Bulgaria: Residency & Citizenship

Holders of valid ordinary passports from certain countries do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for up to 90 days within each period of six months.

Bulgarian visas are issued by the Bulgarian embassies and consulates abroad, not at the airports or the land and sea passport control points in Bulgaria. A visa is issued only to holders of passports or travel documents that are valid for at least 3 months after the end of the intended stay in Bulgaria and that contain a blank page for affixing of visa vignettes.

A short-stay visa is issued to an alien for a single or multiple entry into Bulgaria and a cumulative duration of the stay not exceeding 90 days within any six-month period, reckoned from the date of first entry.

The purpose of travel may be private visit, Business trip; cultural exchange; sports, medical treatment or tourism.

A long-term stay in Bulgaria can be continuous with a one-year leave to remain (D-type visas), and permanent with an indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence). Applications for D-type visas can be submitted to Bulgaria's consular representations abroad. Applications for permanent residence can only be submitted in Bulgaria. Permission for a permanent residence may be obtained by aliens who have invested more than 1 000 000 BGN or increased their investment with this size through the acquisition of shares in Bulgarian commercial companies, traded on a regulated Bulgarian market; shares and treasury bonds and derivative instruments issued by the State or by municipalities, with a residual maturity not less than 6 months; ownership rights over an isolated part of the property of a Bulgarian commercial company with more than 50 %stake or municipal participation in the capital under the Act of Privatization and Post- privatization Control; shares or stocks owned by the state or municipalities in a Bulgarian commercial company in compliance with the Act of Privatization and Post-privatization Control; Bulgarian intellectual property - objects of copyright and related to rights, patent-protected inventions, utility models, trademarks, service marks and industrial designs; rights under concession contracts on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria; who have invested the sum mentioned above in a licensed credit institution in Bulgaria under a trust agreement for a period of at least five years and the deposit is not used, with reference to the same period, for securing of other cash credits from a credit institution in Bulgaria; who were granted permission for long stay and who maintained the investment for over five years.

Citizenship Bulgaria: Residency & Citizenship

A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship through naturalization, if the date of the application meets the following requirements:

1. Is a major

2. Was granted permission for permanent residence in the Republic of Bulgaria not less than five years ago

3. Has not been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for a premeditated crime of a general nature and has not been the subject of criminal proceedings for such a crime unless the person concerned has been rehabilitated

4. Has an income and occupation enabling him/her to support himself/herself in the Republic of Bulgaria

5. Has a good command of the Bulgarian language. This is subject to verification in accordance with a procedure established by an order of the Minister of Education and Culture, and

6. Was released from his/her previous citizenship or will be released from his/her citizenship as of the moment of acquiring the Bulgarian citizenship.

Those requirements are cumulative, which means that if a person wants to acquire Bulgarian citizenship in this way it is necessary that the person applying for citizenship meets all the requirements.

Foreign investors who hold a permanent residence permit for at least five years may apply for Bulgarian Citizenship (as of February 2013 the term could be decreased to one year for the investments to the real Bulgarian business creating working places / new technologies).

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