- Bulgaria International Moving Services
- How Much Does It Cost To Move To Bulgaria?
- Phone Costs
- Miscellaneous Costs
- Moving To Bulgaria Cost & Time Examples
- Does Bulgaria Charge Duties On Household Goods?
- Does Bulgaria Require Paperwork For Household Goods?
- Does Bulgaria Charge Duties On Vehicles?
- Does Bulgaria Require Paperwork For Vehicles?
- Tips On How To Make Your International Move Easier
- Why You Need A Professional Moving Company When Relocating Overseas
- How To Find The Best International Moving Company
- Our International Moving Services
- Why A-1 Auto Transport?
- Make The Switch!
Bulgaria International Moving Services
Most people prefer to hire professional international movers to enable them have a stress-free relocation experience. Taking this step is a really smart move since international moving is not something you should attempt on your own. It will drain you physically, mentally and probably drain your bank account.
How Much Does It Cost to Move to Bulgaria?
The cost of moving internationally to Bulgaria can range anywhere from $2,000 - $12,000 depending on a variety of factors such as the size of move, total distance, route, transportation method, and current market trends.
The volume of shipments to Bulgaria is estimated based on factors such as the size of the residence that must be emptied. For a two-bedroom house, moving from the United States to Bulgaria costs between $3900 and $8200.
Other factors must also be considered, in addition to the size of a house. Storage, phone service, and other costs must be considered.
You will need a new cell phone provider and probably a new phone when you relocate from one country to another. Make sure that your existing mobile phone has been unlocked and is ready for use outside the network of the network you purchased it from. You will need to buy a new phone if yours is not compatible.
If you don't want to relocate permanently, your belongings will need a place to stay until you return. In the absence of a climate-controlled, long-term storage facility, your items should be stored with a friend or relative.
Even if you are planning a permanent move, certain possessions will likely need to be temporarily stored. Your international moving firm may be able to recommend temporary storage services and help you find the lowest rates.
Moving to a new country will require you to furnish your home. Some appliances may not be usable abroad if you are moving abroad. If you move to another country, you may not find the right voltage or plugs.
You may also need a new wardrobe. Moving to a country with a different climate or a different season than where you live now is particularly important. Be aware of this when planning your move.
Moving to Bulgaria Cost & Time Examples
|Miami to Sofia||$3,600 - $6,000||$6,700 - $10,900||3-6 weeks|
|New York to Plovdiv||$3,700 - $6,100||$6,900 - $11,400||3-6 weeks|
|Dallas to Sofia||$4,100 - $6,800||$7,400 - $12,300||3-6 weeks|
|San Jose to Sofia||$4,200 - $7,000||$7,900 - $13,200||5-8 weeks|
|Memphis to Sofia||$4,400 - $7,200||$7,900 - $13,200||3-6 weeks|
|Indianapolis to Sofia||$4,500 - $7,600||$8,300 - $13,700||3-6 weeks|
|Chicago to Plovdiv||$4,700 - $7,800||$8,600 - $14,100||3-6 weeks|
|Las Vegas to Sofia||$4,700 - $7,900||$8,800 - $14,600||5-8 weeks|
|Phoenix to Sofia||$5,000 - $8,200||$9,200 - $15,100||5-8 weeks|
|Denver to Plovdiv||$6,400 - $10,600||$11,800 - $19,200||5-8 weeks|
*Please note that these estimates do not include taxes, customs fees & duties, insurance & quarantine inspections. They assume easy access to both pick up and drop-off addresses and do not allow for special items such as pianos.
Estimated Weight (based on home size): 1BR=2600 lbs - 3900 lbs 2BR=3900 lbs - 5200 lbs 3BR=6500 lbs - 9100 lbs 4BR=9100 lbs - 14300 lbs 5BR=11700 lbs - 19500 lbs
Does Bulgaria charge duties on household goods?
As long as you’re importing household items that are at least six months old and fulfill the paperwork requirements - you won’t be charged duty. You’ll need to bring these goods into Bulgaria, no later than 3 months after moving to the country. A Bank Guarantee (or Customs Guarantee) also applies, if you haven’t been issued a Residence Permit and are clearing your goods through the capital city of Sofia. Upon successfully establishing your residency in the country, this money will be refunded to you (1).
Does Bulgaria require paperwork for household goods?
You’ll need to give customs your passport and Residence Permit, as well as a full packing list. A separate list of all the electronic goods in your shipment should be provided, and it should list the model and serial numbers of each item. To prove your residency in the country, you’ll need your lease contract (which should run a year or more). A declaration of value and Letter of Employment good for at least one year are also required (2).
Does Bulgaria charge duties on vehicles?
