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Persons who have received the right to freelance in Bulgaria can, on this basis, obtain a residence permit. This possibility is provided for by Art. 24, para 1, sub-para 15 of the Bulgarian Law on Foreigners. Art. 24a states that a foreign freelancer must first obtain permission from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. Obtaining such a permit is also provided for by the Law on Labor Migration and Mobility.


"Freelance activity" is any professional economic activity carried out independently, "for oneself", and not for a third-party employer. At the same time, Visa D on this basis is not issued to foreigners in the cases listed in Art. 24, para 1 - 13 and 16 - 20 of the Bulgarian Law on Foreigners. The first stage is obtaining a license from the Bulgarian Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

To obtain a license, a foreign citizen must provide the following documents:
  • Application for a permit.
  • A copy of the passport pages with personal data.
  • Two color photos.
  • Brief description of free activity (purpose, type, nature).
  • An action plan for the entire period during which it is planned to carry out free practice in Bulgaria. It must be written in accordance with the requirements specified in the Regulation on the Implementation of the Law on Labor Migration and Mobility.
  • Documentary confirmation of the fact that the applicant has at least two years of professional experience.
  • A document confirming the availability of funds for the implementation of the action plan.
  • Certificate of proficiency in the state language of Bulgaria at B1 level or higher.
  • A document confirming the fulfillment of all conditions for engaging in professional activities included in the list of regulated professions in Bulgaria.
  • Other documents - if necessary.

  • The action plan, which is mandatory in the package of documentation for obtaining a residence permit, must include:
  • clear definition of business objectives;
  • information about the current state of the economic environment (external and internal);
  • market identification;
  • a description of the general trends in its development;
  • financial justification;
  • a description of the opportunities for achieving results that can be measured in practice;
  • evidence of the economic and / or social impact of free practice.


As with obtaining a residence permit on other grounds, a foreigner must first obtain a Visa D. It is required to enter the Bulgarian territory. Then, a maximum of 2 weeks before the expiration date of the Visa, you need to apply for a residence permit. A residence permit is issued for a maximum of 12 months. Two weeks before its end, you can apply for the extension of the residence permit. In all cases, the same documentation package is required. There are small exceptions to this rule - they are written in brackets.
A D visa can be obtained at the Bulgarian consulate in the country of legal residence. The fee is 100 euros, the processing time is from 30 working days. A residence permit is issued in Bulgaria at the migration service at the regional police department at the place of residence. The fee for the examination of documents is 10 levs. After obtaining the permit, you must pay a fee of 500 levs. The production of a plastic personal card is paid at the same time. It will cost 45 levs - in this case the document will be ready in 30 days. By paying 90 levs, you can receive the card in 15 days. If you are in a hurry and want the document to be ready in 2 days, the cost of production will rise to 250 levs.
List of documents:
  • Foreign passport, which is valid for another year and a half from the date of submission of documents, as well as a copy of its first spread and a page with a stamp on the last entry into the territory of Bulgaria.
  • Personal card and its simple photocopy - upon re- submission.
  • A completed visa application form with a color photograph (upon receipt of a residence permit - a corresponding application instead of a questionnaire).
  • Certificate of no criminal record. Applicable only for a visa and the initial receipt of a residence permit. The document must be translated into Bulgarian and legalized. The certificate must be issued no earlier than 5 months before the submission of documents. Minors and stateless persons are exempted from the obligation to present this document.
  • Proof of housing in Bulgaria. For owners, this is a notarial deed (copy), for tenants, respectively, a lease agreement (notarized copy). The lease agreement must be accompanied by a declaration of address (notarized copy). The signatures of the parties in these documents must be certified by a notary.
  • Health insurance for the entire period of stay in the country, valid in the territory of Bulgaria. Sum insured - at least 60 thousand levs.
  • As proof of financial security - a certificate from any Bulgarian bank, where the applicant has an account, about the availability of the required amount. In 2020, it is 3660 levs (6 minimum wages) when applying for a Visa D, and, accordingly, 7320 levs (12 minimum wages) when applying for a residence permit.
  • Certified copy of the free practice license issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.


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