Emigration to Bulgaria - residence permit, permanent residence, relocation, pros and cons

With the guys we have known for several years. And finally, they wrote a long-awaited post about how they emigrated to Bulgaria. Honestly, we ourselves also sometimes think about Bulgaria, for example, instead of Serbia, all the while listening to one or the otheracquaintances buy an apartment there. Given that the scheme for obtaining a residence permit is quite easy, it looks tempting. So it was doubly interesting to read about this country first-hand. By the way, it is also suitable for wintering, albeit with some reservations. But now, without reservation, I see that someone has already gone over from Asia to cooler countries, the same Montenegro.

The content of the article

About Us

We have no antipathy towards the Russian Federation and a desire to move fromRussia and not to return, we just can not live without travel and without the sea! Neither relatives nor our children can still cool our passion for traveling. By the way, we already have three children: Stepan, a six-year-old son, Sofia, a two-year-old daughter (named so on the eve of our move to Bulgaria) and baby Maria, born this spring here in Bulgaria. It was the children at some point that influenced the desire not only to settle down, but to have housing, in which we can return from our every journey.

We visited 24 countries in Europe and Asia, inhalf of which are with children! Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, etc. We liked very much in Finland, but it’s too cold for us there. We never considered Asian countries for permanent residence because of the great distance from Russia, the language barrier, constant heat, specific cuisine and many other features ...

The main criteria for choosing a permanent location for us were the following criteria:

  • Proximity to the Russian Federation. In Russia, relatives and grandmothers. It is desirable that the flight lasted no more than 2-3 hours, and the road by car is no more than 2-3 days.
  • Heat.
  • Be sure the sea.
  • Lack of language barrier.
  • Low prices for real estate and accommodation.
  • The location of the country as a starting point for further travel.
  • In Bulgaria we found even more than we were looking for. Sea and ski slopes. Beautiful nature and mild climate. Endless roads and magical places like Kaliakra, Mermaids and Nessebar. Low prices for almost everything: from fruits and vegetables to cars and real estate.

    There are no ideal places, so we also found some minor flaws, which we also honestly tell about in this article ...

    This is our Traveler's Diary and our Bulgaria ...

    We hope that the information will be useful forLife-Trip readers. Hello from Bulgaria! Michael, Elena, Stepa, Sonya and Masha. Welcome to our diary.travel blog and to our VKontakte, Instagram and Periscope groups.

    Our Bulgaria

    Our Bulgaria

    Why exactly Bulgaria?

    Nature. Climate. Sea

    The climate in Bulgaria is mild. In the summer it is + 25 + 30 degrees Celsius and the temperature of the water in the sea is + 22 + 25 degrees. Many mineral springs throughout the country. Almost all along the Black Sea coast stretch excellent sandy beaches, many of which were awarded the Blue Flag for cleanliness.

    Our Bulgaria

    Our Bulgaria

    In winter, the average temperature is 0 + 5 ... Snow on the coasthappens rarely. But at the ski resorts south of Sofia - Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo snow is enough. From the coast to the ski resorts or Sofia - about 400 km, as from Moscow to Smolensk.

    Our Bulgaria

    Very nice off season in Bulgaria - autumn andSpring. We often walked with the whole family along the beach or promenade in April, May, September, October and even the end of November. For example, this photo was taken just three weeks ago - in early November:

    Our Bulgaria

    The sun and temperature + 15 + 20 - in the order of things ... But the largest amount of precipitation in Bulgaria - in January and early June.

    In Bulgaria, very beautiful nature! Forests, mountains, vineyards, fields of roses or sunflowers.

    Our Bulgaria

    We really fell in love with Kaliakra and Mermaid - we wrote about these places on the blog, but believe me, no descriptions and photos compare with reality!

    Our Bulgaria

    It is impossible to describe feelings when you stand at the chapel on the very edge of the steep cape Kaliakra and look at the endless sea from the height of a sixteen-story house!

