A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Bulgaria

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Relocating to Bulgaria

The Land and Its People

Bulgaria is situated in Southeast Europe and has borders with Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. To the east, it has a glorious coastline along the Black Sea. Considering its small size, Bulgaria has a great variety of geographical features and is divided into plains, hills, mountains, gorges, and deep river valleys.

The population of Bulgaria is little over seven million people, with 42% of people aged between 25 and 54. Expats moving to Bulgaria may want to pick up some of the local language. Bulgarian is the country’s only official language and is spoken by the vast majority of the Bulgarian population.

Turkish people make up the largest minority group in the country, while the Romani constitute the second largest minority group.

The Climate in Bulgaria

Considering how small it is, Bulgaria has a climate that is very variable, something expatriates often don’t expect. The country lies between the strongly contrasting continental and Mediterranean climates. The strong continental influence produces plentiful snow fall during winter, while the Mediterranean influence produces hot and dry weather during the summer.

On average, the north of Bulgaria is one degree cooler and receives more than 7 inches more rain than southern Bulgaria. In summer, temperatures in the south often exceed 30°C (86°F) but remain cooler by the coast. The town of Sandanski recorded the highest known temperature with 45°C (113°F).

Visas for Bulgaria

A foreigner may enter Bulgaria if he or she holds a regular foreign travel document or another equivalent document, as well as a visa if required.

Different types of visa include:

  • Visa A for airport transit
  • Visa C for short stays for the purpose of transit or a planned length of stay of less than 90 days)
  • Visa D for longer stays

For more information, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Work permits aren’t required for citizens of any EU/EAA country or Switzerland and their families. To look for work in Bulgaria, all they have to do is register as a jobseeker at a local Employment Office. The following documents are required:

  • passport or identity card,
  • proof of a Bulgarian address, as well as
  • a residence permits, for long-term or permanent Bulgarian residence.

Work permits are issued for a fixed period of time, typically one year. They normally only apply to one specific job and employer. In some cases, they can be renewed for a further three years. Once a work permit is issued, this provides a basis for the Bulgarian Consular to issue a visa, valid for the same amount of time.

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