Bulgaria is a beautiful country and an interesting destination if you are a pensioner and are looking for a foreigner-friendly country and the most affordable cost of living country in the European Union.
Bulgarian offer favorable conditions for retired people to get a residence permit, and then move to live in Bulgaria.
A Long-term Residence Permit stays in the country can be obtained by any foreign pensioner who has a place to live and enough money to stay in Bulgaria.
How to apply for a long-term residence permit?
The procedure is not very complicated (but you will need all documents translated to the Bulgarian language) and consists of two phases:
Arrival in Bulgaria to apply for a residence permit, if you a citizen of the European Union or the EEA you will have an automatic right to reside in Bulgaria. However, you need to register your stay in the country if you are planning to stay in Bulgaria for more than 90 days. The registration process is simple and does not require many documents.
For non-EU residents, long-term visa type D will be needed.
The retired non-EU residents have to supply to the embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in their country the following documents:
- International passport
- 2 Passport size photographs
- Fill up the Application form
- Certificate for having a pension for life, prepared by the competent authorities of their country of residence, this document has to seal with the Apostille stamp.
- Reference from the country of origin pension found institution showing the amount of the pension for the last 6 months (notary stamp and apostille if from private found)
- A document from a bank on the territory of Bulgaria stating own bank account with the amount not less than 3200 levs. To this account, the pension will be transferred (To open a bank account you will usually be required to show a passport and proof of residence. Even if requirements may change from bank to bank, they usually do not require more documents than these.)
- Copy of a notary deed of the house/apartment in Bulgaria or tenancy contract (to show that have a place to live in Bulgaria)
- Criminal record certificate, with apostille stamp, and not older than 6 months
The period for reviewing the documents in this stage is from 30 to 45 days.
Once the visa D is issued (for non-EU residents) the retired foreigner must submit to the Migration Office at the place of his future residence new documents in Bulgarian language confirming the reason for the foreigner to obtain a residence permit.
Documents of the retired person will be reviewed by the Migration officers within one month and a Long-term residence permit will be issued.
The Long-term Residence permit can be obtained for a period of 6 months or a year. After its expiry, the foreigner will have to extend it every year for 5 years and then has the right to obtain a permanent residence permit.
To obtain the status of a permanent resident the foreigner must live in the country continuously for at least 5 years. This means that you cannot be absent from the country for more than 6 months. Ultimately, within 5 years there should be no more than 30 months of absence.
One of the best advantages of relocating to Bulgaria is the low cost of living, while at the same time you are still able to live in the European Union. If you want to retire in Bulgaria you will probably have a nice surprise with how inexpensive your monthly costs can be.
Real estate in Bulgaria is one of the cheapest in Europe. The capital Sofia is currently the cheapest capital in the European Union for both buying and renting real estate, but also cities like Varna and Burgas offer with their large expat communities are a great option.
This article was curated from Foreigner.BG Featured Image Credit: Photo by Krasimira Georgieva on Unsplash