    Our Bulgaria

    And how fascinating is the fog on the night mountain serpentine or early in the morning the bay, the embankment and half of Varna, which is tightening with a dense cloud! This you will not see in any movie!


    People in Bulgaria are friendly and responsive. In the order of things to help get out of the bus with a pram, even if a man is with a pram ... For a dozen trips to Bulgaria and almost a year of life here, we did not encounter any hostility or aggression. Attitude towards Russians as a nation is generally positive.

    I am glad that Bulgaria is an Orthodox country. There are Muslims (mostly Turks) and Gypsies, but their percentage is not large. In Varna, near the railroad tracks, there is an area considered to be Gypsy, which is struck by half-destroyed barracks. Gypsies themselves have been seen only once for all time (mother with children), although they traveled all over Varna and the coast of Bulgaria up and down. Therefore, we will not say anything bad about gypsies ...

    The crime situation in Bulgaria is quitecalm According to the Bulgarian news, we see some reports of crimes committed very rarely, and then in the depths of the country or Sofia ... Living with the beach "at your side" relaxes, but does not push for offenses - that is a fact!

    Bulgarians, like most Europeans living inseas, leisurely, a little lazy and slightly optional. This has its own appeal, but sometimes it is annoying. For example, when you make an appointment or delivery time for one time, and wait not what you ordered, and a few hours later ...

    I really liked the musical tastesBulgarians Frank pops are not many. Modern Bulgarian and foreign rap and hip-hop, alternative rock, as well as classic rock like Scorpions, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep or something heavier are very popular. There are often rock festivals, gathering fans from nearby countries, or simply concerts in the parks, gathering residents of nearby houses.


    The language in Bulgaria is very similar to Russian. Cyrillic alphabet. Many words are written and pronounced absolutely identical to the Russian language. Even without knowing a word in Bulgarian, you can understand each other. In addition, the older generation, especially in Varna and northern Bulgaria, often know Russian well enough. But if you do not understand each other in Russian-Bulgarian, the majority of young people speak English well ...

    However, "neponyatki", sometimes very funny, it is quite possible! Just because of the similarity of the language. The fact is that many words are written and pronounced similarly, but they mean exactly the opposite ... For example:

    Bulgarian "right" means "straight" ...
    “Dinah” means “watermelon” ...
    “Table” means “chair” ...

    And there are many such examples. Yes, and do not forget that Bulgaria is the only country in the world where a nod of the head means “no” and a swing of the head to the sides means “yes”. Get used to this is unrealistic. Try to learn, without moving your head, just say "yes" or "not."


    I am writing about Varna. In other cities, public transport is not used.

    There are a lot of buses and trolleybuses, they drive clearly on schedule. The fare for the city - 0.50 euro. Recently, the buses appeared free Wi-Fi.

    Taxi costs about 0.50 euro per kilometer. Even to / from the airport. But, only if on the counter! Pricing must necessarily hang on the rear passenger window. It is necessary to focus attention on the availability and operation of the meter, or the tariff can increase by 2-3 times in a predatory way!

    The airport is located 8 km from the center of Varna. Railway station and bus station - almost in the center of Varna.

    Infrastructure. Children. The medicine

    If a residence permit is at least one of the parents,You can easily and practically free of charge to send the child to kindergarten or school. Tested on personal experience. On the same rights as the Bulgarians - without requisitions and with free textbooks ... The Bulgarian language is seized by children instantly. And upon completion of training, the child will have a diploma quoted in the European Union.

    Our Bulgaria

    The infrastructure is developing, but so far the post-Soviet heritage is felt in some places ... Although, it is very pleasant to walk along the pedestrian streets of Varna in the Old Town area, and at any time of the year.

    Our Bulgaria

    Many restaurants and cafes. Many large shopping centers. International hypermarkets such as Metro, IKEA, Decatlon, Kaufland, Billa, Praktiker are presented ... Tesco no.

    A huge niche is the hotel and construction business.

    Medicine is average. Cheap dental services. With a residence permit medicine is paid, but not very expensive. A doctor's appointment will cost about 10 euros. With permanent residence - medical care in most cases is free.

