The widely accepted general principles of European Union law include among others the so-called “Four Freedoms” and namely:
• Free movement of goods
• Free movement of capital
• Freedom to establish and provide services
• Free movement of persons
The Bulgarian legislation adopts the principle of free movement of persons by ensuring that every EU citizen has the right to enter, reside and work in Bulgaria. However, EU nationals who live in Bulgaria for more than 3 months should register in the Migration Directorate.
Under the Act on the entry, residence and leave of the Republic of Bulgaria of citizens of the EU and their family members, every EU citizen can apply for residence if he/she meets one of the following conditions:
• He/she is an employee or is a self-employed person in the Republic of Bulgaria;
• He/she has health insurance and the necessary financial funds to cover the expenses for their stay and those of the family members, without the need to seek social help
• He/she is enrolled in an educational institution and meets the conditions under the item above
Depending on the legal ground selected by the EU citizen, different set of documents should be presented to the Migration Directorate.
The officials in the Migration Directorate typically review the application and supporting documents within 2 business days from the application date and would issue a registration certificate for the particular EU citizen. In case the foreign national wishes to receive also a plastic ID card, he/she should apply for it after the registration certificate has been issued. The plastic ID card could be issued for 30 calendar days or for 3 business days depending on whether the EU citizen has made a regular or an express order.
Prolonged residence permit for EU citizens is issued for a period of up to 5 years and can be renewed.
2. Residence of citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are not part of the European Union. However, their citizens are eligible to reside and work in Bulgaria based on the same rules that apply to EU citizens. Citizens of these four countries have the right to apply for a residence permit in Bulgaria following the same procedure described in p. 1 above.