Student visa and residence permit in Bulgaria

Published On: 04/10/2023

Pursuing university degree in Bulgaria is a common choice among foreign nationals wishing to receive affordable and good quality higher education. Once enrolled as a student, the foreign national is eligible to receive residence permit for a period of up to 1 year which could be renewed on an annual basis.

The process for obtaining a residence permit as a university student in Bulgaria could be divided into four main steps.

  1. Enrollment in a Bulgarian university

The first step that should be completed by the foreign national is to apply and be accepted as a full-time student in a university in Bulgaria for bachelor or master education program. The process requires submission at the university of the secondary school diploma which also includes confirmation by the respective school that the applicant can continue his/her education by studying for a bachelor degree. Usually, the documents are being internally provided by the respective university to the Ministry of education which issues a confirmation for the particular applicant allowing the latter to be enrolled in the particular university.

  1. Application for Visa D

Once the step above is completed, the foreign national should apply for Visa D at the Bulgarian Consulate at his/her country of origin or permanent residency. The documents for Visa D include among others criminal record, declaration for proof of address, certificate from the university, certificate by the Ministry of education, etc.

Visa D is issued within a period of up to 35 working days.

  1. Submission of an application for a residence permit at the Migration Directorate

After successful receipt of Visa D, the applicant shall come to Bulgaria in order to apply for residence permit at the Migration Directorate.

The documents are submitted in the district administration of the Migration Directorate in Bulgaria. The list of documents to be presented includes among other standard documents also:

  • Application form for granting the right of a long-term residence status to a foreigner in the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • Copy and original of a passport;
  • Copy and original of a Visa D and the seal for the last entry into the country;
  • Criminal record certificate;
  • Certificate by the Ministry of education;
  • Certificate from the university that the foreigner is enrolled for the academic year;
  • Proof of payment of the university enrolment fee;
  • Etc.
  1. Positive statement of the Migration Directorate

The application shall be examined by the officials at the Migration Directorate within 14 days.

In the event of legal and factual complexity and the need to submit additional documents, this period may be extended by 1 month.

For more information or legal advice and assistance, please use the contact form or reach out to us at

Dafina Chobanova
Polina Berg 

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