A place that might surprise you with its beaches, forests, cities and the opportunity to ski in winter. Due to its geographic position you can find Slavic influences, but also Persian and Greek, making Bulgaria a very culturally rich place with many aspects to discover. 

Immigrants enjoy a slower pace of life in Bulgaria and because the cost of living is much cheaper compared to most other European countries, it’s easier to make the most of all that Bulgaria  has to offer. 

Health care is excellent and numbers show the economy is growing faster than expected. Unemployment is also decreasing, so things are looking up for Bulgaria in many different ways. It’s an attractive place for immigrants who are running their own business from home, but career opportunities can also be found in other areas like tourism and working for international companies. 

Bulgaria can be quite different from other places and it is definitely a good idea to do some research on local customs before you arrive. For example, it’s the only country in the world where a nod of the head means no and a shake means yes, which can cause some confusion. Learning the language, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet like Russia, can be really convenient because only about 23% of the population speaks English. 

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Bulgaria is part of the EU so people with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in Bulgaria.

Here are some of the ways to live in Bulgaria if you are a citizen of a non-EEA country:

Work visas

  • If you have a recognized university degree or professional experience as well as a work contract or binding job offer, you may be eligible for an "EU Blue Card".   The Blue Card is a four-year temporary work and residence permit.  This also gives you free movement within the Schengen area and enables your family to join you.   If you do not have a work contract or job offer, you can register on the EU Blue Card Network, where European employers can view your details and connect with you around job opportunities.  This is also where you apply for the EU Blue Card.
  • If you are not eligible under the EU Blue Card Programme, the Bulgarian Employment Agency issues work permits and the employer you are going to work for must do the application for you. The process usually takes less than a month and a number of documents are required, such as legalized degrees, documents that prove work experience and an employment contract.

Investment

If you invest 1 million BGN (approximately €500,000) in companies on the Bulgarian stock exchange, Bulgarian bonds, investments with a Bulgarian banks or state property, you may apply for residency.

Through your Family

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Bulgaria, you are probably eligible for residency.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.

Here are some ways to get citizenship in Bulgaria:

  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  • If you were born in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, you are most likely a Bulgarian citizen. 
  • If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being resident in Bulgaria for a period of 3 years.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.

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The passport for Bulgaria allows you to travel to 150 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 39.

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