Chisinau at a Glance
Moving to Chisinau
About the City
Located in the middle of the country on the bank of the Bîc river, Chisinau is the largest and capital city of Moldova. The city experienced high levels of migration from other parts of Moldova after the country declared independence in 1991, and today is home to nearly 500,000 people, making it the most populous area in the country. Of its population, the vast majority are native Moldovans, who account for almost 70% of the overall population, but there also large groups of Russians, Romanians, Ukrainians, and Bulgarians living in the city, as well as many expatriates. Although Orthodox Christianity is the primary religion, and is practiced by nearly 90% of the population, Chisinau also has a significant Jewish community. The official language of Moldova is Romanian, as specified in the 1991 declaration of independence, but many people will speak Moldovan, which is essentially a subset of Romanian. As Chisinau is an international city, you will find that some people also speak English, Russian, and Ukrainian, but learning some Romanian/Moldovan phrases is advised.
The Climate in Chisinau
Expatriates moving to Chisinau will need to adjust to a humid continental climate that is characterized by hot, dry summers, and cold, wet winters. During the summer months, the average daily temperature is around 25°C (77°F), but it is not uncommon for it to reach between 35 and 40°C (95 and 104°F) at the height of summer in the busiest parts of the city. The high temperatures, however, are offset by the low humidity in the city during the summer months, although rain storms are a usual occurrence. In the winter, the temperature drops down to 0°C (32°F), but can plummet below zero — however, it is rarely colder than −10°C (14°F). The winter brings far more precipitation than the summer, but snow is not expected.
Visas for Moldova
Expatriates and foreigners of all nationalities will need a visa to move to Chisinau. The most common visa applied for by expatriates moving to Chisinau is the Type D visa, which allows foreigners to live in Chisinau for up to 12 months, after which it can be renewed. The Type D visa is usually for the purposes of working or studying in Moldova, but expatriates moving to Chisinau for work will also need to apply for a work permit alongside this visa. You must make your application for a Type D visa from your home country through your local Moldovan embassy or consulate, for which you will be required to provide official documentation such as your passport, criminal record, prospective place of residency in Chisinau, and employment history; these documents may need to be translated into Romanian. You are advised to contact your local embassy or consulate for details on visas for moving to Chisinau.