Legal Blog

Last Changes to the Ownership Act of Bulgaria

Information about last amendment to the Bulgarian Ownership Act was published in the State Gazette of Bulgaria on 24th of December 2014. This amendment entered into force on 31st of December 2014 and it says:
The statutory limitation term for acquiring government and municipal real estate properties shall stop to run by 31st of December 2017.

What does it mean?

According to the art. 77 of the same Act: The right of ownership may be acquired through legal transaction, through prescription or through other means provided by the law.
It means that acquiring of ownership right through prescription is a legal way to become the owner of a real estate or movable asset.
Again, according to the same act:
– The right of ownership of immovable property through prescription shall be acquired through continuous possession for 10 years.
– If the possession is in good faith the ownership shall be acquired with continuous possession for 5 years.
– A movable property shall be acquired through prescription with continuous possession for 5 years.

Everything said above means that a real estate can become a person’s ownership in case this person possessed this property for 5 years (under some conditions) or  10 years (under other conditions  that should be meet by the owner and by the kind of possession).

The last changes to the Ownership Act mean that everything said above is true but only in regards with real estates that do not belong to the government or to any Bulgarian municipality – for such real estates the limitation term for acquiring shall stop to run by 31st of December 2017.

Minimum salary in Bulgaria for the year 2015

The Council of Ministers of Bulgaria on the Decree № 419/17th of December 2014 has decided to change the minimum salary in Bulgaria as follows:
– starting form 1st of January 2015 the minimum salary for a full working month will be changed to 360 BGN
and
– starting from 1st of July 2015 the minimum salary will be changed to 380 BGN.

This change will affect foreigners from non EU countries who have or are planning to receive the residency permit in Bulgaria because one of the documents that should be attached to the application is a bank statement providing the number of the personal bank account of the foreigner registered in a Bulgarian bank and proving that there is a certain amount in this bank account as this amount for the foreigners who want to receive or prologue the residency permit for 1 year should be no less that the minimum salary in Bulgaria for one calendar year.

Technical passports of constructions in Bulgaria

According to the current Bulgarian legislation each building and construction located in Bulgaria must have a technical passport. New buildings receive those passports before receiving Act 16 (the certificate of usage) and already existing must receive such passports within specific terms established in the Ordinance № 5 from 28th of December 2006 for technical passports of constructions.

According to the last changes those terms are:

  • constructions of Category Three (residential and mixed-use buildings of a high-rise development) must receive technical passports till 31st of December 2015
  • constructions of Category Fourth (residential and mixed-use buildings of a medium high rise development) must receive technical passports till 31st of December 2017
  • constructions of Category Fifth (residential and mixed-use buildings of a low-rise development, country-house buildings) must receive technical passports till 31st of December 9.

Categories of constructions in Bulgaria (according to the Spatial Development Act):

1. Category One:
(a) motorways, express roads and first-class and second-class roads of the national road network, railways, public-transport maritime or river ports and airports, subways and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(b) physical-infrastructure transmission lines and the facilities thereto appertaining in the sphere of water supply, electricity supply, heat supply, gas supply and other operations;
(c) construction works required for prevention and protection of the community against, and recovery of functional regions from, disasters and accidents;
(d) construction works capable of causing a hazard of explosion, of a significant harmful environmental impact, or of the spread of toxic or noxious substances;
(e) hydraulic engineering works posing a risk of flooding, including dams and the adjoining facilities thereof and provisional construction;
(f) construction works whereat the working process is uninterruptible;
(g) geohazards-control facilities and stream-bank- and shoreline-stabilization facilities;
(h) electric power plants and heat power plants of a generating capacity exceeding 100 megawatts;
(i) productive enterprises of a capacity exceeding 500 job positions and facilities thereto appertaining;
(j) metal-industry and chemical-industry manufacturing buildings, installations, facilities, adjoining infrastructure and other such;
(k) other construction works of national importance, designated by an act of the Council of Ministers;
(l) immovable cultural assets assigned a “world importance” or “national importance” category, as well as buildings within the boundaries and protection zones of archaeological reserves outside urbanised areas;
(m) any redevelopment and overhaul of the construction works of this category.

2. Category Two:
(a) third-class roads of the national road network, first-class and second-class primary street network and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(b) distribution lines, facilities and devices thereto appertaining in the sphere of water supply, electricity supply, heat supply, gas supply and other operations;
(c) (repealed);
(d) waste-treatment installations and facilities and closure of sanitary landfills through surface sealing with upper insulation screen;
(e) public services buildings and facilities of a capacity exceeding 1,000 visitor places;
(f) manufacturing buildings, installations, facilities, adjoining infrastructure and other such of a capacity exceeding 200 job positions but not exceeding 500 job positions and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(g) electric power plants and heat power plants of a generating capacity exceeding 25 megawatts but not exceeding 100 megawatts;
(h) (repealed);
(i) (any redevelopment and overhaul of the construction works of this category;
(j) buildings and facilities of coal mines, ore mines and quarries, including for the liquidation thereof, as well as construction works related to the elimination of environmental damage on the site of impact.

3. Category Three:
(a) municipal roads, third-class and fourth-class streets of the primary street network and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(b) physical-infrastructure elements, hydraulic-engineering, irrigation and land-reclamation and other networks, facilities and systems not categorized above;
(c) residential and mixed-use buildings of a high-rise development; public services buildings and facilities of a gross floor area exceeding 5,000 square metres or of a capacity exceeding 200 visitor places but not exceeding 1,000 visitor places;
(d) manufacturing buildings, installations, facilities, adjoining infrastructure and other such of a capacity exceeding 100 job positions but not exceeding 200 job positions and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(e) electric power plants and heat power plants of a generating capacity not exceeding 25 megawatts, with the exception of power generation installations under Item 14 of Article 147 (1) herein;
(f) parks and gardens of a surface area exceeding 1 hectare;
(g) any redevelopment and overhaul of the construction works of this category;
(h) electronic communications networks and facilities, constructed of a trunk type at a national level, including communication stations and base stations.

4. Category Four:
(a) private roads, fifth-class and sixth-class streets of the secondary street network and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(b) residential and mixed-use buildings of a medium high rise development; public services buildings and facilities of a gross floor area exceeding 1,000 square metres but not exceeding 5,000 square metres or of a capacity exceeding 100 visitor places but not exceeding 200 visitor places;
(c) manufacturing buildings, installations, facilities, adjoining infrastructure and other such of a capacity exceeding 50 job positions but not exceeding 100 job positions and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(d) parks, gardens and greenspaces of a surface area not exceeding 1 hectare;
(e) redevelopment and overhaul of the construction works of this category and interior remodellings of Category One to Four buildings whereby the structure thereof is not affected;
(f) immovable cultural assets of the “local importance” category;
(g) electronic communications networks and facilities, constructed in urbanized areas with high-rise and medium-rise development.

5. Category Five:
(a) residential and mixed-use buildings of a low-rise development, country-house buildings, public services buildings and facilities of a gross floor area not exceeding 1,000 square metres or a capacity not exceeding 100 visitor places;
(b) manufacturing buildings, installations, facilities, adjoining infrastructure and other such of a capacity not exceeding 50 job positions and the facilities thereto appertaining;
(c) accessory-development construction works other than such covered under Category Six;
(d) redevelopments, remodellings, overhauls and alteration of the assigned use of the construction works of this category;
(e) electronic communications networks and facilities, constructed in urbanized areas with low-rise development;
(f) immovable cultural assets of the “ensemble importance” category” and “for the record” category.

