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Bulgaria Immigration Information Work Permit

For those who want to live and work in Bulgaria there is a lot of red tape that must first be navigated. Immigrating to Bulgaria, obtaining residence or a work permit requires mainly patience and a good level of understanding of all the procedures involved.

For those seeking employment in Bulgaria, there are many factors to consider. Unemployment in Bulgaria is high, in the region of 14%, so there is much emphasis on job creation, including incentives for foreign investors. The Bulgarian workforce is seen as highly skilled, with comparatively low labour costs. For more details, the website of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce is

If you want to work for a living in Bulgaria you have to have a work permit in addition to your type D visa or residence permit and this cannot be granted if you’re in Bulgaria, you have to get it before you go to the country, and again, you can get it from the Bulgarian embassy in your originating country.

With your type D visa safely in hand you can now apply to the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs for residency. You can either apply for temporary residence for up to one year or permanent residence. For the former you have to have proof that you can financially support yourself, you must be making regular contributions to the social security system and have both a place to live and complete and private medical insurance.

You may then be given permission to remain in Bulgaria for up to one year if you have both a work permit and a guaranteed full time contract or you have a company in Bulgaria that employs at least ten local people. Alternatively this permission can be granted if you’re about to start studying in the country or are married either to a citizen of the country or another foreigner who has permanent residence already, alternatively if you’re the parents of such a person and you are independently financially secure you may be granted permission. If you’re a retired person and financially secure you can be granted a one year residency permit, if you have to have hospital treatment in Bulgaria and can afford to pay for it or if you’re coming to be self employed and the Ministry of Labour have granted you permission.

Temporary work permits are issued to foreigners and bear the name of the foreign worker, the name of the employee and the period for which the permit is valid. A work permit is not granted if the work can be undertaken by a Bulgarian citizen. An employer cannot hire foreign workers in excess of 10% of his total work force.

Foreigners who work in Bulgaria as self employed individuals or as partners in a business must take out the relevant insurance cover. The insurance premium is between 29%-32% of income.

Getting permanent residency in Bulgaria is another matter altogether. You may be granted permission to remain in the country indefinitely if you’re married to a Bulgarian and have already lived in the country for two years. Alternatively if you’ve been applying year in year out for your one year residency and this has been going on now for five years then you can apply to remain full time. If you’re originally of Bulgarian descent or a child of a Bulgarian or foreign citizen who already has permanent residence then you may be granted an indefinite stay. Of course, if you simply have about a quarter of a million US dollars to invest in Bulgaria then your application will probably be viewed very favourably




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