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Bulgaria, officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country located in Southeast Europe. It is known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and diverse cultural heritage. Here are five important facts about Bulgaria:

1. Rich Historical and Cultural Heritage: Bulgaria has a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The country is home to ancient Thracian ruins, Roman archaeological sites, and medieval fortresses. One of Bulgaria's most famous historical sites is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rila Monastery, a stunning Orthodox monastery nestled in the Rila Mountains. The country's cultural heritage is also evident in its traditional music, dance, and folklore, which are celebrated through vibrant festivals and customs.

2. Natural Beauty: Bulgaria boasts diverse and breathtaking natural landscapes. The country is known for its majestic mountain ranges, such as the Rila, Pirin, and Rhodope Mountains, which offer opportunities for hiking, skiing, and outdoor activities. Bulgaria is also home to beautiful rivers, including the Danube and the Iskar, as well as stunning coastal areas along the Black Sea. The country's natural parks and reserves, such as the Central Balkan National Park and the Pirin National Park, showcase the country's rich biodiversity.

3. Rose Valley and Rose Oil Production: Bulgaria is renowned for its production of high-quality rose oil. The Rose Valley, located in central Bulgaria, is famous for its vast fields of roses and is the primary region for rose oil production. The rose oil, also known as "Bulgarian rose oil" or "attar of roses," is a valuable ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics, and traditional medicine. The annual Rose Festival, held in Kazanlak, celebrates the rose-growing heritage of the region.

4. Thracian Civilization: Bulgaria is associated with the ancient Thracian civilization, which thrived in the region over 2,000 years ago. The Thracians left behind impressive archaeological remains, including tombs, burial mounds, and exquisite gold artifacts. The UNESCO-listed Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, with its unique wall paintings, is a significant example of Thracian heritage. The Thracians have greatly influenced Bulgaria's cultural identity and have left a lasting impact on the country's folklore and traditions.

5. Delicious Cuisine: Bulgarian cuisine is diverse, flavorful, and influenced by its Balkan and Eastern European neighbors. Traditional dishes include banitsa (cheese-filled pastry), kavarma (slow-cooked meat and vegetable stew), and shopska salad (a refreshing salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and white cheese). Bulgarian yogurt, known for its health benefits, is also a staple in the country. Wine production is significant in Bulgaria, with several regions producing excellent wines.

These important facts highlight Bulgaria's rich history, natural beauty, rose oil production, Thracian heritage, and delicious cuisine. Bulgaria offers a mix of cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, and historical exploration, making it a captivating destination for travelers seeking to discover the treasures of Southeast Europe.

Immigration Details

To immigrate to Bulgaria, there are several pathways available, including the Golden Visa program, establishing a company, work permits, studying, and obtaining citizenship or residency. Let's explore each option:

1. Golden Visa Program:
- Capital requirements: Bulgaria offers a Golden Visa program called the Investment Promotion Act (IPA) residency program. The capital requirements for the IPA program include investing a minimum of BGN 1 million (approximately €511,292) in a Bulgarian company, BGN 1 million in municipal or government bonds, or BGN 2 million (approximately €1,022,584) in registered capital of a Bulgarian public company.
- Residency permit: Upon making the qualifying investment, you can apply for an IPA residency permit, which grants temporary residency in Bulgaria.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for obtaining an IPA residency permit can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees associated with the program include application fees, legal fees, government fees, and other administrative expenses.

2. Establishing a Company:
- Capital requirements: To establish a company in Bulgaria, there are no specific capital requirements. The amount of capital needed will depend on the nature and scale of the business you plan to establish.
- Employing locals: As a company owner, you can employ Bulgarian citizens. The employment requirements and regulations can be obtained from Bulgarian authorities or legal professionals.
- Residency permit: As a company owner, you may be eligible to apply for a residency permit based on entrepreneurship or investment, subject to meeting specific criteria and requirements.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for establishing a company and obtaining a residency permit can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees can include company registration costs, legal fees, visa application fees, and other administrative charges.

