EU citizens do not require a work permit or residency permit to live and work in Bulgaria, but foreigners deemed to hail from a “third country” must apply for one, although there are some exceptions to the rule.
Third-country citizens who do not require work permits are either individuals with long-term or permanent residence in Bulgaria, members of boards of directors of companies who are not working under an employment relationship for remuneration, commercial representatives of foreign companies and managers of companies or trade branches of foreign business enterprises or entities.
Work permits are issued by the National Employment Agency of Bulgaria. The stay and work permits for third-country nationals are divided into four different categories:
short-term stay of up to 90 days
long-term stay of up to 1 year
long-term stay of up to 5 years with an option to extend
residency with unlimited period
How to apply for a Bulgarian work permit
This is either done via the employer directly or via a law firm based in Bulgaria. Usually, the employer will submit the necessary documents to the Employment Service Directorate.
The Employment Service Directorate will send these documents to the executive director of the National Employment Agency within 3 days of a received application. This will be accompanied by an opinion on the application made. The executive director will make a decision usually within the space of one month, whether to grant or refuse a work permit issue.
What documents must be sent to the National Employment Agency?
The application must not just specify the place of work, where the third-country national is going to work in Bulgaria but must also specify:
the contract of employment
how many staff are employed on average for the previous 12 month period
copy of passport or ID, which must be valid for at least 7 months after arrival in Bulgaria
any other documents specifying the nature of the job and what is required by regulatory documents, such as professional licences for example
if the staff member coming to Bulgaria is a senior management member of staff or an expert of a foreign legal entity they will need to submit an officially notarized document certifying the job offer made to the third-country national or what position the staff member held within the legal entity over the previous 12 months.
In addition, foreigners from third countries must ensure that they have a residency permit. Foreign nationals who can get a continuous residency permit are either persons who undertake commercial activities in Bulgaria and do so by employing at least 10 Bulgarian citizens, representatives of third-country companies and foreign specialists who are staying in Bulgaria under international treaties, such as diplomats for example.
If you are an entrepreneur investing in a Bulgarian business or starting one in the country, a lawyer will be able to make both the application for work permit and residency permit for you and any staff members you plan to bring with you from your own country.
Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com
Source:: Property show rooms