Long-term residence status is one of the possibilities that Bulgaria provides to foreigners – third-country nationals, since 2011.
This is an option different from continuous and permanent residence permits. It is a status that allows for unrestricted travel within the territory of the European Union.
Long-term residence status is granted to a foreigner who has legally and continuously resided in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria within 5 years before submitting an application for a long-term residence permit; i.e. in most of the cases, a foreigner should initially obtain a continuous residence permit. In order to estimate the exact duration of the 5-year period, the basis on which the residence permit has been granted shall be taken into account, as well as the absences of the applicant.
Once acquired, the long-term residence status is permanent, as long as no grounds for its withdrawal have arisen.
An applicant for long-term resident status must provide evidence that they have for themselves and for the members of their family sufficient means of subsistence, without recourse to the social assistance system, the amount of which shall be not less than the minimum wage and minimum pension, and that they have a compulsory social security health coverage or compulsory health insurance for the period of residence under the legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria.
A foreigner, who has been granted long-term residence status, shall obtain a long-term resident’s EU residence permit. Such permit has a validity period of 5 years and shall be renewed upon its expiry by submitting an application.
The permit shall be issued in accordance with the requirements of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third country nationals. In the ‘type of permission’ field, the option ‘long-term resident in the EU’ should be indicated.
Based on the status obtained by the foreigner, the members of their family may also obtain a long-term residence permit.
After a period of five years, the long-term resident status allows for applying for Bulgarian citizenship.
* Note that foreigners, who visit or reside in Bulgaria, are obliged to follow the public legal order, to be loyal to the Bulgarian country and not to harm the prestige and honor of the Bulgarian people.