3. Work Permit:
- Finding a job: Securing a job offer from a Bulgarian employer is crucial for obtaining a work permit. The employer will need to sponsor your work permit and provide necessary documentation, including an employment contract and proof of qualifications.
- Work permit: Once you have a job offer, your employer will apply for a work permit on your behalf. The type of work permit will depend on the job category and your qualifications.
- Residency permit: Depending on the duration of your employment and circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for a residency permit based on employment.
- Timeline and fees: The processing time for work permits and residency permits can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees can include work permit application fees, legal fees, and other administrative charges.

4. Study-based Immigration:
- Obtain admission: Apply and get accepted into a recognized educational institution in Bulgaria.
- Student visa: Once accepted, you will need to apply for a student visa, which allows you to reside in Bulgaria for the duration of your studies.
- Residency permit: Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to transition from a student visa to a residency permit based on employment or other eligible categories.
- Timeline and fees: The processing time for student visas and residency permits can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees typically include visa application fees, tuition fees, and other administrative charges.

5. Citizenship or Residency:
- Citizenship: Obtaining Bulgarian citizenship typically requires residing in Bulgaria for a specified period, demonstrating knowledge of the Bulgarian language, passing citizenship tests, and meeting other eligibility criteria. Dual citizenship is allowed in Bulgaria.
- Residency permit: If you do not qualify for citizenship, you may consider applying for a permanent residency permit, which grants legal residency status in Bulgaria without citizenship rights.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for obtaining citizenship or a residency permit can vary significantly, often taking several years. The fees depend on

the specific process, including application fees, language test fees, legal fees, and other administrative costs.

It's important to note that immigration regulations and requirements in Bulgaria can change over time. Therefore, it's advisable to consult with Bulgarian authorities or seek professional advice to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information based on your specific circumstances.

  • Time To Citizenship
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Becoming a permanent resident or citizen of Bulgaria does not automatically make you a tax resident. To be a tax resident an individual must reside in Bulgarian territory for 183 days in a tax year, have a permanent address in Bulgaria, or have their center of vital interests in Bulgaria. The criterion of center of vital interests prevails over the one of permanent address. That is, someone who has a permanent address in Bulgaria, but whose vital interest center is in another country, may not be considered a resident for tax purposes.

Bulgaria has one of the lowest tax burdens in the European Union. Tax residents are subject to tax on their worldwide income at a flat rate of 10%. A tax credit for foreign tax paid is usually available. Dividends and interest are subject to a final tax of 5% and 8%, respectively. Capital Gains are taxed at the standard PIT rate. Gains derived from companies listed in the Bulgarian or a European regulated stock exchange, and those from properties held 3 years (1 property) or five years (2 other properties) are exempted.

As of 1 January 2019, Bulgaria introduced new rules on Controlled Foreign Corporations (CFCs). These include undistributed profits of low-taxed foreign subsidiaries (and PEs) being included in the tax base of the Bulgarian controlling entity, subject to 10% Bulgarian CIT. Certain exemptions apply, among them that profits of CFCs with substantive economic activity will not be subject to Bulgarian tax.

Bulgaria levies a real property tax of between 0.01% and 0.45% on the tax value of the property. There is an inheritance and gift tax of between 0.4% and 6.6%, depending on the relationship of the beneficiary. There are no net worth and transfer taxes.

On corporate taxation, resident companies are subject to a 10% flat tax on their worldwide income. Dividends received

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property Tax Yes
  • Transfer Tax No
  • Inheritance Tax Yes
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law No
  • Tax Residency Days 183
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 10%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 10%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 8%
  • Territorial Taxation No
Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Bulgarian Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Bulgarian passport holders can travel visa free to 141 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Gambia
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Türkiye
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

Where Can Bulgarian Citizens Go Without a Passport?

Bulgarian citizens can enter the following countries without a passport with only an ID card:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Türkiye
  • Vatican City

What Countries Issue eVisa to Bulgarian Citizens?

The following 14 countries issue eVisas for Bulgarian passport holders:

  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Myanmar
  • Pakistan
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Bulgarian Passport Holders?

If you are a Bulgarian citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 34 countries listed below:

  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Saint Helena
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Zimbabwe

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Bulgarian Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 37 countries with a Bulgarian passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Bhutan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cuba
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ghana
  • Guam
  • Guyana
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkmenistan
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • United States
  • Yemen
  • Eswatini

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in Bulgaria. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Bulgarian Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Bulgarian citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Bulgarian passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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