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Residence Permit

How to get a Bulgarian Residence Permit?

If you are a foreigner and want to take up the Bulgarian residence permit, start by applying for a Bulgarian Type D long-stay visa. You can do this at your local Bulgarian consulate or embassy. Type D long-stay visas are issued in the following cases:

  • 1. If you register a Trade Representative Office (TRO) of a foreign company in Bulgaria;
  • 2. If you Register a Bulgarian limited company and employ at least 10 Bulgarian nationals for the period of stay;
  • 3. If you invest in property worth € 307 000;
  • 4. Pensioners from Non-EU countries with ample funds & housing to live in Bulgaria;
  • 5. If you are looking for a Family reunification in Bulgaria;

The easiest way to get a Bulgarian Type D visa is by registering an overseas’ companies’ trade representative office in Bulgaria. Later you can apply for a Bulgarian residence permit. In our experience this is the easiest and economical way to get your visa and residence permit. The Investment Promotion Act (IPA) of Bulgaria regulates the trade representative office.

Who qualifies for a Bulgarian temporary residence permit?
Foreigners who have a business establishment in their home country (or abroad) can set up a trade representative office of that business in Bulgaria. Based on this registration a Type D visa and a Bulgarian residence permit will be issued.

What are the privileges of having a Bulgarian temporary residence permit?

  • You can get multiple entries and legal stay in Bulgaria based on your Bulgarian ID card for foreigners.
  • If you hold a Bulgarian residence permit, you can legally stay in Cyprus, Croatia and Romania for three months in any 180-day period without a visa.
  • The Bulgarian temporary residence permit can be renewed.
  • If you hold the temporary residence permit for 5 years, you qualify to seek a Bulgarian permanent residence permit.
  • If you hold a permanent residence permit for 5 years, you are eligible to apply for a Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization.
  • Even Non EU citizens can enjoy a simpler visa application process within Schengen countries.
  • Family reunification in Bulgaria is possible when you hold a temporary residence permit.

What duration of stay is allowed under a temporary residence permit?
Your Bulgarian temporary residence permit is given for either 6 months or one year. You can renew it annually. If you have not stayed in Bulgaria for 30 months in the last 5-year period, you do not qualify for a Bulgarian permanent residence. But your temporary residence certificate can be renewed any number of times you need.

When do I qualify for a Bulgarian permanent residence permit?
Registering a trade representative office you will get a temporary residence permit with one year validity. You can renew this permit every year. If you hold the temporary residence card for 5 years, you qualify to claim for a permanent residence permit.

What duration of stay is required to qualify for Bulgarian citizenship?
As per the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, non-EU citizens who have stayed in Bulgaria for five years on a permanent residence visa qualify to apply for Bulgarian citizenship and passport. GCE’s immigration lawyers can help you to submit your Bulgarian citizenship application.

How long will it take for the registration of the trade representative office in Bulgaria?
After receiving the attested and legalized foreign company documents, it takes us approximately 15 days to register your trade representative office and to prepare the documents required for submission for a Bulgarian Type D visa.

Using my trade representative office can I conduct trade in Bulgaria?
The aim of your trade representative office is only to advertise and develop your international business in Bulgaria. Foreigners cannot take part in any form of business activities using their trade representative office. We suggest a Single Person Private Limited Company (EOOD) for conducting business in Bulgaria.

How many personal can be nominated to the trade representative office of my international company in Bulgaria?
Up to three foreign personal can be nominated as your trade representatives according to the Bulgarian law.

Should I employ local citizens to open a TRO?
You do not have to hire any local employees to open a TRO. That is a requirement only with a company formation in Bulgaria.

Do I need to pay and maintain a registered office address for the TRO?
We will provide the address necessary for the Trade Representative office for free. There is no need to pay or maintain a separate office.

Is there any annual fee to maintain the Bulgarian representative office?
All fees are included in our service charges. There are no additional or hidden fees!

When can I bring my family to Bulgaria?
Once you hold a Bulgarian residence permit, you can apply for Members of Family D-Type visas to bring your family. Please remember that the term family applies only to your spouse and unmarried dependent children under the age of 21.

What is the fee for a Type D visa application at Embassy?
Type D visa incurs a non-refundable fee of € 100.

What are the timescales for visa processing at the Bulgarian embassy or consulate for a Type D visa application?
All Type D long-stay visa applications are processed by the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in under 30 working days from the day of submission.

Is my personal presence required for an interview?
If you apply for a Bulgarian D Type visa, you must be physically present at the Bulgarian embassy or consulate as a part of your application process. There are no exceptions to this rule. Our Lawyers are fully prepared for all conditions of your visa process.

Please contact us for further details about registration of a trade representative office in Bulgaria and for applying for a Type D visa and a Bulgarian residence permit.