Work Permit, Visa, Blue CardRelocation of NON-EU employees to Bulgaria

You want to find a foreign employee, you have found the perfect candidate or professional that you have long been looking for, but you are facing the challenge of a long procedure to sort out their legal residence and right to work in Bulgaria? Our team will help you by organizing the overall processes to obtain the necessary status.

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Can a Bulgarian company hire foreigners from third countries?

Yes, of course! Foreigner employment on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is regulated by the Labour Migration and Labour Mobility Act (LMLMA, in force as of May 21, 2016) and the Regulations for its application (RALMLMA in force as of September 30, 2016).

Third-country nationals can work on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, only if they legally reside on the country’s territory. Legal residence is certified through the respective residence permit issued by the CEO of the National Employment Agency, allowing access to the Bulgarian labour market. There are two types of permits: “Single Work and Residence Permit” and “Blue Card” permit.

What is the difference between the “Single Residence and Work Permit” and the “Blue Card”?

1.Single Residence and Work Permit

The Single Residence and Work Permit is issued by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry under Art. 24 of the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act (FRBA). It also includes the Employment Agency CEO’s decision allowing access to the Bulgarian labour market. It is valid for a particular employer and particular position. After the issuance of a single residence and work permit, the worker/employee has no right to change their employer or position that the permit has been issued for.

The permit is valid for a period of one year. If the duration of the labour agreement is shorter than one year, the permit is issued for the agreement’s duration period. The provisions of Art. 15, par. 3 of the LMLMA allow extending the validity of the decision by up to 12 months where there are grounds for its initial issuance and there are no interruptions in the employment. The total duration cannot exceed a period of three years.

2.EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is issued to highly qualified workers and employees by the Ministry of Interior under art. 33к of the FRBA. It also contains the decision allowing access to the Bulgarian labour market issued by the Bulgarian Employment Agency’s CEO.

The permit is valid for a period of one year. If the duration of the labour agreement is shorter than one year, the permit is issued for the agreement’s duration period. The provisions of Art. 15, par. 3 of the LMLMA allow extending the validity of the decision by up to 12 months where there are grounds for its initial issuance and there are no interruptions in the employment. The total duration cannot exceed a period of three years.

What is the work permit issuance procedure?

Important!!! An employer should have no tax liabilities to the government budget upon submitting the required documents at the Bulgarian Employment Agency.

The Bulgarian Employment Agency’s CEO delivers his/her decision on the work permit application within 15 days from the submission of the application, notifying the applicant in writing.

In case of omissions and/or inaccuracies in the papers, the Bulgarian Employment agency notifies the employer in writing, giving them 15 days to rectify. The term stops running the moment the additional documents are received. If the documents are not submitted within the set deadline, the employer can withdraw the application by sending a written notice to the Bulgarian Employment Agency. The employer can resubmit the documents later.

What should I do if a foreigner quits before their contract expires?

If a foreigner terminates his/her labour agreement before its expiration, the employer notifies the Bulgarian Employment Agency in writing within three days from the date of employment termination.

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