Bulgarian Extended Residence Permit

Who is Eligible to Apply for the Extended Residence Permit for Bulgaria?

If you are a non-EU citizen read ahead as you may be eligible to apply. If not you may find long-term EU residence section more relevant to you.

Is the Extended Residence Permit for Bulgaria Right for Me?

In order to apply for the extended residence permit, all eligible applicants are required to have first obtained a long-term D visa. This type of permit (also known as a prolonged residence permit or continuous residence permit) is valid for a period of up to 1 year. The extended residence permit can be renewed every year if the grounds for its grant are still present.

The following foreign applicants are eligible for an extended residence permit under FRBA (Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act) and RAFRBA (Rules on Application of Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act):

  1. Applicants who are eligible to be considered for employment (with permission granted by the bodies of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy) under the provisions of the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act.
  2. Applicants who are expected to have at least 10 Bulgarian citizens employed as a result of economic activity undertaken in the country.
  3. Applicants who reside in Bulgaria and are regarded as highly-skilled migrant workers/specialist under the terms of international contract/agreement in which Bulgaria takes part.
  4. Foreign citizens who have all the required grounds to be issued permanent residence.
  5. Company representatives appointed by a foreign company to speak on its behalf and/or to provide defined service and work. The foreign company must be registered by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  6. Financially independent parents of a Bulgarian national or of a foreigner with permanent residence in the country (documents which confirm this relationship are required).
  7. Patients seeking medical therapy or treatment in a medical facility. Applicants need to provide evidence that all transportation, medical, and living expenses in the country can be covered.
  8. Accredited representatives of information media (e.g. foreign news correspondents, journalists) who are responsible for reporting news from the country.
  9. Retired foreign citizens/pensioners who have enough funds to support themselves in Bulgaria.
  10. Family members of a foreign citizen who has been granted long-term or permanent residence permit (documents confirming this relationship are required).
  11. Private domestic helpers or members of the household of a foreign citizen who has been granted a long-stay or permanent residence permit on the basis of diplomatic or consular immunity
  12. Applicants who are eligible to perform activities on a freelance basis with permission granted by the bodies of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (under the provisions of Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act).
  13. Volunteers who have been offered unpaid work at a recognized religious/non-profit charitable organization or participate in a "voluntary service program" of the organization.
  14. Trafficking victims who have been granted special protection status from human trade for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation.
  15. Family members of a Bulgarian national (documents which confirm this relationship are required).
  16. Foreign citizens who have either made a property investment of more than BGN 600,000 or an investment in a Bulgarian company with a minimum registered capital of BGN 600,000. The investor must hold more than 50% of the company shares and the company must have invested its capital in real estate properties in Bulgaria. Transfer of funds must be made via a Bulgarian bank account.
  17. Foreign citizens who have made an investment in underdeveloped regions through a company (with a minimum nominal capital BGN 250,000) in which they are a shareholder with at least 50% of the capital. As a result of this investment, new long-term tangible and intangible assets should be acquired and at least 5 new members of staff must be employed for the period of residence.
  18. Upon the dissolution of marriage on the grounds of death or divorce, foreign applicants can be granted a one-time extended residence permit (given that he/she has already been granted extended or long-term residence permit).
  19. A permit can be granted to family members of a Bulgarian citizen or foreign citizen residing in the country on an extended, long-term, or permanent residence permit under extraordinary circumstances.
  20. Applicants, who are already visa D holders and intend to take part in research with Bulgarian-based company (e.g. join a research group, are involved in a research project).
  21. Students who have either been granted a Bulgarian D visa or admitted as a student in another EU country. In this scenario, a residence permit is issued for the duration of the educational training.
  22. A single permit for residence and work is issued to applicants who are either a visa D or residence permit holder and are eligible to work in Bulgaria under the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act.
  23. Family members of a foreign citizen with an extended residence permit.
  24. A seasonal worker extended residence permit can be issued to foreign citizens who are visa D holders and eligible to work in Bulgaria under the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act. This type of permit is granted by the bodies of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy for the period of employment. It is valid between 3 and 9 months.
  25. A family member of a Bulgarian citizen that has exercised his/her rights of free movement within the EU and holds a valid residence as a family member of an EU citizen (which has been granted from another EU country).
  26. Foreign citizens who have obtained a long-term residence permit in another EU country.
  27. Family members of a foreign citizen with long-term residence in an EU Member-State who have already obtained an extended residence permit in Bulgaria.
  28. An EU Blue card type permit for residence and work can be issued to visa D holders who are considered to be highly-skilled migrant workers (under the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act).
  29. EU Blue Card holder family members.
  30. An EU Blue Card holder (who has remained in EU country for a period of 18 months) can reside with family members in Bulgaria as a highly-skilled professional.
  31. Family members of a foreign citizen who, under the provisions of the Sanctuary and Refugee Act, has been issued temporary protection or sanctuary, refugee, or humanitarian status.