Bulgarian customs seems to handle vehicle importation differently than many other countries - with one source only mentioning temporary importation for foreigners. To proceed, you’ll need to deposit a Bank Guarantee. This is usually intended to cover the full import duties which would fall due, should you fail to export the vehicle out of Bulgaria when your permission expires. Your temporary import permission must be renewed, each year that you keep the vehicle in Bulgaria (3).
Other sources disagree, stating that you can import a vehicle on a permanent basis. In this case, vehicles coming from the EU will be free of any duty. Vehicles being imported from non-EU countries, will incur duty of 17% or higher. It seems that value-added tax (VAT) will be assessed on your vehicle as well, and there’s a possibility that excise taxes will also be levied (4).
Does Bulgaria require paperwork for vehicles?
You’ll need to have your vehicle’s registration (from the origin country), your visa and insurance that’s valid internationally. Documents showing that you’re the owner of the vehicle are also required. Finally, you’ll need to show customs your Bulgarian driver’s license (5).
The above discussion of shipments of household goods and vehicles isn’t comprehensive. Other documents and regulations will apply - so you should call Bulgarian customs, to get the complete list of requirements you’ll need to follow.
Tips on how to make your international move easier
- Start early: Moving abroad involves a lot of processes that must be attended to without delay. Some of these could include applying for your travel documents. You should start taking care of these as early as 90 days to the day of moving.
- sVisa, passport, and residency: In Bulgaria, like in many other European countries, you do not need a visa for the first 90 days. Nonetheless, you will need a valid US passport that you can apply for through the US Government. You can get more information about residency by visiting the Embassy of Bulgaria’s website.
- Find the right shipping company: To find a reputable moving company start by searching the internet. Also, ask for recommendations from friends and family members. As you do so, consider factors such as cost, customer reviews, and accreditations received by the companies. These will help you to make a more informed choice.
- Research: Search for information about the place to which you will be moving. Find out about the local cultures, languages, rules and regulations, among other information essential for your settling into your new home as soon as possible. You can also reach out to friends and family who either reside there or have been there before. Join groups on social media and engage with the members.
Why you need a professional moving company when relocating overseas
We have established that international moving is a tiring, time-consuming and complex process. Besides, you can also damage or lose your belongings if you decide to do a self-move. But, if you hire a professional mover, the process will be easier and hassle-free for you.
Indeed, professional movers have the experience, as well as the right equipment. They will ensure that your belongings are handled with care and will arrive at your destination safely. They also execute the task in a fast and efficient way which save you time.
A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods internationally. Call 888-241-3110 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.
How to find the best international moving company
Start by getting a list of Bulgaria International Moving Services on the internet. You can also ask for recommendations from friends and family members. Before choosing a company, kindly consider these factors:
- The standard rule is that all international movers should be licensed.
- Choose a company that has insurance that covers belongings in transit.
- Read customer reviews online. If a company has more negative than positive reviews, it is definitely not a good choice.
- Compare the estimates of at least two to three movers. Settle for the one offering you a good service package at an affordable rate.
- Find out if there is a company that offers packing services. This saves time.
Our international moving services
Our Bulgaria International Moving Services comes with the following:
- Packing/unpacking: We load and offload your belongings to and from our transport facilities.
- Corporate moves: We handle the moving of offices and businesses.
- Apartment moves: We will help you to switch between apartments.
- Planning and preparation: We offer you important insights regarding moving. This may include how to package your belongings ready for the day of moving.
- Visa and immigration services: We will assist you in applying for Bulgaria visa and immigration services.
- Housing assistance: We will help you to find suitable housing.
- Family services: We will also assist you in finding important family service providers such as schools and hospitals.
- Auto transport: We are an international vehicle shipping company.
Why A-1 Auto Transport?
Our decades’ long experience speaks for itself as does the fact that we have helped thousands of our clients to move and settle abroad. Many of our new clients say they heard about us from relatives and friends who had a great moving experience with us. This word-of-mouth advertising is testament to the quality of service we offer.
Make the switch!
Planning to relocate to Bulgaria? Kindly reach us by dialing our toll-free line 888-241-3110. Remember to fill-out the form at the top of this page to get free estimates of our international moving services.
(1) Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Bulgaria” page.
(3) Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Bulgaria” page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a work visa to work in Bulgaria as an EU citizen?
You do not need a work visa to work in Bulgaria as an EU citizen. As a member of the European Union, Bulgaria allows citizens of other EU member states to work without a visa or permit. This means you are free to live, work, and study in Bulgaria without restrictions.
To exercise your right to work in Bulgaria, you must register your employment with the Employment Agency's relevant local Directorate "Employment Office" within 14 days of starting your job. Your employer will be responsible for registering your employment.
