Bulgarian Working Visas: Job Regulations and Requirements

A Guide to Working Abroad in Bulgaria: Navigating Opportunities in the Balkan Beauty

Are you aiming to elevate your career in Bulgaria? Welcome to a nation known for its diverse opportunities, robust economic sectors, and rich cultural heritage. Bulgaria is a place where ambitious professionals can build the life they want, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and a high quality of life. This guide will provide you with essential insights to navigate the Bulgarian job market and reach the pinnacle of your career ambitions.

Bulgaria has experienced a shift in its main industries over the years. Traditionally, metallurgy engineering, machine manufacturing, chemicals, and land and agriculture were the primary sectors. However, recent developments have seen a rise in sectors like energy, tourism, transportation, IT, food, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. These sectors are currently where most jobs can be found, making Bulgaria a versatile place for career growth.

EU citizens

In the heart of the Balkans, Bulgaria stands as a country rich in culture and opportunities, making it an attractive destination for EU citizens seeking employment. With its diverse economy and membership in the European Union, Bulgaria offers a seamless transition for EU citizens looking to explore new career paths. 

I. Key Regulations and Requirements:
  1. No Work Permit Required: EU citizens enjoy the privilege of working in Bulgaria without the need for a work permit, allowing for a hassle-free employment process.

  2. Equal Employment Rights: As an EU citizen, you are entitled to the same rights as Bulgarian citizens concerning employment, social security, and healthcare.

  3. Taxation: Be prepared to pay a 10% income tax on your net income earned in Bulgaria, after allowable deductions.

  4. Labor Law Compliance: Employment contracts must be in writing and adhere to the Bulgarian Labour Code, ensuring protection and rights for both employees and employers. They must be registered with the National Revenue Agency within 3 days of conclusion. A probationary period of up to 6 months may be stipulated.

II. Steps After Securing Employment:
  1. Step 1: Obtain a Residence Certificate:

    • If your stay exceeds three months, register for a residence certificate at the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior or its local divisions.
    • Required Documents: Valid ID/Passport, Proof of Employment, and Proof of Accommodation.
  2. Step 2: Register for Social Security:

    • Your employer will typically handle your social security registration.
    • Ensure that your social security contributions are being made regularly, granting you access to healthcare services and other social benefits.
  3. Step 3: Open a Bank Account:

    • Choose a reputable bank in Bulgaria and open an account for salary deposits and other transactions.
    • Required Documents: Valid ID/Passport, Proof of Address, and Employment Contract.
  4. Step 4: Familiarize Yourself with Labor Laws:

    • Understand your rights and obligations under Bulgarian labor law.
    • Be aware of the terms and conditions of your employment contract, including termination procedures and dispute resolutions.
III. Living and Working Conditions:
  1. Recognition of Diplomas and Qualifications: Bulgaria recognizes various diplomas and qualifications, allowing EU citizens to explore diverse employment opportunities.
  2. Earnings and Working Hours: Bulgaria, recognized for its competitive salary structures and skilled workforce, is emerging as a preferred destination for employment and outsourcing in southeastern Europe. The average annual salary is 39,600 BGN (USD 22,208), with a monthly average of 3,300 BGN (USD 1,851), inclusive of various employee benefits and allowances.
  3. Working Time & Leave: A standard working week consists of 40 working hours. Employees are entitled to a daily rest period of at least 12 hours and a weekly rest period of at least 2 consecutive days. Employees receive basic paid annual leave of at least 20 days per year, with provisions for additional paid leave under certain conditions.
  4. Sickness/Inability to Perform Services: Employees are entitled to be relieved from work if they are temporarily unable to perform their duties due to illness, with provisions for continued remuneration and sick pay.
IV. Pro Tips:
  • Stay Informed: Regularly update yourself on any changes in legislation or employment practices in Bulgaria.
  • Network: Engage with local communities and professional networks to enrich your experience and open doors to new opportunities.
  • Learn the Language: While English is widely spoken, learning Bulgarian can enhance your social and professional interactions.

