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Work Permit for Posted Workers

This article explains the process of obtaining a work permit in Bulgaria for posted and seconded workers from non-EU countries. We will delve into the eligibility criteria, work permit, visa, and residence permit application procedure and provide information on the legal stay extension for these temporary work arrangements.

Work Permit for Posted Workers

Understanding the Posted and Seconded Worker Permit

The Bulgarian posted and seconded employees work permit, is designed to facilitate the temporary transfer of employees to Bulgarian-based branches or assignment on a temporary basis to work for another, ‘host’ company. The permit is a crucial part of Bulgaria's immigration system and serves as a gateway for companies established outside the European Union (EU) looking to bring skilled talent to fuel their growth.

What are Posted and Seconded Workers?

The Posted Workers Directive (PWD) has been implemented in all EU Member States to guarantee that the rights and working conditions of posted employees are protected throughout the EU. An intra-corporate transferee working in Bulgaria on a temporary mobility basis falls within the scope of the Posted Workers Directive. Posted workers remain employed by their original company (home company) and maintain the same employment relationship and conditions.

Secondment, also known as external transfer, involves assigning an employee or group of employees to work temporarily for another organization (host company) within Bulgaria. Typically, the employee remains with their primary employer during the secondment. However, in rare cases, the seconded worker may technically become an employee of the host company, even if this is unintended.

Under European law, both posted and seconded employees are considered posted workers.

Work Permit Eligibility Criteria

Posted and seconded workers from non-EU countries can work in Bulgaria only for the local business entity that applies for their work permit. The application must be made with the Employment Agency before the employee starts work.

Work Permit Application Submission

An application for work permit for posted/seconded workers shall be submitted to the Migration Directorate or to the relevant Migration Department at the Sofia Directorate or the Regional Directorates of the Ministry of the Interior. It may be submitted either by:

Work Permit Supporting Documents

The local business entity employing the worker submits the following documents to the Central Administration of the Employment Agency:

  1. A completed application form
  2. Justification: A free text explanation for the need to send posted/seconded employees to Bulgaria.
  3. Reference Declaration: A comprehensive list of all foreign employees within the company with personal data such as name, date of birth, citizenship, and residence details.
  4. Declaration of Working Conditions: Confirmation that Bulgarian labour regulations are met. A sample of the declaration is published on the official website of the Employment Agency.
  5. Employee's Passport Copy: A copy of the passport or a replacement document with the photo pages and personal data of the applicant.
  6. Employee Photos: 2 identical photos - (the standard passport size - must measure 45 millimeters (mm) high by 35mm wide)
  7. Service Contract Copy: Certified copy of the contract between the home and host company (local business entity) for the service requiring the secondment or posting of foreign workers in Bulgaria.
  8. Foreign Employer Registration: Legalised document confirming the home company's registration.
  9. Confirmation Letter from Home Company: Legalised letter confirming:
    • Employment relationship with the worker
    • Specific tasks to be performed
    • Secondment period
    • Payment of salary and social security/health insurance for the seconded worker

The Employment Agency may request additional documents if needed.

Work Permit Extension

Applications for work permit extensions must be submitted 30 days before the permit expires and include the same justification as the initial application. Additionally, updated versions of documents “Service Contract Copy” and “Confirmation Letter from Home Company”, and a copy of the worker's residence permit (if applicable) are required.

Decision and Notification

The Employment Agency decides within 30 days of application submission and informs the employer in writing. If omissions or irregularities are found in the documents, the Employment Agency will notify the employer in writing, specifying a 15-day deadline for corrections. The processing timeframe will be paused until the additional documents are received. Employers can withdraw their application by written notification to the Employment Agency if they cannot submit the required documents within the given timeframe. They are welcome to resubmit a complete application later. Please note that all documents submitted for the work permit process, including withdrawn applications, will not be returned.

What Data Is Collected by the Employment Agency?

For each submitted application, the Employment Agency collects information regarding:

Unexpected Termination of Employment

If the foreign worker's employment ends unexpectedly, the employer must notify the Employment Agency in writing within 3 days of the termination date.

Visa Application Process

The employer is responsible for providing the foreign worker with a copy of the Employment Agency's decision regarding access to the labour market and the issued work permit document. The worker should then submit the necessary documents to the Bulgarian diplomatic or consular office in the country of residence to apply for a visa D.

Residence Permit Application Process

After entering Bulgaria on a visa D or receiving a continued employment decision from the Employment Agency, the foreign nationals must apply for a long-term residence permit with the relevant authorities (the nearest Migration Directorate branch).

Professional Assistance for a Seamless Transition

This article serves as a general overview. For the latest regulations and detailed procedures, consult the official Bulgarian government websites or seek advice from immigration professionals. If you require expert guidance on the posted/seconded employee work permit or any other immigration-related matters, please contact us today. Our experienced team is here to ensure a seamless and successful transition into the Bulgarian labour market, navigating the complexities of Bulgarian immigration law with confidence.