Bulgaria Visa Application - Requirements,Cost,Processing Time & Interview Tips


To travel to Bulgaria you need to get a Bulgarian visa. Getting a Bulgarian visa is an easy process, all you need to do is to provide all the necessary requirement needed for the visa processing. So in this post you will get to know the necessary dash Bulgarian requirements and the application process.

 

This post is to answer frequently asked questions such as

How to apply for a Bulgaria visa

Requirements to apply for Bulgaria visa

Cost of a Bulgaria visa

Duration to process a Bulgaria visa

Bulgaria visa interview tips

 

 

Documents required to apply for a Bulgarian visa.
The Bulgarian visas are issued by the Bulgarian embassies and consulates abroad, not at the airports or the land and sea passport control points in Bulgaria. Visa application requirements may include but are not limited to:

Valid passport;
Application form;
One passport-size photo;
Return ticket or documentation for next destination;
Fee, payable in cash or by postal order only;
Proof of sufficient funds (at least 50 USD a day);
Proof of paid fare for onward destination;
For motor vehicle transit, proof of an extra 200 USD for each entry;
Proof of a secured return trip;
For business visits: Letters from the applicant’s company and from the Bulgarian business partner, endorsed by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce; For private visits: A letter of invitation by a Bulgarian citizen endorsed by the local authorities.

Specific requirements for a Bulgarian visa.
With Bulgaria's entry into the EU in 2007, Bulgaria's visa requirements have been upgraded to meet EU requirements. Basically, entry into Bulgaria is now as (relatively) simple as entry into any EU Member State.


Bulgarian entry requirements for Americans:

 Citizens of the USA do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for a period of up to 90 days within a six-month period. Passports must be valid for at least three months after entry.
Bulgarian entry requirements for UK nationals:

UK passport holders, endorsed British Citizen, do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for a period of up to 90 days in a six-month period. Passports should be valid for the period of intended stay. Other UK passport holders require a visa and a passport that is valid for at least six months.
Bulgarian entry requirements for Canadians:

Canadians do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for a period of up to 90 days within a six-month period. A passport valid for at least three months after entry is required.
Bulgarian entry requirements for Australians:

Australians do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for a period of up to 90 days within a six-month period. A passport valid for at least three months after entry is required.

Bulgarian entry requirements for South Africans:

South Africans need a visa to enter Bulgaria. A passport valid for at least six months on entry is required and a visa will only be issued if blank pages are available.
Bulgarian entry requirements for New Zealanders:

New Zealanders do not require a visa for a maximum stay of 90 days within a six-month period. A valid passport valid for at least three months on entry is required.
Bulgarian entry requirements for Irish nationals:

Irish nationals do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for a period of up to 90 days within a six-month period. A passport valid for the period of intended stay is required.
Otherwise, all except the following require entry visas to Bulgaria: Nationals of EU countries for stays of up to 90 days within each six-month period (except nationals of Estonia, Ireland and the UK, who may stay for up to 30 days within a six-month period);
Nationals of Chile, Iceland, Malaysia and Norway for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period; Nationals of Andorra, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland, and Vatican City for stays of up to 30 days within each six-month period;
Nationals of Croatia, Korea (Rep), Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of), San Marino and Tunisia.


Note: Nationals of Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Congo (Dem Rep), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Sudan must apply for an airport transit visa and may not leave the airport transit lounge. They need to present a valid flight reservation to get the visa.

 

Nationalities that don't require a visa to enter Bulgaria.
Visitors from the following countries do not need a visa to enter Bulgaria:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK (British Citizen Passport Holders and British Nationals /Overseas/ only), USA, Uruguay, the Vatican, Venezuela, SAR – China (Hong Kong, Makao).
All holders of passports from countries not mentioned in the list above need visas to enter Bulgaria.

Time required to issue a Bulgarian Visa:
Visa application processing can usually take up to 10 working days, since each application needs to receive clearance by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry.

 

What to know before applying for Bulgaria

                             

1) When planning your trip, do not make the mistake of thinking your travel agent or the airline will be able to tell you if you need a visa. Make sure you find out for yourself. You can find out if you need a visa by going to the U.S. State Department website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html, there is a lot of terrific information to be found here including notes for Americans on safety and security overseas.

2) Make sure your passport has at least 4-6 blank pages, your visa won't need that many but many of the consulates require at least two blank pages; this is an easy excuse for them to give you a hard time. If you need more pages they're easy to get through the National passport processing office. You can find information the process on the State Department's website.

3) Make sure your passport isn't going to expire for a while. The passport's expiration date must be greater than six months from the date of entry for the visa you are applying for. If your passport does not meet the requirements, you must renew your passport.

4) Your visa application. This is where you really need the assistance of a good travel visa service. You'll find that many of the visa applications are quite confusing. There are language usage differences that may have you scratching your head. If you are not sure, ask, do not guess, errors on forms can be costly.

5) Passport photographs. This is one I had a particularly difficult time getting my boss to do. Go to your post office or perhaps you have a drug store or photo processing store that takes passport photographs, get them, and if you are traveling a lot get a lot of extra photos. Most often you are required to submit two passport photographs with your visa application. You may get away with only providing one, you may get away with submitting a digital you took and printed on photo paper. It's not worth the risk. Get the extra photos.

