After arriving in Bulgaria, a migrant worker must apply for a residence permit. Since the requirements for obtaining a residence permit are similar to those for obtaining a work visa, the process usually goes smoothly beyond such stages:
- The application together with the passport with the visa is submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
- If the decision is positive (as a rule, the consideration lasts seven days), the passport put a stamp with a residence permit.
Residence permits are valid for twelve months and can be restored provided that the migrant worker who applies for a new permit has spent at least six months and one day in the country during the previous year. Persons who work in Bulgaria are issued three residence permits:
- Permission for employees
- Permission of freelance specialists
- Permission for investors
After five years of residence in Bulgaria (with the annual renewal of the temporary residence permit), a migrant worker may apply for a permanent residence permit with unlimited validity. To do this, a person must prove that he is able to financially support himself and his family by making regular contributions to the social insurance fund, has housing and health insurance.
A person who in Bulgaria is the owner of a company with at least ten employees is also entitled to obtain a work permit. Persons who are not citizens of EU countries, but work in Bulgaria as entrepreneurs or business partners, must have appropriate insurance coverage.
To obtain the status of investor migrant worker needs to invest in Bulgaria is not less than 500 thousand dollars.
The husband/wife or minor children of a migrant worker are entitled to the same temporary residence permit as a migrant worker. For example, the spouse of a person who has a residence permit for a period of eight months has the right to obtain a residence permit for the same period. A temporary residence permit is granted to the spouse of a Bulgarian or EU citizen who has a permanent residence permit. If the husband/wife of a Bulgarian citizen has lived in the country for at least two years, he/she has the right to obtain a permanent residence permit.
Employment of citizens of non-EU countries without a prior work permit is illegal and may be subject to significant fines that are levied on both the employer and employees.