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Key Points

  • No longer do foreign nationals have to go to the migration office upon arrival to register and get their residence permit.
  • Single application process allows those applying for an EU Blue Card or an intra-company transferee (ICT) work permit to be able to apply for their residence permit at the same time.
  • The migration office will handle applications and in turn will be in contact with the Employment Agency to receive any updates regarding the labor market.
  • Upon approval of the work authorization, foreign nationals will need to apply for a D visa within 20 calendar days and a residence permit within 2 weeks upon arrival to Bulgaria.
  • The current expectation for the decision on residence permit is 3 business days.
  • Document requirements include evidence of work experience supported by an official government document.
  • ICT applicants must include an authentic legalized document showing the planned time for their duration to be working in Bulgaria.
  • The Bulgarian State Agency for National Security may inquire about the accommodations of the foreign national plans while staying in Bulgaria, which did not occur in the past.
  • Renewals for the EU Blue Card and the combined work and residence visa must be submitted within 60 days of expiration.


The application for employment-based work visas and residence permits will be streamlined into the same government organization to make it easier to receive a work permit along with a residence permit. There will be stricter document requirements as well as new processing deadlines.

What Are the Changes?

The application for work-based visa and residence in Bulgaria will be streamlined into one government organization, but the application process is stricter, and accommodations will need to be made prior to applying.

Looking Ahead

The streamlined process should make it easier for foreign nationals to obtain work and residence authorization in Bulgaria, and for employers to retain employees. The new process is set to start on June 1, 2021.

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