Bulgaria is considered to be one of the most accessible and comfortable countries for foreigners from many European countries from outside the EU to obtain a residence permit. Language, mentality, geographical location, living expenses – all these factors attract a large number of applicants.

Residence permit in Bulgaria

Membership in the EU, despite some restrictions in terms of free movement or professional activity, which sooner or later will be lifted, serves as an additional incentive for registration of residence permit in Bulgaria. In addition, the Bulgarian authorities have provided an impressive list of grounds for attracting immigrants.

Next, let's talk about how to get a residence permit in Bulgaria in 2024 and consider the main ways.

How to get a residence permit in Bulgaria

Any foreigner who wishes to come to Bulgaria for a long-term period (more than 90 days) must apply to the Bulgarian Consulate in his/her country for a long-term visa (type D). If there are sufficient reasons for the issuance of the document, it will allow obtaining a residence permit. The local laws provide for a more than extensive list of grounds that allow for the issuance of a residence permit.

Grounds for obtaining a residence permit in Bulgaria

  • Official employment, including employment under a labor contract or on the basis of an international agreement.

  • Doing business, including opening your own company in Bulgaria or a foreign representative office.

  • Full-time study in an accredited educational institution in Bulgaria.

  • Family reunification, meaning spouses and close relatives of a Bulgarian citizen or permanent resident.

  • Pensioners with benefits comparable to the Bulgarian benefits.

  • Treatment in Bulgarian medical institutions, provided that there are funds to cover the health services.

  • Foreign investors, after an impressive amount of investment in the Bulgarian economy.

  • Refugees and persons in need of protection under local laws.

  • Owners of expensive real estate in Bulgaria.

After obtaining a visa and moving to Bulgaria within 3 months you should apply to the local migration service for a residence permit. Usually the main package of documents is checked at the stage of visa opening, so there should be no special difficulties.

As a rule, initially residence permit in Bulgaria is issued within a few months for 1 year with the right to extend up to 5 years, after which there is an opportunity to obtain permanent residence and then citizenship.

Documents for residence permit in Bulgaria

Depending on the reason for issuing a residence permit in Bulgaria, the list of documents may differ slightly, but basically it is required to provide:

  1. An application form filled out in Bulgarian.

  2. A foreign passport, plus copies of the pages with personal data and a valid visa to Bulgaria.

  3. Proof of availability of living space for residence in Bulgaria. It can be a rental contract or a real estate in ownership.

  4. When applying for a residence permit for the first time, a certificate of no criminal record is required.

  5. Medical insurance.

  6. Payment of the state fee.

  7. Proof of financial security from the calculation of not less than the minimum subsistence level in the country.

  8. Documentary confirmation of the grounds for obtaining a residence permit.

Further, let us consider the main requirements for issuing residence permits to foreigners depending on the grounds, in addition to the list of documents mentioned above.

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit in Bulgaria

Residence permit in Bulgaria for pensioners

  • notarized statement of pension accruals for the last 3 months;

  • opening an account in a Bulgarian bank with the amount of funds not less than 1,000 euros based on 12 months of residence in Bulgaria.

Residence permit in Bulgaria for investors

  • investments in the Bulgarian economy not less than 1 million Bulgarian leva (about 510 thousand euros);

  • proof of legality of the invested funds.

Residence permit in Bulgaria when buying real estate

To attract wealthy investors in some countries, such as Spain, are used special immigration programs – "golden visas". Often for registration of residence permits requires investment in the economy or government bonds, but sometimes it is enough to simply purchase real estate. Since 2013 it is possible to obtain a residence permit in Bulgaria when buying real estate worth at least 300 thousand euros.

What gives a residence permit in Bulgaria

  • The possibility of free entry to Bulgaria and some EU countries, such as Romania and Croatia.

  • Access to quality education, with good employment prospects in Bulgaria and developed countries of the world.

  • Free conduct of business and European lending.

  • The first step towards permanent residence and further Bulgarian passport issuance.

  • Life in an EU country with a comfortable climate and beautiful nature, low prices and correspondingly low daily expenses.

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