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PostSubject: Moving to Bulgaria – Registration procedures;    Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:12 pm

Moving to Bulgaria – Registration procedures;

Citizens of the European Union (EU), the Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Swiss Confederation, including their family members, may enter and leave the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria with an ID Card or a passport and freely reside in the country for a period of up to three months.

Upon their arrival and settlement in Bulgaria, citizens of other Member States should obtain a certificate of address registration from the municipal service responsible for the locality in which they have settled without delay. Hotel guests are registered ex officio by the hotel administration. Citizens of EU/EEA Member States are free to reside in Bulgaria for a period of up to three months without any formalities. After this period they are required to register with the police and demonstrate that they are employed (self-employed), have been admitted to an educational institution or have sufficient funds to support them during their stay without placing a burden on the social security system of the country. This registration requires an ID document, a document attesting to any of the circumstances mentioned above (for example an employment contract) and a stamp duty receipt to be submitted, against which applicants are issued with a Temporary Residence Permit (valid for up to five years). EEA citizens who reside continuously in Bulgaria for a period of up to five years are issued with a Permanent Residence Permit.

EU/EEA citizens who wish to relocate to Bulgaria taking their personal motor vehicle with them are not required to change their driving licence. Where a driving licence expires or in the case of loss or theft, a new driving licence may be issued in accordance with applicable national rules. Where an EU/EEA citizen resides and uses their motor vehicle in Bulgaria for a period of more than six months, the motor vehicle must be registered with the national authorities and a registration fee paid.

Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation do not need a work permit.

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PostSubject: Re: Moving to Bulgaria – Registration procedures;    Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:35 am

The Law on Foreigners in Bulgaria - Important changes

The Council of Ministers have started public consultations for a Draft law for amending the Law on Foreigners in Bulgaria, which will be significant.

Note: this law concerns non-EU foreigners who reside in Bulgaria.

The most important change the law proposes is a strict revision of the criteria for being granted long-term residence to persons who perform business activity and have created jobs in Bulgaria, as well as for trade representatives of foreign companies, registered in the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce.

Amendments to the Law on Foreigners in Bulgaria provide prior check of the actual business activity of the company abroad, of the turnover and of the origin of the capital. According to the authors of the amendments this will reduce the possibility of abuse of rights that the law provide to foreigners who wish to permanently to reside in Bulgaria.

Other amendments are:

- a new procedure for granting the status of stateless person under the terms of Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 1954 and Convention on the Reduction of cases of statelessness of 1961 which was ratified by Bulgaria in 2012;
- new provisions regarding collection of biometric data and issuing of cards, certifying the Privileges and Immunities and residence permits to persons - staff members of diplomatic or consular representation, or representations of international organizations in the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as members of their families;
- new security temporary measure called "short-term accommodation" in a special facility for accommodation of foreigners.

On 4th of April the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has published its statement about the proposed amendments that concern trade representatives which statement says that the BCCI does not support the text of the amendments as the motives of the BBCI are as follows:
- The text of the amendments mixes the criteria for the companies and criteria for private persons who want to receive residence permit in Bulgaria;
- The criteria mentioned in the amendments concern the activity of a foreign trade company, its turnover, its good name and origin of the capital which are not related to the personality of the foreigner who wants to obtain residence permit for Bulgaria;
- The suggested criteria are too general and vague: such terms as 'international research of the activity' and 'good name' are indefinite and subjective and may lead to corrupt practices; 'research of the origin of the capital" can be made only by a specialized authority - it should be explicitly determined which documents will certify those facts and which authority should issue such documents.

According to the BCCI in case of registration of a trade representation of a foreign company the focus should be placed on the following:
- Documents confirming the activity of the company and lack of tax abuses;
- Documents that confirm that the trade representation has an office in Bulgaria that creates appropriate conditions for normal functioning of the company;
- Proves of planned activities /draft programme/ of the trade representatives for the next year as this will help for determination of the number of persons required for the activity of the trade representation;
- Evidences about real results provided in the form of a report about the activity performed by the trade representation via its trade representatives during the period of existence of the trade representation /in case of renewal of the residence permit/.

The BCCI offers those changes to be included in the Implementing Regulations to the Law on Foreigners in Bulgaria which will allow the BCCI to include additional requirements for registration of trade representations of foreign companies in Bulgaria.
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