Home / Obtaining long-term residence permit in Bulgaria after 5 years of residence permit


According to article 24g of the Bulgarian Law on Foreigners, foreign citizens who have been legally residing in Bulgaria for 5 years can apply for the status of permanent residence ("long-term stay in the European Union").
Obtaining long-term residence permit in
        Bulgaria after 5 years of residence permit


As the name implies, this is not a purely Bulgarian, but a pan-European status. It is somewhat more difficult to get it than permanent residence, but many choose this option for economic reasons.
To obtain the status, you need to be on the territory of Bulgaria for 5 years prior to submitting the application - legally and continuously. In this case, the continuity of stay means that during this entire period the foreigner must have a residence permit or other permit for stay. You can leave the country, but the terms of absence are strictly regulated: no more than six months in a row and no more than 10 months in the entire five-year period.

The five-year period required to obtain the status does not include the periods during which foreigners stayed in Bulgaria:
  • as members of diplomatic, consular missions or members of their families;
  • as members of international organizations accredited in Bulgaria, as well as members of their families;
  • temporarily, working under the au pair program, seasonally, as providers of cross-border services and their subordinates sent to Bulgaria;
  • if the residence permit was formally restricted.
If foreigners have lived in Bulgaria as students, trainees or students under an exchange program (Article 24c of the Law), then only 50% of the period of stay is taken into account when calculating the period required to obtain a residence permit. The status can be granted to a foreigner who enjoys international protection. In this case, when calculating the 5-year period, it shall include the period from the date of the application for protection to the date of receipt of the Bulgarian identity card, if this period exceeds 18 months. If the period is less, then only half of it is counted. But the presence of a residence permit in another EU country on the basis of the granted protection, other than international protection, or the presence of work in progress regarding the issuance of such a permit is not a ground for obtaining a long-term residence permit. The presence of unfinished proceedings regarding the issue of international protection is also not a basis for obtaining a long- term residence permit in Bulgaria.
Procedure You can get a long-term residence permit at the migration service department at the regional police department at your place of residence. You can apply immediately after the required five-year deadline. This must be done personally. The application will be considered for two months, at which time a foreign citizen must legally stay in Bulgaria with a residence permit. If necessary, the period can be extended by another two months - for example, if the employees of the migration service deem it necessary to request additional documents. Based on the application, the head of the regional migration department issues a decree on the possibility of granting a foreigner the status of a long-term residence permit.


You do not need to provide documents on your stay in Bulgaria - these data are in the migration service database. However, employees of the migration service have the right to additionally request any other papers. You need to pay 10 levs for the examination of documents. The fee for a long-term residence permit is 110 levs, it is paid after obtaining a permit. In addition, you need to pay for the issue of a plastic permit card - it takes 30 days and costs 45 levs. Before making a card, you need to get a permanent address and a SCN (Single Civil Number). This is done in the Community (Administration) at the place of residence upon presentation of a notification letter from the migration service. It is recommended to keep a copy of this letter: in the future it will be useful for registration with the tax service. Para 1 of Art. 24 g indicates that the status of a long-term residence permit is permanent, it remains with the foreigner, if there are no grounds for its withdrawal in accordance with Art. 40 of the Law. Nevertheless, a long- term residence permit is valid for 5 years: after this period, it is renewed on the basis of a personal application of a foreign citizen. The expiration of the validity period of the permit is not a ground for canceling the residence permit status.
The following documents are attached to the application for registration of a long-term residence permit:
  • Foreign passport and a simple copy of its spread with a photo;
  • A certificate from a Bulgarian bank confirming that the account has at least 12 Bulgarian minimum wages or pensions;
  • Compulsory health insurance for one year if the foreigner does not yet use the services of the compulsory insurance system in Bulgaria;
  • Evidence of housing. Owners provide a notarial deed (simple copy), tenants - a corresponding agreement with an address declaration attached to it (notarized copies);
  • A copy of the decision on granting international protection from the State Agency for Refugees - only if the long-term residence permit is obtained on this ground.


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