You must also apply for a residence certificate if you plan to stay in Bulgaria for over 90 days. A residence certificate is a document that grants you the right to stay in Bulgaria for more than 90 days. You can apply for a residence certificate at the local office of the Ministry of Interior.
Why is moving to Sofia, Bulgaria, a good decision?
Moving to Sofia, Bulgaria, can be a good decision for several reasons:
1. Cost of living: Sofia offers a relatively low cost of living compared to many other European cities. Housing, transportation, and daily expenses are generally more affordable, allowing you to have a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.
2. Cultural and historical richness: Sofia has a rich history and diverse culture. It blends Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Soviet influences, as seen in its architecture, museums, and cultural events. Living in Sofia allows you to immerse yourself in this vibrant cultural tapestry.
3. Education and healthcare: Sofia has several prestigious universities and educational institutions offering quality education across various fields. The city also has a well-developed healthcare system, with modern hospitals and medical facilities.
4. Job opportunities: Sofia has a growing economy and a thriving business environment. It is a hub for IT and technology companies, attracting many international businesses. This provides ample job opportunities, especially in the tech sector.
5. Natural beauty and outdoor activities: Bulgaria is known for its stunning landscapes, and Sofia is no exception. The city is surrounded by beautiful mountains, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Sofia provides easy access to these experiences if you enjoy nature and outdoor adventures.
6. Central location and travel opportunities: Sofia is located in the heart of the Balkans, making it a great base for exploring neighboring countries. It is well-connected by air, rail, and road, allowing you to travel and explore the region easily.
7. Safety and quality of life: Bulgaria, including Sofia, is generally considered safe. The crime rates are relatively low, and the city offers a good quality of life with modern infrastructure, reliable public transportation, and a range of amenities.
Ultimately, the decision to move to Sofia depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. However, the city's affordability, cultural richness, job opportunities, and natural beauty make it an attractive option for many people.
How to apply for a Bulgaria retirement visa?
Here are some key steps to apply for a Bulgaria retirement visa:
- Check eligibility. You must be over a certain age (often 65) and have adequate monthly income/pension to qualify. Requirements can vary based on your nationality.
- Gather the required documents. This usually includes a passport valid for 6+ months, birth certificate, marriage certificate if applicable, passport photos, proof of health insurance coverage, and proof of pension/retirement income.
- Obtain the application form. You can download the long-stay (Type D) visa application from the Bulgarian consulate website. Complete carefully.
- Make an appointment at the consulate. Submit the completed visa application, supporting documents, and passport in person at the Bulgarian consulate serving your place of residence.
- Pay visa fees. Fees are around $100-150 USD and must be paid during application via cash or money order. The consulate will provide instructions.
- Get health insurance. You must show proof of valid health and medical insurance recognized in Bulgaria to cover your intended stay.
- Prove adequate retirement income. You must provide pension statements and bank records showing a monthly regular income of at least €600. Higher amounts may be required.
- Provide criminal background check. Some consulates require an FBI or state background check to issue a visa.
- Attend interview. You may need to return to the consulate for an in-person interview about your visa application.
- Obtain visa. If approved, the retirement visa will allow you to stay in Bulgaria as a resident for 6-12 months. It is renewable.
- Enter Bulgaria. You must enter within 6 months of the issue date. Register your residence upon arrival.
The process takes 1-3 months, so apply well before your planned retirement in Bulgaria!
Can I apply for Bulgarian citizenship after moving to Bulgaria?
Yes, you can apply for Bulgarian citizenship after moving to Bulgaria.
How do I ship my household items to Bulgaria?
Shipping household items to Bulgaria can be done through various methods. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
1. Research shipping companies: Look for reputable shipping companies that offer international shipping services to Bulgaria. Check their reviews, prices, and the services they provide.
2. Get quotes: Contact multiple shipping companies to Bulgaria and request quotes for your household items. Provide them with details such as your items' size, weight, and quantity.
3. Choose a shipping method: There are several shipping methods available, including air freight, sea freight, and land transportation. Consider cost, speed, and the type of items you are shipping to determine your best method.
4. Prepare your items: Properly pack and protect your household items to ensure they arrive safely. Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and other materials. Label fragile items clearly.
5. Complete customs documentation: Fill out any necessary customs forms and provide accurate information about the contents and value of your items. Be aware of any restrictions or prohibited items when shipping to Bulgaria.
6. Arrange transportation: Coordinate with the shipping company to arrange pick-up or drop-off of your items. Ensure the shipping company knows any special handling requirements or instructions.
7. Track your shipment: Once your items are shipped, ask for a tracking number to monitor the progress of your shipment. This will allow you to stay updated on the estimated arrival date and address potential issues.
8. Clear customs: When your shipment arrives in Bulgaria, it will go through customs clearance. Provide any required documentation or pay applicable customs duties or taxes to facilitate the clearance process.
9. Delivery: Once your items clear customs, they will be delivered to your desired location in Bulgaria. Coordinate with the shipping company for the final delivery details.
It is recommended to start the shipping process well in advance to allow for any unexpected delays or complications. Additionally, consider purchasing insurance for your items to protect against potential damage or loss during transit.
What tax forms do US expats in Bulgaria need to file?
US expats living in Bulgaria typically need to file the following tax forms each year:
- Form 1040 is the main US tax return for all citizens and US persons living abroad. It summarizes your worldwide income and taxes owed.
- Form 2555 - The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion allows you to exclude up to $112,000 of foreign-earned income from US taxes. This is claimed on Form 2555.
- Form 1116 is used to claim a tax credit for taxes paid to a foreign government like Bulgaria. It prevents double taxation.
- Form 8938 - If you have significant foreign financial assets, you may need to file Form 8938 to report them. The threshold amounts vary.
- Form TDF 90-22.1 - You must file this FBAR form if you have over $10,000 in foreign accounts.
- Form 3520/3520A - If you have foreign trusts or receive large foreign gifts/inheritances, these forms may need to be filed.
- Form 5471 - Required if you are interested in a foreign corporation, partnership, or other entity.
In addition, you may need to file state tax forms if you still have state tax obligations in the US. Consulting a US expat tax adviser can help ensure you remain IRS-compliant while living abroad. Bulgaria and the US have tax treaties to prevent double taxation.
Can I ship my car to Bulgaria?
Yes, you can ship your car to Bulgaria.
How do I become a permanent resident in Bulgaria?
There are two main ways to become a permanent resident in Bulgaria:
1. Permanent Residence by Prolonged Stay
This is the most common way foreign nationals become permanent residents in Bulgaria. To be eligible for permanent residence by prolonged stay, you must:
- Have a valid temporary residence permit in Bulgaria for at least five years.
- I have physically resided in Bulgaria for at least 30 months in the last five years.
- Be able to speak Bulgarian fluently.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Be financially self-sufficient.
2. Permanent Residence by Investment
This program allows foreign nationals to permanently reside in Bulgaria by investing in the country. To be eligible for permanent residence by investment, you must:
- Invest at least 512,000 euros in Bulgaria.
- Maintain your investment for at least five years.
- Be able to speak Bulgarian fluently.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Be financially self-sufficient.
To apply for permanent residence in Bulgaria, you must apply to the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior.
Do I need a visa to move to Bulgaria?
Yes, most foreigners require a visa to move to Bulgaria, depending on their nationality and the purpose of their stay. However, visa requirements can change over time. You must check with the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your home country or consult an immigration lawyer for the most up-to-date information regarding visa requirements for moving to Bulgaria.
Why should you move to Bulgaria?
- Affordable cost of living: Bulgaria is known for its low cost of living compared to other European countries. Housing, groceries, transportation, and entertainment expenses are cheaper, allowing you to stretch your budget further.
- Beautiful nature: Bulgaria boasts stunning natural landscapes, including the Balkan Mountains, the Black Sea coast, and numerous national parks. Bulgaria offers plenty of opportunities to indulge in nature if you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, or beach relaxation.
- Rich history and culture: Bulgaria has a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations. The country is dotted with historical sites, such as the ancient city of Plovdiv, the Rila Monastery, and the Thracian tombs. Bulgarian culture is also vibrant, with traditional folklore, music, and dance still being celebrated today.
- Warm and welcoming people: Bulgarians are known for hospitality and friendliness towards foreigners. The locals are generally welcoming and willing to help, making integrating into the community and building new connections easier.
- Access to Europe: Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, providing easy access to other European countries. The country has a well-connected transportation system, including international airports and highways, allowing for convenient travel within Europe.
- Emerging economy: Bulgaria has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, with a stable economy and a favorable business environment. This makes it an attractive destination for professionals and entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to start or expand their businesses.
- High-quality healthcare: Bulgaria offers a high standard of healthcare services, with well-trained medical professionals and modern facilities. The cost of healthcare is relatively lower compared to other European countries, making it an appealing option for retirees or those seeking affordable medical care.
- Delicious cuisine: Bulgarian cuisine is diverse and delicious, with influences from the Mediterranean, Balkan, and Turkish cuisines. From hearty stews and grilled meats to fresh salads and traditional pastries, there is something to satisfy every palate.
