Bulgaria Permanent Residency – Permit types and Investment

The Bulgarian Permanent Residency is one of the three types of Residence Permits that the country gives its visitors wishing to stay in Bulgaria for more than 3 months. But before a person can get a residence permit, he must first obtain a Long-Stay Visa. In other words, you cannot have a Resident Permit in Bulgaria with a Short-Stay Visa.

To obtain a Permanent Residency in Bulgaria, a foreigner must first get an Extended Resident Permit. With this, he can stay for a maximum of one year in Bulgaria. After one year in Bulgaria, he can go ahead to apply for a Long-Term EU Residence Permit. This will keep him in Bulgaria for five years after which he will be due for a Bulgaria Permanent Residency.

It is not difficult to secure a Bulgaria Permanent Residency, but it is not so easy, either. However, with the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act (FRBA), the conditions for Bulgaria Permanent Residency are clearly spelled out. In this post, we will examine the conditions for Permanent Residence in Bulgaria, the option for investment, and the cost of application.

About the Bulgaria Permanent Residency

The Bulgaria Permanent Residency is a permit given to a foreign national in Bulgaria, to live for an indefinite period in the country. This type of Residency Permit is given after an applicant must have lived permanently in the country for more than five years. Therefore, to get a Bulgaria Permanent Residency, you must first have a Bulgarian Extended Residence Permit and a Long-Term Residence Permit, in that order.

Benefits of a Bulgarian Permanent Residency

Here are some of the benefits of having a Bulgarian Permanent Residency:

  • Visa-free travel within the EU countries
  • Low cost of living in Bulgaria
  • Access to excellent health care and education in Bulgaria
  • Low tax rates
  • Opportunity to apply for Bulgarian Citizenship after five years

Who Is Eligible For The Bulgaria Permanent Residency?

There are ten types of people who are eligible for the Bulgaria Permanent Residency

1. A foreign citizen who has a Bulgarian Parent or Grandparent

2. A person who has been legally married to a foreigner living in Bulgaria and with whom he has lived for at least five years in the country, permanently.

3. An under-aged person (minor) who is not married and whose parent is a foreigner living permanently in Bulgaria.

4. A child born by a foreign parent in Bulgaria who was abandoned and lives in an institution or foster care.

5. Parents of a young Bulgarian citizen (under 18 years). The parents must have lived in the country legally for at least three years and must have provided allowances for the young child.

6. Foreigners who have resided legally in Bulgaria for five years before requesting Permanent Residence. In that five years, they will not be absent from the country for more than 30 months.

7. An Applicant who is not a Bulgarian but was born in Bulgaria and lost his Citizenship but wishes to settle for a long time in the country.

8. A person who, on or before December 27th, 1998, immigrated to or was born in Bulgaria and whose parent has legally married a Bulgarian citizen.

9. A person who immigrated to or was born in Bulgaria before or on December 27th, 1998, and has not left Bulgaria but is not recognized as a citizen of the Former Soviet Republics.

10. A Family Member of a Bulgarian Citizen that has lived in the country for the past five years.

However, there is another way to obtain a Bulgarian Permanent Residency. It is called the Bulgaria Investor Program.

About the Bulgaria Investor Program for Permanent Residency

A foreigner can obtain a Bulgaria Permanent Residency by investing in Bulgaria. For this purpose, he needs to invest a specific amount of money and maintain this investment for a specific period before he can apply for a permanent residence permit.

Who Is Eligible For A Bulgaria Investor Program for PR?

To be eligible for a permanent residency through the Investor Program, a person has to be:

1. A Foreigner who has invested 1 Million BGN at a licensed Bulgarian credit institution for a period of at least five years, without using the money as collateral.

2. A Foreigner who has invested at least 6 Million BGN in a Bulgarian Company whose shares are not traded in a regulated market like telecommunications, electricity, or water supply.

3. A foreigner who participates in promoting the economic growth of Bulgaria and is certified by the Ministry of Economy under the Investment Promotion Act.

4. A foreigner who has invested a sum of 500,000 BGN into a Bulgarian Business.

4a. The foreigner must hold at least a 50% share in the business.

4b. Has sustained the business over a long period.