6. Category Six: the construction works covered under Article 54 (1) and (4) and Article 147 herein.

 

A draft of the Act for Amendment and Supplement and of the Road Traffic Act of Bulgaria

Part of the amendments to the Road Traffic Act of Bulgaria presented to the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria provides creating of new articles (189a, 189b, 189c, 189d and 189e) that will say that:

  • in case of violations committed by a car registered in a EU country the Road police officers will perform a check in the national data base of the relevant country in order to estimate the owner of the car;
  • after that the Road Police will send a notification letter about the notification as this letter will include information about the violation, the date, the exact hour and place where the violation was committed, the legal qualification of the violation, the penalty provided according to the law and information about the device that was used for detection of the violation (in case such device was used);
  • the notification letter will be drafted in one of the official languages used in the country of registration of the vehicle;
  • the owner of the car will have 60 days term after receiving of the notification letter to pay the penalty of to provide information about the drives who committed the violation;
  • in case the owner will specify such third person (driver) the latter will also receive a notification letter.

Types of Car Insurances in Bulgaria

Note: the present article is about vehicle insurances that can be made regarding vehicles with Bulgarian registration.

In Bulgaria there are two main types of vehicle insurance – obligatory and voluntary.

The obligatory vehicle insurance is called MTPL insurance or third party insurance. Every vehicle that uses Bulgarian roads is obliged to have such. This insurance covers damages caused by the insured car to third party’s vehicles and/or property, bodily injury or death. This insurance DOES NOT cover damaged caused to the insured vehicle.

The voluntary insurance is called MOD insurance – it covers all the damages (or destruction) caused to the insured vehicle as the damages may be caused by the fire, the theft, malicious acts of third persons, natural disasters, accidents on the road and other events.

MTPL insurance and MOD insurance are different and when you order a vehicle insurance it is usually assumed that you want only the third party insurance, i.e. in case you want your car also to be protected in case of an accident you should explicitly specify that you want not only MTPL but also the MOD insurance.

Amounts paid by the insurance companies in case of damages caused to the car with MTPL insurance:

– In case the vehicle was produced within last 3 years: 100 % of the repair work made in the official service of the company (Nissan, Citroen, Ford, other);

– In case the vehicle was produced within last 8 years: 100 % of the repair work made in the service of the insurance company;

– For the car of more than 8 years: the insurance company will pay the cost calculated by its expert.

Recognition of medical qualification from EU countries in Bulgaria

Step No 1: collection of the documents required for recognition of the medical qualification received in an EU country: up to 3 months. Some of the documents should be collected by the applicant in the country of his habitual residence, i.e. terms depend on the applicant.

Step 2: translation and legalization of the documents: all the documents issued in a foreign country (not in Bulgaria) should be translated in Bulgarian and legalized. The legalization usually takes up to 7 working days and translation depends on the total volume of documents.

Step 3: submission of the documents to the Ministry of Health and check of the documents: translated and legalized documents should be submitted to the Ministry. Whining one month the applicant will be notified that the documents were received. In case some documents are missing the Ministry will require such the applicant will have 2 months term to provide the necessary.
After that the documents will be checked by a special commission. In case the qualification of the applicant will not meet the requirements of the Bulgarian legislation the commission may offer the applicant to complete an internship or to pass an additional exam or else as the applicant will have 1 month term in order to declare his agreement with the offer.

Step 4: the recognition of medical qualification: when the full set of the documents is provided and documents are checked by the commission of the Ministry the same commission prepares a motivated suggestion to the Minister of Health about recognition of the medical qualification. The Minister issues a decision about recognition or non-recognition within 3 months term.
In case of recognition the Ministry issues a decision and puts a reference number. The decision can be received by the applicant or by his proxy.
Persons with recognized medical qualification received in EU countries are registered in a special register held by the Ministry of Health.

Recognition of medical diplomas issued in non-EU countries in Bulgaria

Step 1: examination in Bulgarian: first step that should be taken is passing of an exam in Bulgarian language and professional medical terminology in Bulgarian. The exam is held in Sofia and consists of 2 steps – the written test and an interview (the examinee will be able to go to the interview only in case he has successfully managed with the written part). Information about the exact date of the exam is published on the web site of the authority that has the right to hold such examination about 2 month before the examination date. If the examinee does not pass the exam, he will have the right to try again after 4 months. In case the examinee will successfully pass the exam he will receive a certificate about competence in Bulgarian language and medical terminology.

In order to apply for acceptation for the exam the applicant must provide a copy of this passport or ID card a notarized copy of the medical diploma (which diploma should be translated to Bulgarian and the translation should be legalized). Legalization takes about 7 days and terms for translation depend on the exact language.

Step 2: collection of the documents required for recognition of the medical diploma: up to 3 months. Most of the documents should be collected by the applicant in the country of his habitual residence, i.e. terms depend on the applicant.

Step 2-1: translation and legalization of the documents: the legalization usually takes up to 7 working days and translation depends on the total volume of documents.

Step 3: submission of the documents: translated and legalized documents should be submitted to the Ministry. In case some document will be missing of in case the Ministry will require some additional documents the applicant will have 2 months term to provide the necessary.

After providing of the full set of documents the Minister will issue an order about whether the applicant can be accepted for the medical examination or not within 2 months term.

Step 4: the medical exam: in case the applicant will be accepted for the medical exam he will have 1 year to pass it. In case the applicant will not fulfill this term he will have to submit a new application for acceptation.
The medical exam is held by the higher education institution of Bulgaria twice a year.
Within 10 days after the exam the education institution sends a protocol with the results to the Ministry.

In case the applicant has successfully passed the exam, he will receive a certificate issued by the higher education institution and registered in the Ministry.

Registration Documents of Bulgarian Companies

In Bulgaria there are no documents that certify the fact of registration of a company (like decision or certificate of registration).

There is on-line Trade register and when a new company is registered the record about this company appears in the register but the Register does not issue any official papers.

Registration of a company in Bulgaria means creation of a record in the register which record contains the entire information about the name, the type, the address, the subject of activity, the manager, the capital and the shareholders.

The documents that can be issued as the hard copy is the document called the certificate about actual state of the company and it provides information about the status of the company up to the certain hour of the certain date. This document is issued when and in case it is required and it is a paid service.

Web-site of the Trade register: http://www.brra.bg/ and it has Bulgarian and English version.

Winter Tires and Non-Winter Tires In Bulgaria

There is no such thing as winter tires mentioned in the Bulgarian legislation.

The legal requirements to the vehicles are regulated by the Road Traffic Act of Bulgaria.

There is no specific text that says anything about winter and no-winter tires but in the Chapter 7 of this act is says:

Article 183. 4) A fine of BGN 50 shall be imposed on a driver who:

  1. is driving a vehicle with worn out or torn tires.

At the same time according to the same Act the relevant part of the EU legislation is COUNCIL DIRECTIVE of 18 July 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the tread depth of tyres of certain categories of motor vehicles and their trailers (89/459/EEC) where it is said:

Article 1. Member States shall take all necessary steps to ensure that, throughout their service life on the road, tyres for category M1, N1, 01 and 02 vehicles as defined in Annex I to Council Directive 70/156/EEC of 6 February 1970 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers (6), as last amended by Directive 87/403/EEC (7), have a tread depth in the main grooves of the tread surface of at least 1,6 mm.