    The wife gave birth to a daughter at the end of May in the clinic “Maichinhouse "in Varna. I liked everything, everyone is happy. Ward, attitude and service are good. Cost of delivery just 800 euros. More details about births in Bulgaria, and about the important nuances of obtaining a birth certificate will be on our blog. If this question is interesting, subscribe not to miss.


    For children and adults with a sensitive stomach, Bulgarian cuisine will definitely be much more comfortable than Asian ...

    We liked the cuisine in Bulgaria very much. Olives, cheese, fish, tomatoes ... Reminds Greek and Italian. Meat dishes are widespread. There are borrowings from Turkish cuisine. Pizza for sale. Popular grill. Large selection of seafood. From the national Bulgarian dishes we note bannitsa and shopsky salad.

    In Bulgaria, tasty beer and good inexpensive wine.

    Our Bulgaria


    Prices in Bulgaria in national currency - in BGN. 1 euro = 1.95 lev. This course has remained unchanged for many years.

    Inexpensive shopping in malls. Cheap alcohol. Prices are very low for most products and vegetables and fruits. For example:

    1 kg of sweet cherry - 1 euro
    1 kg of tomatoes - 0.80 euro
    1 kg of apples - 0,70 euro
    1 kg of potatoes - 0.50 euro
    1 kg of chicken - 2-2,50 euros
    1 kg of pork - 2.50-4.50 euros
    1l of beer - 0.90 euro

    A little expensive chocolate and dairy products.

    Restaurant prices are very reasonable even at a new rate. The bill in most restaurants will cost 3-10 euros per person.

    At concerts, often held in Bulgarianparks, admission is usually free, and food and alcohol are very cheap. For example, a 0.5 l glass of beer at such events will cost just 0.50 euros, and a kebab - 1 euro!

    Distributed sites coupons. Coupons can be very cheap to eat in restaurants, visit beauty salons or make tourist trips to neighboring European countries.

    The property. Rent and purchase

    What to choose? If you need apartments only for summer holidays - Golden Sands and Sunny Beach. If the sea is not important, but are interested in ski resorts or a serious business, then - Sofia. For permanent residence near the sea - Varna or Burgas. Burgas, it seemed to us, is too gray, and a much smaller percentage of the population speaks Russian there than in Varna. Therefore, our choice is Varna.

    In Bulgaria, low-cost rental housing. With a long stay, rent a good spacious fully equipped apartment in Varna can be just for 150-200 euros per month.

    The range of prices for property in Bulgaria is enoughlarge, approximately from 500 to 1500 Euro / sq.m. In Sofia, Varna, Burgas and in a good resort complexes - more expensive. In residential areas and outside the city - cheaper. There are reliable large realtors and developers, and there is a “divorce”. If someone needs help and advice - contact the blog, we will help. We have experience, contacts and dating.

    We approached the choice of real estate thoroughly -came to Bulgaria for this purpose five times and traveled the entire coast. The reason is that we were not interested in resort real estate. Resorts such as Golden Sands or Sunny Beach live only in summer - from June to August, in the other months they resemble post-apocalyptic extinct ghost towns.

    I do not recommend any small cities and towns,suitable only for pensioners. Well, or if you want to buy a house in the village. The price range for houses, by the way, is from 5,000 euros for a wreck off the beaten path to 500,000 euros for a large new mansion on the coast of Varna with a stunning view. But when buying a house, keep in mind that for registration of land ownership of a residence permit is not enough, it is possible only with permanent residence.

    We needed an apartment suitable forpermanent residence; not far from the sea, but not on the beach; in a quiet green area, but not far from the center; with a developed infrastructure, but not in the middle of concrete boxes ... And we found such a place on the outskirts of Varna - in the Galata area. And the view from here is beautiful.

    Our Bulgaria

    The apartment of 80 square meters in a modern residential complex cost us 46,000 euros (575 euros / sq.m).

