Visa D if you are married to Bulgarian (covid restrictions)

Many foreigners are currently staying in Bulgaria on either Bulgarian tourist visa (ie citizens of Pakistan, Russia, India, etc.) or visa-free (ie citizens of USA, Canada, Australia, UK, etc.). Many of them are here with their Bulgarian partners and are facing the three months stay restriction. Bulgaria is allowing foreigners from countries with visa-free regime to stay in the country for up to 3 months. These 3 months are counted for any 6 month period. The same applies to most of the tourist visa holders.

3 months stay – not enough for the ones with Bulgarian partners

While three months are more than enough for regular tourist, it’s a big hurdle for those who spend time with their beloved ones in Bulgaria. This is especially true in the realms of the covid, when travel is harder (and more dangerous) than usual. So what can these people do in order to stay in Bulgaria for more than 3 months?

Obviously, long-term stay is allowed if the foreigner holds visa D or residence permit. But without visa D, is it possible to overstay these restrictive 3 months? The answer is more complicated than one would expect.

Staying in Bulgaria for more than 3 months without leaving the country?

So imagine the situation. You are a foreigner and have come to Bulgaria to spend time with your Bulgarian wife or girlfriend. But you are already in the country for two and a half months and within 14 days you have to leave. Not only you will need to travel to your home country (or elsewhere), but for the next three months, you will not probably even see your wife/girlfriend. This is so, because you will be not able to return to Bulgaria during the current 6-months period. But even if you decide to apply for visa D from your home country, the process may take even longer. So is there a way around this?

Special provision in the foreigners law – comprehensive, but feasible if approached with knowledge and determination

Luckily, a special provision exists in the Bulgarian Law on the Foreigners that may allow you to get residence permit without even to have to leave the country. And if this sounds like “too good to be true”, this extraordinary option is quite difficult to exploit. The immigration authorities are reluctant to approve applications under this norm. They will most probably tell you that such an option doesn’t even exist, because they don’t know about it. Even if you succeed to submit your documents, chances are great that your application will be denied.

Our experience to your advantage

We are glad to state that we have successfully assisted large number of clients to get residence permit under the extraordinary legal provisions. In other words, the spouses of Bulgarian citizens who are in the country without visa D, can obtain residence permit without the need to leave the country. This is a life saving option, especially during the current dire covid times.

Please contact our offices if you need further information on this (extraordinary) option.

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