Bulgaria Digital Nomad Visa – Best Options

Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries on the Europan continent and, as such, has a lot to offer visitors.

The main capital Sofia is already a popular digital hub, even though Bulgaria hasn’t introduced a digital nomad visa scheme yet. 

Remote workers and digital nomads who want to visit Bulgaria and live here for some time can do so with other visa options. 

Do I need a digital nomad visa for Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is part of the EU, so if you are a digital nomad residing in any of the EU countries, you are permitted to enter, stay and live in the country for up to three months without any visa requirements. 

Remote workers who are non-EU citizens can apply for a Bulgarian freelance visa, which is an alternative to a digital nomad visa. 

Freelance visa

In 2017, Bulgaria allowed entry to non-EU nationals who want to work and reside in Bulgaria as freelancers or to conduct business presented with a detailed business plan.

The visa is valid for one year, with the possibility to extend for another year. 

Required documents include:

  • Filled in and signed the visa application form
  • Valid passport / 2 color photos
  • Detailed business plan for the first year
  • Documents proving the applicant’s professional experience in the freelance field for a minimum of 2 years
  • Bank statements with sufficient funds to run the business/or freelance activity

The visa fee is a little over 200 euros, and it is issued in approximately 30 working days. 

Types of visas for digital nomads in Bulgaria

Although there is no digital nomad visa available for Bulgaria just yet, digital nomads that are non-EU citizens can apply for the following visas: 

  • Tourist visas or Type C visas. This type of visa allows tourists, digital nomads, freelancers, or remote workers to stay in the country for up to 90 days. Although it serves mainly tourism purposes, and the visa-holders are not permitted to work for a Bulgarian employer during their stay, they can work for a foreign employer remotely. 
  • EU residence card. This type of visa is valid for all European Union countries and can be obtained in any of them. It is applicable to workers, self-employed, students as well as digital nomads. 
  • Schengen visa. This is a short-stay visa that allows digital nomads to travel within the Schengen countries for up to 90 days, just like Type C visas. Although Bulgaria is not a Schengen country yet, digital nomads from third countries can stay if they meet the following requirements:
  • A passport with a minimum validity period of 3 months
  • Their stay in Bulgaria should not go beyond 3 months within a period of 6 months
  • They should apply for the visa no sooner than 3 months before planning to travel there

How can I extend my stay in Bulgaria as a digital nomad?

If you wish to extend your stay in Bulgaria past 90 days, you can apply for a D visa, the closest permit to a digital nomad visa.

With a D visa, you can stay in the country for another six months or up to a year.