Moving to Bulgaria: How to immigrate to Bulgaria
Living in Bulgaria – Basic facts about Bulgaria
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The cost of moving to Bulgaria: International removals to Bulgaria
For the most cost-effective way to move personal belongings and household items to Bulgaria, trust Eurosender’s range of international removals services to suit any sized move and urgency, and benefit from expert advice whenever you need it:
Bulgarian visa requirements
For expats moving to Bulgaria from outside of Europe, there are 5 main visas for Bulgaria for which you may apply:
- Work visa: Allows you to move to Bulgaria based on having secured employment through a Bulgarian or international company
- Business visa: For those who wish to start a business or engage in commercial activities in Bulgaria
- Student visa: Allows foreigners to live in Bulgaria while enrolled in a local university
- Family member visa: Allows spouses, children and direct family members of citizens and residents to join them in Bulgaria
- Foreign freelance professionals: Can apply for this specific visa which allows remote and freelance workers to live and work in Bulgaria
For those moving to Bulgaria from other European countries within the EU/EAA or Switzerland, you will not need to apply for a Bulgarian work permit, student visa or residency permit in order to live, study and work in Bulgaria. Instead, you will simply need to register yourself with local authorities once you arrive. For more information about Bulgarian visa requirements, please see the Bulgaria Immigration official website.
Buying and renting an apartment – Property in Bulgaria
Whether you plan to buy property in Bulgaria or rent an apartment in Sofia, you will most likely find the price of accommodation very reasonable. Increasingly, more expats who are moving to Bulgaria long-term choose to buy a small house or apartment, which can range between 20 – 30.000 €, depending on the size and location.
If you are thinking of renting an apartment in Sofia, prices range between 300 – 500 € per month in the centre of town.
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LIVING IN BULGARIA
Cost of living in Bulgaria
Due to the lower than average salaries compared to other countries in Europe, the majority of your living expenses will be spent on accommodation and getting yourself settled into your new life in Bulgaria. However, the prices for daily necessities such as groceries and transport are not very expensive. You could expect to pay around 2 € for a cup of coffee, and a one-way ticket on public transport in Sofia will cost you around 0.80 €.
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Jobs and employment in Bulgaria: how to find a job?
Despite the high unemployment rate, there are still plenty of opportunities for expats to find employment in Bulgaria. If you have qualifications in the engineering or medical fields, these jobs are in high demand. Otherwise, many job opportunities for foreigners and English-speaking jobs in Bulgaria can be found in their main industries, agriculture and tourism.
If you are planning to live and work in Bulgaria, the best way is to secure employment before moving, so that you can obtain a Bulgarian work permit much easier.
School and education in Bulgaria
If you are planning to immigrate to Bulgaria with kids who have no prior knowledge of the language, an international school in Bulgaria might be the ideal option to start. There are many international schools in Sofia offering English curricula, including St. George International School and Preschool, British School of Sofia and the American English Academy. You also have a range of different university programs which cater to foreign students if you are planning to enroll in a University in Bulgaria.
For those who wish to enroll in a public school, the Bulgarian education system is free of charge for all citizens and residents. The school system in Bulgaria consists of:
Age: 5 – 7
Age: 7 – 12
Healthcare in Bulgaria
Access to the public healthcare system in Bulgaria is funded equally by contributions by employers and workers, so if you are planning to work in Bulgaria, a small portion of your salary will go towards access to medical care.
You may also wish to take out private healthcare insurance to cover you for any additional extras, or for the time before you are employed. The private healthcare sector in Bulgaria has higher quality medical services and shorter waiting times.
Driving in Bulgaria – should I get a local driving license?
Many foreigners moving to Bulgaria ask, ‘what are the rules for driving in Bulgaria with a foreign license?’ Indeed, it is possible to drive with your local license, so as long as your license was issued by another EU country or by a country which falls under the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. In both cases, it is highly recommended to obtain an international driving permit, also.
The quality of the roads in many rural areas is quite poor, and you may find their driving style quite aggressive compared to at home. For this reason, many expats living in Bulgaria also choose to take a few driving lessons with a local instructor, to get used to the different road rules.
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What else to expect when living in Bulgaria
- Businesses enjoy a lower tax rate than the rest of Europe, at just 10% – attracting many exciting new enterprises to Bulgaria.
- Living in Bulgaria, you will enjoy a range of breathtaking landscapes – giving you plenty of opportunities for swimming, hiking and sightseeing.
- Traffic and parking can be a challenge, especially in urban areas, so a good idea is to consider using public transport in Bulgaria to avoid congestion and headaches.
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The most popular countries from where people immigrate to Bulgaria
Moving to Bulgaria from the USA
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Moving to Bulgaria from the United Kingdom
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Moving to Bulgaria from Canada
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