Bulgarian Entry Requirements and Extensions of Stay
July 2, 2009
As of September 1, 2006, American citizens do not need a visa for Bulgaria for tourist stays of up to ninety (90) days and are admitted on the basis of a valid U.S. passport. American citizen tourists may remain in Bulgaria for up to ninety (90) days during any six-month period from the date of the first entry. Bulgarian visas are required for holders of U.S. diplomatic and official passports.
Bulgarian immigration authorities ask all foreigners to declare the purpose of their visit at the border and to provide their intended address. All foreigners receive an entry stamp in their passports. Foreigners who do not have an entry stamp in their passports will encounter difficulties when they try to leave Bulgaria. When entering Bulgaria by car, if the vehicle has been recorded on the passport, the owner may not leave the country without the automobile. Sometimes vehicles are erroneously recorded on the passport of passengers in the car, who then have problems trying to leave the country without the vehicle.
U.S. citizens intending to live or work in Bulgaria for more than 90 days within six months (or more than six months within a year) must obtain a “D” visa prior to arrival. As of July 2008, U.S. citizens must apply for a “D” visa at a Bulgarian Embassy/Consulate in the country where they are legally resident. U.S. citizens residing in the United States must therefore apply at the Bulgarian representative office (either the Embassy or a Consulate) nearest their home. If an American citizen residing in the U.S. is already present in Bulgaria -having entered as a tourist, for example -- and wishes to obtain a “D” visa to remain for an extended period, he or she will have to return to the U.S. to do so. Additionally, an American citizen married to a Bulgarian national must present his/her marriage license when applying for “D” visa at a Bulgarian Embassy or Consulate. You may find additional information on entry requirements and stay in Bulgaria in the Country Specific Information for Bulgaria.