Bulgarian Residence Permit by Marriage - Detailed Guide on Residency

Residence Permit by Marriage in Bulgaria

Updated on Wednesday 25th January 2023

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Residence-Permit-by-Marriage-in-BulgariaForeign citizens who want to live in Bulgaria can apply for residence permits through various means. They can find jobs that guarantees them stability, but they can also set up companies and through their business arrangements they can lead comfortable lives here. However, there is also the option of obtaining a residence permit by marriage in Bulgaria, for those who have Bulgarian citizens as life partners.
If you find yourself in this situation and want to move to this country through a Bulgarian residence permit by marriage, our lawyers can guide you. You can rely on our law firm in Bulgaria for the procedures related to immigrating to this country.

Getting married in Bulgaria as a foreign citizen

There are no restrictions for foreign citizens who come to Bulgaria to marry their Bulgarian partners. Moreover, if they are EU citizens, there are no special formalities to complete. Non-EU citizens, on the other hand, can apply for tourist visas based on which they can travel and register their marriages here.
When it comes to obtaining a Bulgarian residence permit by marriage, the procedure is slightly different, especially in terms of duration of living here.
Our lawyers in Bulgaria are at the service of foreign citizens from non-EU countries interested in relocating here based on marriage.

Steps for acquiring a Bulgarian residence permit by marriage

EU citizens are not required to go through lengthy procedures or formalities in order to obtain residence permits, no matter if they are married to Bulgarian citizen or not. When it comes to permanent residency, however, they must live here for the time period required by the Immigration Law and thus become permanent residents with almost the same rights as Bulgarian citizens. Of course, they can also apply for Bulgarian citizenship if they decide so.
Non-EU citizens must complete several steps in order to obtain a residence permit by marriage in Bulgaria, and these depend on two scenarios:
  • if the marriage will take place or has taken place in Bulgaria;
  • if the marriage will be registered or was registered outside Bulgaria.
In the first case, if the marriage is to be registered in Bulgaria:
  • the foreign citizen must enter the country based on a visa;
  • the foreign spouse must have various documents translated (certificate of no impediment, divorce decree, depending on his/her current marital status);
  • once the marriage is registered the foreign spouse can apply for a D residence permit (it has a one-year validity period);
  • permanent residence can be obtained after 5 years of living here uninterruptedly.
If the marriage was registered abroad and the spouses want to relocate to Bulgaria and live here, one of the most important steps to complete is to have the marriage certificate recognized by the authorities here. Bulgaria has several agreements in this sense, and the recognition is not hard to obtain.
You can also rely on our Bulgarian lawyers for support in having your marriage license authenticated and recognized here with the purpose of obtaining a residence permit and citizenship. The applicant for citizenship in Bulgaria through general naturalization must often renounce his current citizenship. This is not the case if the applicant is the spouse of a citizen of Bulgaria, has citizenship of an EU member state, or comes from a nation with whom Bulgaria has a dual citizenship agreement in place.

Documents to file in order to obtain Bulgarian residency by marriage

There are several documents the foreign spouse must file with the Migration Directorate in order to obtain a Bulgarian residence permit by marriage. Among these:
  • a certificate of good behavior;
  • a clean criminal record;
  • the marriage license (a translated legal copy is required in the case of marriages registered abroad);
  • the foreign spouse’s passport.
An important aspect to consider when seeking to obtain residency by marriage in Bulgaria is the spouses must prove they are living together.
You should also know that the Bulgarian authorities verify the authenticity of the marriage by checking if the spouses live together in order to prevent fraud by marriage, or better said, people who want to obtain EU residence this way without having a real relationship.
This is one of the main reasons we invite you to rely on the legal support of our Bulgarian lawyers to avoid unpleasant situations.

Marriage and divorce statistics in Bulgaria

According to a Bulgarian newspaper quoting the National Statistics Office, at the level of 2019:
  1. 29,198 marriages were registered in country, 237 more compared to the previous year;
  2. the age of first marriage in men grew by 0.3 years, while for women by 0.4 years;
  3. there were also 10,859 divorces registered, 263 more than in 2018;
  4. 66.7% of the divorces were by mutual consent;
  5. a novelty for divorce was the reason of virtual parting which was invoked by 9.1% of the former spouses.
If you are interested in obtaining a Bulgarian residence permit by marriage, do not hesitate to contact us.