- Cultural events and festivals: Bulgaria hosts numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year, showcasing its rich heritage and traditions. From music festivals to folklore celebrations, something is always happening to keep you entertained and immersed in Bulgarian culture.
- Quality education: Bulgaria has a well-developed education system, with many reputable universities and schools. The cost of education is relatively affordable compared to other European countries, making it an attractive option for students seeking quality education at a reasonable price.
Moving to Bulgaria offers a unique blend of affordability, natural beauty, rich culture, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Bulgaria has much to offer if you are looking for a peaceful retirement destination or a vibrant place to start a new chapter in your life.
Should I get moving insurance when moving to Bulgaria?
Whether or not you should get moving insurance when moving to Bulgaria depends on your individual circumstances and risk tolerance. Here are some factors to consider:
- The value of your belongings: If you have a lot of valuable belongings, such as antiques, jewelry, or electronics, moving insurance can provide peace of mind in case of damage or loss.
- The type of move you are doing: If you are moving a long distance or using a professional company, moving insurance is more likely necessary.
- Your risk tolerance: Moving insurance is a good option if you are risk-averse and would prefer to be compensated in case of damage or loss. However, if you are more comfortable taking on the risk yourself, you may forego insurance.
What to know before moving to Bulgaria and living there as an expat?
- Visa requirements: Before moving to Bulgaria, ensure you understand your specific situation's visa requirements. Depending on your country of origin and the purpose of your stay, you may need to apply for a visa or a residence permit.
- Cost of living: Bulgaria is known for its relatively low cost of living compared to other European countries. However, it's important to research and understand the cost of housing, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and other expenses in the specific city or region you plan to live in.
- Language: Bulgarian is the official language in Bulgaria, and while English is widely spoken in major cities and tourist areas, learning some basic Bulgarian phrases can be helpful for day-to-day interactions, especially in smaller towns.
- Healthcare system: Bulgaria has a public healthcare system, but the quality of care may vary. It's advisable to have comprehensive health insurance that covers both routine medical care and emergencies. Research local hospitals and clinics to find the best options available.
- Job opportunities: If you plan to work in Bulgaria, it's important to research the job market and understand the employment opportunities in your field. The country has a growing economy, particularly IT, outsourcing, and tourism.
- Cultural differences: Bulgarian culture may differ from what you are accustomed to, so it's important to be open-minded and willing to adapt. Bulgarians are generally friendly and hospitable, but learning about local customs, traditions, and etiquette is advisable to integrate better into the community.
- Safety and security: Bulgaria is generally a safe country to live in, but like any other place, it's essential to take precautions to ensure your personal safety. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid isolated areas at night, and take necessary measures to protect your belongings.
- Education: If you have children, researching the education system in Bulgaria is crucial. Public, private, and international schools are available, each with its own curriculum and language of instruction.
- Banking and finances: Familiarize yourself with the local banking system and consider opening a local bank account. Understanding the tax regulations and financial obligations for expats living in Bulgaria is also important.
- Social integration: Joining expat groups, attending local events, and connecting with the local community can help you settle into your new life in Bulgaria. Building a social network can make the transition easier and provide opportunities for cultural exchange.
What are the most popular cities to live in Bulgaria?
The most popular cities to live in Bulgaria are:
1. Sofia: As Bulgaria's capital and largest city, Sofia offers a vibrant and cosmopolitan lifestyle. It is known for its rich history, cultural attractions, and diverse dining and nightlife options.
2. Plovdiv: Plovdiv is Bulgaria's second-largest city and was named the European Capital of Culture in 2019. It is famous for its well-preserved Roman ruins, charming old town, and artistic scene.
3. Varna: Located on the Black Sea coast, Varna is a popular destination for tourists and residents. It offers beautiful beaches, a lively summer nightlife, and a range of recreational activities.
4. Burgas: Another coastal city, Burgas is known for its picturesque seafront, vibrant city center, and modern amenities. It is a major economic and cultural hub in the country.
5. Veliko Tarnovo: Veliko Tarnovo is a historic city with a stunning medieval fortress and a picturesque old town. It is popular among expats and retirees for its relaxed lifestyle and affordable cost of living.
6. Ruse: Situated on the Danube River, Ruse is a charming city with a rich architectural heritage. It offers a high standard of living, a thriving cultural scene, and excellent transport connections.
7. Stara Zagora: Stara Zagora is a vibrant city known for its beautiful parks, well-preserved Roman ruins, and lively arts and music festivals. It is also a major economic center in central Bulgaria.
These cities offer cultural, historical, and modern amenities, making them attractive places to live in Bulgaria. However, the choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities.
What are the most popular tourist attractions in Bulgaria?
