Since its accession to the European Union, Bulgaria has applied the EU Common Visa Policy. Bulgaria is not a member of the Schengen Area yet, but it is trying to meet all the criteria to become a Schengen Area member. However, citizens of Schengen countries are allowed to enter Bulgaria without any visa. Foreign citizens coming from Schengen countries are allowed to stay in Bulgaria for maximum three months within a six months period visa-free. The decision was enforced at the beginning of 2012.
If citizens from EU countries may travel to Bulgaria without a visa, other foreign citizens are required to apply for one of the available types of visas depending on the purpose and the time of their stay. Bulgaria applies the Council Regulation No. 539/2001 with respect to the countries whose citizens are required to apply for a Bulgarian visa and foreign citizens exempt from these requirements.
There are three types of Bulgarian visas for foreign citizens:
Visa applications for coming to Bulgaria must be submitted three months prior to the intended travel. The applicants may submit the forms themselves or appoint an agent or Bulgarian lawyer to handle the procedure.
Foreign citizens coming to Bulgaria must keep in mind certain aspects of the visa application procedure. First of all, they must make sure they have a valid passport with at least two blank pages for visa purposes. The passports must have a minimum validity period of three months and must have been issued within the last 10 years.
Other documents to be submitted with the visa application form are:
In order to ensure maximum efficiency and a fast procedure for releasing visas, Bulgaria has started working with visa application centers. Our lawyers in Bulgaria may provide you with more information about all the available procedures for visa applications.
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