    Here it is necessary to take into account an important nuance -The total area of ​​an apartment in Bulgaria is measured together with the area of ​​balconies, walls and common areas (parts of landings that are divided into all tenants). The actual living space of our eighty-meter apartment was about 65 meters. But, anyway, the purchase was successful.

    Our Bulgaria

    The price usually includes windows, doors, sockets. What's up with the finish? Building materials and finishing works (non-luxury) in Bulgaria are very cheap. Our budget was limited. We purchased all the building materials and equipment ourselves in the Praktiker and Mr.Bricolage stores. A hired team made repairs. We paid only 5500 euros for everything about everything! For this money, we got a completely "turnkey" with the work and installation: tile, laminate flooring, wall painting, a tiled bathroom with bathtub, bathroom fixtures and a boiler, two air conditioners.

    - Another approximately 1,500 euros cost us a refrigerator, a washing machine, a TV and economy class furniture (a kitchen, a living room, a hallway and a pair of sofas).
    - The notarial design of the apartment in the property cost 2000 euros.
    - Annual property tax plus garbage collection - about 50 euros per year.
    - Utility bills for electricity and water meters - an average of 40 euros per month. Internet and TV - 12 euros per month.
    - The fee of the management company - 8 euros per month.

    These are our expenses with our apartment. The amounts may differ in a smaller, and in a big way. Especially if you purchase resort real estate. In this case, instead of a penny fee to the management company, there will be a support fee in the amount of 6-12 euros per year per square meter, regardless of whether you live or not. For our metric area, if it is a resort complex by the sea, the payment could be 500-1000 euros per year ... The amount, to put it mildly, is rather big!

    Car in Bulgaria

    A Russian can buy a car bought in Bulgaria either for representation or for himself if he has a residence permit.

    Ride around the coast or deep into Bulgaria onthe car is very interesting, and you can jerk in neighboring European countries. In Bulgaria, inexpensive car rental. With long-term rental, especially not in the summer season, the rental price starts from only 6 euros per day.

    The cost of fuel is one of the cheapest in Europe - an average of 1.10 euros per liter.

    The vast majority of the population driveown cars. Old, used, but in fair condition. The market for used cars brought from Europe is very developed. You can buy a ten-year minivan or a golf class in really good condition for 1,500 euros. And for 4,000 euros you can buy a four-year-old car in excellent condition. If it were not for the ruble exchange rate that had collapsed, these prices would have been wonderful at all ...

    Our Bulgaria

    Where can I travel from Bulgaria

    On your own car you open all of Europe! But keep in mind that you can go to the Schengen zone only on a Schengen visa. If there is a residence permit, then Schengen is done here in Bulgaria without any problems.

    From Bulgaria you can quickly and inexpensively go by bus to Turkey, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy and not only.

    A huge number of cheap holiday offers abroad can be found on local coupons sites.

    From Sofia you can fly by plane to Europe and moremore ... WookAir, Ryanair, Alitalia loukoster are presented ... Tickets to most European countries, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates usually cost from 30 to 100 euros. And Istanbul and Dubai are the largest "hubs" of the Middle East Asian region, through which you can easily reach every corner of Asia!

    How to get to Bulgaria

    Bulgaria can be reached by train, by plane, by car and ... by bus from Istanbul. We tried all the ways.

    The experience of the road to Bulgaria on the train is not a hunt to be repeated ... Well, sooo boring, long and with many hours late.

    2000 km to Bulgaria by car we drove withtwo children in 2-3 days - quite real and very interesting. You can read about this trip on our blog. True, now have to make a detour, circling Ukraine.

    By plane from Moscow you can reach Bulgaria2.5 hours direct flights S7. In season tickets are noticeably more expensive. As an alternative, you can find an inexpensive charter from Russia to Bulgaria or fly to Istanbul, take a walk through this beautiful city and get to Varna or Burgas in 6-8 hours by bus. Although, in the light of recent events, let's see what will happen ...

