Immigration. Travel. Living.

Bulgaria: receiving a residence permit

Flag of Bulgaria

It is not surprising that many are interested in the possibility of getting a residence permit in Bulgaria for the purpose of subsequent emigration.

What does a residence permit in Bulgaria give?

After obtaining a permit to stay, you will be able to:

  • stay in the Republic of Bulgaria for 1 year with unlimited entry-exit;
  • send your child to a kindergarten or school for free;
  • study at a university on a paid basis;
  • open your own business;
  • buy a car for a company or sales representative;
  • visit Cyprus, Romania, and Croatia without opening a visa;
  • receive mobile communication and Internet services at a better price;
  • invite others to your place.


Grounds for obtaining a residence permit in Bulgaria

You can get a permit to stay based on:

  • family reunification;
  • study;
  • employment under the official permission from the Employment Agency or an international agreement;
  • opening a sales office;
  • long-term treatment;
  • marriage with a Bulgarian citizen;
  • large investments;
  • moving to permanent residence under the “secured pensioner” program.


Family reunification

A citizen of Bulgaria or a foreigner with a residence permit status has the right to bring close family members to the country: spouse, children, brother, sister.

The first step is to obtain permission from the Migration Agency for family reunification. To do this, you need to confirm a close relationship with the person with whom you want to reunite and issue a sponsorship letter stating that you undertake to contain it.

Having received permission, you must apply for a D visa, register at the place of residence in the country, and apply for a permit to stay in Bulgaria based on family reunification.

woman holding man and toddler hands during daytime

The following documents are required:

  • reunification application;
  • notarized guarantee of the availability of funds to ensure the family’s life in Bulgaria;
  • passports’ photocopies of the family members with whom you want to reunite;
  • documents on the availability of housing (own or rented);
  • a certified and legalized certificate of the presence/absence of a criminal record;
  • marriage certificate (for spouse) or birth certificate (for child).



The Aliens Act states that admission to a local university on a paid basis gives the right to obtain a residence permit in Bulgaria.

After arriving in the country on a D visa, you need to obtain permission from the Ministry of Education of Bulgaria, where you must submit the following package of documents:

  • certificate or diploma;
  • notarized photocopy of your passport;
  • medical book;
  • academic certificate on the number of hours listened;
  • consent from student’s legal representatives to pay for tuition;
  • statement from an account in a Bulgarian bank about the balance of funds;
  • registration documents;
  • a photo.

Then, together with a permit from the Ministry of Education, it is necessary to prepare the following documents for obtaining a residence permit in the Republic of Bulgaria:

  • international passport (including a copy);
  • visa application form;
  • 2 photos;
  • medical insurance;
  • receipt of the balance of money in the account in the Bulgarian bank;
  • criminal record certificate;
  • documents confirming the availability of housing.


Consider also the fact that in addition, you need to pass an online test for proficiency in English (you will have to pay 150 € for it.



To get a residence permit in Bulgaria based on employment, the employer must request permission from the National Employment Agency, providing:

  • passport with a D visa;
  • a photo;
  • proof of accommodation;
  • medical certificate;
  • a document describing the type of activity you will be doing.


The following professions are in demand in Bulgaria: IT specialists, teachers for school institutions, teachers for universities, medical workers, and employees of various specializations in working with tourists. See the website for up-to-date information.


Moving under the program “secured pensioner”

Foreigners who have received the right to a pension (no matter on what basis) and have at least € 3,000 in an account in a Bulgarian bank, as well as provided with housing (own or rented), have the right to obtain a residence permit in Bulgaria.

woman sitting on seashore

Here is a list of documents that a pensioner needs to submit to the Migration Service:

  • application for a residence permit;
  • passport valid for at least 18 months + a copy of the first page with a photo, with a “D” visa and the seal of the last entry into Bulgaria;
  • notarial deed for own housing or lease agreement;
  • a notarized copy of the pension certificate (with translation into Bulgarian and legalization);
  • a photocopy of the certificate of the received a pension for the last three months (with translation and legalization);
  • certificate of no criminal record;
  • extract from a Bulgarian bank confirming the availability of funds in the amount of more than 12 minimum pensions in the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • medical insurance with coverage from € 30,000;
  • receipt of payment of the fee for consideration of the application at the Directorate for Migration.



The spouse of a Bulgarian citizen has the right to get a residence permit in Bulgaria on the basis of a marriage certificate.

After obtaining a D visa at the Bulgarian embassy at the place of residence, you must arrive in the country and submit the following documents to the Migration Service:

  • application for a residence permit;
  • international passport (original + photocopy);
  • marriage certificate;
  • notarized paper confirming that the spouse has money and housing;
  • compulsory health insurance policy valid for more than 1 year;
  • criminal record certificate.


You can get a permit to stay in Bulgaria if you buy real estate there for an amount of € 300,000 or more under the Golden Visa program or own at least 51% of the shares of a Bulgarian company that has invested € 300,000 or more in Bulgarian real estate.


If you have health certificates and have agreed on a treatment plan with a doctor in the Bulgarian hospital, you can expect to receive a permit to stay, provided that you:

  • need long-term treatment;
  • have enough money to pay for the course of treatment; 

(The Bulgarian social service will not have to bear the costs of your hospital stay);

  • you don’t need constant medical attention.

Expenses for obtaining a residence permit in the Republic of Bulgaria

Here are some of the cost items:

  • consideration of the application at the Directorate for Migration – 5 €;
  • residence permit – 100 € for six months or 250 € for a year;
  • getting a personal card – 22 € for 1 month, 45 € for 10 days, 110 € for 3 days;
  • registration on the basis of a sales representative – from 580 €.

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