A stable economy, low cost of living, and numerous employment opportunities make Bulgaria a popular destination for expatriates. If your company is planning to expand or outsource operations in Bulgaria, you’ll need to ensure that all of your employees have the necessary permits and visas to work there legally.
Types of Work Visas in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has a variety of visas available for foreign nationals seeking entry into the country. As a member of the European Union (EU), Bulgaria allows citizens of other EU member states to work without a visa or permit.
For other foreign nationals, Bulgarian visas include:
- Type A visas for airport transit
- Type C visas for short stays
- Type D visas for long stays
To obtain a Bulgarian work permit, foreign workers will need Type D visas.
If any of your company’s employees need to travel to Bulgaria for a short time for a business trip or conference, they’ll most likely need a Type C visa to do so.
Requirements to Obtain Bulgaria Work Visas
The Bulgarian employer is responsible for submitting the work permit application on behalf of foreign employees. However, the employee will need to provide some of the documents required along with the application. Required documents include:
- Three passport photos of the applicant
- A copy of the employee’s passport
- A document stating the reason for requesting the work permit
- A copy of the employer’s certificate of incorporation in Bulgaria
- The employment contract
- Documents proving the employee’s qualifications, such as a diploma, relevant certifications, and evidence of previous work experience
- Any additional documents relevant to the job position
- A completed work permit application form
The employee will also require a long-stay visa. To obtain one, they’ll need to produce the following documents:
- A copy of the first page of their passport
- A passport photo in color
- Proof of the reason for travel, such as the work permit
- Proof of medical insurance
- Evidence of sufficient financial means
- Proof of accommodation in Bulgaria, such as a lease agreement
- A police background check
It can be difficult to obtain a Bulgarian work permit because the country is highly selective when it comes to immigration. Employers must apply for the permit on behalf of foreign workers, and they have to prove to the National Employment Agency that the position cannot be filled by any job-seeking Bulgarian nationals.
Once all the necessary documents are prepared, the employer should submit the application to the Employment Service Directorate within the National Employment Agency. Within three business days, the agency will verify the documents and forward them to the executive director of the agency. The director has one month to make the final decision regarding the issuance of the work permit.
Once the permit is issued, the employer must register the employee with the local Employment Office in Bulgaria.
A Bulgarian work permit is valid for up to one year, after which it can be renewed as long as the conditions of employment have not changed.
After obtaining a work permit, the employee will need to apply for a Type D visa at the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in their country. In addition to the required documents stated in the previous section, applicants must attend a personal interview when applying for a Type D visa. Upon the issuance of the long-stay visa and work permit, the employee may travel to Bulgaria and begin working.
Other Important Considerations
The Bulgarian government does not issue open work permits to foreign nationals. Before obtaining a work permit, it’s essential for workers to secure a job with a company based in Bulgaria.
If your company is not incorporated in Bulgaria, you can meet this requirement by using another company as the Employer of Record.
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