∞ SMS, ∞ min$ 23.7
    Moldcell YOU + 701 GB, 200 min / sms4 $
    Moldcell YOU + 1003 GB, 300 min / sms$ 6
    Moldcell YOU + Premium 25015 GB, 500 min / sms$ 14.8
    Moldcell YOU + Premium 40030 GB, ∞ min / sms$ 23.7

    In most cases, there is a national minute conversion (calls from one operator to another) to international ones. Moldcell YOU + Premium 400, for example, in addition to an unlimited number of national SMS and calls offers 300 international minutes (with reservations). It is quite popular to take by installment a smartphone from a telecom operator along with a subscription. The conditions are different, from Orange phones up to $ 170 can be taken freely with one passport with a ticket of $ 6, while Moldcell can be taken only if you have a valid ticket for the last 6 months (not necessarily concluded with this operator). Because of the small territory, 4G coverage is quite good in most places, but sometimes there are blind zones where 3G works or nothing at all. A subscription is usually a year, when you try to terminate early - a fine.

    Fixed Internet is well developed in cities and poorly in villages. There is an analogue of Rostelecom - Moldtelecom (which owns the Unite operator). For $ 12 you can get a speed of 100 Mbit, for $ 17 - 300 Mbit, for $ 20 - 1 Gbit. For ADSL cost $ 12 and a speed of 20 Mbit. In large cities, you can often find public wi-fi points. I did not meet the authorization by phone number, maximum - with a password (for visitors). Some trains have free wi-fi of tolerable quality. Any sites and services are not blocked, which in the modern world can already be considered a plus.


    Regular bus route - photo telegraph.md

    In the country, the only airport located near the capital is Chisinau International Airport. In the capital and major cities, public transport is represented by buses, trolley buses and minibuses, there is a taxi. You can get to the villages and regional centers with the help of fixed-route taxis, the cost for a route of 80 km is about $ 2. The same distance by train will cost $ 1, with wi-fi, but half an hour longer the road.

    The medicine

    Free ambulance only, for everything else there are paid clinics and a policy of mandatory honey. insurance. All citizens and foreigners are required to have a policy when extending the RWP. The cost of the policy for the year - $ 240, if you buy a discount of 50% ($ 120) before March 31, the owners of agricultural plots pay $ 60. A free policy is issued to children under 18, pensioners, the unemployed (consisting in the labor exchange), pregnant women (including 43 days after the birth of a child), mothers of disabled children, large families, students of universities, colleges and vocational schools. The coverage of the policy is quite extensive and includes most types of medical services, there are discounts in pharmacies. Dentistry is included.

    As a matter of fact:You can get something for free under the policy, but it will not be fast - the queues for tests and analyzes start from a week to months. Pay extra for a lot of need, corruption in honey. Institutions bloom and smell, the quality of services - from normal to terrible. Many hospitals are in terrible condition, there is a shortage of medicines and equipment.
    MRIfrom 45 to 220 $
    General practitioner consultationfrom 12 to 20 $
    Dental Consultationfrom 12 to 20 $
    Ultrasoundfrom 12 to 45 $

    There are many pharmacies, a rich assortment: mainly imports from Ukraine, Russia and the EU. Prices for some products are slightly lower or higher in Russia and Ukraine, sometimes at times lower. Prescription drugs can be issued without a problem without a prescription, forgeries and counterfeit products are quite rare.


    In Moldova, the school lasts 12 years, the grading system is ten-point. Most of the schools are free public, there are a few private ones, mainly in the capital and major cities. In the ninth grade, exams are taken, after which you can enroll in a lyceum, vocational school or college. After the twelfth grade, an exam is taken, called a bachelor’s degree, but has nothing to do with a bachelor’s degree at a university. According to the results of the exam and annual assessments, they enter universities on a budget or commercial basis. There are several universities in the capital and in large cities, schools - in all cities and some villages.
    Computer science350 $
    Archeology250 $
    Psychology350 $
    Journalism350 $
    Marketing430 $
    Pharmaceuticals$ 500

    As a matter of fact: The quality of education is school, that university is secondary. The lack of equipment and the low prestige of local universities is offset by the relatively low cost of education. The hardest and most expensive thing to get into the law and the state. control.

