Visas and permanent stay residence permit for Bulgaria
From January 2012 the Government of Bulgaria adopted a decision, according to which until the accession to the Schengen area, Bulgaria will unilaterally apply visa-free regime for holders of valid Schengen visas. The latter may enter and reside in the country for a period of not more than three months in every six months from the date of first entry, without the need of Bulgarian visa for short stay.
In July 2012, a decision is taken, that for the citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, who have received in 2011 an entry visa to Bulgaria for a purpose – tourism, business or private visit, will be able obtain a multiple – entry visa within one year.
There are several types of visas, which exist for trips to Bulgaria:
Visa type A(airport transit visa)
Visa type C(for short stay for transit or intended residence)
Visa type D(for long-stay residence)
Visas are issued by the Diplomatic and Consular missions of the Republic of Bulgaria.
In January a new Law for the foreigners in Bulgaria was enforced with certain regulations for the stay of foreigners in Bulgaria:
1. Short stay – up to 90 days in every half of the year, from the date of the entry in the country (all tourist visas and visas for real estate owners);
2. Extendedstay – the allowed term of stay is not more than one year;
3. Long term stay – with an initial term of 5 years and an extension option upon application for residence;
4. Permanent stay – with permission for an indefinite period.
If you are a property owner, but the building in which you have bought an apartment does not have Act 15 (Certificate for the full completion of the construction of the building)or Act 16 (Permission for use), you will be issued a single entry visa type C with a duration of three months, with the right of residence on the territory of Bulgaria for up to 30 days. If the property is registered on a company name, it is necessary to present a good standing certificate of the company. A right for a multiple entry visa have the property owners in Bulgaria and their family members – spouses and family members up to 18 year. It is necessary to provide documents, which confirm the relations between them. The term “family” means a married couple and their minor children, provided that the children are not married.
LIST OF DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A VISA FOR BULGARIA, ISSUED TO OWNERS OF REAL ESTATE
1. Filled in Application form for visa.
2. Travel document (passport) valid for a period of not less than three months after the end of the alleged travel (+ copy of the first page).
3. Colour photo 3, 5x 4,5, made on a light background (including a photo of a child, who is registered in the passport).
4. Medical insurance cover which is valid in the countries of Europe throughout the period of stay. The insurance cover must be not less than € 30,000.
5. Air tickets or tickets for train/bus (original or confirmation for reserved tickets in both directions with fixed dates. If you travel by car: a technical passport of the car, an international insurance (Green card), driver’s license).
6. For under 18 years old: – a copy of the birth certificate; For under 18 years old, who travel without their parents or guardians: – a copy of the birth certificate; – a copy of the notarized authorization to travel, signed by both parents / guardians or one of the parents / guardians who did not accompany the minor.
7. A copy of the notary deed;
8. When applying for a multiple entry visa or for three years – the documents, which confirm the payment of the taxes, the Certificate of permission for use (Act 16);
9. You are able to obtain a multiple entry visa valid for 12 months with an act, confirming that the construction of the unit is completed. (Act 15);
10. If you have a preliminary sale – purchase contract, you will be issued a single-entry visa for a period of 90 days. If you travel by car: the technical passport of the car, an international insurance (Green Card), an international driving license.
Extended Stay Residence in Bulgaria
Extended Stay Residence in Bulgaria – this is the extended stay residence permit in Bulgaria for maximum of up to 1 year. Each year this residence status is extended, upon confirmation of the reason for its obtainment. In order to preserve this extended stay residence status, it is necessary to stay in Bulgaria not less than six months and one day throughout one year.
Staying in Bulgaria under this extended stay residence status for more than 5 years (without interruption) gives a right for a long term stay in Bulgaria.
In order to travel to Bulgaria and to obtain the extended residence permit, it is needed a special immigration visa type “D” – for long-term residence for a period of up to six months and a right of residence up to 180 days.
An Extended Stay Residence status can be obtained on the following grounds:
– Work permit for Bulgaria, issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of Bulgaria;
– Commercial or other contractual activity in the country, which is performed according to the law, if, as a result of this work, at least 10 jobs for Bulgarian citizens are opened – full time students;
– Activity for foreign specialists, who stay in the country on the basis of international treaties;
– Marriage with a Bulgarian citizen or a foreigner who has the permanent residence status;
– Establish a representation office of a foreign company, which is registered in the Bulgarian
Chamber of Commerce;
– Receivinglong-term treatmentin a medicalinstitution (if the financial resources are available);
– Receiving an accreditation in Bulgaria for the capacity of a correspondent of foreign media;
– Availability of pension, estate and sufficient funds to live in the country (status of a secured pensioner);
– Certificate of kinship (family members) with foreigners who have the Extended Residence Permit status or with a Bulgarian citizen;
– Parents of foreign members of foreign diplomatic, consular offices in the territory of Bulgaria or representations of international organizations in Bulgaria.