Bulgarian Extended Residence Permit Documents I Must Provide

There are some documents that your local Migration office requires from every applicant no matter what the grounds for the extended residence permit application are. Make sure you have all these documents available when submitting your application. The standard documents are as follows:

  1. A completed extended residence permit application form
  2. A current valid passport - your passport should be valid for the whole of your stay in Bulgaria
  3. A bank statement or other proof that can serve as evidence of enough personal savings to support yourself while in Bulgaria. A minimum amount of at least twelve (12) Bulgarian minimum monthly salaries (or twelve (12) Bulgarian minimum monthly pensions if applying as a pensioner) is required
  4. Proof of accommodation - lease agreement (also known as a rental contract in Bulgaria). Relevant documents must be presented to a notary public and signed in their presence
  5. Health insurance that covers all expenses for urgent medical help and emergency hospital treatment for the period authorized by the permit (for at least 12 months)
  6. Criminal background check - details of any immigration, criminal or civil offenses you might have committed
  7. Paid residence permit fee for processing documents via the Migration office

You’ll also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in Bulgarian. Note that this is not an exhaustive list and only includes some of the documents required.

What Happens When Your Residence Application Is Approved?

Upon the successful approval of your residency application, you will receive an automatic notification to the email provided in your application form. Subsequently, you can visit your local Directorate of Interior office (commonly known in Bulgaria as MVR or ODMVR), where you'll need to apply for a residence card. It's imperative to apply for the residence card in person, as biometric data is collected during the application process.

What Is a Bulgarian Residence Card?

The Bulgarian residency card serves as documentation certifying several key aspects:

  • Foreign citizenship.
  • Registered address.
  • Authorised period of residence, including entry, exit, or passage through the country, as well as other relevant events and circumstances related to the residence of foreigners in Bulgaria.

This residency card includes essential personal details such as a photograph, full name, date of birth, and a unique, randomly generated 10-digit Personal Number of a Foreigner (PNF). It's important to note that the PNF should not be confused with the Unified Civil Number (UCN), which is exclusively issued to Bulgarian nationals and permanent residence permit holders.

Renewing an Extended Residence Permit

If your extended residence permit is about to expire, the renewal process is important. Each time you apply for residence permit renewal, you will need to ensure your eligibility. If your circumstances have changed, you may still be eligible for a residence permit through different means. Documents for this application should be submitted no later than 2 weeks before the expiration date of the existing applicant visa/permit.

Visa D > Extended Residence > Permanent Residence > Citizenship

The extended residence can be viewed as a step toward permanent residence. Once you have legally lived in Bulgaria for five (5) consecutive years, you and your family members are able to apply for permanent settlement.

What’s the Next Step in My Application Process?

Visit the Bulgarian residency overview section to learn more on the topic. If you have any questions related to the information contained on this page, please don't hesitate to contact at [email protected].