4c. Has created at least ten jobs for Bulgarian citizens.

4d. Is certified by the Ministry of Economy as having done A to C.

5. A Foreigner who has invested more than One Million BGN in Bulgarian Businesses. He can do this by acquiring the following:

5a. Shares in Bulgarian Businesses recognized by the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

5b. Bonds, stocks, or Treasury Bills are issued by the country’s financial institution and with a maturity period of no less than six months.

5c. The right to own assets in a Bulgarian company that has more than fifty percent of government shares, according to the Privatization and Post-Privatization Control Act.

5d. Shares held by the government in a Bulgarian company, according to the Privatization and Post-Privatization Control Act.

5e. Bulgarian Government inventions, copyrights, patents, and other things.

5f. Agreement or contract with the Bulgarian government to operate a business in the country.

What Documents Do You Need To Apply For Permanent Residence In Bulgaria?

You must submit the following documents as part of your application for Permanent Residence in Bulgaria:

  1. A Permanent Residence Application Form is available at your local Migration Office.
  2. A valid ID and passport.
  3. A passport-sized Photo
  4. A valid Residence Permit
  5. Payment of Application Fee

The Local Migration Office may require further documentation from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a Bulgaria Permanent Residence without a Long-Stay Visa?

You cannot get a Bulgaria Permanent Residence without a Long-Stay Visa. This is because a Long-Stay Visa will allow you entry into Bulgaria, after which you will apply for an Extended Residence Permit which allows you to stay in Bulgaria for a maximum of one year.

Subsequently, you can apply for a Long-Term Residence Permit which is valid for five years.

After five years, you can go ahead and apply for a Bulgaria Permanent Residence Permit.

Can an EU Citizen live in Bulgaria without a Residence Permit?

No, an EU Citizen cannot live in Bulgaria without a Residence Permit. He can only visit the country without a permit for a short stay. But if he wants to stay in Bulgaria for an extended period, he must get a Residence Permit. A Residence Permit is mandatory for anyone who is not a citizen of Bulgaria.

What Happens Next After Getting A Permanent Residency in Bulgaria?

After obtaining a Permanent Resident Permit in Bulgaria, the next step is to work towards a Bulgarian Passport or Citizenship. This can happen between 3 to 5 years of Permanent Residency.

How much Does it Cost to Obtain a Bulgarian Permanent Residency Permit?

An applicant for a Bulgaria Permanent Residency will pay a Service Fee of about 45 BGN. Still, if he wants Fast Service, he will pay BGN 90, and for Express Service, he will pay BGN 225. On collecting his Bulgaria Permanent Permit Card, he will pay the sum of BGN 1000.

How long is the Bulgaria Permanent Residency Permit good for?

You can renew your Bulgaria Permanent Residency after five years. Still, you will also be able to apply for a Bulgaria Passport.

What is the Deadline for submission of the Bulgaria Permanent Residency Permit?

The Deadline for submission of the Bulgaria Permanent Residency Permit is two months before your existing permit expires. But you can request an extension of up to 2 months if you need more time to gather the required documents.

Can I Obtain Bulgaria Permanent Residence with a Short-Stay Visa?

No, a short-stay visa does not permit you to live and earn in Bulgaria. It only allows you to visit Bulgaria for a maximum of 90 days. To get a Bulgaria Permanent Residency Permit, you must have lived in Bulgaria for a period longer than five years, possibly ten years. Also, you must have obtained an Extended and Long-Term Stay before going for the Permanent Residence Permit.

Conclusion

Getting a Bulgarian Permanent Residency is easy if you have lived there for at least five years. Every year, about Thirty Thousand Foreigners apply for Permanent Residence in Bulgaria. Indeed, they cannot participate in the country’s political process or join the police force. Still, Permanent Residents can have the same rights as Bulgarian Citizens.

Furthermore, the Bulgarian Permanent Residence is a necessary step toward Bulgarian Citizenship.

If your target is to become a citizen of Bulgaria, it is necessary to apply for Permanent Residence first. Then, who knows, in no time at all, you can land the much-desired citizenship status of Bulgaria. Read also Bulgaria Visa – Types, Application Process, and Fees.

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