´Main grooves’ means the broad grooves in the central part of the tread surface, which covers about three-quarters of the width of the tread surface.

It means that the minimum legal depth of the main grooves is 1.6 mm.

Presently (November 2014) there is a special action that is held by the Traffic police of Bulgaria. The aim of this action is to stop and check the vehicles’ wind shield wipers, lamps of the headlights, heating systems of the cabin and of the windows, tires, presence of the chains, warm gloves, spare tire and warning triangle.

Mortgage Loan in Bulgaria

Imagine the following situation: someone you know ask you to borrow him some money as in return he promises to put his property in pledge in your favour.

First of all you should remember that the correct word is not the pledge but mortgage. This mortgage (and your agreement about the way of paying and returning of the amount) should be certified by the notary public and registered in the property register (in such a way other creditors of the same person will know about his obligation and encumbrances).

The mortgage will be put over the property but the mortgage will not mean ‘blocking’ of the ownership right, i.e. the borrower will be able to sell his property as long as other creditors will be able to put second, third and other mortgages over the property. It means that in case this person will not give back what he owe and you will decide to take back your money with the help of the bailiff, it may appear that you have to deal not with the borrower but with some third persons, what is more in case the borrower will owe something to some bank or state authority, this bank or authority will be the first creditor in the line and not you. I.e. in this scheme your money may not be completely protected and although nothing will be able to delete the mortgage you may meet certain difficulties in their returning.

That is why in case you will decide to provide a mortgage loan you must be sure that the contract and other documents are OK and to check the borrower property history (and if it is possible – credit history).

 

Title Deeds AND Rental Contracts

There is a question that we often hear from our clients and this question is “What is better – the title deed or the rental contract?”

The answer depends on the position of the person who asks – if he is from the ‘giving’ side then the answer is ‘the rental contract’ and if he is from the ‘receiving’ side, then the correct answer will be ‘the titled deed’.

Why is it so?

When the buyer want to buy some property but does not have the entire amount he and the seller may agree the total amount to be paid by installments. In this situation the seller may offer he and the buyer to sign not the title deed or the preliminary contract but the rental contract with the agreement the rental amount to be considered as installments.

Our opinion is that the buyer should not agree with this option because the subject of the rental contract is renting of the property and not transfer of the ownership right and therefore such type of the contract does not protect the buyer’s rights.

On the other hand the title deed or the preliminary contract represent a promise about the transfer of the ownership right under certain conditions and those documents have the following advantages:

  • Once again – the subject of the title deed (or of the preliminary contract for the sale of the property) is transfer of the property while the subject of the rental contracts is (basically) providing of the access to the certain property, i.e. in case of the rental property the giving party remains the owner of the real estate and there is no promise about transfer of the ownership right;
  • Due to the above reasons the giving party has the right to manage and to dispose his property the way he wants – i.e. he can sell it, he can mortgage it and it will be difficult and sometimes even impossible for the receiving party to control the owner or to receive compensation;
  • Even if the giving party has no intentions to sell his property to person other that the receiving party his creditors may encumber the owners’ property in regards with collection of debts and in such situation the tenant will find himself in a very unpleasant situation because of the fact that the property that he was going to buy will become encumbered and he will have to deal not only with the owner but also with his creditor.

Those are only the main points but there can be other depending on the exact situation,

And that is why if you plan to buy property in Bulgaria we advise you to seek for legal assistance and to ask about advantages and disadvantages of the documents that you are going to sign and to allow the solicitor to protect your interests.

 

About the Accumulation Account of a Company

 

One of the services that we provide is registration of companies in Bulgaria.

When we give explanations about this service we mention that we will have to open an accumulation account of the future company.

Sometimes our clients try to explain that they already have one or several bank accounts in Bulgaria or/and abroad and ask us if we can use those already existing accounts.

So here are some explanations about the accumulation account:

The accumulation account is a special account that is opened by the company’s manager or shareholders ONLY for the purpose of registration of a company.

Since the future company will be registered in Bulgarian such bank account should be opened in the Bulgarian bank.

This bank account is used only for keeping the company’s capital till the moment of registration of the company in the Trade register. I.e. the future’s company representative open such bank account and after that all the shareholders must pay their share of the capital to this exact bank account and to receive bank document proving the payment. The accumulation account is not a payment account and can not be used as such.

The accumulation account can be closed after registration of the company or transferred into company’s regular bank account (that will be used for the future payments).

The amount from the accumulation account is kept in the account till receiving of the documents for the registration and after that can be received in cash or transferred to the regular account of the company.

 

CONTROL OVER THE PERIODS OF STAY

OF THE EU CITIZENS IN BULGARIA

According to the article 6 of the European Union Citizens and Members of Their Families Entry and Residence in and Departure from the Republic of Bulgaria Act:

Citizens of the EU shall reside in the Republic of Bulgaria with an identity card or a passport for a term of up to three months.

I.e. a citizen of the EU has the right to stay in Bulgaria up to three months.

On the other hand no one puts a stamp in the citizen of the EU’s passports when he or she crosses the Bulgarian border, and many EU citizens believe that there are no registers containing information about when a certain foreigner enters and leaves Bulgaria.

There are services for administrative control of foreigners in Bulgaria and according to the article 54.2 of the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act:

For the purposes of executing the functions established by law for the services for administrative control of foreigners under the Ministry of Interior, data concerning the following shall be processed:

1. visa control of foreign citizens;

2. border control for crossings by foreign citizens;

3. citizens seeking or having obtained special protection on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;

4. address registration of foreigners on short stay;

5. any administrative penalties and measures of administrative coercion imposed on foreigners;

6. acquisition, loss and restoration of Bulgarian citizenship.

(3) The foreigners administrative control services shall be obligated to submit promptly the entire information covered under Paragraph (2) to the Migration Directorate.

(4) Services for administrative control of foreigners under the Ministry of Interior shall process the following data:

1. cyrillised and romanised names, date of birth, place of birth, gender, citizenship;

2. single civil registry number and/or personal number of a foreigner;

3. permanent address in the Republic of Bulgaria;

4. present address in the Republic of Bulgaria;

5. document for travel (type, series, number, date, place of issue and validity term);

6. purpose of stay in the Republic of Bulgaria;

7. visa (type, number, date and place of issue and validity term and term of stay);

8. grounds on which stay in the Republic of Bulgaria is permitted;

9. applications for authorisation of long-term residence (number, date, decision);

10. decisions for granting special protection on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria (date and number)

11. term of stay in the Republic of Bulgaria;

12. marital status;

13. spouse;

14. children aged up to 18 years;

15. permanent address in the country of which the person is a citizen;

16. decree of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria on change of citizenship;

17. entries in and exits from the Republic of Bulgaria;

18. host;

19. tourist vouchers;

20. profession and place of work;

21. imposed measures of administrative coercion;

22. ex officio data;

23. biometric data – photographs and 10 fingerprints.

24. other data as specified in a law.

(5) The State Agency for National Security shall use the information from the register as per paragraph 1 for purposes of discharge of its statutory functions in accordance with a procedure determined by the Minister of Interior and the Agency Chairperson.