- Sofia - The capital city of Bulgaria is a popular tourist destination known for its historical landmarks, such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National Palace of Culture, and the ancient Roman ruins of Serdica.
- Rila Monastery - Located in the Rila Mountains, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Bulgaria's most iconic attractions. The monastery is renowned for its stunning architecture, rich history, and beautiful mountain surroundings.
- Plovdiv - The second-largest city in Bulgaria, Plovdiv is famous for its well-preserved Roman amphitheater, ancient ruins, and charming old town. It was also named the European Capital of Culture in 2019.
- Bansko - A popular ski resort town in the Pirin Mountains, Bansko attracts tourists with its excellent ski slopes, traditional architecture, and vibrant après-ski scene.
- Veliko Tarnovo - Known as the "City of the Tsars," Veliko Tarnovo is a historic town with a medieval fortress, cobblestone streets, and stunning views over the Yantra River.
- Sunny Beach - Located on the Black Sea coast, Sunny Beach is Bulgaria's largest resort town. It offers beautiful sandy beaches, a lively nightlife, and a wide range of water sports and entertainment options.
- Nessebar - A UNESCO World Heritage site, Nessebar is an ancient town with well-preserved medieval architecture and ruins. It is also a popular beach destination with its picturesque coastline.
- Varna - Another coastal city, Varna is known for its beautiful beaches, the Sea Garden Park, and the archaeological museum, which houses the world's oldest gold treasure.
- Belogradchik Rocks - These unique rock formations in northwest Bulgaria attract tourists with bizarre shapes and stunning natural scenery. The Belogradchik Fortress is also a popular attraction in the area.
- Boyana Church - Situated on the outskirts of Sofia, the Boyana Church is a UNESCO-listed medieval church famous for its remarkable frescoes dating back to the 13th century.
These are just a few examples of Bulgaria's many popular tourist attractions. The country offers diverse cultural, historical, and natural wonders that appeal to a wide range of travelers.
How can I save money moving to Bulgaria?
- Research and compare the cost of living in different cities or regions of Bulgaria. Some areas may have a lower cost of living than others, saving you more money on rent, groceries, and other expenses.
- Consider downsizing your living space. Smaller apartments or houses generally have lower rent and utility costs. Look for affordable housing options that meet your needs without breaking the bank.
- Take advantage of public transportation. Bulgaria has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, and metros. Using public transportation instead of owning a car can significantly reduce your expenses.
- Shop at local markets and supermarkets. Buying groceries and other essentials from local markets or supermarkets can be cheaper than shopping at convenience stores or specialty shops. Look for discounts, sales, and bulk-buying options to save even more money.
- Cook at home instead of eating out. Eating out can quickly add up, so try to cook your meals at home as much as possible. Explore Bulgarian cuisine and experiment with local ingredients to make delicious, cost-effective meals.
- Save on utilities. Be mindful of your electricity, water, and gas consumption. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use, take shorter showers, and consider using energy-efficient appliances to reduce your utility bills.
- Take advantage of free or low-cost recreational activities. Bulgaria offers many opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and exploring nature. Instead of expensive entertainment, take advantage of the country's natural beauty and free or low-cost recreational activities.
- Consider second-hand or thrift shopping. Instead of buying brand-new items, look for second-hand or thrift stores to find furniture, clothing, and other household items at a fraction of the cost.
- Research and compare prices before making any major purchases. Whether it's electronics, furniture, or appliances, take the time to research prices and compare them across different stores. This way, you can get the best deal and save money.
- Take advantage of discounts and loyalty programs. Many stores, restaurants, and service providers offer discounts or loyalty programs. Sign up for these programs and watch for special promotions to save money on your regular expenses.
Remember, saving money is a combination of making smart choices, being mindful of your spending, and adapting to Bulgaria's local lifestyle and resources.
What is the process for moving to Bulgaria?
Moving to Bulgaria involves several steps and processes. Here is a general outline of the process:
1. Research and Planning:
- Gather information about Bulgaria, including its culture, language, cost of living, and legal requirements for immigration.
- Determine your purpose for moving, such as work, study, retirement, or starting a business.
- Decide on the city or region in Bulgaria where you want to settle.
2. Visa Requirements:
- Check the visa requirements based on your purpose of moving. Bulgaria offers various types of visas, such as work visas, student visas, and long-term residence permits.
- Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the specific visa category you are applying for.
- Prepare the necessary documents, such as a valid passport, proof of accommodation, financial means, health insurance, and any other supporting documents required.
3. Finding Accommodation:
- Research and find suitable accommodation in Bulgaria. This can be done online or with the help of local real estate agents.
- Consider location, budget, and amenities when choosing your accommodation.
