Bulgarian long-term residency

There are three types of residency available for non-EU citizens in Bulgaria. These are temporary residency (also called extended), permanent and long-term residency. The temporary residency can be considered as the first step of someone who just relocated to Bulgaria. Meeting certain criteria the temporary can be exchanged for a permanent or long-term residency.

What is a long-term residency permit in Bulgaria?

Long-term residence status is granted to a foreigner that has resided legally and uninterruptedly on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for 5 years prior to submission of the application for granting of long-term residence permit. The long-term residency card is valid for 5 years.

Our dedicated and recommended by Legal500 team of immigration lawyers will assist through the process of obtaining a Bulgarian long-term residency.

The difference between a long-term and permanent residency

The long-term and permanent residency are both granted for a period of 5 years. However, the permanent residency does not allow you to travel to Schengen member states. Holding a permanent residency, you can visit for up 90 days in any 6 months period Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. However, if you would like to travel to Schengen countries, you have to apply for a Schengen visa. The long-term residency allows you to travel to all EU and Schengen member states visa free. 

Additionally, your children can be enrolled in Bulgarian schools and universities at the rate for Bulgarian citizens. This saves you at least 50% of the tuition fees.

Requirements to obtain a long-term residency in Bulgaria

You have to reside in Bulgaria for at least 50 months in any 5 years period to obtain a long-term residency. Compared to permanent residency requirements, this is 20 months more. In other words, the more you stay in Bulgaria the more benefits you can reap.

If you haven’t resided for 50 months in any 5 years period, you can consider applying for Bulgarian permanent residency.

For more information about obtaining Bulgarian long-term residency, please get in touch with our team.

Deadline for submission

Not less than 2 months prior to expiration of the permitted residence period granted to the foreigner in the country.


Your long-term residency application will be considered within 2 months of submission of application. In circumstances of legal and factual complexity and necessity of presentation of additional documents or information the deadline can be extended by two months.

Bringing your family to Bulgaria

Non-EU citizens who have long term residency in Bulgaria can initiate family reunification procedure with the local Migration Office. You can find more information about relocating family members to Bulgaria.