Moldova

History

The Republic of Moldova is a small country, favorably situated in the Southeast part of Europe, neighboring Romania to the West and Ukraine to the East. This piece of land boasts a rich history, abundant in dramatic and agitated events.

From the XIV century it was a part of the Moldova Principality, situated between Oriental Carpathians and the Nistru river, in the north bounded by Hotin, and in the South – by the Low Danube and the Black Sea.

Following the Peace concluded in Bucharest, in 1812, a part of this territory was asigned to Czarist Russia, which called it Basarabia – an older name, earlier attributed to the southern part. The aim was to identify this territory as a separate geographic entity from the Moldova Principality.

The Independence of the Democratic Republic of Moldova was proclaimed in January 1918. And later, on March 27 1918 it was decided to re-unite it with Romania. The next annexure process took place in 1940, following the Molotov – Ribbentrop summit. According to this Basarabia became part of the USSR and was proclaimed as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia. It comprised only nine Basarabian counties and six districts from the left bank of the Nistru River. The present territory of Moldova is smaller compared to the area attributed to Russian authorities in 1812, since the North Hotin, Acherman and the southern Ismail were given up in 1940 by the Soviet authorities to Ukraine.

Due to the restructuring process that started in the Central and Eastern Europe, in June 1990 Moldova proclaimed its sovereignty, and on August 27, 1991 – its State Independence. In March 2, 1992, the Republic of Moldova became a member of the United Nations.

 

Population

The Republic of Moldova has a population of 3424,4 thousand and is one of the most densely populated European countries.

Moldova is populated by different ethnic groups. A breakdown of major ethnic groups is as follows: Moldovans – 75,8 %, Ukrainians – 8,4 %, Russians – 5,9 %, others (Gagauzians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Gipsy, Jews, etc.).

A high ratio of the population lives in the rural area. The urban population represents 39,7 %. The major cities of Moldova include the capital city, Chisinau (over 755140 people); Balti (127603); Cahul (119 131); Hincesti (119569); Orhei (115828); Soroca (100490); Ungheni(110674); U.T.A. Gagauzia (155711).

 

Food and Drink
Moldova is rich in fertile soil and in hardworking and caring people. Nature is very generous in Moldova, offering plentiful grapes, fruits, vegetables, meat and milk products and cereals, all of which have found their uses in our national food. The fertile soil and the traditional agricultural methods make possible the cultivation of a diverse range of ecologically pure raw materials.

Moldovan cuisine has had a great influence on the traditional food of the other nationalities that live on this territory. At the same time some elements have been incorporated from Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Gagauzian and Russian cuisine, as well as elements taken some centuries ago from Greek and Turkish food.

The ingredients used in the traditional meals are: a variety of vegetables like tomatoes, green peppers, aubergines, white cabbage, beans, onions, garlic, etc. The vegetables are used for salads and sauces; they are baked, pickled, salted, and canned thus becoming a real food art. The maize and maize flour give a specific color to the traditional meals, like soups, biscuits, flakes, alcohol free drinks, etc. The most common is “mamaliga” – a maize porridge or polenta with a fine and delicious taste. “Mamaliga” is served together with diced meat, cheese, fried meat, cream, etc.

Meat cooked for the first and the second course has a special place in the Moldovan food. The most common are chicken soup, goulash, roast meat, grilled minced meat rolls, etc. A lot of meat courses are grilled over charcoal. But before the grilling procedure the meat is properly picked.
There is not a holiday without cabbage rolls, meat jelly, noodles, etc. The traditional table is not complete without biscuits, pies, cake dipped in syrup and fruit.

In different parts of Moldova there are local cuisines. In the East the Ukrainians prefer borsch, in the south the Bulgarians can offer a delicious chicken sauce – mangea, and the Gagauzians may serve you sorpa – a spicy ram soup, and the Russians will offer you their traditional pelmeni – a kind of roll stuffed with meat.