    Bureaucracy and corruption

    Corruption is one of the main ills of the country throughout its existence since the collapse of the USSR. With miserable wages and few prospects, you can easily see expensive cars on the streets of cities, and rich houses in the villages. Dirty hands are enriched in different ways, one of the popular ways is cutting of credits and subsidies from the EU, illegal logging and sale of timber. Not so long ago, money from Russia was laundered on an industrial scale through the country's banking system ( more ). In 2014, $ 1 billion was stolen from the accounts of three banks in the country - the money was withdrawn to offshore, the damage amounted to 12% of GDP of the entire country, the former prime minister was convicted, but other participants and the main organizer were free ( more). Despite the statements by the authorities about the fight against corruption, this end and the edge is not visible.

    However, in my opinion, there is a significant shift in the fight against corruption in the registry offices and all that concerns the issuance of documents. Instead of catching bribe takers and those who want to get a certificate or document in a roundabout way, the government allows to speed up the issuance of almost any documents quite officially for money. For example, a passport can be obtained for 30 days ($ 50), 15 days ($ 63), 10 days ($ 76), 5 days ($ 88), 1 day ($ 100), 6 hours ($ 126), 3 hours ($ 151), 1 hour ($ 177), and so with almost all the documents.

    There is a local equivalent of state services that allows you to apply for the receipt of certain documents or services online. There are several ways to authorize:

    • Mobile signature - the application is signed with an SMS code. Before that, you need to contact your mobile operator with an identity card and get a special SIM card
    • electronic identity card - a regular passport with a chip and certificates for authentication, identification and signature

    Banks and taxes

    The banking system is moderately developed and is represented by several banks: Moldindconbank, Victoriabank, Agroindbank and others. Each bank has its own tariffs and commissions, there are mobile applications. There are few restrictions on transfers: for example, you can transfer to a foreign bank card without any problems with a dollar card. There are a lot of ATMs in the cities, in the villages - a rarity. Often, they give out not only the national currency, but also dollars with euros. Payment by card is not accepted everywhere, except in the pharmacies.

    The standard VAT rate is 20%, social security contributions are 23% (proposed to be reduced to 18%). With income tax a little more complicated:

    • up to $ 670 per year - personal exemption, tax not paid
    • from 670 to 1950 $ per year - tax - 7%
    • from 1950 $ - tax - 18%

    However, from October 1 of this year, they plan to introduce a single rate - 12%, which everyone will pay, and not the taxable amount they want to raise to $ 1,430.


    In addition to the social stratification of the poor in the post-Soviet countries, the middle class and the oligarchy, Moldova has maintained a balance in the geopolitical predilections of citizens over the years: some want closer cooperation with the CIS and Russia, others with the EU, and almost equally , in a presidential election, a pro-Russian candidate scored 52.11%, a pro-European candidate — 47.89%). Because of the deplorable situation in the economy, many go to work either in the CIS or in the EU, respectively, they support those who favor rapprochement with the country concerned. This more than once provoked a parliamentary crisis, when neither side could gain enough votes to make any decisions and called early elections.

    The outflow of the population continues for more than a dozen years. If before the appearance of a visa-free regime with the EU, the main part went to the Russian Federation and other CIS countries, now most of them go to the EU, Turkey, and Israel. A popular way to emigrate is to obtain Romanian citizenship (which gives the right to live and work in the EU), since any citizen of Moldova whose parents / (great) grandparents / grandmothers grandmothers lived in the country until 1940 can get this citizenship ( year, modern Moldova and other lands were included again in the USSR). Around this blooms and smells business - offices engaged in the collection and legalization of the necessary documents can be considered forever. Bus services to Italy, Germany and other European countries are popular, as is “legal work in Poland with a decent income”.

    Sights and Leisure

    Leisure can be spent in the capital as you please - cinema, opera, ballet, night clubs. Most of the sights are somehow connected with religion - mostly churches. There are pre-revolutionary architecture, monuments, numerous parks. Of course, one of the main attractions is the Cricova wine cellars (galleries, 120km underground, filled with wine). With wines in this country, a special fetish ...

