Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Immigration Team

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 a non-EU citizen, you will need a Bulgarian D visa and residency to live in Bulgaria. The category of D you will need to legally stay in Bulgaria depends on the duration and purpose of your stay. 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 of Bulgaria.

EU and EEA citizens, as well as Swiss citizens, do not need a visa or residency 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 Obtain 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 a 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. Business extract issued within the last 3 months
  2. Financial statements for the last 2 years

The Business Extract should be legalized in the country of incorporation of the company. For example, if the company was incorporated in Hong Kong, the Business Extract has to be apostilled in Hong Kong. If the company was incorporated in Taiwan, you have to legalize 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 mainland China and attested by the Bulgarian embassy in Beijing or the general consulate in Shanghai.

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.

We will prepare a set of private registration documents – Powers of Attorney, Specimens and other documents that need to be certified 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 vary based on the country of incorporation of the foreign company.

How many representatives can obtain 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 of another company.

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 a Bulgarian D visa?

D visa applications are processed within 4-6 weeks.

How long does it take to get Bulgarian residency?

Once the D visa is granted you have to visit Bulgaria for few hours to file your residency application in person. Residency applications are considered within 14 calendar days.

Do I need to reside in Bulgaria while my residency application is under consideration?

You can file your residency application and leave Bulgaria till the application is processed by the Migration Office. When processed, you have to return for few days to get photographed and receive the residency card in person.

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