Residence permit Bulgaria for non EU citizens: all you need to know

residence permit bulgaria non eu citizens

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All you need to know about Residence permit Bulgaria for non EU-citizens, requirements, visas and how to do it.

Thinking of starting your own company in Bulgaria, or maybe settling down in this country as a freelancer to take advantage of the positive financial environment and advantageous tax scheme?

A residency permit is necessary for any foreign citizen to stay in Bulgaria legally beyond the original period of three months. There are several options to obtain a residence permit in Bulgaria for non EU citizens. We will discuss them in detail.

Whatever business endeavors you are about to begin in Bulgaria, keep in mind that opting for the services of a reputable accounting company will determine your level of success. We recommend our comapny: Accountancy Bulgaria thanks to our years of experience, excellence, and professional customer care, a wide variety of services, and the necessary flexibility to adapt to your needs, allowing you to focus on the growth of your business.  

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How to become a legal resident of Bulgaria?

If you are an EU citizen, moving to Bulgaria is an easy process, as Bulgaria is part of the European Union. 

For citizens of other countries, there are several formalities that vary depending on their nationality. The residence permit Bulgaria for non EU citizens, will require them to apply for a short-term visa or long-term visa if they are planning to stay longer and make Bulgaria their permanent residence, which has become pretty common thanks to Bulgaria placing itself as a tax haven and an attractive destination for anyone looking to expand their business or start a company.

Different types of residence permits Bulgaria for non-EU citizens

We will discuss the different kinds of residence permits in Bulgaria for non-EU citizens. But first, we need to understand the different kinds of visas available for foreigners in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian visas for non-EU citizens

Before talking about residency we need to mention the different kinds of visas for non EU citizens in Bulgaria. 

  • Visa A: for airport layover and transit. 
  • Visa C: it is intended for a short stay with a clear purpose (travel through the country or specific stay)
  • Visa D: for a longer stay, it allows the applicant to enter and leave the country for a period of 6 months or 12 months. It is a requirement for those with the intention of applying for Bulgaria residence.

Visa applicants will need to make an appointment with the embassy or consulate in their country, who in turn can assist them with the specific requirements and instructions to get a type D visa. The process per se is different in each country.

Bulgaria Residence permits

There are different types of residence permits Bulgaria for non EU-citizens.

  • Prolonged residence permit: this is viable for non-Eu citizens who have obtained a long-term D visa before starting the process. This permit is valid for one year.
  • Permanent residence permit: applicants for this type of permit must first have been issued a prolonged residency permit and renewed it for a total period of five years. With a permanent residence permit, non-EU citizens are allowed to leave and enter the country for an indefinite period. It is also a step into, farther down the road, applying for a Bulgarian passport and citizenship.

Requirements for residence permit Bulgaria for non-EU citizens

The temporary residence permit in Bulgaria is valid for one year. In order to even be able to apply for it, all non-EU citizens must hold a visa D type before starting the process.

  • Basic requirements for the type D visa include:
  • Photocopy of the first page of the applicant’s passport
  • Photocopy of other visas for European countries, including the UK, and also the US.
  • A color passport photograph
  • Medical insurance that is valid in the EU countries for the total duration of the declared stay (with certain details to consider)
  • Transportation tickets (entering and leaving the country)
  • Copy of the information of the vehicle if entering with one

Only non-EU citizens are obliged to present this information. Family members of Bulgarian citizens and Eu citizens are exempt. 

In order to move from a type D visa to a residence permit, non-EU citizens must also commit to the following:

  • Open a trade office and promote their business in Bulgaria
  • Register a company creating at least 10 jobs for Bulgarian citizens
  • Invest in real state through registering a company in Bulgaria (for a minimum of EU 3120.000)

This residence permit Bulgaria for non EU-citizens allows for 183 days in Bulgaria for the applicant and their families, after which period they are considered Bulgaria taxpayers


The residence permit Bulgaria for non EU-citizens is achievable through completing detailed and through steps that are different depending on the country of origin of the applicant. In all cases it requires having a type D visa beforehand.

Counting with the services of a reliable accountant is a must to make sure the process goes smoothly, and the further steps you are required to take once you apply for a residence permit are in the right direction, can only be guaranteed by counting with the asset that Accountancy Bulgaria will be. Not only will they take care of the financial needs of your company, but can best advise you on what is necessary to achieve success. 

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