Foreign citizens wanting to stay in Bulgaria for more than three months must apply for a residence permit. The main legislation governing the issuance of residence permits for foreign citizens is the Foreign Nationals in the Republic of Bulgaria Act. The legislation establishes foreigners may apply for one of the three types of Bulgarian residence permits:
Before applying for a residence permit, foreign citizens must first obtain a Bulgarian long-stay visa.
Bulgarian residence visas are usually issued depending on the status of the applicant. The National Migration Directorate will issue residence visas for foreign employees, freelancers and retirees. The long-term or extended residence visa has a variable validity period with a maximum period of one year. The long-term EU residence permit has a validity period of five years and can be renewed.
The last type of residence permit is permanent and is the main step to obtain Bulgarian citizenship. In order to apply for a permanent residence permit, a foreign citizen must first obtain a Bulgarian extended residence permit.
Bulgaria also has an Investment Promotion Act through which foreign investors may apply for a residence permit. Under the Investment Promotion Act, foreign citizens must register a company with the Bulgarian Commercial Register or invest in real estate in order to obtain a residence permit.
For information about the Investment Promotion Act, you can ask our Bulgarian lawyers.
The National Migration Directorate will require the following documents of applicants for Bulgarian residence permits:
The application must be submitted in Bulgarian. For applicants under the Investment Promotion Act, there are additional requirements among which the amount to be invested in Bulgaria. You can contact our law firm in Bulgaria if you need help in obtaining a residence permit.
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