After declaring state of emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted a State of Emergency Measures Act. The Law regulates the measures and actions during the state of emergency within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

In order to prevent spread of COVID-19 and to avoid gatherings of people the Law introduces an extended term of validity of residence permits.

The term of validity of the following documents is prolonged:
  1. residence permits for foreign nationals residing in the EU on a long-term basis;
  2. foreign nationals’ permanent residence permits for the Republic of Bulgaria:
  3. residence permits for a permanently residing members of the family marked with the words “member of the family of a Bulgarian citizen”;
  4. durable residence permits of a family member of an EU citizen, who has not exercised the right thereof to free movement;
  5. permanent residence permits of a family member of an EU citizen, who has not exercised the right thereof to free movement;
  6. durable residence permits, containing the entry “beneficiary according to Article 3, paragraph 2 of Directive 2004/38/EC”;
  7. permanent residence permits, containing the entry “beneficiary according to Article 3, paragraph 2 of Directive 2004/38/EC”;
  8. residence cards for family members of EU citizens, family members of nationals of States which are Contracting Parties of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, nationals of the Swiss Confederation, who are not EU citizens, nationals of a State which is a Contracting Party to the Agreement on the EEA, nationals of the Swiss Confederation and who, by virtue of international treaties concluded with the EU, have the right to free movement;
  9. durable residence certificates and permanent residence certificates for EU citizens, nationals of States which are Contracting Parties of the Agreement on the EEA, nationals of the Swiss Confederation, who, by virtue of international treaties concluded with the EU, have the right to free movement.
The term of validity of such residence permits, which expires within the period from the 13 of March 2020 to 31 October 2020, shall be extended automatically by 6 months.

For the duration of the extension, these documents shall be valid only in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and shall certify only the right of residence. Note that if you leave the country, your permit will be considered expired by the local authorities.

Upon request of the foreigner, a new residence permit may be issued at any time before the expiration of the extended 6-month period.

The automatic extension of long-term residence permits does not lead to a 5-year suspension of the residence permit required.

Foreigners who have obtained a prolonged residence permit, the term of validity of which expires during the state of emergency, may apply for residence extension within the 14 days as from the lifting of the state of emergency. As well, these foreigners may enter in Bulgaria without visa within the 14 days as from the lifting of the state of emergency.

All other foreign nationals who do not fall into the above categories have to renew their permits within 14 days before their expiry date. Therefore, if you do not fall into the categories above, you should complete the necessary procedures to renew them before their expiry.

For more information or legal assistance for obtaining a residence permit please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail: office@kgmp-legal.com or call us on: +359 2 851 72 59.


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