Move to Bulgaria from the UK

Public body: British in Bulgaria

Website: http://

Since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, there has been a level of uncertainty among people wondering how to move to Bulgaria from the UK. Here is how you can do it.


Permanent residence was available for British nationals who have arrived and settled in Bulgaria by the 31st of Dec 2020.

The Withdrawal Agreement included a transition period up to the 31st of December 2020 during which the EU rules for free movement of people will continue to apply to UK nationals and their family members.

British nationals arriving after 2021, the end of the transition period

For a short-term stay of up to 90 days in every period of 180 days, UK nationals can enter Bulgaria with a valid passport without a visa. Their family members should present at the border control a valid passport, as well as a visa when such is required depending on their nationality.

On the other hand, for a stay longer than 90 days both UK nationals and their family members will need a valid passport and a visa for a long stay, or a valid residence permit issued by the competent Bulgarian authorities (for example the Consular service in London).

A long-stay visa is also known as a type “D” visa. It is usually valid for up to 6 months. In some cases, the validity is extended from 6 months to 1 year when issued to foreign nationals coming to Bulgaria to perform scientific research, or as students to complete a university degree. For more information please check the Bulgarian Exterior Ministry website. The fee for a type “D” visa is approximately 190 BGN. Application for visa type D should precede the date of travel by 3 months or less.

Please note: a valid passport is one issued in the last 10 years and its validity period extends to at least 3 months passed the planned departure date from Bulgaria. And you could be fined 500 BGN or more if you remain in Bulgaria past the expiration date of your visa.

Residence status for foreigners in Bulgaria

Visa D holders can apply for prolonged residence status in Bulgaria no later than 14 days from the expiry date of their visa. Applications are submitted in person to the Regional Migration Office as per the applicant’s residence address. Prerequisites for the residence application are a valid visa plus one of the following:

  • Valid employment contract and authorisation by the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy
  • Commercial activity leading to the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs
  • Individuals entitled to a pension
  • Freelance activities permit issued by the Employment Agency in Bulgaria
  • EU Blue Card
  • Other (full list available online)

Looking for a home in Bulgaria?

A house in Bulgaria is a means to a slower pace of life with more living space. But the big question remains: can Brits purchase properties with adjacent land? More often than not, British nationals become sole owners of a Bulgarian-registered company. Their newly formed business acquires the property and turns it into an asset on the books. Even if the company ends up as a non-trading one, it will still require the services of a Bulgaria accountant. There are certain legal requirements for the entity to submit tax declarations and financial reports annually.

British in Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo is a city in Bulgaria that attracts a large British expat community. Moreover, there are beautiful surroundings and most of the villages enjoy breathtaking views of Stara Planina mountain. There are a lot of cheap houses up for sale. Prices start from as low as €5,000 for properties in need of serious renovation and repairs up to about €50,000 for recently renovated and ready-to-move-in properties. Century Homes is a local estate agent that can offer a wide range of houses to suit different budgets and tastes.

If you want to experience life in Veliko Tarnovo area before you buy, and you like camping, search for Nick and Nicky award-winning campsite. The couple started from scratch when they moved to Bulgaria in 2007 and since then they built a successful business in the village of Dragizhevo.

Flights from London to Bulgaria

Airline Departure Airport Destination
Easyjet London – Gatwick Sofia
Wizz Air London – Gatwick Sofia
Wizz Air London – Luton Sofia
Wizz Air London – Luton Varna
Wizz Air London – Luton Burgas
Wizz Air London – Luton Plovdiv
Ryanair London – Luton Burgas
Ryanair London – Stansted Plovdiv
Ryanair London – Stansted Sofia

British Pubs in Bulgaria

Meet Darren the proprietor of Wolf Den, an English bar in the village of Velchevo.

British food in Bulgaria

“Little London” are British grocery stores in Sofia and Plovdiv. If you are planning a visit to the capital of Bulgaria, stop by and top up with your favorite PG Tips tea, McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits, Weetabix, Bisto Gravy, and many others. Their address is No.1 Krakra Street, 1504 Sofia. In addition, you can visit any of the big supermarket chains the likes of Lidl, Kaufland, or Billa, and their world foods section.

Useful links

UK Embassy in Sofia –

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria.