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 non-European nationals to Bulgaria through different residency programs such as residency by investment, residency by setting up a trade representative office of a foreign company in Bulgaria or retiree in Bulgaria and other programs which will be discussed here.

A non-EU citizen can apply for Bulgarian residency only after he/ she has obtained a long-term D visa. There are more than 20 grounds that allow a non-EU citizens to obtain a long-term D visa. This can be Business, Freelancing, Pension, Family reunification, and others.

To whom does Bulgarian residency apply?

If you are not an EU citizen, you will need a Bulgarian residence visa to study, live or work in Bulgaria. The type of residence visa you will need to legally stay in Bulgaria depends on the duration and purpose of your stay in Bulgaria. This residence visa will allow you entry to Bulgaria for the purpose of requesting residence from the Bulgarian immigration service. The authority responsible for processing and issuing residence in Bulgaria for non-EU nationals is the Migration Directorate which operates through local departments in the 28 districts in Bulgaria.

Citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) member states, as well as Swiss nationals, do not need a residence visa to reside in Bulgaria.

In a case you are not interested in Bulgarian residency, please have a look at the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment programme.

How to Get Bulgarian Residency for Non-EU Citizens 

The most popular option to get Bulgarian residency is by way of registering a Trade Representative Office of a foreign company in Bulgaria. For example, if you have a Hong Kong limited company, you can register a Trade Representative Office in Bulgaria and get Business D visa and Bulgarian residency.

How to set up a Trade Representative Office (TRO) in Bulgaria?

To set up a Trade Representative Office of a foreign company in Bulgaria you have to provide the following:

  1. Certificate of Good Standing (verifying that the company is active not dormant)
  2. Certificate of Incorporation
  3. Annual Balance for 2017 & 2018

The Certificate of Good Standing and Certificate of Incorporation need to be legalized in the country of incorporation of the company. For example, if the foreign comapny was incorporated in Hong Kong, the certificates have to be apostille legalized in Hong Kong. If the company was incorporated in Taiwan, you have to legalize the certificates with the Hungarian Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan. If the foreign company was incorporated in mainland China, the certificates have to be legalized by Foreign Affairs China and attested by the Bulgarian embassy in Beijing or the general consulate in Shanghai.

If you experience difficulties to legalize the certificates, our team will be glad to assist.

The foreign company should have been incorporated at least two years prior to applying for the opening of a trade representative office in Bulgaria, and have positive balance for the last two years. Dormant companies will not satisfy the Bulgarian Commerce Chamber requirements.

We will prepare a set of private registration documents – Powers of Attorney, Specimens and other documents that need to be attested in the nearest Bulgarian embassy or general consulate, apostille legalized or notarized with a local notary public in Bulgaria.

How much does it cost to register a Trade Representative Office in Bulgaria?

Our fee to assist you to open a trade representative office (TRO) of a foreign company in Bulgaria and prepare the set of Type D Business visa application documents for a single applicant is 1,599 €. If you would like to use our assistance for the residence permit application after your arrival on Type D Visa in Bulgaria our fee is 1,350 €. You may also appoint a second applicant to the same trade representative office in Bulgaria for only 1,000 €.

How many representatives can obtain Bulgarian residency?

There is no limit on the number of representatives you can register of your Trade Representative Office in Bulgaria. However, there is a limit on the representatives that can get Bulgarian residency. You are limited to only three representatives. If your business needs require more representatives, you can set up a second Trade Representative Office.

Can I bring my family members?

You can apply for family reunification for your spouse, children below 18 years of age, parents and parents-in-law. For more details, please feel free to contact us.

How long does it take to get Bulgarian residency?

Our team will prepare the set of Business D visa application documents within 2-4 weeks of receiving a POA authorizing our law firm to assist you.

The D visa application will be considered within 4-6 weeks. Once the D visa is granted you have to visit Bulgaria for few hours to file your residency application in person. The residency application will be considered within 14 calendar days. You have to return to Bulgaria for few working days in order to be photographed and fingerprinted. The residency card will be granted the day after you have been photographed.

If you would like to have more information about getting a Bulgarian D visa and Bulgarian residency, please do not hesitate to contact us.