Are you looking for a base in Europe?
Do you wish to start or continue doing business within the European Union? This quick guide to Living in Bulgaria will help you understand the benefits and necessary steps when establishing residency and starting a business in Bulgaria.
How to apply for Bulgarian residency as a UK citizen?
First, the Withdrawal Agreement has a transition period (until 31.12.2020) during which the EU rules for free movement of people will continue to apply to UK nationals and their family members. During the transition period, UK nationals will be able to use their passports until their date of validity to enter and exit Bulgaria.
Second, in accordance with the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK citizens and their family members will continue to have their rights of residence under the legislation, applicable to the EU citizens. The categories described in the agreement include:
UK citizens and their family members who are legally residing in Bulgaria at the time of Brexit or hold a valid Bulgarian residence document will retain their residence rights. They can use their residence documents for a period of up to one year after the end of the transition period or the expiry date of their residence documents – whichever comes first. Within this period they should submit an application for renewal of their documents or issuance of a new document. In case of a renewal, the only required documents will be an application form and an identity document.
*Source: Bulgarian Ministry of Interior
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What will happen to my residence status after Brexit?
If you are a UK citizen or a family member of a UK citizen, who at the date of Brexit has a valid residence permit, issued by the Republic of Bulgaria, you will retain your residency rights in Bulgaria and you can use your permit up to 1 year after the end of the transition period or up to the expiry of the validity of the document – whichever comes first.
Should you wish to continue your residence in Bulgaria, you need to submit an application form for the renewal of your residence permit or for the issuance of a new residence permit before the end of the periods indicated above. Your application will be dealt with in accordance with the terms and conditions applicable to the EU citizens.
The Entry requirements are as follows:
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. You do not need any additional passport validity period.
Visas: If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Bulgaria. If you’re planning to stay longer than 3 months, see our Living in Bulgaria guide and contact the Bulgarian Embassy for further questions.
The rules on travel will remain the same until 31 December 2020.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Bulgaria. Source: GOV.UK Entry requirements
The exchange rate of the BGN (Bulgarian Lev) to EUR is stable!
Bulgaria is not in the Eurozone but is under a Currency Board since 1999. In other words, the exchange rate between the Euro and the Bulgarian Lev is fixed at 1.95583 which means that the exchange rate risk is non-existent.
*Source: Madam Bulgaria
Quality of life in Bulgaria
Last but not least, the quality of life in Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas, Bansko and many other cities in Bulgaria is really great. For instance, how many European capital cities can claim to have a beautiful mountain just 20 minutes drive from the very centre of the busy city?
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Further details for UK citizen on topics related to residing in Bulgaria (e.g. pension, benefits, voting, etc.) can be found here.