Passport, Visa & Permits to Sofia

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This section is intended for reference only. We strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date information that pertains to your specific situation.

Passports

You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be high, so start the process at least six months before you plan to leave.

Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. Minors are allowed to travel on their parents' passports up until aged 15 years.

Visas for Bulgaria

A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials on a passport that allows the bearer to enter the country. This permission is called "entry clearance".

Visa Types

  • Visa A: Valid for an airport transfer
  • Visa C: Valid for a single or multiple entry with stays not exceeding 90 days within each 6-month period. Citizens of countries not exempt from the short-term visa requirements will need to apply for Visa C if they wish to travel to Bulgaria.
  • Visa D: Valid for 6 or 12 months, this visa is issued to students, long-term business travelers or investors. Personal interview is required.

Check the full list of visa requirements by country at the webpage of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. Find where your local Bulgarian embassy is located on MFA website or find your embassy in Sofia in our “List of Consulates” section.

Who needs a visa for Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is a member of the European Union. EU and EEA citizens do not need a visa to travel to, reside or work in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is not a part of the border-free Schengen area, so boarder control is still active.

Visitor Visa for Bulgaria

There is no short-term visa required for Balkan counties. Holders of passports from all Balkan countries, except Kosovo, can enter Bulgaria for up to 90 days without a visa. They must possess a biometric passport, also called an e-passport.
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa for Bulgaria for up to 90 days:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Israel
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Moldova
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Malaysia
  • most of Central and South American countries

If you plan to stay longer than 90 days or for stays totaling more than 90 days within each 6-month period. Then you will need to apply for a long-term Bulgarian Type D visa and have an interview with the Bulgarian embassy.
Citizens of the following countries do need a Bulgarian visa to enter the country, unless they already hold a valid Schengen visa, or a visa issued by Romania, Croatia or Cyprus:

  • Turkey*
  • Kosovo
  • Russian Federation
  • Ukraine
  • Belarus
  • Armenia
  • all Middle Eastern countries (without the UAE)
  • all African countries
  • most countries in South-East Asia including India and Pakistan but without Malaysia
  • most countries in the Carrribean

* Turkish citizens who have a EU residence or workers permit can enter Bulgaria without a visa for up to 5 days for the purpose of transit.
You can enter Bulgaria and stay for up to 90 days in a six-month period without a separate Bulgarian visa under a visa-free agreement if you have a valid Schengen visa .
Bulgaria also recognizes short stay or transit visas issued by Romania, Croatia and Cyprus. If you have such a visa you can enter and stay in Bulgaria, in addition to the country that issued the visa, for up to 90 days in any six-month period, without the need to obtain a separate Bulgarian short-stay visa.
Travelers who hold a Bulgarian visa cannot travel to any other countries on that visa.

Bulgarian Work Visa

Foreigners coming from countries outside the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland are authorized to work in Bulgaria only if they hold a work permit. Foreigners must obtain a valid work permit (also known as an NEA work permit) in order to work in Bulgaria. The sponsor company (employer) in Bulgaria will apply for a work permit on behalf of the applicant to the Bulgarian Employment Agency. Usually visas are only given for candidates who are doing a job a Bulgarian can't do.

The sponsor company is legally required to register employees at the National Revenue Agency within 3 days from of the new employee starting the position. This permit must be issued by the Bulgarian National Employment Agency and has to be requested by the employer.

To qualify for a work permit in Bulgaria you must first obtain a 'long-stay' visa. Work permits are usually valid for one year and allows you to work for a single company. These visas are renewable.

Required Documents for a Bulgarian Work Permit:

  • Required Forms
  • Copy of employment contract
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photos
  • Certified document evidencing your long stay visa such as proof of education, professional qualification, skills and experience
  • Relevant medical report demonstrating applicant's good health

Update 6/06/2018


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