Public body: Ministry of Innovation and Growth
Bulgarian Startup Visa for Non-EU candidates
What are the requirements?
Non-EU candidates can complete an online application in English and submit the relevant documents to the Ministry of Innovation and Growth in Bulgaria. Individual includes their name, ID document, country of birth, contact phone number, and email address. The individual also enters information about their company’s name, registered number, and address.
The presentation deck should detail the product or service in question, as well as a financial forecast of income and expenses for the next 3 years. SWOT analysis of the market, clients, partnerships and employees is beneficial.
In summary, the relevant documents supporting the application are a copy of the ID document, business plan, and any of the following: signed investment contracts, investment letter of intent, patents granted, relevant professional degree, proof of future orders, bank statements, etc.
The application is reviewed and evaluated by a council of experts at the ministry, including government officials, and individuals with academic or business backgrounds. It is evaluated on the basis of six criteria – sufficient funds available, financial projections and available capital, customer network, investments, valid patent or IP certificate, as well as business plan and presentation. The deadline for reviewing the application is 30 days from the submission date.
Each of the criteria has a different weighting, and the applicant must obtain a minimum of 8 out of the maximum available 14 points. The application process is free of charge.
Details of the 6 evaluation criteria
- Sufficient funds for living expenses. For example, a bank statement or equivalent document certifying the availability of funds for at least 30 consecutive days before the date of the application, covering the amount of at least three minimum wages in the Republic of Bulgaria. There are a total of 3 points available.
- Availability of capital, as well as comprehensive and realistic cash flow projection for the project for a period of 3 years from the date of submission of the application, including information on a monthly basis for revenues, direct costs, operating costs, and net profit. There is a max of 3 points available.
- Client network or example of contracts that will result in future sales. Further proof could be bank statements for a minimum of BGN 100,000 for the last 2 years. 1 point available.
- Investments such as a copy of an investment contract or a letter of intent to invest on behalf investment fund or a contract or other letter of intent for no less than BGN 100,000. A maximum of 1 point is available.
- Valid patent or equivalent proof of intellectual property, for example, IP registered in the EU, USA, or member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development relevant to the project. A maximum of 1 point is available.
- Business plan and presentation including realistic financial forecasts. Readiness to enter the market and generate revenue after 6 months. Potential for future project scalability. Potential to develop a team and hire up to 10 employees in the first year. As well as show export potential. All this for a maximum of 5 points.
Entrepreneurs will be allowed to reside and work in the country for one year, after which they can renew their visas. At the end of the period, the company must report to a commission and show how it is developing. In the end, the expectation is that entrepreneurs will stay in Bulgaria, receive funding and grow their idea globally.