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The Bulgarian Law on Foreigners provides for obtaining a residence permit by university students (full-time); persons admitted to universities; students (secondary education) in the framework of exchange programs; persons who plan to train in Bulgaria. This ground is provided for in Art. 24c of the Law. Obtaining a residence permit on this ground has its own specific features.
Students and trainees


Foreigners of Bulgarian origin accepted as full- time students at Bulgarian universities can obtain a residence permit without first obtaining a long- term visa, if they provide documentary evidence of their Bulgarian origin. The rest must apply for a Visa D at the Bulgarian consulate in the country of their legal stay. The cost of a visa is 100 euros.

In addition to the D visa, you need to have a document stating that you:
  • accepted as a student at a university (full-time education);
  • are an exchange student at a school;
  • are a trainee.
    Also, a foreigner who takes part of his studies on the territory of Bulgaria and has a valid residence permit issued by another EU country can apply for a permit (art. 24c, para 2). Such a foreigner must be subject to:
  • European Union programs;
  • or an interstate program that involves interning in more than one EU country;
  • or agreements between two or more universities, of which at least one is Bulgarian.

  • Such foreign citizens receive the right to enter the territory of Bulgaria from another EU state and stay for the purpose of studying at a university for up to one year. Those who are not covered by the programs and agreements must also apply for the purpose of conducting part of the interning in Bulgaria. Residence permit is issued for the period of study, but not more than for 2 years.


For those who plan to intern in Bulgaria, a residence permit is issued for the duration of the internship, but for no more than one year - in accordance with the law on labor migration. Although the basis is one, the documents for schoolchildren, students and persons undergoing internship in Bulgaria are required different.
Students of Bulgarian origin must also attach a birth certificate. If it cannot be provided, a certificate of Bulgarian origin issued by the Agency for Bulgarians Abroad will do.

Obtaining a residence permit
Having received a Visa D (not needed for students of Bulgarian origin), you need to enter the country with it and, no later than two weeks before the expiration of the period of stay, apply to the Migration Directorate at the place of study and residence. Its offices are in the police departments of regional cities. For processing documents, you must pay a fee of 10 levs. After obtaining a permit, foreigners pay for the production of a personal card. The cost depends on the production time. The cheapest option is 45 levs for 30 days. To receive the card in 15 days, you need to pay 90 levs, after 2 days - 250 levs. You will also need to pay a residence permit fee. On this basis, it amounts to 100 levs.

Prolongation of residence permit and an important feature of this ground
To prolong the residence permit, you need to contact the regional office of the migration service with the same package of documents as for the first time. The only exception is that you no longer need to provide a certificate of no criminal record, but you need to make a simple copy of your personal card. Nothing else changes. Renewal documents must be submitted at least two weeks before the end of the legal stay in Bulgaria. The specificity of the "student residence permit" is that of all the time spent by a student in Bulgaria, only half of the time required to obtain permanent residence is counted. Thus, even after studying and living in Bulgaria for five years, a student cannot apply for permanent residence. Consequently, after graduation, those wishing to stay in the country must extend their residence permit on a different ground. The amendments made to the law in 2019 (Art.24c, para 6) provide for the possibility of obtaining a residence permit for up to 9 months by foreigners who, within 7 working days after graduating from full-time studies at a Bulgarian university, submitted an application to the Employment Agency and registered as job seekers. In this case, it is necessary to extend the residence permit at least 30 days before the expiration of the permitted period of stay. Thus, after graduation, a former foreign student can stay in Bulgaria for another 9 months, during which he must find a job. Then he can extend the residence permit already as an employee in Bulgaria.
For a long-term visa and residence permit, the same documents are required. First of all, this is the standard package:
  • Foreign passport, valid for at least another year and a half, with simple copies of the first spread and a spread with an entry stamp.
  • Application form with color photo / statement.
  • Health insurance for a period of stay with coverage of at least 60 thousand levs (if the student does not use the compulsory insurance system in Bulgaria).
  • Proof of funds.
  • Proof of housing.
  • Certificate of no criminal record (only for adults, with the exception of stateless persons). The document must be translated and legalized; it must be issued no earlier than five months prior to submission.

  • Additionally, students will need the following documents:
  • Certificate of admission to study at a Bulgarian university issued by the Ministry of Education and Science. Its employees of the migration service can request it directly from the ministry.
  • Certificate issued by the university that a foreign student will study at this educational institution in the corresponding year.
  • Document confirming the payment of the fee for enrolling in a university (provided when applying for a residence permit).

  • If a student legally residing in another EU country applies for a residence permit, who will only take part of his studies in Bulgaria in accordance with various programs, then the following are added to the standard list of papers:
  • Document certifying that the foreigner will undergo part of the interning in Bulgaria in accordance with a certain EU program;
  • Certificate stating that a foreigner is accepted as a student at a Bulgarian university;
  • Valid residence permit issued by another EU country;
  • Proof of tuition fees at the relevant institution, if any.

  • Students who come under the exchange program have their own specifics. In addition to a passport with copies of the required pages, they must provide:
  • Certificate of admission to a secondary educational institution in the country;
  • Documents proving participation in the school exchange program;
  • Documents issued by the exchange organizer guaranteeing the coverage of the student's expenses for life, education, health and return home;
  • Documents certifying that the student will live for the entire period of stay in a family chosen in accordance with the rules of the exchange program, or in a special complex (dormitory) at an educational institution;
  • Notarized Declaration of Consent from Parents or Guardians.

  • As for persons on internship in Bulgaria, in addition to the standard package of documents, they need to provide:
  • A copy of the employment contract, which contains information about the duration of the internship, the place and conditions of internship;
  • Certificate of internship program;
  • Certificate of completed or planned language learning to obtain the knowledge necessary for an internship;
  • Higher education diploma, obtained no earlier than two years before the date of application, or a document of a training course for a higher education degree.


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