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A Step Forward to Schengen in Bulgaria

A decision dated the 27th January by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria states that holders of valid Schengen

long term visas will be granted entry into Bulgaria as long as the visa was issued in Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

Until the date of the full accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen area, the Republic of Bulgaria declares that it will unilaterally accept as equal to Bulgarian nationals, visas for the need of short stay for less than 3 months during each 6 months following documents that are issued by European Union members, Switzerland and Liechtenstein:

Residence permit' means:
(a) all residence permits issued by the Member States according to the uniform format laid down by Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third country nationals;
(b) all other documents issued by a Member State to third country nationals authorising a stay in, or re-entry into, its territory, with the exception of temporary permits issued pending examination of a first application for a residence permit as referred to in point (a) or an application for asylum"

1. Member States shall notify the Commission of:
(a) The list of residence permits;
(b) The list of their border crossing points;
(c) The reference amounts required for the crossing of their external borders fixed annually by the national authorities;
(d) The list of national services responsible for border control;
(e) The specimen of model cards issued by Foreign Ministries.

2. The Commission shall make the information notified in conformity with paragraph 1 available to the Member States and the public through publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, C Series, and by any other appropriate means.

3. Entering and term of the short stay in Bulgaria with the documents according to the point 1 is limited by the term of the permitted stay defined by the relevant document during the period of its validity and a specific number of entering but for not more than 3 months during each 6 months period.

4. The head of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria Brussels, Belgium should inform the European commission about this decision.

5. This decision enters into force from the date of its publishing in the State Gazette of Bulgaria (Darzhaven vestnik).

Article written exclusively for Quest Bulgaria by Bulgaria-Legal