So there are services that do control dates of entries and exits so there is no way a foreigner dimply to say ‘I arrived last week’.

In our practice we have had a client – a EU citizen who have stayed in Bulgaria for more than 3 months and who was stopped by the border police while leaving Bulgaria and was fined for non-compliance of the term for the stay.

Regarding the penalty: according to the article 48 of the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act:

(1) Penalised by imposition of a fine ranging from BGN 500 to 5,000 shall be any foreigner who:

3. has stayed in this country after his authorised duration of stay has expired.

(3) A fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 10,000 shall be imposed [on natural persons], and a pecuniary penalty from BGN 4,000 to BGN 40,000 shall be imposed on legal persons in the event of repeated violations under Paragraphs (1) and (2).

In case the EU citizen wants or plans to stay in Bulgaria for more than 3 months he or she should receive a residency permit for Bulgaria. According to the article 7 of the European Union Citizens and Members of Their Families Entry and Residence in and Departure from the Republic of Bulgaria Act:

(1) Citizens of the EU may reside in the country on a long-term or permanent basis for which he/she shall be issued a certificate from the Migration Directorate MoI.

(2) Long-term residence shall be for a term of up to five years.

It means that the benefit for holding of the residence card is the possibility to stay in Bulgaria for the unlimited time period (while the card is valid) without being fined for the non-compliance of the term for the stay.

 

 

RECEIVING OF THE BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP

ON THE GROUND OF MARRIAGE

WITH THE BULGARIAN CITIZEN

According to the Law for the Bulgarian citizenship a foreigner can receive the Bulgarian citizenship if he:

  • has attained the age of 18 years,
  • has not been sentenced by the Bulgarian court,
  • has enough funds for living in Bulgaria, he speaks Bulgarian and it was established according to the ordinance of the Minister of Education and Science,
  • was released from his previous citizenship,
  • has received the permanent or the prolonged residency permit to stay in Bulgaria at least 3 years before submitting of the documents for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship

AND he meets one of the following requirements:

he has been and continues to be legally married to a citizen of Bulgaria for at least 3 years OR

– he was born on the territory of Bulgaria OR

– the foreigner has receives the permanent or residence permit before he had turned 18.

It means that a foreigner who is married to a Bulgarian citizen can receive the Bulgarian citizenship after fulfillment of the following steps:

  1. He must apply for receiving a long-term residence permit for Bulgaria on the ground of his marriage to a Bulgarian citizen. In order to receive the long-term residency permit he must to collect a set of documents (one of those documents is the marriage certificate) and to apply for visa D, after that he must come to Bulgaria and to apply for the residency permit.
  1. Five years after receiving of the long-term permit the foreigner will have the right to apply for receiving of the permanent residency permit.
  1. Only 3 years after receiving of the permanent residence permit the foreigner will have the right to apply for the citizenship as to the moment of applying he will have to learn Bulgarian as since his ground for receiving of the citizenship will be marriage with the Bulgarian he will be allowed not to lose his other citizenship.

Of course, the foreigner must stay married to his or her Bulgarian wife or husband during those eight years.

 

GROUNDS FOR RECEIVING
OF LONG-TERM AND PERMANENT RESIDENCY PERMIT

According to Art. 23 of the FOREIGNERS IN THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA ACT foreigners can reside in the Republic of Bulgaria:
2. on a prolonged basis – where the period authorized is up to one year;
3. on a long-term basis – where the initial period authorized is 5 years, with a possibility of renewal after the submission of an application;
4. on a permanent basis – where the period authorized is unlimited.

According to the Article 24d.1: Long-term resident status shall be granted to any foreigner who has legally and continually resided in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for 5 years prior to submitting the application for permission to stay on a long-term basis.
Article 24d.4. Long-term residence status may also be granted to a foreigner who is a beneficiary of international protection.

Article 25 (1) A permanent residence permit may be granted to foreigners:
1. of Bulgarian origin;
2. five years after contracting a marriage with a foreigner residing in Bulgaria on a permanent basis, provided that they have legally and continually resided in the territory of Bulgaria for 5 years;
3. minor or underage children of a foreigner permanent resident in Bulgaria, who have not married;
4. parents of a Bulgarian citizen, where they provide the said citizen with the child support due under the law and have resided lawfully and without interruption on the territory of Bulgaria for a period of three years;
5. who have resided lawfully and continuously within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for 5 years immediately prior to the submission of the permanent residence application and, for the said period, have not been away for more than 30 months, whereby only half of the periods of residence shall be taken into account in the cases referred to in Article 24c (i.e.: education in Bulgaria);
6. who have invested in Bulgaria more than BGN 1,000,000 or increased their investment by such an amount by acquisition of certain securities and property;
7. who have deposited the amount specified in item 6 herein in a licensed credit institution in Bulgaria under a fiduciary management agreement with a period of no less than 5 years and for the same period of time the deposit shall not be used as collateral for other monetary loans from a credit institution in Bulgaria;
8. who have invested at least BGN 6,000,000 in the capital of a Bulgarian commercial corporation the shares whereof are not traded in a regulated market;
9. who are not persons of Bulgarian descent born within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, have lost the Bulgarian citizenship thereof under emigration agreements or at their own will, and wish to settle lastingly within the territory of Bulgaria;
10. who entered, resided, or were born within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria prior to the 27th day of December 1998, and whose parent has contracted a civil marriage with a Bulgarian citizen;
11. members of the family of a Bulgarian citizen if they have resided without interruption on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria in the last five years;
12. who, by 27 December 1998, entered the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, reside therein and have not left it, or were born in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and are not recognized as citizens of the former Soviet republics; the requirement of Article 15, Paragraph 1 shall not apply to this category of persons;
13. who pursue business and are certified in accordance with the procedure provided for in the Investment Promotion Act, as certified by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism in accordance with Article 25c (note: Article 25c. A permanent residence permit on the authority of Article 25(1), item 13 can be issued to a foreigner who is involved in making and/or maintaining an investment, which was awarded a class A, class B or Priority Investment Project Certificate in accordance with the procedure of Article 20(1), item 1 of the Investment Promotion Act).
14. minors who have been born and abandoned in Bulgaria by their parent/s (foreign nationals) and then accommodated in a child care institution or another alternative social service residence facility as a protection measure;
15. minors who have been abandoned in Bulgaria by their parent/s (foreign nationals) and then accommodated in a child care institution or another alternative social service residence facility as a protection measure;
16. who have made an investment in Bulgaria by contributing no less than BGN 500,000 to the capital of a Bulgarian commercial company, whereas the foreigner is a partner or a shareholder with registered stock and owns at least 50 percent of the company’s capital and as a result of the investment new tangible and intangible fixed assets at the value of no less than BGN 500,000 are acquired and at least 10 jobs are created for Bulgarian nationals, which must be maintained for the duration of the residence as certified by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism;
17. who have been granted a long-term residence permit pursuant on the ground of investment into tangible and intangible fixed assets and creating of jobs for Bulgarians and have maintained the investment for a period of 5 years.

Article 25a. Authorization for stay in the Republic of Bulgaria, without fulfillment of the requirements under this Act, may be granted to foreigners who have merits to the Republic of Bulgaria in the public and economic sphere, in the area of national security, science, technology, culture or sports.

