Rules of entry and stay
Bulgaria has lifted all coronavirus restrictions on entry from any country in the world.
There are two options for entering Bulgaria, depending on your citizenship – visa-free and visa regime. If you are eligible for visa-free entry, your stay should not exceed 90 days. This applies to those cases when you are traveling as a tourist, visiting family or friends, attending business meetings, cultural or sporting events, or for short-term training.
A longer stay is possible, but you must apply for an extension of your stay (see below).
PLEASE NOTE: Starting October 20, Bulgaria introduces a visa regime for Russian citizens holding diplomatic and service passports.
To find out if you need a visa to enter Bulgaria, please follow the link.
PLEASE NOTE! The European Union will not issue Schengen visas to citizens who have received Russian passports in the "DPR", "LPR", Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, as well as in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
All tourists must have biometric passports issued less than 10 years before the date of entry into the country (check the «date of issue») and valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the «expiration date»), as well as issue an insurance policy for the entire period of stay in the country.
A travel insurance policy must meet the following requirements:
minimum coverage of 30,000 euros
cover expenses related to repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health problems, emergency hospitalization or death.
Where can I apply for an extension of my stay?
You will need to contact the immigration authorities and apply for a visa extension.
What do I need to provide to extend my stay?
Confirmation of the address where you will live (namely, a notarized lease agreement)
Confirmation of available funds. Usually, a bank statement will be sufficient, but if it is from a foreign bank, it will need to be transferred and legalized. The easiest way would be to open an account with a Bulgarian Bank and transfer the required amount from your personal bank account abroad. The problem is that Bulgarian banks won’t want to open a bank account for you, especially if you don’t have a residence permit in Bulgaria.
You will also need to provide a health insurance document.
Additional visa information
Do you need a tourist visa to Bulgaria if you have a Schengen visa?
Bulgaria has not yet fully joined the Schengen agreement, but if you have a valid Schengen visa, you can enter Bulgaria with it, provided that there are still entries and days left on it.
If you are a citizen of a country where visa processing is mandatory, then you should apply for a short-term visa with type C. This type of visa allows foreign citizens to stay in Bulgaria for no more than 3 months within a 6-month period from the date of first entry.
What are short-term visas?
Short-term visas with type C are divided into 2 categories (listed below), depending on the purpose of the trip:
Visa with type C for transit. This short-term visa is granted to applicants who use Bulgaria as a transit stop on their way to their final destination. Basically, the applicant's itinerary includes a transfer in Bulgaria, and he/she can stay there, but they won’t have any other privileges. This visa is valid for up to 12 months and allows its holder to enter Bulgaria for one, two or (as an exception) three transit passes for up to 2 days.
Type C visa for a scheduled visit. This visa allows applicants to enter Bulgaria several times for a period of no more than 90 days within a 180-day period. This type of visa is usually valid for up to 1 year or, as an exception, up to 5 years. To specify the purpose of the session, please provide an invitation letter.
Where can you apply for a visa C for Bulgaria?
All applicants must apply in person to the nearest Bulgarian Embassy/Consulate at their place of residence no later than 3 months before the visit.
Foreign nationals from third countries (non-EU countries) who wish to stay in Bulgaria for more than three months must apply for a residence permit in Bulgaria.
The legislation stipulates that foreigners can apply for one of three types of residence permits in Bulgaria:
Extended residence permits: they have a maximum validity period of one year; can be used by investors and other interested parties
Long-term EU residence permits: they are issued for an initial period of five years, and then can be extended
Permanent residence permits: they are granted after a certain amount of time spent legally in a country with a valid permit
Residence permits: available for European citizens staying for more than three months, on a long-term basis for a maximum of five years, or on permanent residence.
What documents are required for obtaining a residence permit?
confirm your local address
proof of the reason for moving
confirmation of the availability of financial opportunities for self-sufficiency.
Before applying for a residence permit in Bulgaria, non-EU foreign citizens must obtain a long-term D visa before the application process begins. This type of permit is valid for up to one (1) year.
What documents should be submitted together with the application for a D visa:
Photocopy of the first page of a foreign travel document
Photocopy of the latest Bulgarian and Schengen visas
Health insurance valid for EU member states for the entire period of travel, which covers all expenses for repatriation and for emergency medical care and emergency hospital care for the period of stay specified in the visa. The insurance amount can’t be less than 30 thousand euros
Tickets (original and copy) or confirmation of ticket booking or financial resources
Copy of the vehicle's Technical Data Sheet for travel
For minor children traveling without parents or guardians, the following documents are submitted:
a copy of the birth certificate
the original and a photocopy of a notarized power of attorney certified by both parents/guardians or one of the parents that they consent to the child's unaccompanied travel.
The following persons are exempt from submitting documents confirming their residence and travel:
Family members or households of citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area
Persons applying for a long-stay visa for the purpose of gathering their families, in connection with obtaining refugee status or granting asylum in the Republic of Bulgaria - in accordance with a written decision of the state refugee agency under the Council of Ministers
Holders of official and diplomatic passports.
For more information about the list of supporting documents for applying for a visa to Bulgaria, please visit:
If you don’t have the right to enter Bulgaria without a visa, you may need an airport transit visa.
An airport transit visa can be single-entry, double-entry, or, as an exception, multiple-entry, with a validity period of three months from the date of its issuance.
What does an A-type transit visa do?
An airport transit visa entitles a foreigner to cross the border or stay in the international transit zone of the airport in the event of a transit landing or change of flights in order to continue traveling to another country.
Entry with pets
If you want to travel to Bulgaria with your pet, your pet will need a microchip, proof of rabies vaccination, and a health certificate approved by a veterinarian. Part of the medical certificate is a written statement by the owner or person accompanying the animals that the animals are not subject to movement for the purpose of selling or transferring these goods.
Your pet must also be accompanied by an animal's passport.
For more information about entering the territory of Bulgaria with animals, go to the website:
Phone 112 or 166 to call the police
Phone 112 or 150 to call an ambulance
Phone 112 or 160 to call the fire department.
For information and advice on Bulgarian customs regulations, please visit the Customs Service website:
Information for motorists
To rent a car in Bulgaria, you must have a valid driver's license, passport and car rental insurance. If your license isn’t Bulgarian or your driver's license is recognized in the EU, then you will need to get an international driver's license in Bulgaria, as this is required by most car rental companies. You can get an international driver's license online or in person.
To rent a car, you need a minimum driver experience of at least 3 years. The minimum age is 21 years (for some types of cars – 25 years).
Аll Bulgarian representative offices in the following countries: https://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/Bulgaria/
Entering Bulgaria as Samoan Citizen
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.