Bulgaria, often overlooked by tourists, is a captivating country in Eastern Europe that’s steeped in history and adorned with breathtaking landscapes.
Whether it’s exploring the vibrant city life in Sofia, delving into history at the ancient town of Plovdiv, or relaxing along the beautiful Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria is a hidden gem that deserves recognition.
As with any international travel, it’s important to understand the visa process.
For potential visitors to Bulgaria, this article provides an extensive guide to the Bulgarian visit visa application process and requirements.
In this article…
Visa Requirements: Who Needs a Bulgarian Visit Visa?
Not everyone requires a visa to enter Bulgaria. Citizens of the EU, the United States, Canada, Australia, and several other countries are granted visa-free entry for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
However, nationals of certain countries do need a visa for any type of entry to Bulgaria.
Before planning your travel, it’s crucial to confirm whether you need a visa. You can do this by checking the list of visa-exempt countries on the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
Understanding the Bulgarian Visit Visa
A Bulgarian visit visa is a short-stay visa, also known as a Type C visa.
It permits its holder to stay in Bulgaria for no longer than 90 days within a six-month period.
The visa can be issued for single, double, or multiple entries, subject to the discretion of the issuing authority.
The Bulgarian Visit Visa Application Process
Step 1: Preparing Your Documents
The first step in the application process is gathering the required documents. You will need:
- Passport: Your passport should have at least two blank pages and must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned exit from Bulgaria.
- Completed Visa Application Form: This form can be downloaded from the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
- Photographs: You will need two recent passport-sized photographs.
- Proof of Accommodation: This can be a hotel reservation or a letter of invitation from a host in Bulgaria.
- Proof of Travel: You should provide a copy of your round-trip flight tickets or itinerary.
- Financial Means: You will need to show proof of sufficient financial means to support your stay in Bulgaria, usually through bank statements.
- Travel Insurance: A travel insurance policy covering at least €30,000 in medical costs, including emergency treatment and repatriation.
Step 2: Submitting Your Application
Once you have all your documents in order, you should submit them to the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your country.
Some embassies may require you to book an appointment for this.
Step 3: Paying the Visa Fee
After submitting your application, you’ll be required to pay the visa fee. The fee varies depending on the type and duration of the visa.
Step 4: Waiting for Visa Processing
After paying the fee, your application will be processed, which can take up to 15 working days. It is recommended to apply at least 15 days before your intended travel date but not earlier than three months.
Step 5: Collecting Your Visa
If your visa is approved, the embassy or consulate will notify you. You can then collect your passport with the visa sticker attached.
Important Tips for Your Application
It’s important to apply early and to ensure all your information is accurate. Additionally, all your documents should be valid for the duration of your stay in Bulgaria.
If you are visiting Bulgaria for special purposes such as medical treatment, cultural events, or sports events, additional documents might be required.
You should always verify this with the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your country.
Applying for a Bulgarian Visit Visa is a comprehensive process, but it’s straightforward if you understand the steps and meet all the requirements.
Always refer to the official website of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Once your visa is approved, you’re all set to explore the intriguing and vibrant landscapes of Bulgaria!