Start-up Visa for Bulgaria

How to apply if you are foreign entrepreneur

Bulgarian Government updated the rules for their Start-up Visa and gave more new possibilities for entrepreneurs from outside European Union to register their companies and start their business in Bulgaria. The latest amendment in October 2022 gives the opportunities to start-up founders for long-term residence permit in Bulgaria and the potential to reach funding from venture capital funds, develop their ideas and talents and get free movement in the EU.

The new Start-up visa is a more simplified opportunity to obtain residence permit in Bulgaria, compared with the other obligatory legal requirements of employment of a certain number of workers or having a ready working company in another country.

How to apply for the Bulgarian start-up visa

The Ministry of Innovation and Growth is responsible for the applications. The application describes details about the applicant, their company (if applicable) and basic information about the high-tech or innovative project. A description of the customer network(if any), a detailed business plan of the market, customers, sales, partnerships should also be made. Initial investment contracts may give preference to the application, but they are not an obligation.
All applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a group of experts from the Ministry of Education, the Patent Bureau and the academic community. NGOs from the startup community and business representatives can also take part.

The deadline for approving the application is 30 days. In case of a positive answer, a Certificate for a high-tech or innovative project is issued with a validity for a period of 1 year from the date of its issuance (with the possibility of extension for a period of another 2 years). The certificate is the basis for the applicant to submit documents for Visa D and to continue his procedure for obtaining a long-term residence in Bulgaria.
An important condition is that, within the one-year period, the applicant must become a partner or shareholder in a Bulgarian commercial company and own no less than 50 percent of the capital of the company, whose subject of activity is the one stated when issuing the certificate.

Time for obtaining a Start-up Visa in Bulgaria

Briefly, the deadlines for obtaining residence through a startup visa are:
1 month for a Startup visa
1,5 months for visa D
2 weeks for long-term residence permit.

Our legal office can assist you with the entire procedure of applying for a startup visa.
For assistance, questions and advice, please contact our immigration specialist Nikolay Vasilev: