Bulgaria finally has the full backing of the European Commission to join Schengen

The European Commission has finally spoken:

Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia need to join the Schengen area as they meet the necessary criteria

Annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area adopted by the European Commission, as reported by BNR

It is now more than clear that Bulgaria will (very) soon join the Schengen. Will that make any difference to the Bulgarian citizens? Contrary to the popular belief, the answer is NO! Bulgarian citizens already have full freedom to move and relocate within the EU. The Schengen membership will only save them few seconds when they travel to or from Bulgaria. On average, a travelling Bulgarian will save 53 seconds per year. Will that matter? We don’t think so. The real beneficiary of the Bulgarian Schengen membership will be the foreigners with Bulgarian residence permits.

Bulgarian residence permit holders will profit immensely from the Schengen membership of the country

Non-EU foreigners with Bulgarian residence permits (of any type – long-term, permanent, etc.) will be allowed visa-free travel within the Schengen area. After Bulgaria officially joins the Schengen area, these foreign nationals will have the complete freedom of movement with their Bulgarian residence cards. This will definitely increase the number of foreigners wishing to relocate to Bulgaria. Unfortunately, this will also increase the cost to obtain residence status in the country. Planning ahead, before the formal Schengen membership of Bulgaria, may prove to be a real cost saver though.

For any information about the legal options to obtain Bulgarian residence permit and id card, please contact our offices.

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