What will the air-Schengen mean for our foreign clients with Bulgarian visa / residence permit?

An extremely important end-of-year news came from Brussels today. Bulgaria and Romania are becoming part of the Schengen area from 31.03.2024. At the beginning, the Schengen rules will be applied only by air and sea, but land checks should be also abolished in due course.

What will all this mean to the foreigners who hold Bulgarian visa and/or residence permit? Will they be allowed visa-free travel to all Schengen member states? Stay tuned on our website after the New Year holidays.

We will be holding a series of workshops and will be also informing our readers about the new opportunities that the Bulgarian visa and residence permit will be offering from 2024 onwards.

Key questions we will be answering soon

  • will Bulgaria issue Schengen visas from 01.04.2024?
  • will foreigners with a Bulgarian residence permit be able to travel visa-free to Schengen countries?
  • will foreigners with Bulgarian residence permits have the right to long-term residence in Schengen countries?

The decision of the Council of the European Union of 30.12.2023:

From 31 March 2024, checks on persons at internal air and sea borders with and between Bulgaria and Romania shall be lifted and the provisions of the Schengen acquis referred to in the Annex shall apply to Bulgaria and Romania between themselves and in their relations with the Kingdom of Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, the Republic of Croatia, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden, as well as Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and the Swiss Confederation.

The Council shall endeavour to take a decision lifting checks on persons at internal land borders. That decision shall be taken by the Council acting by unanimity in accordance with Article 4(2) of the 2005 Act of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania.

You can also read the full EU Council Decision here.

Please visit our dedicated webpage to find out what the Bulgaria’s Schengen membership will mean to you – Bulgaria in Schengen and the new Bulgarian Schengen visa.


  1. Здравейте,
    Има разнопосочни мнения относно това дали България ще издава шенгенски визи и дали притежателите на карта за пребиваване ще могат да пътуват свободно по въздух до Шенген. Може ли да поясните и дадете еднозначен отговор ?

    Предварително благодаря!

    1. Author

      Здравейте Филип,
      Да, работим по въпроса и ще публикуваме обстойно разяснение относно правата за пътуване на чужденците, притежаващи разрешение за пребиваване в България. Материалът ще е готов в първите дни на Януари.
      Желаем Ви весело посрещане на новата година!

      1. Благодаря ви много! Наистина и към момента не е ясен отговора на въпросите, които и вие сте посочели по-горе също.
        За всички ще е много полезно това! Още веднъж благодаря за винаги важната информация, която ни предоставяте!

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