The Moldovan cuisine is served with a variety of traditional drinks: stewed fruits, juices, as well as alcoholic drinks like: wine, brandy, “tuica” – plum brandy, etc.

Wine growing in Moldova is a century-old tradition. The famous Moldovan wines are well known and appreciated at home and far beyond the country borders. The wines can be dry, sweet and strong, they have a varied bouquet of flavours and colours. For wine producing European vines are used such as: Sauvignon, Cabernet, Muscat, etc., as well as Moldovan varieties: Feteasca, Black Rara, Moldova, etc.

Strong drinks such as plum brandy, are produced using traditional methods.

Wine tastings are offered in most Moldovan cellars.

Traditions

Moldova is a European Country, which has a rich ethnic history. The majority of the population are Moldovans (Romanians), but the following national minorities live on this territory too: Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Gagauzians, Russians, Germans, Greeks, and others. In Moldova many traditions are centuries old. It is hard to believe that the multi-ethnic character of the country still exists within the popular traditions. What’s more it has enriched them with new qualities, giving them a new colour and transforming them into an original bunch of customs, rituals, and folklore present in Moldovan villages. In spite of the differences of nationalities, the people here have the most important quality – Hospitality. In Moldova every guest is received with a special warmth.

The householder will always serve his guest with great Moldovan wine and with the best dishes of food. Usually, the guests are invited into the “Casa Mare” (Big Room) – a traditional room in each house where people feast together. There are a lot of holidays in Moldova and everyone can join in them.

The Winter Holidays, for instance, feature greetings cards, best wishes, plays performed by both children and adults from one door to another, thus announcing with joy the coming of the New Year. Everybody is looking forward to Santa Claus to come on a sleigh filled with presents. Especially children prepare themselves for this event: they put on different costumes and masks and perform in front of the Christmas tree. In fact, at that period the holidays, following the traditional agricultural calendar coincide with the Christian festival of Christmas.

Another very important traditional holiday is “Martisor” – the symbol of spring. In March everybody in Moldova hangs on their collar two knitted white and red ropes, which symbolize nature’s revival.
In Spring the most important holiday for our people is the Easter religions holiday. For this celebration people prepare in good time, they cook special food: Easter Cake and painted eggs and the best wine. In the course of time the painted eggs have become a handicraft art.

A lot of traditional events in our country represent an amalgam of elements characteristic to the agricultural, religious and civil calendars, a mixture that was transformed in a permanent source of goodwill, warmth and hospitality in Moldova. During the holidays guests in Moldova can participate in a range of cultural events: concerts “Martisor”, “Ciresar”, “Maria Biesu Welcomes”, etc., performances, parades, mass manifestations on Independence Day, on “Limba Noastra” Day, on towns or villages’ Day, etc. On Harvest Days traditional fairs are organized in towns and villages. Especially during these holidays, tourists can get closer to the national folk and handcraft art.

We cannot speak about Moldova without mentioning the traditions of a family nature: weddings, celebrations, etc., which become real shows performed by guests and hosts.

In Moldovan villages “sezatorile” are very traditional social meetings, especially in the winter, where people sing, dance, and make handicrafts.

It’s truly said that each guest in the “Casa Mare” of Moldova is a real friend.

 

Entry formalities (visa regime)

The information concerning the Visas for the entry on the territory of the Republic of Moldova

We ask you to read carefully the present information before requiring to obtain the visa. The information from below can be modified without notice. For details, please contact the nearest diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Moldova.

The requirements regarding the issuing of visas for the entry on the territory of the Republic of Moldova

The citizens of the following states do not need visas for the entry on the territory of the Republic of Moldova for a period of stay until 90 days:

  1. the member states of the European Union — Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
  2. Canada, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Swiss Confederation, USA;
  3. CIS member states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The holders of the diplomatic passports, who are citizens of China, Croatia, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, do not need visas for the entry on the territory of the Republic of Moldova for the period of 90 days during 6 months.