6) Include your travel itinerary. Most applications require you include your travel plans as proof of entrance and exit dates. This would be the itinerary you get with your tickets or from the airline/travel agent.

7) Make sure you make copies of everything you send the consulate or visa travel service. This doesn't include your passport of course, but it's a good idea to make a copy of the first page in your passport just for your records. You will be sending your passport with your visa application and other paperwork.

8) Include a copy of your driver's license. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but just good policy. A lot of times a country may require this but neglect to mention or they may decide they want more identification information. This is a "Just in Case" preventative measure.

9) Do not forget the fee. If you are using a visa travel service, most likely you can simply provide your credit card number. If you are not, you will most likely have to provide a check for their fee as most of the consulates do not take credit cards.

10) A key challenge is the decision to appear at the embassy or consulate or simply overnight your application and materials to the appropriate place. In many cases, there won't be an option as the embassy or consulate is too far to travel to. If you are doing this on your own and are able, it may be prudent to go to the embassy or consulate yourself. Base your decision dependent on your time and patience level.

11) Finally, hire a travel visa service. These services are reasonable, quick and experienced. You do not save money doing it yourself and you certainly don't save hassle. Your travel visa service is there to help you with everything from completing forms to emergency turn-around times. Don't just go with any service. Investigate. I recommend Visa HQ www.visahq.com, for their experience and customer service.

 

 

How long is the Bulgarian Visa valid for?
Single-entry visas for tourist visits are normally valid for three months from date of issue for a maximum stay of 30 days. Multiple-entry visas are for business visits and are normally valid for three months from date of issue. Transit: Up to 24 hours.

This information is gotten from Bulgaria immigration page. Contact the closest Bulgarian embassy available for more detailed information and updates.

 

Bulgaria visa interview tips

 

1. Prepare a “grab bag” of documents frequently requested

Get a clearbook to hold all the documents that embassies usually require and make at least five copies of each of these documents. Usually, the embassy will need to look at the original copy for verification purposes and then just keep a photocopy. Make sure that your photocopies are clear. It will save you the trouble of having to photocopy another clearer copy while at the embassy

Documents to include in this clear book are:

·         Birth certificate (must be certified by the National Statistics Office)

·         Marriage certificate* (if annulled, you will probably need a copy of your Marriage Certificate annotated by the NSO certifying that the marriage was declared null and void.

·         Latest Income Tax Return

·         For business owners, include business permits, business license and (audited) financial statements

·         Photocopies of previous visas you have been issued

·         ID pictures: Different embassies will have different size requirements, so when you have your picture taken, have the picture reproduced in different size dimensions. I suggest you get one picture taken in the standard 2x2 white background and one in the US visa size and Schengen size. (Note that for all visa requirements, both ears must be shown and women should not be wearing earrings.)

·         Proof of income and ownership such as land titles and or car registration documents

Keep all your old passports with other visa stamps as reference. It may not fit in the clear book, but it should be made part of your visa app “grab bag.

2. Keep a list of the countries you’ve visited

Update the list of countries you've visited the way you would update your CV. Many embassies require you to list the countries you have visited within a certain number of years. Some embassies will specify a time frame, some will not, so it is best to start from countries you have visited from 5 years back. Keep a soft copy of this list in your computer and update it each time you travel.

3. Make a checklist of the visa application requirements – and triple check that!

When applying for a Schengen visa via the Italian embassy, for example, a checklist of requirements (which you can download along with the visa application form) is mandatory in the list of documents to be presented to the visa processing center. It is not a standard requirement for all countries, but a checklist is definitely a good thing to have on hand. Make one of your own if your destination country does not require it.

Double and triple check each requirement, line by line if you have to. It will be worth the trouble because there are varying specifications for each country.

Look out for fine print like required payment mode: Is a manager’s check required? Can you pay in Philippine pesos, US dollars or Euros? Tip is to pay in US dollars so you will not be subject to currency fluctuations. Remember to check for exact amount, e.g. if it says $58, bring $58 as some embassies will not offer change.

Double check the location of the visa processing centers as their addresses on the application forms may not be updated.

4. Have a standard template for letters of introduction to consuls

Embassies may require you to prepare a letter to the consul to introduce yourself and state your reason for travel. Make a standard template for this letter of introduction, save on your “Travel Docs” folder and just fill in whenever you need to apply for a visa.

This cover letter should have:

·         Header with your name, contact details and if available, your visa application reference number

·         Reason for travel

·         Duration of stay

·         Mention of other countries you have visited

·         How you will fund your trip

·         Day by day travel itinerary as an attachment

5. Make your travel agent your travel buddy

Find a travel agent you can trust and make him or her your travel buddy. She can act as a semi-one-stop shop and help you book tickets and hotels that you won't have to pay for yet (you will want to wait till you get the visa before paying for a ticket or hotel), and facilitate travel insurance.

 

Hope this post was helpful

How to apply for a Bulgaria visa

Requirements to apply for Bulgaria visa

Cost of a Bulgaria visa

Duration to process a Bulgaria visa
Bulgaria visa interview tips

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