D type visa and Bulgarian residence permit through registration of a representative office of a foreign legal entity
February 3, 2022
Registration of a representative office of a foreign legal entity at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is one of the preferred ways to obtain D type visa and Bulgarian residence permit for foreigners. This option is fast and cheap, although the requirements to applicants are often changed by the Bulgarian legislator. An advantage of this procedure is the option for the foreigner’s family members to obtain a residence permit.
The interest in obtaining residence permit on grounds of being a ‘Representative of a foreign legal entity registered with BCCI’ has increased in 2021, and inquiries have increased even more in January 2022. The reasons lie in the advantages of the procedure – easy renewal and extension, option for obtaining a residence permit for family members too, easier subsequent applying for a Schengen visa, and more.
However, the procedure requires careful preparation of required documents and clarification of the exact objectives of the applicant. We often receive inquiries from foreigners who believe that if they register a company in the Republic of Bulgaria or buy a property, they will automatically receive a residence permit. This is not the case and this option is not possible – you can read more information HERE.
Therefore, in the first place we need to clarify the difference between registration of a commercial company /’firm’/ and the registration of a representative office in Bulgaria. In contrast to a company /Ltd., Jsc, etc./, a representative office is not an independent legal entity and has representative functions only. No business operations can be performed through a representative office. Representative offices may not provide services, sell goods, and respectively no revenue can be generated by such activities.
A representative office in Bulgaria can organise representative activities, such as promotions, exhibitions, trainings or advertising of products or services offered by the foreign legal entity.
In order to be able to register a representative office in Bulgaria, you must be the owner or manager of a foreign legal entity. It does not matter in which country the legal entity has been registered.
If you do not have your own company to carry out business operations in your own country or internationally, you can consider the possibility to ask a friend/trustee to appoint you in in his/her company as a trade representative in Bulgaria.
You will need the following documents to register a representative office of a foreign legal entity in Bulgaria:
– Certificate of Good Standing of the foreign legal entity, showing that the foreign legal entity is duly registered with the Commercial Register or the Chamber of Commerce in the relevant country;
– Certificate or other document issued by the Commercial Register or the Chamber of Commerce in the relevant country, showing the owners and the persons who represent the foreign legal entity;
– Certificate or other document issued by the competent local authorities in your country, showing that the foreign legal entity has no tax liabilities;
– Document for economic activity of the foreign legal entity, showing that the company has been operating for at least 2 (two) years;
– Business program or plan, justifying the reasons for registration of the representative office, as well as a detailed explanation of the planned activities of future trade representatives;
All of the above documents should be duly legalised (with an apostille), and then translated into Bulgarian.
The documents listed above, along with the package of documents required by law, will be submitted to the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where the Bulgarian representative office is registered. BCCI will issue a decision for registration. Based on that decision, the representative office will be entered in the Bulstat Register.
Only after the representative office has been duly entered into the Bulstat Register, one can apply for and receive certificates from BCCI for the purpose of filing an application for a D type visa and residence permit in the Republic of Bulgaria in his/her capacity as trade representative.
The certificates issued by BCCI are valid for 30 days, so the foreign citizen must submit the required documents for D type visa to the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in his/her country within this period. Visa applications are generally processed within 30-45 days, but sometimes much faster.
The D type visa for a foreign citizen – trade representative is valid for 6 months, and during that period the trade representative must arrive in the Republic of Bulgaria and submit an application for a residence permit. The application is submitted to the Migration Directorate at the Ministry of Interior in the city where the representative office is located.
It should be noted that up to three foreign citizens can obtain a residence permit based on the registration of a representative office. However, after each of them has received a residence permit, their family members (spouse and children) can also apply for a residence permit.
Yosifova, Ivanov and Petrov Law Firm offers full legal assistance throughout the entire procedure for representative office registration. We have extensive experience in registration and renewal of registration of representative offices of foreign companies and in issuing residence permits in the Republic of Bulgaria. We will prepare all necessary documents for you, we will assist you to obtain the documents related to the foreign legal entity (including their translation) and to file your application and documents for D type visa, and we will accompany you when you submit the documents for a residence permit.
We also offer assistance in extending the period of registration of a representative office, as well as in appointing more trade representatives and obtaining residence permits for family members of foreign citizens residing in Bulgaria.
If you need further information, consultation or assistance for registration of a representative office for obtaining D type visa or residence permits in the Republic of Bulgaria, you can contact us at the emails and telephone numbers listed in our Contacts section.
FAQ: Registration of trade representative office in Bulgaria – visa D and residence permit
Receiving residency permit for Bulgaria through registration of Representative office of foreign company