Article 25b.1. Where the requirements of this Act are not satisfied, the right to stay in the Republic of Bulgaria may still be granted to the members of the family of a foreigner who, subject to the terms and conditions and in accordance with the procedure provided for in the Asylum and Refugees Act, has been:
1. granted asylum or refugee status;
2. granted humanitarian status;
3. granted temporary protection.

 

RECEIVING OF BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP

BY PURCHASING REAL ESTATE

The Bulgarian laws provide possibility for receiving of Bulgarian citizenship on the ground of investment onto real estates as according to the present legislation the general scheme is as follows:

  1. The foreigner who wants to receive the citizenship must register a Bulgarian company or become a shareholder of at least 50 % of the capital of a Bulgarian company, after that he or she must invest at least 500 000 levas (about 255 650 Euro) into the capital of this company as the company must use this amount for acquiring of tangible and intangible assets (for example real estate or real estates) AND except that this company must employ at least 10 Bulgarians (and those employers must stay employed until the foreigner will receive the Bulgarian citizenship).
  1. On the ground of this investment the foreigner will have the right to receive permanent residency permit in Bulgaria (receiving of this document requires submitting of a set of the documents at the Bulgarian consulate, receiving of a specific visa for Bulgaria and submitting of a set of the documents at the Migration authority in Bulgaria).
  1. After that the foreigner will have to wait for 5 /five/ years as during this period he or she can not withdraw the investment and must keep employed workers in Bulgarian company and only after that the foreigner will be able to submit documents for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship.

The foreigner will have to wait for this period because according to the art 12a of the current Law for the Bulgarian citizenship the citizenship can be received by the foreigner who:

– has attained the age of 18 years, and

– has received the permanent or the long-term residency permit to stay in Bulgaria at least 5 years before receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship, and

– has not been sentenced by the Bulgarian court and he is not a subject to criminal proceedings (unless the person was rehabilitated), and

– has enough funds that will cover all his expenses for living in Bulgaria.

As you may see this option for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship requires a lot of time and affords and it is not enough a foreigner just to buy a real estate and to receive the citizenship on this ground.

 

 

RECEIVING OF THE BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP ON THE GROUND OF INVESTMENT

According to the art. 12a of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act a foreigner can receive the Bulgarian citizenship in case he had invested a certain amount in Bulgaria as the foreigner should also:

– has attained the age of 18 years;

– had been granted a permanent or long-term residence permit for the Republic of Bulgaria not less than five years prior to that date;

– has not been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for a premeditated publicly indictable offence, and is not subject to criminal proceedings for such an offence, unless the person has been rehabilitated;

– possesses an income or occupation enabling him or her to subsist in the Republic of Bulgaria.

It means that first the foreigner who wants to receive Bulgarian citizenship on this ground will have to invest the required amount in Bulgaria in order to receive the permanent or long-term residence permit for the Republic of Bulgaria as he will not be able to withdraw the amount of the investment for the period of five years. Only after the expiration of the five years period the foreigner will be able to receive the Bulgarian citizenship.

The amount of the investment should be at least 511 292 Euro or 3 067 751 Euro (depends on the type of the investment) as the foreigner will have to invest the amount into the shares of Bulgarian commercial corporations shares of Bulgarian commercial corporations shares of Bulgarian commercial corporations shares of Bulgarian commercial corporations or Bulgarian intellectual property or into foreigner’s own Bulgarian company as in this case this company will have to acquire  tangible and intangible fixed assets and to employ at least 10 Bulgarians.

WATER AND ELECTRICITY COMPANIES CLIENT NUMBERS

After purchasing of the real estate in Bulgaria the owner should pass through several procedures in order to register the property not only in the property register but also in other authorities.

Those procedures are:

– Registration at the Local fees and taxes department of the Municipality where the real estate is situated;

– Registration at the Cadastre register;

– Registration at water and electricity companies and receiving of the new client numbers.

If the new owner has the client numbers of the previous owner the registration at the water and electricity companies is quite an easy process (but it still requires visiting of offices of both companies); in case the new owner has no information about old client numbers the real estate can be found in the registers by address or by the previous owner.

Something that the new owner should remember during the registration is the fact that if the new owner is a company and not the private person the electricity and water companies can charge the new owner commercial charges for electricity and/or water.

The new owner should remember that the client numbers can be registered in company’s name AND he can still avoid payment of commercial charges BUT only in case the owner can provide a notarized declaration stating that the property will be used by a private person and not by the company.

 

WORK PERMIT FOR FOREIGNERS IN BULGARIA

A foreigner has the right to receive a residency permit in Bulgaria if he or she has received a work permit from Bulgarian authorities.

In order to receive the work permit the foreigner should contact the Bulgarian company where he or she wants to work / the Bulgarian employer and to find out if the company requires a specialist like him. In case it does the Bulgarian employer must provide evidences that he was looking for the required specialists among Bulgarian workers for at least 15 days, as he made announcements in national and local media and in the Labor Office of the Employment Agency of Bulgaria, except that the employer must provide evidences due to what reasons he can not employ Bulgarian worker(s) or EU citizens or foreigners who have the permits for stay in Bulgaria.

Only having those evidences the employer can submit an application to the Employment Agency for issuing of the work permit for the foreigner. The Executive Director of the Employment Agency should take the decision within one month from the date of receiving of the documents from the employer.

After receiving of the work permit the foreigner should apply for receiving of the D visa in the Bulgarian Embassy or Consulate. The D visa can not be received on the territory of the Bulgaria. For receiving of the visa the worker should provide a set of documents (except the work permit).

The government fee for the issuing of the work permit is 600 BGN (about 308 Euro). If the period of stay in Bulgaria will not exceed 6 months or if the worker will work as a teacher the fee will be 300 BGN (about 154 Euro).

The government fee for the viewing of the documents for issuing of the stay permit is 10 BGN (about 5 Euro).

The government fee for issuing of the stay permit is 500 BGN for 1 year stay or 200 BGN for 6 month stay.

 

I Have A Bulgarian Company – Do I Have To Re-Register It?

Within last several months we were contacted by several clients who were very worried if they have to re-register their Bulgarian company.

We would like to explain the following:

– the procedure of re-registration of Bulgarian companies has started on 1st of January 2008 and has expired on 31st of December 2012, i.e. presently the procedure of re-registration is impossible;

– the procedure concerned only those Bulgarian companies that were registered before 1st of January 2008, i.e. companies registered after this date were registered directly at the Trade register and there was no need those companies to pass through the re-registration procedure;

– those companies that were registered before the end of 2008 and did not re-register were not transferred to the Trade register and should pass through a liquidation process in order not to lose their assets.

A liquidation process is a special procedure that requires a lot of time, preparing of many documents, collecting of documents from different Bulgarian authorities and transfer of real estates and that is why our best advice is: if you have a Bulgarian company with assets in Bulgaria and this company was not re-registered (although it had to) – ask for a legal advice in order not to lose your property and not to lose more money.

 

REGARDING THE VALIDITY OF

EU DRIVING LICENSES IN BULGARIA

The question about the validity of EU (non-Bulgarian) driving licenses in Bulgaria is regulated by the Road Traffic Act of Bulgaria and more specifically the Art. 151a, where it is said that:

Article 151a. Persons in possession of a driving license issued by a European Union Member State or of another State being a party to the European Economic Area Agreement or by the Confederation of Switzerland may drive a motor vehicle on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria upon observance of the minimum age requirements for the respective category set forth in Article 151.

