Increasing number of foreign legal entities establish trade representative offices (“TRO”) with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“BCCI”) in Bulgaria. Each TRO gives the right to residence of up to three foreign nationals coming from a Non-EU countries who shall be appointed as trade representatives of the particular TRO. The residence permit is issued for a period up to 1 year and could be renewed on an annual basis.
The process for obtaining a residence permit as a trade representative of a foreign entity could be divided into five main steps.
- Submission of an application for registration of the TRO at the BCCI
The registration process before BCCI in Sofia, Bulgaria is initiated by the particular trade representative or by a proxy (usually a lawyer) empowered by virtue of a power of attorney. The list of documents to be presented includes among other standard documents also:
- Application for registration of a trade representative;
- An official document certifying the current status of the foreign company, issued not earlier than 6 (six) months before its submission to BCCI;
- Decision for registration of a trade representative;
- Notarised Power of Attorney for registration and appointment of managers of the trade representation office – issued by the legal representative of the foreign company;
- Document of paid registration fee for the registration of the trade representation office – the lev equivalent of EUR 170, calculated at the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) exchange rate for the day of acceptance of the documents for registration at BCCI.
The registration is performed within 3 days. Thereafter, a certificate of the current registration should be issued by BCCI.
- Registration in the BULSTAT Register and issuance of a BULSTAT number by the Registry Agency
Within 7 days from the date of registration of the trade representation office with the BCCI, the trade representation office should be registered in the BULSTAT Register.
The registration in the BULSTAT register shall be performed at the relevant registry office of the Registry Agency located in the seat of the district court of registration of the trade representation office.
- Application for Visa D
Once the TRO has been successfully registered and the foreign national has been appointed as a trade representative, he/she shall submit an application for Visa D at the Bulgarian Consulate established in his/her country of residence.
The documents for the Visa D application include among others criminal record, declaration for proof of address, newly issued certificate from BCCI, etc.
Visa D is issued within a period of up to 35 working days.
- Submission of an application for a residence permit at the Migration Directorate
Once the foreign national has obtained Visa D, he/she shall visit 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 for registration of the trade representation office at the BCCI, issued not earlier than 1 month prior to its submission;
- Certified copy of BULSTAT number, issued by the Registry Agency;
- Paid state fee – BGN 10
- 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 which the foreigner shall be notified by a letter, indicating that the necessary documents and information shall be submitted within 14 days. If the additional documents and information are not submitted within the specified time limit, the proceedings shall be terminated and the application shall not be re-examined.
The state fee paid at the Migration Directorate for granting the residence permit on the legal basis of TRO is:
- upon provision of residency for a period up to 6 months – BGN 200;
- upon provision of residency for a period between 6 months and 1 year – BGN 500.
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