The holders of the UN “Laissez-Passer” passports issued by the UN and its specialized agencies do not need visas for the entry on and exit from the territory of the Republic of Moldova. The holders of service passports who are citizens of:

  1. Albania, China, Croatia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Vietnam do not need visas for entering the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

The staff of the diplomatic and consular missions accredited to the Republic of Moldova and the family members thereof, the staff of the permanent missions and the representative offices of the international organizations situated in the Republic of Moldova and the family members thereof, foreign mass-media representatives accredited to the Republic of Moldova and that hold the accreditation cards issued by the MFA, are entitled to enter and leave the territory of the Republic of Moldova without holding a visa during the whole validity period of the accreditation card.

The foreign citizens who are not indicated above can enter the territory of the Republic of Moldova on the basis of a valid visa.

The place of visa issuance

The Visas are issued exclusively by the Diplomatic and Consular Missions of the Republic of Moldova abroad.

The short stay and transit visas can also be obtained, as exception, at the consular office in the Chisinau International Airport in following cases only:

  1. in case of emergencies, determined by disasters, natural calamities or accidents
  2. in case of death or severe disease of the close relatives, proved by the relevant documents
  3. in case of staff of certain international organizations that are delegated to accomplish official missions to the Republic of Moldova for a short period of time
  4. in case of participants to international actions organized in the Republic of Moldova, when the period of time between the date of informing the participants and the date of action does not allow obtaining the entry visas

Only Turkish citizens can obtain visas at the consular office in the Chisinau International Airport.

The consular office from the Chisinau International Airport is working in non-stop regime and is issuing visas only to the above mentioned category of solicitants.

The types of visas, consular fees and necessary documents

The Moldovan consular authorities issue the following types of visas, depending on the purposes thereof: diplomatic, service, simple, tourist and transit. The visa can be issued for a single travel (entry), for two travels or for multiple travels. The visa cannot be issued for a group of persons.

The citizens of the following states do not need invitations to obtain a visa for a period of stay of up to 90 days:

  1. Croatia, Israel, Turkey;

The consular officer who issues the visas may require, except those indicated below, the presentation of other documents.

The diplomatic visa

The diplomatic visas are issued to foreign citizens who enjoy diplomatic privileges and other privileges or special immunities, who visit the Republic of Moldova for official purposes.

The necessary documents:

  1. the travel document (valid for at least six months after the date of expiry of the requested visa)
  2. the latest photograph (35x45mm, 1.5”x2.0”)
  3. the filled in and signed visa application form
  4. the official invitation or the notice concerning the appointment or delegation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the diplomatic or consular mission of the respective state or of an international organization, President‘s office, Parliament and Government of the Republic of Moldova.

The service (business) visa

The service visas are issued to the state officials, business people or students who travel for business or study purposes, being invited by the companies, institutions or organizations from the Republic of Moldova.

The necessary documents:

  1. the travel document (valid for at least six months after the date of expiry of the requested visa)
  2. the latest photograph (35x45mm, 1.5”x2.0”)
  3. the filled in and signed visa application form
  4. the invitation, prepared in the established manner, presented in original and issued by the Bureau of Migration and Asylum or the letter of the Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration in case of request of the foreign diplomatic and consular missions accredited to the Republic of Moldova, of the international organization‘s offices, President‘s office, Parliament and Government of the Republic of Moldova.

The simple visa

The simple visas are issued to the foreign citizens who are visiting the Republic of Moldova with private purposes, on the basis of their invitation, prepared in the established manner.

The necessary documents:

  1. the travel document (valid for at least six months after the date of the expiry of the requested visa)
  2. the latest photograph (35x45mm, 1.5”x2.0”)
  3. the filled in and signed visa application form
  4. the invitation, presented in original and prepared in the established manner, issued by the Department of Migration.

