The requirements for a Bulgarian residency and a citizenship are listed in several legal acts, including the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Act on Entrance, Stay and Exit from the Republic of Bulgaria by Citizens of the European Union and the Members of Their Families, the Act on Foreigners, the Bulgarian Citizenship Act as well as the Regulations for the application of the respective Acts.
EU citizens and members of their families – who are not EU citizens – during their stay, have the same rights and obligations under the Bulgarian laws and international contracts, to which Bulgarian country is a party, except those, for which a Bulgarian citizenship is demanded.
Residency in Bulgaria for foreign physical persons depends on whether the person is an EU citizen. After the latest changes at the local legislation, we have two main acts that regulate the status of foreigners wanting to acquire residency or citizenship.
If the person is an EU citizen, she/he has to follow the rules and procedures applicable to EU citizens, required by the local “Entrance, Stay and Leaving of the Republic of Bulgaria by citizens of the European Union and the Members of Their Families Act”.
If the person is a non-EU citizen, then she/he will have to abide by the rules for entrance, stay and leaving of the Republic of Bulgaria under the requirements of the local Act for Foreigners.
TYPES OF RESIDENCY IN THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA: TERMS AND CONDITIONS
EU citizens can stay in the Republic of Bulgaria for three months without any permission. The EU citizen can obtain a permission for a long-term residency or for a permanent residency. The long-term residency is for a term of 5 (five) years. The long-term residency permit is issued for an EU citizen who meets one of the following requirements:
For EU citizens
- employed or self-employed in Bulgaria;
- has valid health insurance and sufficient financial funds needed to cover the expenses for his/her stay as well as the expenses for members of his/her family, without the need to receive support from the local social-security system;
- is a student at any university, has health insurance and sufficient financial funds to cover expenses for his/her stay in Bulgaria.
The long-term residency permit is issued after required documents are submitted, mainly to prove the fulfillment of the conditions set above. The Permanent residency permit is issued on the same day when all the documents are provided in person by the EU citizen.
The right for entrance and the right for stay in Republic of Bulgaria of an EU citizen or a member of his/her family can be limited in exceptional cases and based on reasons concerning national security, public order or public health.
The administrative measures which can be imposed to an EU citizen or a member of his/her family are:
- deprivation of right for residency in Republic of Bulgaria;
- restriction for entering in Republic of Bulgaria;
For Members of Families of EU Citizens, who are themselves not EU citizens
Members of the families of a EU citizens can also obtain a permission for residency in Bulgaria if they meet certain criteria. Members of the families of EU citizens can enter the Republic of Bulgaria with a valid passport and an issued visa on their name. They can stay in Republic of Bulgaria after they present in person a valid passport, a document proving that he/she is a member of the family of an EU citizen and a document for a paid state fee. The permission for a long-term residency in Bulgaria is issued on the same day when the documents are submitted.
For NON-EU citizens
Non-EU citizens/foreigners can reside in Bulgria, based on the following legal reasons: visa; international agreement or agreements of the EU with third countries for visa-free regime; legal acts of the EU or permission from the foreigners administrative control bodies, after receiving a written statement from the National State Security Agency.
The foreigners and members of their families can reside in Bulgaria as follows:
- For a Short term up to 90 days in every 180-day term after the date of their entrance in Bulgaria;
- For Continuous term of time with permission for up to one year;
- For a Long term with initially permitted period of residency for up to 5 (five) years where the initial term can be prolonged;
- For a Permanent term – with permission for a indefinite period of time.
For a short term and covering different requirements, foreigners can obtain a permission for a Permanent Residency if they:
Have invested BGN 1 million or have increased their investment by acquiring stocks at a Bulgarian commercial entity, listed at the Bulgarian regulated market; obligations or state bonds and their derivatives, issued by the state or the municipalities, with remaining due date not less than 6 months; have a right over a part of the property of a Bulgarian company with more than 50% state or municipality participation at the capital; have rights over a Bulgarian intellectual property; have rights under concession agreements on the territory of Republic of Bulgaria; have deposited BGN 1 million at a Bulgarian credit institution for a term not shorter than 5 years; have invested at a Bulgarian legal entity, the stocks of which are not traded at the regulated market, an amount not less than BGN 6 million.
At the abovementioned situations, the competent body of the Ministry of Interior shall adopt a decision for the Request for a permanent residency within three months of applying.