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Bulgarian Residence Permit‏ | How to Get One

Obtaining a Bulgarian residence permit is (or should be) the same as is in all other EU countries. However, it seems that within Bulgaria there are many factors that can make the application process quite different according to who's on the desk at the time of your visit to your local immigration office.

The region where you reside can also have different rules and demands for a successful result. The fact is though, that the procedure should be the same nationwide and these are the most important requirements for getting your residency card.


1. You must provide a copy of your passport photo page, or other equivalent ID if you have it. If you are applying because your current Bulgarian residence permit is due to expire soon, you will need to surrender the card to the clerk who is dealing with your application.

2. The declaration form No 357 must be completed by each applicant. This will be given to you free of charge from your nearest office of immigrations; this will often be your local Police station.

3. You will be required to provide a Bulgarian bank statement showing your financial state. Most banks will know all about this and it is a requirement for residency applications. The bank will charge a fee which should be no more than around 20-30 BGN. Some banks will have to forward your request to their head office to obtain a full statement. This will normally be completed by the end of the day so it is best to visit your bank early to allow for this time. The reason behind the bank statement is so that immigrations can see that you can support yourself in Bulgaria without being a burden on the state. Not that the state will give you anything even if you have no money.

4. If you own a property in Bulgaria, you will have to supply a copy of your property deeds. If however you are living in rented accommodation, you will then need to provide a copy of your tenancy agreement. Please note that the tenancy agreement/contract should have been notarised beforehand. This means that your landlord/lady and you should have signed the agreement in front of a notary to prove it is legal.

5. The last requirement that the office will ask for is your proof of health insurance so that if you take ill, you will not be a drain on the health system in Bulgaria. Although not technically legal, many people will use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for this part of the procedure and it will normally be accepted in immigration offices around Bulgaria.

This information is applicable for those wanting the standard 5 year Bulgarian residence permit; however the process is very similar for the permanent residency card.

A person can reside in any EU country for a period of up to 90 days without applying for a residency permit. If after the 90 day period has passed, a person who has failed to acquire the card can be fined by the authorities but they cannot be asked to leave the country, unless the state believes that the person poses a threat to the country.

For more information on applying for your , see this article; http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/documents-formalities/eu-nationals-permanent-residence/index_en.htm