This material represents a general overview of the recent developments in Bulgarian and European legislation as of the date indicated herein. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to provide legal or other professional advice for a specific case.
Amendments to the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act and the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act
With the latest amendments to the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act („FRBA”) and the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act (“LMLMA”), came into force on 01.06.2021, is envisaged simplifying and unifying of the procedures for obtaining a residence permit and work permit.
- The previous legal texts requested two separate procedures for the following types of residence permits: Single permit for residence and work; 2. Residence permit for seasonal employment; 3. Permit for intercorporate transfer; 4. Blue card of EU.Till now, the employer had to apply for a work permit to the Employment Agency and the employee had to apply for a residence permit to Directorate “Migration”.
According to the new procedure either the employer or the employee could apply for a residence permit of the abovementioned types submitting all necessary documents to Directorate “Migration”. If the employee is the one who files the application, it must be signed also by the employer. “Migration” shall send electronically the application to the Employment Agency and issue the residence permit after positive opinion received by the latest. This procedure shall not exceed two months for the permits under item 1 and 2 above and three months for those under item 3 and 4.
- The term of validity of the Unified residence and work permit is now extended from one to three years.
- The new texts also impose an obligation to Directorate “Migration” to notify the applicant in case of necessity of additional documents or lack of documents as well as to grant 7-days term for correction of the irregularity.
- The amendments create the possibility for foreigners to apply electronically for visa using qualified electronic signature.
- Other novelty is a new legal basis for obtaining continuous residence permit through a certificate for high – technological and/or innovative project called “Start-up visa”. We expect the Council of Ministers to settle the conditions how to acquiring such certificate in a short time. Тhe applicant must also have a visa for long-term residence and to be a shareholder in a Bulgarian company with more than 50% of the capital upon applying on this legal basis
- There are also amendments in the conditions for obtaining a permanent residence permit through monetary investments where larger amounts are indicated.
- The Regulation for applying of LMLMA is amended accordingly and retroactively by the Council of Minsters on 22.06.2021 with effect as of 01.06.2021.
- The Regulation for applying of FRBA is to be aligned with the new amendments.