Bulgaria Airport Transit Visa – Appication, Documentation and Fees

Bulgaria airport transit visa, like any other country’s transit visa, is a C visa. It is always required for all flights that will stop briefly at a Bulgarian airport before continuation. 

Hundreds of millions of people travel to different destinations every year. But unfortunately, not all journeys are finished once. Some trips are continued at intervals. And at such, the need for a transit visa.

Bulgaria is a small country in Europe. It serves as a common route that connects many countries in Europe. Hence, the need for an airport transit visa. But before delving into the details about the Bulgaria airport transit visa, let me put you through what a transit visa is.

Get yourself popcorn and a glass of wine!

Then, relax and READ ON!

What is a transit Visa?

A transit visa is an immigration document issued to a traveler who will stop briefly in another country before continuing their journey. If you are flying to the United States, for instance, you will stop at a Bulgarian airport, and the embassy in your country will issue you an airport transit visa.

With this transit visa, you can temporarily stop your journey to Bulgaria and continue at a later time. An airport transit visa enables you to travel through another country on your way to your final destination.

For some countries, transit visas are non-immigrant visas. However, it still allows you entry into your destination country.

Types of Transit Visas

If your flight is scheduled to transit, here are the types of transit visas available. Although some countries may not divide their transit visas in this manner. However, first-world countries like the US divide their transit visas into;

#1. C1 Visa – General Transit Visa

A C1 visa is a transit visa for foreign travelers passing through a country on a layover.

#2. C2 Visa – UN Headquarters Transit Visa

A C2 visa is the transit visa for citizens traveling on a foreign mission, maybe the United Nations or any other body. You can apply for this visa only when the body’s request or petitions has been submitted to the embassy of the country in question.

For instance, if you are traveling through the US to a final destination, you can apply for this visa. But this is after the body sends a petition to the US embassy on your behalf.

#3. C3 Visa – Foreign Government Transit Visa

This type of transit visa is for foreign government officials traveling through a country on a layover to their final destination. The purpose of this travel must be only for government-related assignments or activities.

Bulgaria Airport Transit Visa

A Bulgaria airport transit visa is a permit issued to travelers that have to change their flight at any Bulgarian airport. Holding this visa grants the holder the privilege to stop and wait in any Bulgarian airport for a flight to their destination country.

Although not included in the Schengen zone, Bulgarian airports grant citizens from Schengen countries that same privilege. But you must present an airport transit Schengen Visa. This visa enables them to stop and wait in the international transit area of a Schengen airport before their flight to their destination country.

What can you do with a Bulgaria airport transit visa?

You are limited to just moving around the airport vicinity. But you cannot leave the airport. If you do, it may attract irreparable punishment. However, you must leave the country within 72 hours of arrival. You can change flights or catch another form of transport to your onward destination.

But what you cannot do with a Bulgarian airport transit visa is; visit families or stay back in Bulgaria.

Who can apply for a Bulgaria airport transit visa?

You need to apply for a Bulgaria airport transit visa if you;

#1. Will change flights in Bulgaria on your way to another country.

#2. Will go through Bulgarian border control, for instance, to check in your luggage for a connecting flight.

#3.Are leaving Bulgaria within 72 hours.

#4. Are not working or studying while in Bulgaria.

Who cannot apply for a Bulgaria airport transit visa?

You don’t need to apply for a Bulgaria airport transit visa if;

  • you are a refugee or stateless person.
  • you have a standard visitor visa.
  • you have a marriage visa.
  • own an airport transit Schengen visa.

How long can a Bulgarian airport transit stamp of approval last?

Transit is an event that doesn’t take much time. Therefore, the airport transit document for Bulgaria doesn’t last so much. It lasts between 48 to 72 hours. So if the ticket to your final destination has September 20th, for instance, you must leave Bulgaria on that day.

You cannot stay more than the approved time. 

Eligibility for an airport transit Visa in Bulgaria

To be eligible to apply for a transit ticket to Bulgaria, you must fulfill one of the following criteria:

Firstly, you must be a non-Bulgarian citizen on your way to a final destination and only pass through Bulgaria. Following that, you must be a foreign government official transiting through Bulgaria to their final destination on an official assignment.

You must be a non-citizen of a country in the Schengen zone.

Then, you must be a passenger embarking from a foreign flight that is proceeding to another country other than Bulgaria. Still, during the journey, the plane makes port in Bulgarian may be to transfer passengers. 

