What is Bulgarian residency?
Bulgarian Residency has become very popular in the past few years, because of the benefits that come with it. It has attracted a huge number of EU nationals who are interested in becoming tax residents of Bulgaria, or apply for family reunification for their non-EU family members.
Since 1st of July 2019 banks in Bulgaria refuse to open escrow bank accounts (accounts for the deposition of the founding capital when setting up a company) unless the director of the company is a resident of Bulgaria. In other words, you have to apply for Bulgarian residency for EU citizens prior to incorporating in Bulgaria. On the other hand, applying for Bulgarian residency is a precondition.
How to Get Bulgarian Residency for EU citizens
- A copy of the front side of a foreign or Bulgarian debit/ credit card declaring that you have sufficient funds to support your stay in Bulgaria without relying on the Bulgairan social system (it is no longer required to provide bank statements!);
- Providing a proof of accommodation. This can be a rental agreement for 12 months period or a property deed (full assistance is provided);
- Providing a valid European Health Insurance Card – EHIC . If you do not have a valid EHIC card you have to buy a local health insurance. The cost of the insurance is 150 € for 60 months.
- Preparing the set of application documents.
How long it takes to get Bulgarian residency card for EU citizens?
It takes up to three working days to obtain your Bulgarian residency card. You will submit your application by 12pm on Day 1, and you will be photographed by 2pm on Day 2. The residency card will be issued on the next day. If you cannot stay for more than two working days in Bulgaria, you can authorize us to collect your residency card on your behalf and courier to your address abroad.
Can I bring my family to Bulgaria?
EU citizen who was granted Bulgarian residency and ID card for EU citizens can bring his/ her family members to Bulgaria. Family members are spouse, children, parents and parents-in-law. Please note that siblings (brother & sisters) are not considered members of your family.
The family member has to enter Bulgaria on a valid Bulgarian national C visa or any Schengen visa (or residence of another EU member state country allowing him/ her to enter Bulgaria legally). The family reunification application can be submitted on the day your residence was granted. The family reunification application will be considered within 4-8 weeks. Your family member has to enter Bulgaria for a single day and once the application is approved, he/ she needs to visit Bulgaria for a day to be photographed.
Can I travel with my non EU spouse to another EU country?
Your spouse, children, parents and parents-in-law can travel along with you to other EU member states.
How long does it take to get PR in Bulgaria?
If you are an EU citizen you have to reside in Bulgaria for 30 months in any 60 months period in order to qualify for permanent residency in Bulgaria.
How long does it take to get Bulgarian Citizenship?
Unfortunately, EU citizens cannot apply for Bulgarian citizenship by investment unless they hold a second non-EU passport. Eligibility for Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization requires 5 years on temporary residence and 5 more years on permanent residence.
How do I become a tax resident of Bulgaria?
Residency and Tax Residency are two different things. The residency permit is granted by the Migration Office, a part of the Ministry of Interior while the tax residency is granted by the local Tax Office, a part of the Ministry of Finance.
According to the Bulgarian legislation you can claim Bulgarian tax residency if 1. You reside in Bulgaria for not less than 183 days annually or 2. You prove that the center of your vital interests is in Bulgaria. Under point 1, you will be considered a tax resident of Bulgaria only in the year when you have resided for 183 days. On the other hand, you are not required to satisfy the residence requirement if you justify that the center of your vital interests is in Bulgaria.
To determine the center of vital interests, the Tax Office will consider the following:
- Location of your business – it is always smart to set up a company in Bulgaria or register yourself as a freelancer. This shows that you are active in the country.
- Social contributions – paying social contributions in Bulgaria, you show attachment to the country. You can pay social contributions as an employed or self-employed director of your Bulgarian company, or as a freelancer. Freelancers can claim 40% expenses even if they cannot provide invoices for their expenses.
- Bulgarian Residency – obtaining Bulgarian residency is a precondition to become a tax resident of Bulgaria.
- Family – bringing your family to Bulgaria, or at least apply for Bulgarian residency card for them will put some more weight on your tax residency application.
- Properties – if you own a property in Bulgaria, this will substantially increase your chances to claim Bulgaria tax resident status.
If you would like to have more information about Bulgarian residency and Bulgarian tax residency, please do not hesitate to contact us.