When entering the Republic of Bulgaria or other EU member state foreign nationals need a visa for Bulgaria or the respective EU country. A non-EU citizen who crosses the border without visa can be convicted of a crime according to the Bulgarian Penal Code.
There are three different statuses for staying in Bulgaria:
- short term – for the purpose of transit or a planned stay in Bulgaria as a tourist or a visitor for less than 90 days;
- long term – when you want to stay more than 90 days, you need a long term permit. Firstly, you have to apply and receive a visa type D by the Bulgarian consulate in the country of your residence. Secondly, when you obtain a visa type D you can come in Bulgaria and in a six months period to submit your documents to the Immigration office in order to receive a long term permit to stay in Bulgaria;
- permanent residency – when you have been resident in Bulgaria for a continuous period of five years with a long term residency permit.
Here, we provide the answers to the frequently asked questions from our clients when they decided to move in Bulgaria.
On what grounds one can apply for visa type D and long term permit to stay in Bulgaria?
- Wish to work under a labour contract obtaining a work permit from the authorities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy;
- Engage in commercial activities in Bulgaria. According to the statutory procedure at least ten jobs for Bulgarian citizens shall be created as a result of the said activities and shall be maintained during the period of stay;
- Foreign specialists staying in the country in accordance with international treaties to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party;
- Serve as commercial representatives of foreign companies duly registered with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
- Are well-provided parents of permanent resided foreigners in Bulgaria or of a Bulgarian citizen;
- Have been admitted to a medical establishment for continued treatment and have sufficient funds to pay for such treatment and to provide for themselves;
- Foreign mass-media correspondents with accreditation to the Republic of Bulgaria;
- Have received the right to pension in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria, their country of origin or another country and possess sufficient means of subsistence to live in Bulgaria;
- Members of the family of a foreigner who has been granted a prolonged or permanent stay permit;
- Parents of a foreigner or cohabitees of a foreigner who has been granted a prolonged-stay permit;
- Wish to work on a freelance basis after obtaining a permit from the authorities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy;
- Wish to perform non-profit activities after obtaining a permit by the Ministry of Justice or have received an endorsement from the Religious Affairs Directorate of the Council of Ministers in accordance with the Religious Denominations Act, in their capacity as foreign religious officials invited by the central leaderships of the registered religious denominations;
- Have been granted a special protection status under the Bulgarian Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Act;
- Are members of the family of a Bulgarian citizen;
- Have invested no less than BGN 600,000 per foreigner in order to obtain ownership on real estate in Bulgaria or the foreigner is the owner of over 50 percent of the capital of a Bulgarian commercial company, has invested this same amount in the capital of the company and as a result of that the company obtained title on real estate at this value in Bulgaria. On the date of the application for a long-term residence permit, the foreigner or the legal entity must have remitted the full amount and the payment must have appeared in an account in a licensed Bulgarian credit institution and, if the property was acquired with loan money, the outstanding portion of the loan shall not exceed 25 percent;
- Have invested in an economically disadvantaged region in the meaning of the Investment Promotion Act by contributing no less than BGN 250,000 to the capital of a Bulgarian commercial company, whereas the foreigner is a partner or a shareholder with registered stock and owns at least 50 percent of the company’s capital and as a result of the investment new tangible and intangible fixed assets at the value of no less than BGN 250,000 are acquired and at least 5 jobs are created for Bulgarian nationals, which must be maintained for the duration of the residence as certified by the Ministry of Economy.
How long I should wait for the visa type D after I apply?
Normally, it takes about 45 business days. There is no way to ask for faster service.
How much I have to pay for a visa type D and long term permit to stay in Bulgaria?
The state fees are as follows:
- visa type D – EUR 100
- long term permit to stay in Bulgaria – BGN 500 (EUR 250)
- ID card – BGN 45 (EUR 22)
All other expenses (e.g. document translation and legalization, notary expenses, legal fees) are not included. They may vary depending on complexity of the case.
Can I do this job alone or I need an immigration lawyer?
You can collect the necessary documents and submit them to the Bulgarian consulate in your country by yourself. As you see, the grounds to receive a visa are many and the necessary documents are different. Some of the documents shall be issued by a national body in your home country. But other documents shall be issued in Bulgaria. You will wait for the visa more than two months and if something goes wrong you have to start at the beginning. As well, the charges collected are not refundable in case the applicant is refused a visa. That’s way we recommend you to use our services because our team has a long-term expertise in the emigration procedures. Looking back you will realize that this is the right decision because applying for a visa can be a complex process.
If I have a rejection for visa type D and long term permit to stay in Bulgaria can I appeal before the court?
If you have a rejection for visa type D and long term permit you may appeal before the Bulgarian court. The court proceeding is fast and takes about 3 months. You don’t need to attend court personally if you have a lawyer who will represent you in the case.
Can I stay in the country based on one ground and after a year to renew my permit based on another ground?
Yes, you can change the ground of staying after the first year.
If I’m a citizen of one country, can I submit my application for visa type D in another country?
Although Bulgarian law requires your documents to be submitted to the Bulgarian consulate in your country of origin you can ask for permission to submit them in a different country.
Save yourself time and aggravation! If you need help applying for a visa, a short term or a long term residence permit please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on: +359 2 851 72 59.