4. Health Insurance:
- Obtain health insurance coverage that meets the requirements of Bulgarian authorities.
- Depending on your situation, you may need to purchase private health insurance or enroll in the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund.
5. Moving Belongings:
- Make arrangements for shipping or transporting your belongings to Bulgaria.
- Hire a reputable international moving company or consider other options like renting a shipping container or using a freight forwarding service.
6. Registering with Local Authorities:
- Upon arrival in Bulgaria, register your address at the local municipality within 5 days.
- Obtain a personal identification number (EGN) from the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior.
7. Settling In:
- Open a bank account in Bulgaria.
- Arrange for utilities like electricity, water, and internet connection.
- Familiarize yourself with the local transportation system, healthcare facilities, and other essential services.
8. Integration and Language:
- Consider learning the Bulgarian language to facilitate integration into the local community.
- Explore opportunities to connect with expat communities, attend cultural events, and engage in social activities.
It is important to note that the process may vary depending on individual circumstances and the specific visa requirements. It is advisable to consult with the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your home country for detailed information and guidance.
Can I bring my pets when moving to Bulgaria?
Yes, you can bring your pets when moving to Bulgaria. However, there are certain requirements and regulations that you need to fulfill.
1. Microchip: Your pet must be microchipped with an ISO-compliant microchip.
2. Vaccinations: Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before entering Bulgaria. Make sure to carry the vaccination certificate with you.
3. EU Pet Passport: If you are moving from an EU country, you can obtain an EU Pet Passport from your veterinarian. This document includes all the necessary information about your pet's vaccinations and health status.
4. Health Certificate: If you are moving from a non-EU country, you must obtain a health certificate from an accredited veterinarian. This certificate should be issued within 10 days of travel.
5. Transportation: Ensure your pets are transported in an appropriate carrier or crate that meets the airline's requirements.
6. Quarantine: Bulgaria has no mandatory quarantine period for pets entering the country. However, it is advisable to check with the Bulgarian authorities for specific requirements or regulations.
It is recommended to contact the Bulgarian Embassy or Consulate in your home country or consult with a professional pet relocation service for detailed and up-to-date information regarding the importation of pets to Bulgaria.
What are the pros and cons of moving to Bulgaria?
Pros of moving to Bulgaria:
1. Cost of living: Bulgaria has a relatively low cost of living compared to many other European countries. Housing, groceries, and transportation are generally more affordable, allowing for a higher quality of life on a lower budget.
2. Natural beauty: Bulgaria is known for its stunning landscapes, including the Balkan Mountains, the Black Sea coast, and picturesque countryside. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, skiing, and exploring the country's numerous national parks.
3. Rich history and culture: Bulgaria has a long and diverse history, with ancient ruins, medieval fortresses, and charming old towns. The country also has a vibrant cultural scene, with traditional music, dance, and festivals celebrated yearly.
4. Warm climate: Bulgaria enjoys a mild climate, with hot summers and relatively mild winters. This makes it an attractive destination for those who prefer warmer weather and outdoor activities.
5. Access to Europe: Bulgaria is geographically located in the heart of Europe, making it easy to travel and explore other European countries. The country is well-connected with an extensive network of airports and highways.
Cons of moving to Bulgaria:
1. Language barrier: Bulgarian is the official language in Bulgaria, and while many younger Bulgarians speak English, the language barrier can still be a challenge for expats, especially in rural areas.
2. Corruption and bureaucracy: Bulgaria has struggled with corruption and bureaucratic inefficiencies, which can be frustrating for newcomers trying to navigate administrative processes or start a business.
3. Limited job opportunities: The job market in Bulgaria can be competitive, and salaries are generally lower compared to other European countries. Expats may find it challenging to secure employment, especially if they do not speak Bulgarian fluently.
4. Healthcare system: Although Bulgaria has improved its healthcare system, it still lags behind other European countries regarding quality and accessibility. Expats may need to consider private health insurance for better coverage.
5. Infrastructure: While major cities like Sofia have modern infrastructure, rural areas may need more access to amenities and services. Roads, public transportation, and internet connectivity may be less developed in some regions.
It's important to note that the pros and cons can vary depending on individual preferences and circumstances. It is advisable to thoroughly research and visit Bulgaria before deciding to move.
Does Bulgaria offer digital nomad visas?
Bulgaria offers a digital nomad visa program called the "Digital Nomad Visa" or "Remote Work Visa." This program allows digital nomads and remote workers to live and work in Bulgaria for up to 1 year. The visa allows individuals working remotely to experience the country while maintaining employment.
