What to do if your Bulgarian visa is rejected?

You have applied for Bulgarian visa, but the authorities have rejected your application. What can you do? What are the consequences and what are your options?

Visa types in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the following three visa types are issued to foreigners who wish to enter the country (art.9a from the Law for the foreigners):

  1. Airport transit visa, type A;
  2. Short stay visa, type C;
  3. Long term visa, type D.
visa for airport transit

Airport transit visa (type A)

The transit airport visa only allows entry into the transit international airport zone. It doesn’t allow entry in Bulgaria, even for short period. This is not the “usual transit visa” that may be issued in order to drive through the country.

short term visa (tourist visa)

Short term stay visa (type C)

The short stay visa can be issued as “standard transit visa” with allowed “pass-through” period of only 48 hours. It can be also issued as “standard short stay visa” with allowed period of up to (usually) 90 days.

Both the airport transit visa type A and the short stay visa C can be for single or multiple entries.


long-term Bulgarian visa

Long term visa (type D)

And then there is the “golden ticket to the EU” – the long term Bulgarian visa type D. It is issued to foreigners who wish to stay long-term or permanently in Bulgaria. This visa has a validity of up to 180 days and in some cases can be up to 360 days. The visa D always comes with right of multiple entries.


Who decides whether the visa may be issued or not

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decides and appoints the responsible officials (ie from the embassies and consulates), who are authorized to issue the following visa types:

  • short stay visas with validity (do not confuse validity with the allowed stay) of up to one year;
  • long term visa for stay up to 360 days (doesn’t apply to the “standard” visa D with allowed stay of up to 180 days);
  • emergency transit and short stay visas with allowed stay of up to 15 days.

The authorized consular officials need special authorization from the Bulgarian State Agency for National Security and the Services for Administrative Control of the Foreigners in order to issue the “standard” long term visa D (AKA immigration visa).

What happens when visa is rejected?

no Bulgarian visa

Banned to enter Bulgaria/EU

First of all, after visa is rejected, the chances for successfully applying for another visa (either on the same or on other grounds) are virtually non existent. In such cases, the authorities are applying the norms of Art.10 of the Law for the Foreigners and the candidate is practically deprived of the opportunity to enter Bulgaria in any foreseeable future.

Chance to appeal

When the Consulate or the Embassy rejects to issue visa, this rejection can be appealed administratively. Such appeals are very rarely successful, as the applicant is basically appealing the rejection in front of the same institution that has rejected the visa in first place. It is still possible, with professional legal support, to prove that the rejection has not been justified and the visa to be issued.

In cases when the administrative appeal fails, the candidate can appeal the rejection in Bulgarian Court. In such cases, our legal expertise is vital, as this is the applicant’s last resort.

What to do if your Bulgarian visa application has been rejected

First of all, contact us immediately. The allowed timeframe for appealing is short, very short! If you don’t appeal, the rejection becomes final. In such case, your chances to ever visit Bulgaria again are melting away. What is even worse is that the Bulgarian rejection will impact also your chances to ever visit the EU too, as all member states share information.

The good thing is that if you believe that your intention to visit Bulgaria is genuine, we will certainly be able to help you.

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