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All About the Bulgaria Visa

At the time of writing, this Balkan country is in the process of joining the European Union’s Schengen Area. When it becomes a Member State, and once the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) travel waiver goes into effect in late 2022, this digital waiver may be required for you to visit. Want to know more? Keep reading to learn about the ETIAS and how to apply for yours in a few easy steps.

Home to luxury Black Sea resorts, beautiful mountain landscapes and impressive gold-domed Orthodox churches, it’s no wonder this Southeastern European nation has gained popularity with holidaymakers in recent years.

As an EU state, Bulgaria is fully committed to becoming a member of the Schengen zone. So, what does this mean for travellers hoping to visit this country’s attractive beaches and ski resorts? Do you currently need a visa to go to Bulgaria?

Until now, Bulgaria’s visa policy allowed more than 50 nationalities – among them the US, UK, Australia and Canada – to explore its hiking trails and 10th-century monasteries with just a valid passport.

As of late 2022, however, the EU is requiring that all foreign visitors apply for the ETIAS digital visitor permit before their travels to better monitor who is coming in and out of the Schengen Area.

Luckily, Byevisa is here to break down the new ETIAS requirements to help you get your Bulgaria visa waiver.

Bulgaria Tourist Visa Application Process

Applying for the Bulgaria ETIAS is a breeze with Byevisa. If you’ve applied for an American ESTA or Canadian eTA in the past, then the steps will be quite familiar. The entire process is electronic, making it much more straightforward than requesting a traditional visa from the embassy.

To apply for an ETIAS, you will need to do the following:

  • Fill out the online form.
  • Pay the fee.
  • Receive the document by email.

It takes only 10 minutes to fill out the online form. Before submitting, you will be asked to pay a small fee with a credit or debit card.

Once this is done, sit back, relax and let Byevisa do the rest. When your application is approved, you will receive your digital waiver directly to your inbox.

Bulgaria Visa Requirements and Eligibility

What do you need to apply for your ETIAS? ETIAS visa to Bulgaria requirements are quite straightforward; all you need is:

  • A passport that is valid for 6 months past your date of entry.
  • An email address to receive the document.

Want to know if these new travel measures apply to you? Just select your nationality in Byevisa’s helpful eligibility checker tool to find out.

Alternatively, refer to our list of Bulgaria visa-free countries that will require the digital waiver from late 2022:

Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brunei Darussalam
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Federated States of Micronesia

Hong Kong
Marshall Islands
New Zealand
North Macedonia
Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Solomon Islands
South Korea
Timor Leste
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States

Currently, if your nationality is exempt you may enter any Schengen Member State for up to 90 days with just a valid passport.

Once this country becomes a Schengen Member Country, however, all foreign visitors from the above list must apply for an ETIAS travel waiver prior to their visit.

Bulgaria Visa Application Form and Documents

You only need 10 minutes to fill in the ETIAS Bulgaria visa application online. While the specific questions may vary depending on your nationality, the basic information is the same for all applications.

To make this process quick and easy, here’s a list of all the information you should gather before starting the application:

  • Personal information (name, maiden name, date and place of birth).
  • Passport details.
  • Citizenship information.
  • Contact details (address, email and phone number).
  • Point of entry (first Schengen country you will visit).
  • Education and employment history.
  • Background questions on medical conditions and criminal history.

Once you’ve entered these details, you then select your preferred processing speed to receive your waiver. With Byevisa, you can choose among:

  • Standard
  • Rapid
  • Highly Rapid

Once the payment is complete, everything is done from your side. Your application eligibility will then be verified and your details will be checked against several European security databases to assess any risk factors.

If no red flags are raised, then you’re in the clear. Your digital waiver will be sent to the email provided in your application and you’re ready for your Bulgarian holiday to begin.

Visa for Bulgaria Status Check

Once you have filled in the form, paid the fee and submitted the application, you will receive an email confirmation from Byevisa. Then, depending on which processing speed you select, you’ll receive your travel pass by email in that amount of time.