Are there any safety concerns for expats living in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria is generally considered a safe country for expats and visitors. However, like any other destination, it is important to be aware of potential safety concerns and take necessary precautions. Here are a few considerations:
- Petty Crime: The most common type of crime in Bulgaria is petty theft, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, particularly in crowded tourist areas or public transportation. It's advisable to keep an eye on your belongings, avoid displaying valuable items openly, and use caution in crowded places.
- Scams and Fraud: Expats should be cautious of scams, particularly in tourist areas or when dealing with unfamiliar individuals or services. Be vigilant when using ATMs, avoid disclosing personal and financial information to unknown sources, and use reputable services for money exchange.
- Road Safety: Road accidents can occur in Bulgaria, and traffic regulations may not always be strictly followed. It's important to exercise caution and adhere to traffic rules if you plan to drive. Pedestrians should also take care when crossing roads.
- Public Transportation: While generally safe, it's advisable to take precautions when using public transportation, especially late at night. Keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.
- Roma Communities: Bulgaria has a significant Roma (Gypsy) population, and some neighborhoods with higher Roma populations may have higher crime rates or social challenges. It's recommended to exercise caution and be respectful when visiting these areas.
- Political Demonstrations: Political demonstrations and protests can occasionally occur in Bulgaria. While these events are generally peaceful, it's advisable to stay informed about the local situation and avoid large gatherings or areas where protests occur.
As always, it's wise to stay informed about the current situation in Bulgaria, follow local news and advisories, and maintain common sense precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience as an expat.
How do you buy a property in Bulgaria?
- Determine your budget: Before buying a property in Bulgaria, it is important to determine your budget. Consider your finances and decide how much you will spend on the property.
- Research the market: Conduct thorough research on the real estate market in Bulgaria. Look for properties in the desired location, compare prices, and consider the type of property you are interested in, such as apartments, houses, or land.
- Find a reliable real estate agent: It is advisable to work with a reliable agent with experience in the Bulgarian property market. They can provide guidance, help you find suitable properties, and assist with the legal aspects of the purchase.
- Visit the properties: Visit the properties you are interested in to get a better understanding of their condition, location, and surroundings. This will help you make an informed decision.
- Hire a lawyer: Engage the services of a lawyer specializing in Bulgarian property law. They will guide you through the legal process, review contracts, and ensure all necessary paperwork is in order.
- Secure financing: If you require financing to purchase the property, explore various options in Bulgaria. Contact local banks or financial institutions to understand their requirements and secure a mortgage.
- Make an offer: Once you have found the property you wish to buy, make an offer to the seller through your real estate agent. Negotiate the price and terms of the purchase.
- Due diligence: Conduct a thorough due diligence process to ensure the property is free from legal or financial encumbrances. This may involve verifying the ownership, checking for outstanding debts or liens, and confirming that all necessary permits and documents are in place.
- Sign the contract: Once all the necessary checks have been completed, sign the purchase contract. It is advisable to have the contract reviewed by your lawyer before signing.
- Transfer ownership: The final step is to transfer ownership of the property. This involves paying the agreed-upon purchase price and completing all necessary paperwork at the relevant government office.
Remember to consult with professionals throughout the process to ensure a smooth and legal purchase of the property in Bulgaria.
What are the visa and residency requirements for moving to Bulgaria?
To move to Bulgaria, you must obtain a visa and meet the residency requirements. Here is an overview of the visa and residency requirements:
1. Visa Requirements:
- Non-EU citizens: If you are a non-EU citizen, you will typically need to obtain a long-term visa (Type D) before entering Bulgaria. You can apply for this visa at your home country's Bulgarian embassy or consulate.
- EU citizens: If you are an EU citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Bulgaria. You can stay in the country for up to 90 days within 180 days without a visa.
2. Residency Requirements:
- Long-term residency: To stay in Bulgaria for more than 90 days as a non-EU citizen, you must apply for a long-term residency permit. This permit allows you to live and work in Bulgaria. You can apply for this permit at the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior within 14 days of arrival.
- EU citizens: As an EU citizen, you can live and work in Bulgaria without a residency permit. However, if you plan to stay for over 3 months, you must register your residence with the local authorities.
3. Required Documents:
- Passport: A valid passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining.
- Application form: You must complete the relevant visa or residency application form.
- Proof of accommodation: You may need to provide a rental agreement or proof of property ownership in Bulgaria.
- Proof of financial means: You may need proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Bulgaria.
- Health insurance: Non-EU citizens may need to provide proof of health insurance coverage.
- Employment contract or business registration (if applicable): If you plan to work or start a business in Bulgaria, you may need to provide supporting documents.
It is important to note that the visa and residency requirements may vary depending on your nationality, purpose of stay, and other factors. It is recommended to consult with the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date and specific information regarding your situation.