Finally, you must be a crew member traveling to Bulgaria as a passenger to join an aircraft on which you will work, providing operational services. Therefore, a crewmember D visa is also required. 

Documents required for acquiring a Bulgarian airport transit ticket

Find the country’s official embassy website and register your application. You must enter your information correctly on the official application form, answering every question. If you are minor, one of your parents must sign on your behalf.

You must provide,

#1. A copy of Passport Photograph.

The passport must be a recent copy and must be a colored passport also. Do not wear dark or reflective glasses or any garments covering the oval of the face so the eye can’t be captured appropriately. If you are a minor (Child), your passport must not show an adult hand holding any part of you.

#2. A copy of the official passport that is still valid.

The page contains the biometric information in both the original and photocopied forms.

#3. A slip confirming payment of the visa fee. 

Check the official website for information.

#4. A copy of proof documents

A document indicating that there must be transit in Bulgaria, a record that proves that the individual has no intention to enter any of the Bulgaria states, and a document of proof of residence in Bulgaria and a non-Schengen country.

The embassy may request supplementary information, documents, or data. They may request the candidate’s presence in person for an interview. 

How to Apply for a Bulgaria Airport Transit ticket 

You will apply for the airport transit ticket through the country’s embassy located in your country.

#1. Go to the Bulgaria official website and register.

#2. Choose “airport transit” as the purpose of the journey. 

#3. Put together the necessary document documentation and fill in your application.

#4. Make the application fee payment. You will also pay a service fee with your visa application. Both fees are non-refundable.

#5. Could you review your application and submit it?

#6. After submission, schedule an interview appointment.

Rules and Regulations for transit visa travel in Bulgaria

Bulgaria’sBulgaria’s transit visa is quite different from its other visas. Therefore, there are rules and regulations guiding travel with such visas.

If you are holding a transit visa for Bulgaria, you are not allowed to;

  • Stay in Bulgaria for more than the designated time.
  • Travel to any Bulgarian city or study in any of her schools.
  • Take up employment in Bulgaria.
  • Extend the visa, and adjust or change the status of the visa.
  • Apply for a Green Card with the visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a passport above five years to apply?

Yes, you can. But passports that have exceeded ten years will not be accepted. Moreover, the passport is no less than three months valid. Else, the embassy will reject your application.

Is Bulgaria in the Schengen Zone?

No, Bulgaria is not currently a Schengen country. The 22 European Union states, as well as the four non-EU states of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland, are the countries in the Schengen zone.

Which airport in Bulgaria is the best for transit?

There are about four airports that are performing well in Bulgaria. Sofia Airport operates 25 airlines and 41 destinations, Burgas Airport – 7 airlines and 11 goals, Varna Airport – 7 airlines and nine destinations, and Plovdiv International Airport – 1 airline and two destinations.

Does Bulgaria accept Schengen Visa?

Bulgaria’sBulgaria’s entry requirements allow travelers with a Schengen visa to enter the Republic of Bulgaria and remain for up to 90 days in a6 months without applying for a short-term Bulgarian visa. However, Bulgaria does not issue Schengen visas. Therefore, you can still transit at any Bulgarian airport, provided you present an airport transit Schengen Visa. 

Which countries can I enter with a Bulgaria Visa?

People who hold a Bulgarian visa can travel legally to Romania, Croatia, and Cyprus.

Is a transit visa different from a transfer passenger visa?

Yes, a transit visa is different from a transfer passenger visa. A passenger who holds a transit will continue their journey on the same aircraft. But a transfer passenger will continue their journey on another plane.  

Which flight requires a transit Visa (direct flight or a connecting flight)?

Between the two, a connecting flight requires a transit visa. A direct flight goes from point A and, following no other stop, enters point B. It doesn’t change flight numbers but may pick up new passengers. A connecting flight, on the other hand, travels from point A to point B with a stop at point C. (in this case, you will need a transit visa).

What is the difference between a tourist visa and a transit visa?

A tourist visa is issued to those planning to vacation in a country. In contrast, transit visas are given to those who pass through en route to another destination. 

What do I do if my application for an airport transit Visa is rejected?

If your visa is refused, you will submit an appeal for reconsideration to this Consular Office within one month following the date on which notification of the refusal is received. In addition, you may need to apply for judicial review with the High Court of Justice within two months. The month begins the day after the date you received the rejection notification.


In conclusion, the Bulgaria Airport Transit Visa is a convenient option for those who are transiting through Sofia Airport. The process is simple and the documentation requirements are minimal. There is a small processing fee, but the visa is valid for up to 90 days.

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