Bulgarian Residence Overview

A residence permit (issued by the Migration Directorate branch of the Ministry of Interior) is the necessary authorization which allows foreign citizens to legally stay in Bulgaria beyond the period of 3 months.

What Types of Bulgarian Residence Permits Are Available?

The Foreign Nationals in the Republic of Bulgaria Act defines 3 types of residence permits. Choose a link from the list below for more detailed information about each of the residence permits:

Extended Residence Permit
For an extended residence permit, all non-EU foreign citizens are required to have obtained a long-term D visa prior to the start of the application process. This type of permit (also known as prolonged residence permit) is valid for a period of up to one (1) year.
Long-Term EU Residence Permit
EU citizens, holders of a valid passport or an ID card, have the right to remain in Bulgaria for a continuous period of up to three (3) months after entering the country. This type of permit is issued for a maximum period of five (5) years.
Permanent Residence Permit
Before applicants are issued a permanent residence permit, they must first obtain an extended residence permit and hold it for a minimum of five (5) years. This type of permit is granted for an indefinite period of time and is one of the key requirements for obtaining a Bulgarian passport and citizenship.

Bulgarian Residence Requirements

The requirements for a residence permit are highly prescriptive and applicants who do not fully comply with the provisions of the Foreign Nationals in the Republic of Bulgaria Act are routinely refused. This is why I advise all applicants precisely what requirements need to be met for the specific residence type they are applying for, including the paperwork that needs to be submitted and how these must be presented.

Residency Card Application

When your residence application is successful, you will receive an automatic notification via the email provided in your application. You can then visit your local Immigration office with your passport or ID card to apply for a residency card. Note that you must apply in person, as biometric data is collected during the application process.

Residency Card Collection

When your residency card is ready, typically within 14 days, you must collect it from the administrative unit in person, bringing your passport or ID card with you. If you are an EU citizen, you can authorise a representative to collect your card on your behalf by providing a signed power of attorney.

Residency Card and Tax Identification Number

The Ministry of Interior issues a 10-digit Unified Civil Number (UCN) or Personal Number of a Foreigner (PNF) based on the type of residency card. This number is used by the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency (NRA) for tax identification purposes and is commonly known as the Tax Identification Number (TIN).

How Does the Bulgarian Residence Process Work?

Applying for Bulgarian residence can be a lengthy and challenging process, but it’s designed this way so immigration services can ensure that only applicants who are in compliance with immigration policies will obtain the permit. Navigating the residency application process is extremely difficult, so be sure to reach out to a qualified immigration lawyer to provide you with clear and comprehensive information about the Bulgarian residency process.

How Visa for Bulgaria Can Help?

Applying for Bulgarian residency may seem easy and straightforward, but as an expert in the field, I know that the process can be complex and confusing, requiring the submission of detailed paperwork. I offer my expertise, time, and commitment to this application process, and ensure that everything is completed correctly and efficiently. Drop me a line at [email protected] to get the process started.