There is nothing particular about the period of validity of such driving licenses, i.e. the expiration date of such driving licenses is the expiration date determined by the EU authority that issued the license.

Note: Article 151. (1) The minimum age at which drivers may drive a motor vehicle shall be:

1. sixteen years – for driving a motor vehicle of the AM category;

2. sixteen years – for driving a motor vehicle of the A1 category;

3. eighteen years – for driving a motor vehicle of the A2 category;

4. twenty-four years – for driving a motor vehicle of the A category, or:

(a) twenty years, provided that the driver has held a motorcycle driving license of the A2 category for at least two years;

(b) twenty-one years – for driving a three-wheel motor vehicle the power whereof exceeds 15 kW;

5. seventeen years – for driving a motor vehicle of the B1 category;

6. eighteen years – for driving a motor vehicle of the B and BE categories;

7. eighteen years – for driving a motor vehicle of the C1 and C1E categories, without prejudice to the application of the provisions pertaining to the driving of such vehicles as set forth in the ordinance referred to in Article 7b, Paragraph 5 of the Road Traffic Act;

8. twenty-one years – for driving a motor vehicle of the C and CE categories, without prejudice to the application of the provisions pertaining to the driving of such vehicles as set forth in the ordinance referred to in Article 7b, Paragraph 5 of the Road Traffic Act;

9. twenty-one years – for driving a motor vehicle of the D1 and D1E categories, without prejudice to the application of the provisions pertaining to the driving of such vehicles as set forth in the ordinance referred to in Article 7b, Paragraph 5 of the Road Traffic Act;

10. twenty-four years – for driving a motor vehicle of the D and DE categories, without prejudice to the application of the provisions pertaining to the driving of such vehicles as set forth in the ordinance referred to in Article 7b, Paragraph 5 of the Road Traffic Act;

11. twenty-one years – for driving a tramcar of the Ttc category;

12. eighteen years – for driving a wheeled tractor of the Twt category on national and municipal roads.

A foreigner who is living in Bulgaria may receive a Bulgarian driving license according to the Art. 151(5) of the law mentioned above:

A motor vehicle driving license shall be issued to a person who has established his/her habitual residence in the Republic of Bulgaria, provided that the applicant signs a declaration of that fact or presents proof of attendance of a higher education institution, as defined in Article 17, Par. 1 of the Higher Education Act, or a school under Article 26, Paragraph 1 of the Public Education Act in Bulgaria for at least 6 months.

I.e. if a foreigner lives in Bulgaria, he can (he may, he has the right to) receive a Bulgarian driving license but it does not mean that he can not drive a car with his EU document.

REGISTERED ADDRESS

OF BULGARIAN COMPANIES 

If you are an owner of a Bulgarian company you may be aware that your company has its own registered address.

Foreigners who come to Bulgaria and have property here usually decide that this address can be the same as the address of their property which is a good idea BUT only in case that the owners of the company live in Bulgaria for the most time of the year or in case there at least is someone who checks the mail box.

Why is it so important?

The company’s registered address is the address where arrives all the correspondence from the Bulgarian authorities, for example the Bulgarian Revenue Agency, The Tax Department of the Municipality, the Traffic Police and other, and the information that can be send may be in regards with company’s liabilities and/or fines and usually it is extremely important the company to reply within some specific term, i.e. if there is no one who can receive the message the company may be in delay which will lead to even more problems.

As an example: each year the Bulgarian Municipalities notify Bulgarian companies that own real estates or movable assets about the amount of their municipality taxes by sending of notification letters to the registered addresses. Very often companies with foreign owners can not receive correspondence at those addresses (simply because there is no one at the address) and the municipality taxes remain unpaid and at some point the Municipalities are forced to take more serious actions, which may even mean the bailiff and the public sale of the real estate with unpaid taxes. As you may guess in this case the whole situation becomes very unpleasant and requires additional fees and worries.

So, if you do not want to find yourself in such a situation, mention some real address – address of your neighbours in Bulgaria or, which is more recommended, of your Bulgarian solicitor who will be able not only to receive the correspondence but also to advice how to proceed.

 

INFORMATION
ABOUT OBTAINING OF THE BULGARIAN PASSPORT
BY A MINOR FOREIGNER

A foreigner (for example – a UK citizen) whose parents are the Bulgarian citizen and the UK citizen has the right to receive the Bulgarian citizenship.

Only after becoming the citizen of the republic of Bulgaria the foreigner will have the right to receive Bulgarian ID document.

In case the foreigner is under 18 the Bulgarian passport will be issued only if the application will be signed by both of the parents. The law allows the application form to be signed only by one of the parents in following two cases: if the other parent gave a notarized power of attorney to the parent who will sign the form OR if the other parent was deprived from parent’s rights on the ground of a court decision.

ARTICLE 313 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE OF BULGARIA

OR

WHAT EACH MANAGER OF EACH BULGARIAN COMPANY DECLARES

 

There are several declarations that the manager of a Bulgarian company has to sign in regards with registration of such a company. Each of those declarations includes the following part:

„I am aware of my responsibility for making of untrue statements under Art. 313 of the Bulgarian Criminal Code.”

 

We are often asked what this article says and here is our answer:

Article 313 of the Criminal Code:

(1) A person who asserts an untruth or holds back a truth in a written declaration or an electronic message which by virtue of a law, decree or regulation of the Council of Ministers are submitted to a state authority for certifying the truth about certain facts, shall be punished by imprisonment for up to three years or by a fine from BGN one hundred to thirty hundred.

(2) Where the act under paragraph (1) has been committed for the purpose to avoid payment of due taxes, the punishment shall be imprisonment for up to three years or a fine from up to BGN one thousand.

(3) The punishment under paragraph (1) shall also be imposed on a person who asserts an untruth or holds back a truth in a private document or an electronic message in which under an express provision of a law, decree or regulation of the Council of Ministers he is especially obliged to certify the truth, and uses these documents as proof of the untrue certified facts or statements.

(4) A person who, with reference to public offering of securities in a prospectus or review of the economic position uses untrue beneficial data, or holds back unfavourable data, which is of material importance in making decisions on acquisition of securities, shall be punished by imprisonment for up to three years and a fine of up to BGN five hundred.

 

Can a Foreigner Receive Bulgarian Citizenship

If He Is Married To a Bulgarian Citizen?

According to the art. 13.1 of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act a foreigner who is married can receive the Bulgarian Citizenship but he must meet following requirements:
1. He must be at least 18 years old and he must provide a copy his birth certificate;
2. He must provide documents confirming that his marriage to the Bulgarian citizen was registered at least 3 years before submitting of the documents for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship;
3. He must prove that he has not been sentenced by the Bulgarian court by providing a conviction status certificate and a document from Bulgarian authorities stating that the foreigner is not a subject to criminal proceedings;
4. He must prove that he has an income allowing him to live in the Republic of Bulgaria and provide a certificate from his employer or a copy from the Bulgarian tax office proving foreigner’s declared income for the previous year;
5. He must speak Bulgarian – this fact can be proved by the official document issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science or by the foreigner’s diploma for completed level of education in the Republic of Bulgaria;
6. He must confirm that he was released from his previous citizenship or he will be released from it within 3 years after receiving of a approval from the Citizenship Council of the Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria.
7. He must provide a document from the Migration Department of Bulgaria stating that the foreigner has received the permanent permit to stay in Bulgaria at least 3 years before submitting of the documents for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship.

