Are you moving to Bulgaria? Find out in this article whether you have to apply for a visa and how to proceed.
If you are moving to Bulgaria, you will probably need a visa. However, conditions and procedures may vary for nationals of different countries. Therefore, it is best to inquire with the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your home country before proceeding. Moreover, nationals of some countries are exempt from the visa requirement. They can simply travel to Bulgaria with a valid identity document.
The C visa allows foreigners to make a maximum of 90 days stay in Bulgaria over a six months period. You can apply for this visa at the nearest Bulgarian embassy or consulate to your place of residence by producing the following documents:
- a valid travel document
- a photocopy of your passport's first pages including your personal information and the current visa and/or a photocopy of your current resident permit
- a recent passport-size photo
- a duly filled and signed visa application form
- proof of sufficient funds (around € 50 per day) to support yourself during your stay in the country (or of any host willing to support you financially)
- a return ticket or a valid document showing that you have the financial means to pay for your return trip (a minimum € 100 if you have traveled to Bulgaria by land)
- a travel insurance approved by the European Union with a minimum coverage of € 30,000 for repatriation support in case of a medical emergency and need of medical care during your stay in Bulgaria.
Multiple entries C visa
The multiple-entries C visa allows you to travel to and from the country several times during your scheduled stay in Bulgaria. Note that this visa is valid for a whole year and can be extended to up to five years in exceptional cases. However, the visa is issued under certain conditions, some of which are mandatory while others are optional.
According to immigration laws, the multiple-entries visa can be issued provided you have obtained a single-entry C visa during the previous year and that you have met all related conditions. To be eligible to the five-years extension, you must have received at least two multiple-entries visas during the last two years, each one having a one year validity period. Thus, this visa is issued in the following cases:
- cooperation with one or more Bulgarian nationals, or any other person involved in a registered trade
- cooperation with one or more Bulgarian nationals, or any other person involved in a non- profit corporation
- cooperation with foreign organizations in Bulgaria (embassies, consulates, foreign schools, etc.)
- substantial contribution to the development of bilateral relations with the Republic of Bulgaria
- you are a member of a Bulgarian family or closely related to a foreign resident in Bulgaria
- a family member of a European Union, European Economic Area or the Swiss national
- you are an international driver or part of a railway crew.
Invitation forms are available at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its representative offices. It must be completed by the person who has invited you to Bulgaria. This form must then be legalized and authenticated by a public notary public and by the Ministry of Internal Affairs' Immigration Department. Your host must also produce proof of address and a pay slip, or a copy of the previous year's tax return and tax office registration number.
In case you are making multiple entries in Bulgaria in the context of a business trip or any other type of cooperation mentioned above, the purpose of the trip must be specified on the form. The following documents are also required:
- your host's status certificate issued by the Trade Register (valid for three months)
- a copy of your Bulgarian host's tax return for the previous year along with his tax registration number.
Finally, embassies and other institutions in Bulgaria have to attach their invitation certificate issued by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the invitation form. This document has to be valid for three months. They also have to produce a copy of their registration certificate as issued by the tax office.
Foreigners coming from the European Union and European Economic Area countries, Switzerland, as well as Canada and the US are exempted from the C visa requirement and all related formalities. They can simply travel to Bulgaria with a valid passport. Many justifications apply. However, it is best to inquire with the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your home country as regulations and requirements often change.
The D visa is intended for foreigners wishing to make between 91 and 180 days stays in the country, or settle there permanently. Another long-term visa, with a single year validity period, is issued to foreign nationals being transferred to Bulgaria by their employer, science researchers, students and trainees. Multiple entries are allowed according to the applicant's needs, throughout the visa's validity period.
You can apply for this visa at the nearest Bulgarian embassy or consulate to your place of residence in your home country. Note that you will be called for an Interview. Documents to be produced are the following:
- a valid passport
- copies of your passport's first pages including your personal information, visas and/or any resident permit obtained
- a recent passport-size color photo
- proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in the country along with proof of accommodation (original 2 copies)
- a copy of your criminal record.
You must also prove that you are eligible to your stay in the country and that you have subscribed to a medical insurance covering at least your salary or the minimum pension (in the case of retirees) in accordance with Bulgarian laws.
Professionals, self-entrepreneurs and retirees can apply for a resident permit. However, they must have obtained a D visa for at least one year prior to the application.