General Visa and Passport Information for Bulgaria
Foreign citizens need a valid international passport and a visa to enter the country. The Bulgarian visas are issued by the Bulgarian embassies and consulates abroad, not at the airports or the land and sea passport control points in Bulgaria.
By applying for a Bulgarian visa, the applicant agrees that his/her personal data appearing on the application form would be electronically stored and processed, and if necessary, passed over to the appropriate authorities of other countries in execution of Bulgaria's international obligations.
A visa is issued only to holders of passports or travel documents that are valid for Bulgaria for at least 3 months after the end of the intended stay and that contain a blank page for affixing of visa vignettes.
With effect from 1 January 2006, all children entering Bulgaria will need to have their own passport. Children included in their parents' passports will only be allowed in if the passport also contains their photograph.
Upon entry into Bulgaria, foreigners should declare in writing the purpose of their stay and the address at which they will reside. To this end they should fill in a registration form. Exempt of that are the citizens of the European Union member-states and the citizens of the countries in the Economic European Area. The same applies to the UK for British citizens passport holders only.
This is in accordance with changes to the regulations for the implementation of the Law on Foreigners which the Bulgarian government approved at the end of 2005. The new regulations came into effect from 1 January 2006.
I. Holders of valid ordinary passports from the following countries do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for up to 90 days within each period of six months:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, SAR – China (Hong Kong, Makao), Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK (British Citizen Passport Holders only), USA, Uruguay, the Vatican, Venezuela.
II. Holders of valid ordinary passports from the following countries do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for up to 30 days within each period of six months:
Israel, Macedonia, Serbia
Passport holders from the countries listed above need a visa only if their stay in Bulgaria will exceed 30 days, if they need to enter the country a number of times for a longer period of time, or if they need a long-term visa.
III. All holders of passports from countries-members of the EU do not need visas to enter Bulgaria.
Visa application processing can usually take up to 10 working days, since each application needs to receive clearance by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in Sofia.
Foreigners entering Bulgarian territory on a motor vehicle have to present a document of ownership for that vehicle, if such ownership is not explicitly shown in the vehicle's registration documents.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: All foreign visitors should remember that under Bulgarian Law they are required to contact their local police station within 48 hours of arrival in Bulgaria and present in writing the address at which they will be staying. If they are staying in a hotel or private lodgings, the hotel management/host bear the obligation to register them at the local police station.