Note: receiving of the permanent permit to stay in Bulgaria according to the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act:
Article 25.1.11. A permanent residence permit may be granted to foreigners members of the family of a Bulgarian citizen if they have resided on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria during last five years without interruption.

HOW A FOREIGNER CAN RECEIVE

BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP

All the rules and requirement for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship are described in the Bulgarian citizenship Act.

According to this law the Bulgarian citizenship can be acquired on three grounds:

  1. By descent
  2. By birth
  3. By naturalization

I. The Bulgarian citizen by descent is any person at least one of the parents of whom is the Bulgarian citizen OR the person who was adopted by a Bulgarian citizen or citizens OR the person whose descent from the Bulgarian citizen was established by the court.

II. The Bulgarian citizen by birth is any person born on the Republic of Bulgaria’s territory (unless the same person have acquired another citizenship by descent) OR any child whose parents are unknown and who was found on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

III. Receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization means that the foreigner can become a citizen of Bulgaria in case he has legally resided on the territory of Bulgaria for a certain period of time and he meets some other requirement, for example:

The Bulgarian citizenship can be acquired in case the foreigner corresponds to the following conditions:

– he has attained the age of 18 years, and

– he has received the permanent or the long-term residency permit to stay in Bulgaria at least 5 years before receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship, and

– he has not been sentenced by the Bulgarian court and he is not a subject to criminal proceedings (unless the person was rehabilitated), and

– he has enough funds that will cover all his expenses for living in Bulgaria, and

– he speaks Bulgarian and it was established according to the ordinance of the Minister of Education and Science, and

– he was released from his previous citizenship or will be released from it to the date of acquiring of the Bulgarian citizenship.

Note: the requirement for releasing from the Bulgarian citizenship may not be fulfilled in case:

– the foreigner is married to a Bulgarian citizen

– the foreigner is a citizen of the EU or of the country that is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation

– the foreigner is a citizen of the country that have signer a reciprocal agreements with the Republic of Bulgaria.

The law also allow a foreigner to receive Bulgarian citizenship if he has attained the age of 18 years, has not been sentenced by the Bulgarian court, has enough funds for living in Bulgaria, he speaks Bulgarian and it was established according to the ordinance of the Minister of Education and Science and he was released from his previous citizenship AND he has received the permanent or the long-term residency permit to stay in Bulgaria at least 3 years before submitting of the documents for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship AND he meets one of the following requirements:

– he has been and continues to be legally married to a citizen of Bulgaria for at least 3 years OR

– he was born on the territory of Bulgaria OR

– the foreigner has receives the permanent or long-term residence permit before he had turned 18.

The law provides other possibilities for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship in case the foreigner meets several requirements.

 

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMOUNTS THAT CAN BE MOVED ACROSS THE BORDER

OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA WITHOUT DECLARING:

According to the Chapter 2 of the Ordinance № Н-1 about movement of money amounts, noble metals, precious gems and goods from and with and about maintenance of the customs register according to the article 10а of the «Foreign Exchange Act» of Bulgaria with last amendment made in December 2012:

  • Movement of money amounts equal or exceeding 10 000 Euro or equal amounts in levas or other currency across the border of Bulgaria should be declared before the custom authority.
  • Movement of money amounts equal or exceeding 30 000 levas or equal amounts in other currency across the border of Bulgaria to the territory of the third country can be allowed by the custom authority after providing of the certificate from the National Revenue Agency of Bulgaria proving that the person has no unpaid debts or a document proving that the person is not added to the register of the National Revenue Agency; in case the person has unpaid debts or is added to the National Revenue register the movement of the amount is not allowed.
  • In case of movement of money amounts equal or exceeding 30 000 levas or equal amounts in other currency across the border of Bulgaria by foreign persons latter should declare only the amount and type in case the amount do not exceed the amount that was declared previous time (it should be proved by providing of the declaration submitted during previous enter into Bulgaria).
  • Movement of money amount equal or exceeding 10 000 Euro or equal amounts in levas or other currency across the border of Bulgaria to the territory of the European Union member country should be declared before the custom authority at the request of the latter.

 

IMPORTANT STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE

BEFORE PURCHASING OF THE REAL ESTATES IN BULGARIA

Here are several rules we advice you to follow before purchasing of the real estate in Bulgaria

Rule No 1: So not sign anything before you or your solicitors have checked the property AND the seller. Any signed document can be considered as a promise and as such it is much harder to be terminated (if required).

Rule No 2: Do not pay anything until you have checked the real estate and its owner and until you have a property drafted preliminary contract or title deed.

Rule No 3: Check the history and status of the real estate: the Cadastre register will provide information about the exact location and the type of the real estate and the Property register – about the real owner, the history of the real estate and any mortgages or injunction put over it.

Rule No 4: Check the seller of the property: the Property register will provide information if there are any encumbrances (mortgages, injunctions) put over the real estates of the seller.

In case the seller is not a private person but a company you should make an additional check in the Trade register of Bulgaria where you will find the exact and up-to-date information about the identification details (exact company name, its identification code, the address, names of the manager/s – the person who has the right to sign preliminary contracts and title deeds) and information whether there are any injunctions put over the company or it’s part or it’s capital.

Rule No 5: before signing of the preliminary contract you must be sure that:
– the identification details of the seller respond to the details registered in the Trade register (in case the seller is a company) or to the data mentioned in the ID card of the seller (in case the seller is a physical person)

– it is specified when the buyer will receive the ownership right over the property

– it is mentioned that the property has received the certificate of usage OR that developer is obliged to put the property into usage within a specified term

– it is specified that the seller is obliged to pay penalty in case of non-fulfillment of his or her obligations
– it is specified that the seller is obliged to return the received amounts in case of non-fulfillment of his or her obligations

– the payment scheme is clearly described and that it is in your favour
Those are only basic advices as each purchase is unique and has its own special features and we advice you to seek legal assistance if you want not to worry for your deal and if you don’t want to have problems in future.

 

LIST OF DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY THE „MIGRATION DEPARTMENT” FOR THE FORMALIZATION OF THE PERMIT FOR THE CONTINUOUS OR PERMANENT STAY IN BULGARIA –
FOR FOREIGNERS WHO RECEIVE PENSION ON THE TERRITORY OF THE FOREIGN COUNTRY (NOT BULGARIA):

According to the Bulgarian Law on the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria art.24.1.10 a foreigner who receives pension and has enough funds to live in Bulgaria has the right to receive the permit for the long-term stay in Bulgaria.

