European Union citizens do not need a visa to enter and stay in Bulgaria or work here but they do need a residence certificate to stay for more than 3 months from the first day of entry.
EU residence certificates
There are two types of residence certificates for EU citizens: long-term for up to five years, and permanent for an indefinite period of time. Long term residence certificates are issued to those who work or are self-employed; have medical insurance and can provide proof of enough funds, and/or are students. Issued within one day by the migration department of Ministry of Interior within 3 months of arrival. Dependants also need to provide marriage certificate or birth certificate.
You are eligible to apply for a permanent residence certificate once you’ve been here 5 years on a long-term certificate and within 60 days of it expiring.
British Citizens after Brexit
Starting 1st February 2020 Bulgaria will introduce new rules for all UK nationals and their family members.
You can find more information on the website and social media platforms of the British Embassy in Bulgaria as well as here and https://bit.ly/2R8hfQc
The immigration process for non European Union citizens is a three stage process:
A. Work Permit Application - Your employer would apply for your work permit and would have to go through a laborious process to prove no Bulgarian possesses your unique skills though this is fairly easy for managerial positions. Work permits are for 1 year and 3 years.
B. Long-term (Type D) Visa Application – visa applications go through the diplomatic mission of the relevant country
C. Residence Permit Application.
You need a work permit and evidence of accommodation to get a long-term visa which allows you to apply for long-term residence after 6 months; proof that you are commercially active in the country and have created jobs for at least 10 Bulgarians will also do the job. To turn this into a permanent residence permit you should have married a Bulgarian citizen, be a student at a Bulgarian institution of higher education or have lived continuously in the country for the previous 5 years on a long term permit.
EU Blue card
This can be issued in Bulgaria as well as throughout the EU and is aimed at attracting highly educated and qualified non-EU citizens to find work in the EU. Those wishing to obtain one of these within Bulgaria will have first entered the country with a Type D visa before applying for the Blue card on the spot. It takes about two weeks to be issued.
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