The permit for stay and work in Bulgaria type EU Blue Card could be obtained by a foreigner who is a highly qualified worker – a person who has qualification for the respective work: a college or university degree, which is proved by a diploma, certificate or another document issued by a competent body after a period of education not less than three years, which education has been conducted by an educational institution acknowledged as an institution of higher education by the respective country.
A condition for obtaining of an EU Blue Card is the permission of the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The procedure itself is conducted and supervised by the Ministry of the Internal Affairs but a compulsory condition for the successful completion of the procedure is a work permit issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. I.e. the foreign specialist should have found an employer in Bulgaria and should have been invited by this employer for the realization of a particular labour agreement – on which basis the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy should assess if they shall issue the permit or not.
Before the issuance of an EU Blue Card, the foreign citizens shall obtain a visa type D and come to Bulgaria with this visa. After their arrival in Bulgaria, the foreign citizens shall apply on-site for the EU Blue Card which is issued in Bulgaria only.
The EU Blue Card is valid for one year (or less, if the labour contract with the Bulgarian employer is for a shorter term). If the labour agreement is with a term longer than one year, or if it is prolonged after the expiry of one year, then the EU Blue Card is renewed for another one year term maximum, and this is done every year until the foreigner specialist has the job, without any restrictions or limitations of the number of the renewals. After 5 years of work in the EU (of which at least the last 2 in Bulgaria) the foreigner can apply for a stay permit in Bulgaria which is much more convenient and is not bounded by a job – i.e. the foreign citizen may not work but also may work freely without any other restrictions or permissions by state authorities.
The price of the EU Blue Card is 400 BGN (approx. 200 EUR) – this is the fee for the first time issuance and for any consecutive renewal. The fee is to be paid by the Bulgarian employer.
The family members of the holder of an EU Blue Card are allowed to obtain a long-stay permit with term of validity equal to the term of stay of the holder of the EU Blue Card. They could also obtain an EU Blue Card based on their own grounds (e.g. if they are also highly qualified workers etc.).
It is possible that holders of an EU Blue Card issued by another EU member state who have stayed on the territory of this member state for 18 months, to stay and work in the Republic of Bulgaria together with their family members for the purpose of the highly qualified employment, i.e. to migrate and work from another member state to Bulgaria. In this case, they shall receive a new EU Blue Card in Bulgaria.
Here comes the reasonable question – what happens in case of unemployment? If the holder of an EU Blue Card is fired or dismissed, then he has 3 months at his disposal to find a new job in Bulgaria. Otherwise, he loses the Blue Card. During the first two years of a legal highly qualified employment the holder of a Blue Card could only practice the job and activities that they have received the Blue Card for, and they can change their employer only after obtaining of an authorization in writing by the Bulgarian Employment Agency.