Embarking on a career in Bulgaria as an EU citizen is a journey filled with opportunities and learning experiences. By understanding the key regulations and meticulously following the steps after securing employment, you can ensure a smooth transition into the Bulgarian work environment. Embrace the cultural richness and diverse opportunities that Bulgaria has to offer, and let the land of roses be the stepping stone for your career aspirations.

Non-EU citizens

In the evolving landscape of Bulgaria’s labor market, non-EU citizens are increasingly finding employment opportunities. However, navigating the regulatory framework and understanding the implications of employment contract termination are crucial for maintaining legal residence in the country.

1. Visa Requirements

The Type D visa remains a pivotal element for non-EU citizens aspiring to work in Bulgaria. It is a long-term visa, allowing multiple entries into Bulgaria and serving as a prerequisite for obtaining a Bulgarian residence permit. Applicants must meet at least one of the 18 grounds provided under the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act to be eligible, encompassing various scenarios including employment, education, marriage to a resident, and more.

2. Residence Permit & EU Blue Card

Securing a Type D visa is the first step toward being considered for a Bulgarian residence permit. This permit is indispensable for those wishing to extend their legal stay in Bulgaria beyond the validity of their Type D visa, allowing them to live, work, and study in the country under legal protection. The amendments in 2023 have introduced changes to the procedure for issuing a long-term residence and work permit of the “European Union Blue Card” type, focusing on ensuring greater accessibility and accelerating the process, including the provision for electronic submission of applications.

3. Extensions & New Procedures

The possibility of extending the stay is available, with extensions being granted under specific circumstances. The application process is straightforward, requiring submission to the authority that issued the original order, with decisions being notified within three days. The amendments have also reduced the period during which highly qualified employment can be exercised only on the territory of Bulgaria from two years to 12 months.

4. Vital Steps for a Seamless Stay

To ensure a seamless stay, applicants must apply in advance and in person at the nearest Bulgarian embassy/consulate in their country of residence. A thorough review of all visa-related information and local procedures on the embassy/consulate website is essential. Arranging and translating necessary documents and staying informed about any changes in visa and residence permit requirements and procedures are also crucial steps.

5. Ensuring a Seamless and Enjoyable Stay

Non-EU citizens can maintain a seamless and enjoyable stay by securing legal grounds through employment, education, or marriage. Maintaining compliance with the existing laws and regulations and seeking legal counsel for any concerns or queries related to visa applications, residence permits, and legal stay are also vital steps.

Bulgarian Student visas

Internship regulations for national and foreigner
Don't let the visa process stress you out

Book a 30-minute call Premium VISA service

Piktalent Services for Bulgaria

We can provide a range of services to make the internship experience unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, EU citizens can work in Bulgaria without a work permit.

EU citizens in Bulgaria are subject to a 10% income tax on their net income after deductions.

Employment contracts in Bulgaria may have a probationary period of up to 6 months.

You need a valid ID/passport, proof of employment, and proof of accommodation.

The average annual salary in Bulgaria for EU citizens is 39,600 BGN (USD 22,208).

A standard working week in Bulgaria consists of 40 working hours.

Yes, employees in Bulgaria are entitled to at least 20 days of paid annual leave per year.

Stay informed about changes in legislation, network within local communities, and consider learning the Bulgarian language for better integration.

Non-EU citizens need a Type D visa, which allows multiple entries and is a prerequisite for a Bulgarian residence permit.

The 2023 amendment streamlined the process, introducing electronic application submission for the EU Blue Card, making it more accessible.

Yes, under specific circumstances, extensions are possible, and decisions are typically made within three days.

Applying in person at the nearest Bulgarian embassy/consulate, staying informed about visa requirements, and complying with local laws are crucial steps.

Non-EU citizens should obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN), follow GDPR rules for internship contracts, and secure the necessary visas and permits.

If you are interested in finding a job or internship in Bulgaria

Be sure to check out our board of vacancies.

Available vacancies in Bulgaria

Board of vacancies