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A Look at Long Stay Visas and Retirement in Bulgaria

If you will be traveling to Bulgaria for a long term stay that will be lasting for a period longer than 90 days then you will need to get yourself a long stay visa before arriving in the country.

If you are planning on coming to Bulgaria to retire abroad then you will also need to be in possession of a long stay visa to do so legally. Unless you will be staying in a hotel the entire time you are in Bulgaria, it is important to remember that any foreigner visiting Bulgaria must visit the local police within five days of arriving in the country and register. If you are required to register yourself and do not do so you can be held liable for a hefty fine for not doing so.


If you plan on staying in Bulgaria longer than 90 days for any reason then you will need to get a long stay visa, which is also known as a Type D visa. You can apply for a long stay visa for yourself at the Ministry of Interior in Bulgaria. You do not have to apply in advance of your arrival but can actually make the application once you are already in the country.

To apply for and receive a long stay visa in Bulgaria there are a number or requirements that must be met. You will need to submit your application along with at least two passport size photos of yourself. You will also need to have a current valid passport in your possession. If you will be started a business in the country you will need to have some sort of documentation that proves that you have started a limited company including a certified copy of the tax registration document for the company as wells as the court certificate that the company is solvent. And remember that you are required to hire Bulgarian citizens so you will need proof of that as well. You will need to have a certificate from the National Social Security Institute that shows that you are currently contributing to social security and do not have any outstanding tax payments. And if applicable to you, you will need to get a certificate from the tax office that shows the amount of taxes that you have already paid. You will need to show proof of financial resources including a recent bank statement. And you will need to show proof of residence in the country such as a rental agreement.

If you plan on taking up employment in the country remember that you will have to have work permit. You can get the work permit while you have a Type C visa but will have to use the work permit to apply for you Type D visa.

Typically the long stay visa is valid for a period of 12 months. It can also be renewed before expiring.

If you wish to retire in Bulgaria you can only do so legally with a Type D visa. To get a Type D visa as a retiree you have certain requirements that must be met. You must be able to show that you have retirement income from your home country. You must have a Bulgarian bank account and you must have an address in Bulgaria. Once you get your Type D visa for retirees you will have 12 months to get your residence permit.