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Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Bulgaria?
Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union since January 1, 2007 and applies the general visa policy of the European Union in line with the Access Agreement. In line with the mutual agreements made by the Republic of Bulgaria, it is possible to enter certain countries with a Bulgarian visa.
In line with Bulgaria's implementation that entered into force in 2012, citizens of countries that are members of the Schengen area or those who have the right to reside in these countries with a long-term Schengen visa have the right to enter Bulgaria without a visa for their travels of up to 90 days in 180 days. In addition, short-term Schengen visa holders can enter Bulgaria without a visa.
Bulgaria Visa Types
Different types of visas are applied for the Bulgarian visa depending on the purpose and duration of the trip. Accordingly, it will be correct to determine the purpose of travel in visa procedures and apply for an appropriate type of visa within its categories.
Short-term visa applications include tourist, commercial, family visit and transit visa categories. Long-term applications are considered within the scope of the Bulgaria D Visa, which entitles the applicant to stay longer than 90 days.
Bulgaria Type A Transit Visa
Type A visa is a transit visa given to people traveling from Bulgaria to another country. It is issued with double entry and has a validity period of 48 hours for each entry.
Bulgaria Type C Short Term Visa
Type C visa is the visa applied for short-term touristic and commercial trips to Bulgaria. Citizens get the right to enter Bulgaria once or multiple times for their travels up to 90 days in 6 months with a short-term visa. For stays exceeding 90 days in 6 months, a residence (long term visa) application must be required.
The visa categories evaluated within the scope of type C visa can be listed as follows:
- Tourist visa
- Visitor visa for family, relatives and friends visits
- Business visa
- Official visit visa
- Bulgarian citizen spouse visa
- Business travel
- Visa for travels for fair, meeting and congress purposes
- Visa for cultural, sportive, scientific and religious travels
Bulgaria Type D Long Term Visa
Type D visa is the type of visa required for travels to Bulgaria that will exceed 90 days. In addition, a long-term visa application is required for situations such as marriage and residence permit. Bulgaria D visa grants its holder multiple entry-exit rights to Bulgaria, as long as it is valid. The residence permit card obtained with a D visa is valid for 1 year, except in exceptional cases, and provides a residence permit for up to 360 days.
The documents required for D-type visa applications are much more comprehensive and the process takes longer.
A long-term visa application required for the following situations:
- People who are married to a Bulgarian Citizen and whose marriage has been registered in Bulgaria
- Students studying in Bulgaria within the scope of education programs lasting more than 3 months;
- People appointed as company representatives in Bulgaria
- People with a company operating in Bulgaria and employing at least 10 personnel
- Workers assigned to work for more than 90 days by the company they work for
- People who have immigrated from Bulgaria but have lost their right to citizenship
General Requirements to Apply for Bulgaria Visa
- Short-term tourist visa applications to Bulgaria are made through authorized agencies.
- Visa applications should be made at the latest 15, at the earliest 2 months prior the travel calendar, against delays that may arise in exceptional circumstances.
- In visa application, the visa application form must be submitted along with the necessary application documents.
- The Bulgaria visa application form must be filled in with correct information and completely. The purpose and duration of the trip should be clearly indicated on the form.
- The visa application form must be wet-signed and include date information.
- Official documents submitted for visa application must have been received within the last 1 month.
- Previously approved visa documents can positively affect the visa application evaluation process. Therefore, it is worthwhile to submit these documents together with the application documents.
- In tourist visa applications, the documents proof the source of the money must be submitted together with the bank account documents.
- For application, passports must be obtained within 10 years at most, have a validity of at least 6 months, and have 2 or more blank pages. Old, worn and expired passports are not accepted for visa application.
Bulgaria Visa Applications
- Copy of identity card
- 2 identical photos
- Passport (Passports must be valid for at least 6 months, issued within the last 10 years and have at least 2 blank pages.)
- Signed and dated Bulgaria Visa Application Form
- Visa cover letter that includes the purpose and duration of the trip
- Certificate of residence
- Proof of civil status
- If any, copies of previous visas taken within the last 5 years
- Bank Statements and other financial documents
- Flight ticket, hotel reservation document, travel health insurance
- If the applicant is under the age of 18 a letter of consent certified by the Notary
Additional Documents Required for Bulgaria Visa;
In visa applications, some additional documents are requested according to the employment status of the applicants.
- Institution/company approval document
- Company letter that states purpose and duration of the stay, absence and confirms returning to current job
- Employment contract
- Pay slip
- Work ID card
- Company bank statement (for last 6 months)
- A copy of your business license
- Income Tax Return
- The original of the current student certificate
- An invitation letter, if any
- Parental petition (Requested if the applicant is under the age of 18)
Bulgaria Visa Fees
Official fees must be paid for Bulgaria visa applications. In addition, a consultancy service fee is charged for the execution of transactions such as photographs, photocopies, application forms and courier services. Counseling fees vary according to criteria such as application period and visa type.
Current visa fees determined as of 2022:
- For adults: 110 Euro
- Child between: 0-12 age: Free
Visa Fee Exemption:
Citizens of Albania, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Moldova, Montenegro, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia and Azerbaijan who have identical passports are exempted from Bulgarian consular fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to approve the Bulgaria visa application?
Bulgaria visa applications are approved within an average of 10 working days. However, this period may be extended in cases such as busy days, public holidays and additional document requests.
Is Bulgaria's tourist visa a Schengen Visa?
The Bulgaria visa is not a Schengen visa. You cannot go to Schengen countries with a tourist visa obtained from the Bulgarian Consulate. You can travel to Bulgaria with a valid Schengen visa. However, in accordance with Schengen rules; Holders of a Schengen visa must start their travel from the Schengen country in which they hold the visa.
How long should the passport validity be for a Bulgarian visa?
The passport to be used for Bulgaria visa applications must be valid for at least 6 months as of the Bulgarian travel expiry date.
Do I have to make an appointment at the application centers for visa procedures?
There is no obligation to make an appointment with authorized application centers for short-term visa applications.
Are fingerprints taken for visa application?
There is no fingerprint application for short and long term Bulgaria visa applications.