    What's up with IT?

    IT is one of the few areas in the country that is not in deep decline. The government is trying to support this area, for example, by creating an IT park, whose residents pay a single tax of 7% on sales, which replaces most of the other taxes. Salaries in IT with proper qualifications make it very comfortable to live in the capital and save a significant amount.

    As a matter of fact:The IT-park, as it turned out, didn’t really work: it recently turned out that the residents were charged all or most of the taxes from which they should have been exempted. The lion's share of the offers on the market from outsourcing companies that do not require serious qualifications and do not involve professional development - you can rivet sites for the EU and the US for the conditional $ 500 to old age. The most popular specialties are: frontend (AngularJS), Java developer. Only operators / providers can afford to create services for the local market, the rest is unprofitable - the audience is small and with low purchasing power.

    addition from @Greendq
    ИТ-парк позволил некоторым компаниям дать достаточно высокие зарплаты полностью по-белому. В среднем по больнице местами до 4к баксов в месяц. Да, топовым спецам, но есть.

    По поводу того, что требовали платить налоги по-полной — это было с несколькими компаниями и было самодурство некоторых чиновников. А местами просто неосведомлённость о существовании соотвествующего закона. На последней встрече премьер-министра с представителями ИТ-парка этот вопрос подняли, виновных уже расстреляли.

    Так что как раз-таки ИТ-шникам тут очень хорошо. Но есть ньюанс — так как большинство компаний являются аутсорсерами — то из человеческих языков минимум английский мастхэв. Некоторые дополнительно просят французский и итальянский с немецким.

    About the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic

    Not to mention the PMR - Transnistrian Moldavian Republic, located in the east of Moldova. Some tourists who visited the PMR, call it a fragment of the USSR and will even be partly right. The hammer and sickle on the flag, the Supreme Council instead of parliament, the abundance of Soviet buildings create the feeling that the USSR is still there. The state is not recognized by other UN member countries, but is recognized by Abkhazia, South Ossetia and NKR. To move abroad citizens of Transdniestria need to get a passport of Moldova, Ukraine or Russia (the benefit of their residents of Transdniestrian Transnistrian regions can be fairly easy), for foreigners to enter the territory of Transdniestria - get a migration card and get registered with the police. The direction of foreign policy is the recognition of independence and accession to Russia (in accordance with the referendum). The peacekeeping corps of Russia (entered after the conflict between Moldova and Transdnistrian Moldavian Republic) is located on the territory of the PMR, and Moldova insists on its withdrawal. In general, life here is not much different from life in Moldova - all signs are in Russian, utilities are cheaper, there are banks, Internet providers and mobile operators. Recently, the people of Transnistria can get neutral car numbers in Moldova, which will allow them to travel without problems to other countries on their own cars. Export is not hampered by unrecognized status: for example, there is no time (and maybe even now) the popular wine brand Bouquet of Moldova - production of PMR. Recently, the people of Transnistria can get neutral car numbers in Moldova, which will allow them to travel without problems to other countries on their own cars. Export is not hampered by unrecognized status: for example, there is no time (and maybe even now) the popular wine brand Bouquet of Moldova - production of PMR. Recently, the people of Transnistria can get neutral car numbers in Moldova, which will allow them to travel without problems to other countries on their own cars. Export is not hampered by unrecognized status: for example, there is no time (and maybe even now) the popular wine brand Bouquet of Moldova - production of PMR.

    Instead of conclusions

    Of course, this article is not an attempt to advertise another direction for emigration. Moving to Moldova from any CIS country does not make much sense: the local economy is developing poorly, the sores of the nineties are not completely cured, and the standard of living will be an order of magnitude lower than in any million-plus city of Russia (and most cities with a smaller population). The lack of censorship, a greater level of personal freedom, a good geographical location and natural landscapes do not compensate for the lack of decent medicine, professional prospects and the presence of corruption. However, the lack of a migration barrier and the relative cheapness will allow you to spend some time in comfort and get new impressions, especially if you do not get local wages.

    Also popular now: