Visa Information


Bulgaria and the European Union’s Common Visa Policy

Since 1 January 2007 the Republic of Bulgaria has been applying the European Union’s Common Visa Policy, subject to the terms of the Accession Treaty.

Bulgaria and the Schengen Area

Joining the Schengen area is a key priority of our country. Currently Bulgaria issues national visas only. Those visas do not give their holders the right to enter the Schengen area.

Council Regulation (EC) № 539/2001 of 15.03.2001

Since the date of its accession to the EU in 2007, Bulgaria has been applying Council Regulation (EC) № 539/2001 of 15.03.2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement.

More information about the visa regime for foreigners with ordinary passports for a short stay (until 90 days) can be found HERE.

More information about the Visa Regime for foreigners with diplomatic and service passports you can obtain HERE.

Types of Visa

Visa A (for airport transit) - you can download the information HERE.

Visa C (for a short stay for the purpose of transit or a planned stay) - you can download the information HERE.

Visa D (for a long stay) - you can download the information HERE.

Visa Issuing

A foreign citizen wishing to apply for a Bulgarian visa shall hold a regular travel document that meets the following requirements:

  • its validity expires at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria or in case of multiple visits - after the last scheduled date of departure from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • contains at least 2 blank pages for visa purposes;
  • has been issued within the last 10 years.

Visas are issued by the diplomatic and consular representations of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Visa Applications

Visa applications forms are submitted no earlier than 3 months before the date of the intended travel, personally or through an authorised agent, with the exception of humanitarian cases.

Visa applications for minors or judicially disabled persons shall be submitted by their legal representatives or by persons expressly authorised to do so.

Visa applications for underage persons or persons with limited judicial disability shall be submitted by their legal representatives, trustees or by persons expressly authorized to do so.

You can download the visa application form from HERE.

Requirements when filling in visa applications

Obligatory personal interview when applying for a type “D” visa
No exception shall be made from the requirement for a personal interview when applying for a long-stay visa.

Documents to be submitted with the visa application:

  1. A photocopy of the first page of the foreign travel document;
  2. A photocopy of the last Bulgarian and Schengen visas or visas for the UK and the US, if any
  3. A colour photograph 3,5 cm х 4,5 cm against light-coloured background (the same holds for a child entered in the passport) – a clear full-face photo (the face should take up 70-80% of the photo); eyes must not be red; the following will not be accepted: photos with dark glasses; non-professional photos or cut out of amateur photos;
  4. A medical insurance valid for the EU member states for the whole period of the trip, covering all costs for repatriation and for urgent medical care and emergency hospital treatment for the period of the stay indicated in the visa. The insurance amount cannot be less than 30 thousand euro
  5. Tickets (original and copy) or ticket booking confirmation or financial means;
  6. if driving,copy of the vehicle paperwork;
  7. For under-aged children travelling without their parents  or trustees the following documents shall be submitted:
  • a copy of the birth certificate
  • original and photocopy of a power of attorney notary certified by both parents/ trustees or by one parent trustee that they agree to their child travelling unaccompanied.

The following persons are exempt from presenting proof for subsistence, accommodation and transportation:

  1. Members of the families or the households of European Union, European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation citizens;
  2. Persons applying for a visa for a long stay in view of gathering their families, in relation to a refugee status acquired or asylum in the Republic of Bulgaria – pursuant to a written decision of the State Agency for Refugees with the Council of Ministers;
  3. Holders of service and diplomatic passports

The following persons are exempt from presenting an insurance policy:

  1. Members of the families or the households of European Union, European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation citizens;
  2. Holders of service and diplomatic passports;
  3. Seamen who meet the criteria of Convention №108 of the International Labour Organization when submitting applications for short-stay visas with the purpose of transit;
  4. Persons who can be deemed to be insured or can cover expenses in unforeseen circumstances due to their social or service status.

The following persons are exempt from fees for visa application processing:

  1. Foreign citizens who as of the date of the visa application are under 6 years
  2. Members of Bulgarian and EU citizens’ families


Travelling from Sofia International Airport

You can easily find your way by following a blue, red or yellow line on the floor of the Airport Terminal 2 building.

By Metro

25minutes, blue line – Sofia Airport Station, Metro Line 1 is right next to Airport Terminal 2, near the departures entrance. Once on Metro Line 1, you need to change trains at Serdika Station towards Lozenets on Line 2. Conference delegates should get off the train at NDK Metrostation.

The metro trains on the route operate from 5:30 a.m. till midnight.

For more information about Sofia Metro System: Metropolitan JSC.

By Bus

40minutes, red line – 84 Bus line connects Sofia International Airport with the city center. You need to get off at the last but one stop – Orlov Most Sq. (Eagle Bridge) and change to buses 76, 204 or 604 and get off at bus-stop bul. Cherni Vrah. Follow the road for 50 more meters and you will see the Palace in front of you. Buses on the route operate from 5.00 a.m. till 12.20 a.m. every day.

For more information about Sofia Urban Transport System: Urban Mobility Centre.

By Taxi

30minutes, yellow line – We advise you to use only “Yellow Taxi” 91119, or “OK Supertrans” 9732121.
For more information and assistance – Hristo Alaminov, phone +359 2 915 35 34 or +359 876 563 690


General Information



Bulgarian is the official language. Most street signs, menus, tourist and government publications however are usually bilingual in both Bulgarian and English.

Time Zone

Local Sofia time is two (2) hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).


Bulgaria has a dynamic climate with seasonal changes. During autumn, weather varies from snow and minus temperatures to +20 °C. So please visit for weather forecast before deciding what to pack.


The standard voltage in Bulgaria is 220 volts AC/50 cycles. The plug/socket system in Bulgaria is a 2-pin type.


The Bulgarian Lev (BGL) is the unit of currency used in Bulgaria. USD 1.0 is approximately BGL 1.57. EUR 1.0 is BGL 1.95583. Most foreign currencies and traveller’s cheques can be changed at banks, hotels and money changers.

All major credit cards are widely accepted in Bulgaria and can be used to obtain cash advances at banks and automatic teller machines (ATMs). ATMs can be found almost everywhere and provide 24-hour cash withdrawal (BGL).

Business Hours

Generally, offices of commercial establishments and Government departments open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. Major banks open from 9am to 5.00pm on weekdays and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturdays.

Most shops and department stores open daily from 10am to 9pm, while 24-hour convenience shops are located all over the city.


Most major restaurants do not add a service charge, but you are expected to leave a tip of between 5-10%, depending on how well you feel you have been treated. Taxi drivers tend to round up the fare to the nearest Lev and if not, will appreciate a little extra.


National Culture Palace

Boulevard "Bulgaria", 1463 NDK
Sofia 1000 Bulgaria
Phone: +359 02/916 6300 or 02/916 6400