As the largest and capital city of Moldova, Chisinau is also its economic center, and accounts for around 60% of the country's total GDP (PPP) of 17,693 billion USD. As a result, Chisinau is the wealthiest city in Moldova, and its GDP (PPP) per capita is 227% that of the national average. Historically, the city's economy relied on heavy industry, but since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Chisinau, and Moldova more generally, has made the transition to a service-based economy. Today, Chisinau is home to the majority of Moldova's main financial institutions, including all of its national banks and newspapers, and as a result finance is a major employer. In addition, Chisinau is also the seat of the Moldovan government, and is home to most of the country's ambassadorial buildings, which employ expatriates from countries around the world. Expatriates working in Chisinau tend to be employed in governmental or ambassadorial positions, or work for NGOs. There is also a growing call for English teachers in the city, as well as employment opportunities in finance, banking, and retail.
All expatriates and foreigners wanting to work in Chisinau must apply for a work permit, including EU/EEA nationals. In order to apply for a work permit, you must have already secured a residency permit and have a place of work in Chisinau confirmed. You must make your work permit application to the National Agency for Employment of the Ministry of Economy through the Moldovan embassy or consulate in your home country, and in order for it to be granted you will need to take a HIV test, undergo a medical examination by an approved practitioner, and provide evidence of your prospective place of residency in Chisinau, as well as your residency permit. Applying for a permit to work in Chisinau can be a lengthy process, and you are advised to contact your local embassy or consulate for more information before applying.
Like all Moldovan citizens, expatriates and foreigners working in Chisinau will be required to pay income tax on their earnings. Like many European countries, Moldova has a progressive, sliding scale tax system, which means that your total income determines the amount of income tax that you are required to pay. The income taxation rates for expatriates working in Chisinau in 2015 are as follows:
However, expatriates working in Chisinau should be aware that their residency status will determine the income on which they will pay income tax at Moldovan rates. For tax purposes, expatriates are considered residents of Moldova if they live and work in Chisinau for more than 183 days a year, and as a result will pay income tax at Moldovan rates on their worldwide income. If expatriates are not classed as residents for tax purposes, i.e. if they live and work in Chisinau for less than 183 days in a year, they will pay income tax at Moldovan rates on their Moldovan income only.