Overstaying repercussions...

Okay, so long story short i have overstayed my Bulgarian visa free allowance. What will happen when i leave?

Story longer, i am Australian my husband is French. We have moved to Sofia, however the lawyers we have hired to take care of the residence process have taken a very long time (no excuse i know) and that has meant that we have both overstayed. He has been here longer than three months, however he has flown in and out for work in that time and i have been here longer than three months and for more than 90 days in 180. We have a very nice apartment which we have furnished and have set up to stay here for some time so the idea of leaving and not being allowed to return is a little sickening... Also my family have planned a holiday to visit in the next month so that is making me want to just wait longer because i don't want to be deported before they come as it has been 6 years since i have seen them!

If anyone knows what the procedure/penalty for overstaying is then that i would love to know, our lawyers are absolutely useless, and any advice would also be welcomed!



You will get a fine up to 5000 lev. Read the law here

I am definitly no expert, but I would advise to get another lawyer asap!

I would also get another lawyer or at least a translator to go with you to the immigration offices.

Some things to consider: Your husband most likely did not overstay if he has been leaving and re-entering Bulgaria. If he has a job here or is a pensioner, he needs to register in the first three months. If he does not have a job, he has six months. But either way, he is most likely good if he has not been continuously in Bulgaria for more than three months.

I am curious if your lawyers have filed any residency paperwork or not? As long as they filed within three months, you are good, even if the permits have not been issued yet. If they have not filed, you should do so immediately (go to the immigration office on your own and file for your husband and then yourself- you need his permission to get yours). You may be required to pay a fine. It can be up to 5000 lev, but I've never heard of it being that much.

But yes, find out if they have applied yet, and do so immediately. You should be fine.

A friend of mine overstayed due to severe flu last winter, and was assisted by this immigration lawyer: https://www.zacharytsvetkov.com/   Mr. Tsvetkov is fluent in English.
My friend had a successful resolution and now has the visa D.  Good luck.

Ramses. Thank you so damn much. You may just have solved my residency application issue.
Do you know who I should be speaking to in order to get residency with a C visa? It's possible but I'm not sure what department I would appeal to. I'm a freelance artists and I'll be setting up and renting a local office and business. So I'll be contributing to Bulgarian economy, which is reason to issue residency under article 25 of the doc you shared. But I am not sure who I get that permission from. Any help would be appreciated. And once again, thank you.

I really like that: "our lawyers are absolutely useless"......................


But actually in this case they are sth. more - HARMFUL ! And this is not only here...


Anyway, if you just want to stay in Bulgaria and meet your family here - then do it. No one is going to search for you and deport you, at least until you are doing no crime. This is not the USA and we do not chase illegal immigrants throughout the country,


just at the Southern border, sometimes


When you guest are gone, the is a simple solution to your problem - just go to a neighbouring country - e.g. Serbia and apply for Bulgarian visa again. That should be enough, and there's a chance that no penalty will be issued.

In both cases find a good lawyer and consult your actions, so that you do not get into another mess.

Applying for a C visa is a different story. In this case you will definately need professional help (immigration lawyer) and probably more time. Grounds for application may vary, but it is better to know that no one cares whether you will be contributing to the Bulgarian economy by hiring a studio or not ..... absolutely no one ;)

I think you cannot stay with visa C, you should receive visa D from the Bulgarian embassy in South Africa (or in special cases, an exception may be made, so you don't have to travel that far). If you are in Bulgaria, you can ask for more information regarding visas every working day between 09.00 and 17.30 at :  + 359 2 948 3016

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