ARTICLES 
PROCEDURES ON ISSUE OF VISAS AND PERMITS FOR SOJOURN IN THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
Maria Jordanova, Attorney at Law, Law Firm Chobanov
GENERAL CONDITIONS

A foreigner may enter Bulgaria if he holds a valid document for traveling abroad or a visa when one is required. The visa gives permission to a foreign individual for entry, stay or transit passing through the country. Regardless of visa type the sojourn in the territory of Bulgaria cannot exceed 90 days within every period of 6 months.

Citizens of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Andorra, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Estonia, Switzerland, the USA and the Vatican do not need a visa if they stay will be up to 30 days within every 6-month period. They only need a valid passport. Thus, an individual needs a visa if his sojourn exceeds 30 days, as well as if he originally applies for a long-term visa.
Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Holland, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden do not need a visa if they stay will be up to 90 days within every 6-month period. They only need a valid passport.

SHORT-TERM VISA

The short-term visa, or visa type C, gives the owner a right to stay in the territory of Bulgaria on the grounds of private or business visit, or vacation. This type of visa may have validity of 3, 6 or 12 months and can be single or multiple-entry. The visa allows a stay no longer than 90 days within a period of 6 months reckoned from the date of the first entry. To get a multiple-entry short-term visa the individual must satisfy one of the following conditions:

- to have permanent business contacts with Bulgarian partners;
- to invest over 50 000 euro in the country;
- to be an authorized representative of the individuals mentioned above;
- to be a member of a family of Bulgarian citizen, and others.

Entering an application to relevant diplomatic or consulate service of the republic of Bulgaria, the foreigner has also to declare:

-on what grounds he will visit the country. Here you may indicate an invitation for private or business trip, or a tourist voucher.
- a proof that he has at least 50 euro per day but no less than 500 euro for the whole period of stay;
- a proof that he has where to stay;
- a proof that he has enough funds to return to his own country.

A short-term visa for single entry into Bulgaria costs about 70 pounds.
A short-term multiple- entry visa valid for 3 months costs about 85 pounds.
A short-term multiple- entry visa valid for 6 months costs about 125 pounds.
A short-term multiple- entry visa valid for 12 months costs about 165 pounds.
The procedure for issue of a short-term visa lasts about 10 days.


LONG-TERM VISA

The long-term visa, or visa type D, gives to its owner the right to enter the country once and to stay in the territory of Bulgaria up to 90 days. This type of visa has validity up to 6 months reckoning the date of issue. A long-term visa is given to an individual who desires to settle down long or permanently in the country.
Applying for this type of visa, the individual has to supply 2 recent photos as well as a proof that he has enough funds to provide for himself and where to stay.
The long-term visa costs about 90 pounds.
The procedure for issue of this type of visa lasts about 30 days.


SOJOURN AND EXTENSION OF A PERIOD OF SOJOURN OF A FOREIGNER IN THE COUNTRY

Foreigners stay in the country short-term (up to 90 days) and long-term. The long-term stay may be prolonged (permit for 1 year) or permanent (permit for undetermined period of time).
To extend the permitted period of the stay, the foreigner has to enter an application to the respective authority for administrative control of foreigners. To this application are enclosed additional proofs of the reasons for the extension of the sojourn an a fare of 200 leva is payable for extension up to 6 months, and 500 leva for extension up to 1 year.

PERMIT FOR LONG-TERM STAY

A foreigner may stay in the country on the basis of a visa, international contract or permit from the services for administrative control of foreigners. This kind of permit gives a foreigner the right to stay in the country up to 1 year. It is necessary to enter an application to the respective service for administrative control of foreigners after paying state dues and presenting proof for accommodation for the period of stay.

Reasons for receiving long-term stay permit are:

- work on work contact with respective permit from Ministry of Labor and Social Policy;
- realizing of commercial activities resulting in opening of at least 10 work places for Bulgarians;
- becoming a full-time student;
- the individual is a representative of a foreign trade organization registered with Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
- the individual has pension insurance and enough money to provide for himself in the country;
- the individual carries activity according to the Law for foreign investment;
- the individual intends to realize free-lance activities upon permit from Ministry of Labor and Social Policy;
- the individual intends to perform activities in non-profit making sector upon a respective permit from Ministry of Labor and Social Policy;
The applications for receiving a permit for a long-term stay are considered in 7 working days.

PERMIT FOR PERMANENT STAY

Documents for receiving a permit for permanent stay have to be submitted no later than 60 days before the date of expiry of permitted stay of the foreigner. These documents may be submitted through diplomatic and consulate representations of the republic of Bulgaria in the state of the foreigner. Applying for this kind of permit is personal.
Except a document for traveling abroad and application to the respective service for administrative control of foreigners or the Consulate, the foreigner has to ensure:
- detailed CV;
- state dues of 1000 leva if permanent stay is permitted;
- 2 recent photos.
Applications are examined and resolved in 60 days (180 days if the application is submitted through the Consulate).

The reasons for receiving a permit for permanent stay are:
- the individual has stayed legally in the country for the last 5 years;
- the individual has made investment for over 250 000 US dollars in the country;
- the individual has Bulgarian origin;
- the individual has contracted a marriage with Bulgarian citizen or with permanently staying foreigner 2 years upon the marriage, and others.

The extension of long-term stay is refused or the right of it is withdrawn, if the foreigner has not stayed in the territory of the country for at least 6 months and one day for the last calendar year.
An identity card is issued to a foreigner with permitted long-term stay. The procedure lasts about 30 days.

Law Firm Chobanov are able to fully assist with preparing all documents and applications for residential permits, visas, etc. More information, please contact them by email: info@chobanov.com

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