To inquire about your application status, you can click ‘Log In’ on our main menu and enter using your username and password. From your personal page you can find out:

  • If your application has been accepted and its expiry date.
  • If your application was rejected and the reason, if provided by the European Commission.
  • If your application remains pending.

If you do not hear from Byevisa within the specified timeframe, you may have entered an incorrect email address. In this case, all you have to do is raise a query by going to our bottom menu and selecting ‘Contact Us’. A representative will then be in touch shortly with a solution.

How Much is a Visa to Bulgaria?

The ETIAS Bulgaria visa fee is only 7 EUR. In addition, Byevisa charges a small fee for taking care of everything for you. We offer 3 different speeds to suit your travel needs:

  • Standard Service
  • Rapid Service
  • Highly Rapid Service

You can select your processing speed when you reach the payment page. Once paid and approved, your document will allow you to travel to all Schengen countries for up to 3 years.

What Is the Difference Between the Bulgaria Schengen Visa and the ETIAS for Bulgaria?

The Bulgaria visa Schengen is reserved for the following travellers:

  • Citizens of a country that require a Schengen visa.
  • Visitors planning to stay longer than 90 consecutive days in any 6-month period.
  • Visitors hoping to work or study in the country.

There are different types of Schengen travel documents that allow foreign travellers to visit, study and work in any of the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen zone. Which one you apply for depends on the specific purpose of your travel and is something that should be confirmed with your corresponding embassy or consulate.

If you are already a holder of a valid Schengen entry permit, then you can take advantage of the visa-free regime for Schengen visa holders for stays of up to 90 days. This means that as a holder of this entry permit, regardless of which of the 26 Member States issued it, you may enter the Republic of Bulgaria for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Similarly, if you hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by Romania, Cyprus or Croatia, you may also enjoy a 90-day visit to this Balkan country without having to apply for a separate entry document.

More Information on the Bulgaria Visit Visa

We hope the above information has provided a helpful overview of visiting Bulgaria with the ETIAS visa waiver. For more travel tips, please refer to our section below.

¡Once issued, the ETIAS for Bulgaria lasts 3 years, with the possibility of entering the Schengen zone as many times as you wish. However, you can only stay up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
We recommend requesting the ETIAS waiver at least 72 hours before your departure. If this is not an option, you should select our Rapid or Highly Rapid service.
Currently, Australian holidaymakers can enter with only a valid passport. From late 2022 however, an ETIAS Bulgaria visa will be needed for travellers from Australia.
For now, US citizens may travel visa-free for less than 90 days. However, beginning late 2022 and once this nation joins the Schengen Area, an ETIAS waiver will be required to visit.
If applying for a Bulgaria visa from India you will need to request your document from your nearest embassy or consulate. For more information on this process, please check out our page on Bulgaria Visa for Indians.
If your application is denied, Byevisa will send you an email with the reason given by the European Commission and the next steps you should take.
The official website has much of the same information outlined on this page. However, we have taken the time to condense all the must-know information into a few clear points.
There's no need to print your approved waiver, as it's electronically linked to your passport. When you arrive at customs, your passport will simply be scanned to check your eligibility. That said, you may wish to carry a printed copy with you, just in case.
If your passport has expired or is due to expire, you must apply for a new one before requesting your ETIAS. The ETIAS is not transferable, so if you have one on a previous passport and need to renew it, you will have to apply for a new digital waiver.
You may request an ETIAS as long as one of your passports is eligible (please refer to our country list above). To prevent confusion, make sure to book your European travel on the same passport that holds the ETIAS.
While credit/debit cards are accepted in most places in Sofia and other larger cities, if you venture off into the countryside it may be a good idea to bring some cash.

Similarly, while road signs around the city are usually written in Latin script, off the beaten path you may find signage is written only in the Cyrillic script. A handy idea is to take a picture of the names of places you intend to visit in Cyrillic, to prevent getting lost along the way.

The digital waiver is a simple document that will be sent to you by email. An image of this document will be available once the waiver goes into effect in late 2022.
If you would like to find out more, check out some of our links to relevant topics below.
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