* visa, residency permit or visa-free allowed stay

The end of the covid-19 state of emergency

Bulgaria goes back to normal

After one day only, Bulgaria will officially revert back to normal (well, almost). The emergency state regulations will cease to be applied from May 13th, 2020. The emergency laws that were passed through the Parliament recently will expire and the new “post-quarantine” regulations will be enforced.

Bulgarian visa, residency permits and visa-free allowed stay

At the same time, there is a large number of foreigners who are stuck in Bulgaria. Some of them can not travel back home, because of the closed borders and cancelled flights. Even more are those who do not want to return to their home countries, preferring to stay in Bulgaria.

All they face the same problem now: how to prolong their Bulgarian visa or residency cards. Those who have arrived visa-free (ie citizens of USA and Canada) have the same problem too. Their (usually) 3 months visa-free allowed term is about to expire.

Unfortunately, the administrative procedures are not as easy as we would all want them to be. At the same time, the stakes are very high. A foreigner who has violated the immigration rules during the last 2 years will be denied Bulgarian visa or entry to Bulgaria (Art.10, par.1 from the Law for the foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria). In other words:

Violation of the immigration laws in Bulgaria will result in ban to enter Bulgaria for the next 2 years!

What you should do?

First of all, don’t panic! Even if your visa (or residency permit, visa-free term) is about to expire very soon, you may still be able to arrange your status. In all cases, you must act proactively and contact us, or the immigration authorities for assistance.

The worst of all you could do to yourself is to wait for your visa or residency card to expire. And then to try to leave the country. At the border, the immigration officer issue a “violation protocol” so the Art.10 of the “Foreigners Law” will be applied.


  1. Hi there I am a student from medical University of varna I came to Qatar for vacation on the month 9f Feb and been stuck here ever since my resident card expired in the month of May and the first flight from Qatar to Bulgaria is on 23rd of Augest can I return back to Bulgaria with an expired resident card?

    1. Author

      The validity of the Bulgarian ID cards for foreigners was indeed prolonged with the first Law for the extraordinary measures because of the covid-19. Since then however, there were other amendments as well as number of ordinances by the Ministry of Health. We recommend you to urgently seek legal advice from our embassy in Doha. The address of the mission is at West Bay, Dafna Area, Zone 66, Waraqa Bin Nawfal str. # 848, P.O. Box 23812.
      If they are unable to assist you, please contact our urgent assistance department.

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