    Visa issue

    There is no visa free entry. Russians can enter Bulgaria on a Schengen visa, if they have one. If not, then you need to make a Bulgarian visa at the Bulgarian consulate or the vfs.global visa center, for example. The process of obtaining is similar to obtaining a Schengen visa. The cost of a tourist visa is 35 euros, vfs.global visa fee is 1400 rubles. After one or two trips, getting a multivisa for a year is not a problem.

    The duration of stay on a multivisa (at least Bulgarian, even Schengen) - up to 180 days for 6 months.

    Emigration to Bulgaria

    To obtain a residence permit, and later permanent residence, evendo not have to buy property You can simply rent, as already mentioned, for 150-200 euros per month. Last but not least, a prerequisite for extending a residence permit was to stay in Bulgaria for at least 6 months a year ... Now this rule has also been canceled - it is enough to come once a year to renew documents.

    How to get a residence permit

  • Open the Bulgarian representation of the Russianfirms. Russian LLC may be without activity, then in the Russian Federation elementary reporting “zero reporting” once a year. It is possible to open a representative office in Bulgaria independently or with the help of a Bulgarian company for 800-1000 euros. For representation in Bulgaria, no taxes or reporting is required.
  • To get insurance for a year in a Bulgarian insurance company. On-site can be issued for 70-80 euros per person.
  • Purchase an unfinished property in Bulgaria (with Act 16) or enter into a real estate lease agreement.
  • Provide a certificate of non-conviction.
  • Confirm financial condition. Account statement from a Bulgarian bank with the amount of slightly more than 2000 euros per person will be required. You can withdraw money back either immediately after receiving a bank statement, or the next day. The amount may vary, since it depends on the minimum wage.
  • To issue a visa D in the consulate of Bulgaria in the Russian Federation (issued for 6 months and costs 100 euros).
  • Pay about 250 euros per year for a residence permit.
  • Documents in Russian are translated by translators accredited by the consulate and certified.

    Pensioners easier. You can not open a representative office, you need a smaller amount on the account, etc.

    Permanent residence

    Get a permanent residence can be no earlier than 5 yearsafter registration of a residence permit. For this you can be absent in Bulgaria in general not more than 30 months in 5 years, i.e. on average 6 months a year. With permanent residence, you become a full-fledged citizen of Bulgaria, having received, for example, free medicine, the right to work or acquire ownership of land ...

    Short pros and cons

    If we compare Bulgaria, as an option for permanent residence, with other European or Asian countries (for example, Thailand), what conclusions can we draw?


    Not only the sea and great sandy beaches, but alsoski resorts. Soft autumn, winter and spring. Mineral springs. As in Thailand, low prices for almost all and low-cost real estate. Cheap used cars from Europe and fuel prices that are reasonable for Europe. Perhaps in the near future, "Schengen". The abundance of fruits and vegetables. Good, close to the Mediterranean, cuisine. Convenient location for traveling and proximity to Russia. The ability to send a child to a school or kindergarten for a parent's residence permit almost free of charge. Obtaining a residence permit even without real estate, representation and lease agreement. You can leave Bulgaria for a long time without damage to a residence permit and permanent residence. Lack of language barrier. Easy to open your business. The lowest taxes in Europe.


    Short swimming season - from mid-June tobeginning of September. A little "sovok" infrastructure. Lack of parking in the center. The popularity of smoking among the Bulgarians. Optional Bulgarians. There are few 100% juices on the shelves, but a lot of foreign products containing E-nis and monosodium glutamate (see composition). Humidity on the coast (as, indeed, in Asia). Work on a residence permit can not - just a business or wait for permanent residence.

    Life hacking 1 - how to buy a good insurance

    Choosing insurance is now unrealistically difficult, so to help all travelers, I compile a rating. To do this, I constantly monitor forums, study insurance contracts and use insurance by myself.

    Insurance Rating

    Life hacking 2 - how to find a hotel 20% cheaper

    First, choose a hotel on Booking. They have a good offer base, but the prices are NOT the best! The same hotel can often be found 20% cheaper in other systems through the RoomGuru service.

    Discount hotels

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