For the persons, who have received the extended stay residence permit in Bulgaria will be issued a personal number and an identity card. The family members also receive the right to obtain an extended residence stay permit in the country.
The requirement for obtaining the extended residence stay permit is the existence of own place to live – an apartment or house in Bulgaria.
The extended residence stay permit holder in Bulgaria is entitled to:
– Unlimited visits to the Republic of Bulgaria;
– To work in own or another company;
– To receive paid medical services;
– To pay to a pension fund;
– To prepare invitations for a private visit of a foreigner;
– After the expiry of five years to obtain a long-term residence status;
– Children, who have received the extended residence permit status are entitled to study in Bulgarian schools;
In order to obtain an extended residence permit stay in the first year of residence, it is required to submit the following documents:
– valid visa type “D”;
– a document which confirms the existence of a national insurance or social security in the country of residence;
– a personal savings bank account in Bulgaria;
– documents, certifying that the applicant meets the conditions of the specific text in the legislation, which guarantees the right of extended residence stay. At the initial applications for extended residence stay for persons aged from 18, except for those, without a citizenship, shall provide information as per a criminal record, issued by the country whose citizens apply.
Acquisition of a real estate in Bulgaria is not a reason to receive an extended residence stay permit. In order to continue and extend this type of residence stay status in Bulgaria, it is necessary to maintain the original ground on which this status was obtained.
Extended residence permit status for pensioners in Bulgaria
For the retired foreigners, Bulgaria provides the easiest ground for obtaining an extended stay residence permit status, without requiring neither kinship nor economic connections with the country or previously agreements with the Ministry. The permit for extended residence stay in the country could be received by any foreigner – a pensioner, who has enough funds to live in the country. The process consists of 2 stages:
In order to enter Bulgaria with the purpose to obtain an extended residence stay, will have to apply for a long-stay visa “D”.
For this reason except the standard package of documents, required to apply for a visa, the foreigner – pensioner has to submit at the Embassy or Consulate of the Republic of Bulgaria in their country the following documents (the original and two copies of each statement):
1. Application form for visa in two copies.
2. Passport, which has a validity of minimum three months after the end of the trip (it is necessary to make a copy of the first page).
3. Two colour photographs on a light background with dimensions 3,5 x4,5.
4. Tickets reservation.
5. Medical Insurance Cover, valid for the countries of Europe for the entire duration of the trip. The insurance cover should not be less than 30 000 Euro.
6. A place to live during the stay in the country. A Notary deed for an apartment/house in Bulgaria in case of a purchase of a real estate. Or notarized lease contract if they do not own a property.
7. Proof of the financial and social security during the stay in the country. It is necessary to open a bank account in a Bulgarian bank and to bring 1-1.5 thousand Euro per person. A statement from the bank for the availability of this money has to be presented before the Embassy.
8. Applicants, who are 18 years old, except those with no citizenship, must provide a criminal record certificate in original and a certified translation.
9. Confirmation of the pension status from the competent authority in Russia (as a rule, the pension fund), which proves that you are retired and receive a pension (a translation in Bulgarian for the receipt of the pension for the last three months).
The costs include – the fee for processing the documents for obtaining a visa “D” (4,400 rubles) legalization/a certificate for the legal force of the document on the territory of another country/ and translation into Bulgarian, statement for the receipt of the pension, criminal record and pension certification. The best way is to use the services of a certified translator in the Embassies and Consulates of Bulgaria.
According to the law, the time for the issuance of the visa type “D” is minimum 30 days. During the high season will have to wait several months.
Stage 2 – Receipt of an extended residence permit
After the receipt of the visa type “D”, which is issued for a period of six months, the foreigner is obliged to enter into Bulgaria and submit to the Migration Service at the location of his future residence new package of documents in Bulgarian, confirming all the grounds for obtaining the typed of residence. It is better to start earlier the application for the extended stay permit.
For the issuance of the extended residence permit it is necessary to provide the same package of documents as the one, presented for the visa type “D”, except the air tickets. It is necessary to make a medical insurance in Bulgaria for a period one year. The amount of the cover depends on the type of the policy: from 100 levs per year for the “basic package” up to 1500 levs – full coverage.
The extended residence permit is issued for 7 working days. Upon receipt of the passport with the stamp it is necessary to apply for an identity card. This can be done either with a quick service (7 days) or an ordinary service (30 days). Respectively the prices are – 90 and 45 levs.
The costs for obtaining the extended stay residence permit in Bulgaria include – governmental fee (the stamp in the passport) – 500 levs (€ 250) for a year, statements from the bank – 40 levs, notary services, translator, lawyer, the cost of the compulsory medical insurance and the fee for the identity card. The costs may reach 1,000 levs.
After a long examination of the documents, presented before the Migration Service, the latter issues to the pensioner the long-term stay residence permit in Bulgaria.
You will be able to get an extended residence permit issued for 6 months or for 1 year. After the expiry of the validity of the permit, the foreigner is able to extend it every year, until the 5th year and after the 5th year he is entitled to receive a long-term stay residence permit in Bulgaria.
Long-term stay residence in Bulgaria
The long term stay is an intermediate form of residence between the extended stay residence and the permanent residence. The difference between this type of stay and the first one is the period of time – this is formed for five years, not for one year as the extended stay residence. It also differs from the permanent stay because it does not entitle you for citizenship and needs to be extended after the fifth year. In order to obtain a long-term stay residence it is necessary to live in Bulgaria with the extended stay residence permit continuously for five years, then the applicant is allowed to stay in the country for more than 10 months and no more than six consecutive months. The Governmental fees are 800 levs.
The long-term status allows you to work and to have a health insurance.
To obtain long-term residence status, the foreigner is obliged to provide evidences that he has sufficient funds for his and his family members subsistence in an amount of not less than the minimum wage and minimum pension, without referring to the social welfare system.
And also that he has a medical insurance for the period of residence in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The family members of the long-term resident foreign citizen can obtain a permit for one year, but not exceeding the period of residence of the holder.
After the receipt of the long-term residence status, it becomes permanent until it is revoked. This status is with an initial period – 5 years, with an option to be extended upon application.
Permanent stay residence permit
Permanent stay residence permit – is a permit for permanent residence in Bulgaria for unlimited time. This type of stay, made for more than 5 years, gives a right for a Bulgarian citizenship.
The permanent stay residence status can be obtained on the following grounds:
– Bulgarian origin;
– Marriage with a Bulgarian citizen or a foreigner who has the permanent residence status, provided that the marriage life is not less than 5 years.
– Status of unmarried and minor child of a Bulgarian citizen or permanent foreign resident in the country, until the age of majority.
– Status of parents of Bulgarian citizens, who secure them, and in the case of adoption – with the condition that from the date of the adoption have passed not less than three years.
– Uninterrupted legal stay in Bulgaria in the last five years, excluding the period of daily training in an accredited educational institutions.
– A Certificate from the State Agency for Foreign Investment for the done investment in the country’s economy for the amount of over 750 000 EUR.
– Giving birth on the territory of Bulgaria and the loss of Bulgarian citizenship if the person wishes to settle permanently in Bulgaria.
The holder of the permanent stay residence status in Bulgaria is entitled to:
– visa – free entry and indefinite stay in the country;
– development of own business in own company or in others;
– education on equal terms as the Bulgarian citizens;
– obtaining a Bulgarian citizenship after 5 years of permanent stay residence status;
– applications for visas to the Schengen countries without the provision of an invitation or a tourist voucher;
It is not easy to obtain Bulgarian citizenship. It can be given to persons with Bulgarian ethnic origin.
After the changes in the Law of the foreigners it becomes even more difficult to obtain Bulgarian citizenship. For example, before the changes, for citizenship could apply the secured pensioners who stayed in the country under the permanent residence status for five years. Now, however, the access to the permanent residence status and hence to citizenship is not permitted for them (they will get Long term stay residence permit).
EXTERNAL visa centers
To make easier the visa applicants and to provide better and faster visa services, the Bulgarian Consulates began a phased reception of applications for visas through exported visa centers, organized by the company specialized in visa service VFS Global. Currently, it is possible to submit applications for Bulgarian visa in the following countries:
Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Rostov, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Ufa, Sochi and Kaliningrad, Omsk, Murmansk, Perm and Saratov.
Kiev, Odessa, Lviv, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Simferopol.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Riyadh and Jeddah
Ankara, Istanbul, Edirne, Bursa, Gaziantep, Adana and Izmir