The tourist visa

The tourist visas are issued to the foreign citizens who travel for tourist purposes, who own the tourist voucher issued by a licensed tourist agency from the Republic of Moldova. The tourist visa can be issued only for a month, with one or two entries.

The necessary documents:

  1. the travel document (valid for at least six months after the date of expiry of the requested visa)
  2. the latest photograph (35x45mm, 1.5”x2.0”)
  3. the filled in and signed visa application form
  4. the invitation, presented in original and prepared in the established manner, issued by the Department of Migration / the tourist voucher issued by a tourist agency from the Republic of Moldova.

The transit visa

The transit visas are issued to the foreign citizens who pass the territory of the Republic of Moldova on their way to another state. The simple transit visa offers its holder the right for a single passage over the territory of the Republic of Moldova, during a month, with a stay of maximum 48 hours. The double transit visa offers the right for two passages over the territory of the Republic of Moldova (tour-retour), during a month, with a stay of maximum 48 hours for each time. Multiple transit visas are not provided.

The necessary documents:

  1. the travel document (valid for at least six months after the date of expiry of the requested visa)
  2. the latest photograph (35x45mm, 1.5”x2.0”)
  3. the filled in and signed visa application form
  4. the entry visa for a certain state, or any other document that offers the right to enter the territory of a neighboring state.
  5. the entry visa for a certain state, or any other document that offers the right to enter the territory of a neighboring state.
  6. the train, airplane or vehicle ticket that confirms the transit of the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

The validity of the visa, number of travels, period of stay and consular fees

The validity of any visa cannot exceed a year. The length of the stay on the territory of the Republic of Moldova on the basis of a visa cannot exceed 90 days during 6 months.

A foreign citizen who holds a visa for a single travel may enter one time the territory of the Republic of Moldova, may stay in the country during the period indicated in the visa and then leave the Republic of Moldova.

A foreign citizen who holds a visa for a double travel may enter twice the territory of the Republic of Moldova, may stay in the country every time during the period indicated in the visa and then leave the Republic of Moldova.

A foreign citizen who holds a visa for multiple travels may enter the country more times during the period of visa validity, may stay in the country every time not more than 90 days and then leave the Republic of Moldova.

If a visa is not used during its validity, it cannot be extended. In such cases the consular fees are not refunded and a new visa shall be obtained.

The consular fee for a visa depends on the length of its issuance, the place of issue, the purpose of the travel and the category of the person and is collected in accordance with the Ordnance of the Government of the Republic Moldova No. 1 of the 26th of September 2000 on the establishment of the quantum of the consular fees.

For details, please contact the nearest diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Moldova.

The visa application form

The “Visa Application” form is available at the diplomatic or consular missions of the Republic of Moldova, as well as at the consular office from the Chisinau International Airport. Each applicant who owns a travel document shall fill in and personally sign the visa application form.

The prolongation of the visa

The visas can be prolonged by the Bureau of Migration and Asylum, except the prolongation of the diplomatic visas. The diplomatic visas can be prolonged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova.
The foreign citizens who want to reside in the Republic of Moldova for more than 90 days shall obtain the immigrant card from the Bureau of Migration and Asylum of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova.

Special obligations

The staff of the diplomatic and consular missions accredited to the Republic of Moldova and the family members thereof; the staff of the permanent missions and the representative offices of the international organizations situated in the Republic of Moldova and the family members thereof; the foreign mass-media representatives accredited to the Republic of Moldova, as well as other persons that enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities shall be accreditation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs European Integration of the Republic of Moldova.

The following persons are exempt from any registration:

  1. heads of the states and governments and the members of their families
  2. the members of the parliament and government delegations, the technical personnel of these delegations and the members of their families
  3. the holders of the passports issued by UN
  4. the foreign citizens who are under the age of 16

The foreign citizens are obliged to respect the laws and regulations of the Republic of Moldova concerning the status of foreign citizens in the Republic of Moldova.

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