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Visas for Bulgaria

The Republic of Bulgaria requires no visas for the citizens of a number of countries in the world, but every tourist is advised to obtain preliminary information in this respect because some kinds of visas require longer time for processing and issuing. Bulgarian citizens are not required visas for travelling in the European Community countries and in most of the remaining European countries, as well as in some countries in Asia, Africa and America, with which Bulgaria maintains enduring friendly, cultural and economic relations.

All data below are subject to frequent change as far as terms, costs and visa requirements with each specific country are concerned, so the prospective visitors should first check the state of the contacts between their own country and Bulgaria.

Entry of foreign citizens in Bulgaria. A foreign citizen may enter Bulgaria only if he possesses a valid document for travelling abroad or any substituting document instead, as well as an entry visa, visa for a stay or a transit visa, when such is required. Visas cover:

Transit visa

Short-term visa

Group visa

Long-term visa.

The term of stay in the country on the grounds of a visa may not exceed 90 (ninety) days. Visas are issued by the diplomatic and consular offices of the Republic of Bulgaria, long-term visas are issued upon the approval of the foreign citizens control authorities.

Since 1st January 2002 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs commenced issuing a new type of Bulgarian visa. It is in the form of a sticker and for the first time in Europe a photo on it is required.

Transit visa. A foreign citizen who enters Bulgaria on the grounds of a transit visa at a particular border checkpoint from one country shall leave Bulgaria within 24 (twenty-four) hours through the border checkpoint with another country. In order to obtain a transit visa the foreign citizen shall have visa for the country of his final destination. Should he travel not by airplane or no visa is required for the country of final destination, the foreign citizen shall have visa for the first country along the route, for which visas are required. Single valid up to 3 (three) months and allowing only 1 (one) transit through the country. Double transit 3 (three), 6 (six) or 12 (twelve) months validity, allowing 2 (two) transits through the country. Multiple - 3 (three), 6 (six) or 12 (twelve) months validity, allowing unlimited number of transits through the country.

Short-term visa. Such visa is issued to a foreign citizen when he enters the country once or multiple times for a stay of up to 90 (ninety) days within a 6 (six) months period considered from the date of his first entry. The multiple short-term visa is valid for up to 1 (one) year. The validity may be extended by the foreign citizens control authorities for humanitarian reasons. Single (tourist) visa valid up to 3 (three) months and allowing 1 (one) entry and stay in the country. Multiple entry visa 3 (three), 6 (six) or 12 (twelve) months validity, allowing unlimited number of entries in the country.

Group visa. Group visa is issued for a transit stay or entitling to a stay up to 30 (thirty) days to foreign citizens who had formed a group before their departure to Bulgaria, are registered in a group passport and only if they enter, stay and leave the country as a group.

Long-term visa. It is issued to a foreign citizen who is willing to stay for a longer term or settle in the country. It entitles the foreigner to 1 (one) entry and to a stay of up to 90 (ninety) days. The validity may not exceed 6 (six) months.

Application for visa for a private visit.  Nevertheless the term of stay, the applicant shall present: invitation to a foreign citizen on a private visit; banking statements certifying solvency or available funds amounting to USD 40 (forty US Dollars) per day for the term of stay; documents evidencing the extent of social integration (position, workplace, family); should the host be a relative, the applicant for visa shall present documents evidencing the kinship ties with the inviting person.

Application for a single entry business visa. The obligatory documents include: invitation to a foreign citizen on a business visit; certificate of the valid court registration of the foreign company; certifying letter from the foreign company about the position of the applicant, unless the latter is not an owner; should the applicant certify that he has registered a company according to Bulgarian legislation, a certificate from the tax authorities is required for the preceding year, evidencing the absolute figure of the declared income and the tax paid.

Application for a multiple entry business visa for a 12 (twelve)-month period. The obligatory documents required include: certificate from the foreign association of commercial banks or the chamber of commerce and industry; certificate of the valid court registration of the foreign company; customs, tax, banking and other documents, evidencing the existence of enduring relations.

Business trip. The obligatory documents required from the Bulgarian company include: invitation to a foreign citizen on a visit and a letter evidencing the purpose of the trip;  from the foreign company: a letter evidencing the purpose of the trip and the position of the applicant for visa.

The tourists are advised to take particular care of keeping possession of their documents. Any loss or damage of passport and customs documents is quite unpleasant and entails lengthy operations on their renewal, since each case is processed by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassy of the respective country whose citizen the tourist is, and the customs authorities.

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