Here is the list of the documents that have to be provided for the formalizing of the permit for the long term stay in Bulgaria:
– The application for the prolongation of the term of stay in Bulgaria written or filled in Bulgarian – the form of this application can be received at the „Migration” department
– The passport of the foreigner with copies of the page with personal data and of the page with the visa type „D”
– the document issued by the competent authority of the state concerned that proves that the foreigner does receive a pension with an identification of the amount of pension received during last three months (this document should be translated to Bulgarian and in case it is required it should be legalised) – the original or the notarised copy
– the evidence of availability of sufficient funds – at least 1000 Euro per person; the foreigner can provide the statement of the account from one or from several Bulgarian banks, the statement should be valid till the date of filing of the documents – the original
– the evidence of accommodation (the title deed or the rental contract for an apartment or a house) the original and the notarised copy
– certificate of no criminal record – the original and the notarised copy (the „Migration” department usually takes the copy, so the foreigner can use the original for the next apply for the permit)
– the Medical insurance policy valid for Europe and more specifically Bulgaria that covers the amount of minimum 30 000 Euro – the original and the copy (bear in mind that the term of this insurance can influence the term of the future permit for the long-term stay which means that in case the insurance will be valid for less than one year after filing of the documents there is a huge possibility that the foreigner will receive the permit for the stay for not more than the term of validity of the insurance)

All the documents for the formalizing of the permit for the long term stay in Bulgaria have to be submitted in person.

 

LIST OF DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY THE „MIGRATION DEPARTMENT” FOR THE FORMALIZATION OF THE PERMIT FOR THE CONTINUOUS OR PERMANENT STAY IN BULGARIA – FOR FOREIGNERS WHO ARE OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVES OF FOREIGN TRADE COMPANIES
Here is the list of the documents that have to be provided for the formalizing of the permit for the long term stay in Bulgaria:
– The application written or filled in Bulgaria – the form of this application can be received at the „Migration” department
– The passport of the foreigner with copies of the page with personal data and of the visa type „D”
– The decision about registration of the representative of a foreign commercial company registered at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – the original or the notarised copy
– the certificate about the current status of the representative issued by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry that (this certificate have to be issued no earlier than one month before submitting of documents for the visa) – the original or the notarised copy
– the BULSTAT certificate for the representative – the notarised copy
– the evidence of availability of sufficient funds – at least 1500 Euro per person; the foreigner can provide statement of account from one or from several Bulgarian banks
– the evidence of accommodation – the title deed or the rental contract for an apartment or a house – the original and the notarised copy
– certificate of no criminal record – the original and the notarised copy
– the Medical insurance policy valid for Europe and more specifically Bulgaria that covers the amount of minimum 30 000 Euro – the original and the copy (bear in mind that the term of this insurance can influence the term of the future permit for the long-term stay)
– the POA for the person issued by the commercial company whose representative office is being opened in Bulgaria – the original

All the documents for the formalizing of the permit for the long term stay in Bulgaria have to be submitted in person.

Foreign pupils in Bulgarian schools
According to the Ordinance No 11 about enrollment of pupils in public and municipal educational institutions of Bulgaria issued on 28th of March 2005 and the Ordinance No 2 about recognition of completed school stages or degrees of education and professional qualifications according to documents issued by educational institutions of foreign countries issued on 14th of April 2003 a foreign pupil can be accepted in case he or she has received the permit for the permanent stay in Bulgaria or has the Bulgarian nationality. Depending on individual cases foreigners can be accepted without entrance examination in case they pay for their study.

In order to receive the permit for the school education a foreign pupil should file the application to the Head of the Regional Inspectorate of Education who issues the permit and determines the school where the pupil will be accepted, as this application should be enclosed by originals or notary authorized copies of following documents:
– The copy of the certificate about the completed grade – this certificate should be issued by the school or the educational institution that was legislatively established in the country in which the documents have been issued, and which school or institution is considered to be a part of the country’s system of secular school education
– The document where it is indicated what rights gives the mentioned above certificate about the completed grade (in case those rights are not indicated in the certificate)
– The report about the school subjects with indication of credit hours and grades/school marks
– The copy of the medical certificate – in case it is required due to the school specialization
– Other documents in case they are required by the teacher’s council.

Documents that were issued by another country should be translated to Bulgarian and – in case it is required – legitimated.

After filing those documents are checked by the expert commission of the Regional Inspectorate of Education which commission takes the decision about recognition or non-recognition of documents having regarded to:
– the years of schooling
– the type of the school
– school subjects and credit hours
– grades
– rights that gives the certificate about the completed grade in the county of origin
– age of the pupil
The expert commission should announce its decision during one month after filing of the documents.

In case the documents are approved by the commission its Chairman issues the certificate which form is regulated by the Ordinance No 2 issued on 14th of April 2003. School marks indicated in the certificate or in the record issued by the foreign educational institute are equated to the Bulgarian six-mark grading system.

Note: During the determination of the school where the foreign pupil will be accepted it is taken into account that the number of foreign pupils in each class of any Bulgarian school can not exceed 3 pupils.

Registration of companies in Bulgaria
List of documents that are required for the reregistration:

1. Traders and branches of foreign traders depending on their legal form should file:
– the application form from the „A” group (A1-A9) which should be signed by the governing body of the company
– the certificate of the current status issued after 1st of January 2008 by the District court of the district where the company is registered as this certificate should contain the information about the BULSTAT number and full actual data of the legal body

2. Trade companies and cooperations should file:
– the application form from the „A” group (A1-A9) which should be signed by the governing body of the company
– the certificate of the current status issued after 1st of January 2008 by the District court of the district where the company is registered as this certificate should contain the information about the BULSTAT number and full actual data of the legal body
– the additional application form G1 which should be signed by the governing body of the company
– the actual Article of association of the company certified by the governing body of the company

According to the Ordinance No 1 from 14th of February 2007 about keeping, storaging and providing of the access to the Trade register each application should be enclosed with the declaration about the veracity of the circumstances stated in the whole documentation.

Law of the Bulgarian language

According to this draft of the law as the official language of the Republic of Bulgaria will be recognized the Bulgarian literary language and as the graphic system will be recognized the Cyrillic.

The main purpose of this law is to protect the Bulgarian language as the foundation of the Bulgarian national identity and to stimulate the education, science and arts in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Article 5 of the draft says that the study of the Bulgarian language is the right and the obligation of each Bulgarian citizen.

The schooling and the education of children and pupils at children gardens and schools shouldbe held in Bulgarian literary language.

The citizen of Bulgaria for whom the Bulgarian language is not a mother tongue has the right to study his or her mother tongue according to the effective legislation. The mother tongue/native language is the language that is used for the communication in the family of the citizen.

The Bulgarian citizen whose native language is not Bulgarian has the right for the additional education in Bulgarian as the support for the study and the use of the Bulgarian literary language.

During execution of their activity at the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria public authorities, execution authorities and judicial authorities, authorities and organisations created according to the legislation, political parties, providers of media services and other mass media are obliged to use the Bulgarian literary language according to the rules defined in the Law of the Bulgarian language.

The proficiency in Bulgarian is obliging for all the persons who apply for receiving of the Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization. Foreign citizens will be able to practice the profession and to work according to the labour legislation only in case they meet requirements for the proficiency in Bulgarian.

All verbal and written messages and identifications with the informative function should be made or written in official language except cases when other is provided by the law.

All international political, public and other events held at the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria should be held in Bulgarian with translation to respective working languages.

According to the draft of the Law of the Bulgarian language foreign languages can be used during signing of international contracts, agreements and international acts to which Bulgaria is a party; they also can be used regarding international recognition and copyright protection of specific language expressions, forms or signs. Using of foreign languages is allowed in case they are used for advertising, educational, scientific, culture or entertaining purpose.

Also in case the law will pass there the Council for Bulgarian language will be created, as this Council will control using and studying of the Bulgarian language.

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