Bulgaria’s Cabinet approves proposed amendments to Foreigners Act
At a meeting on February 13, Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved draft amendments to the Foreigners Act, which a government statement described as aimed at “refining individual provisions of the law with a view to their practical application”, as well as preventing the possibility of circumventing the law.
The proposed amendments create the possibility for a foreigner with a valid permit for long-term or permanent residence in Bulgaria to enter the country without a visa.
The amendments envisage setting up a new structure to issue long-term residence permits for foreigners.
The proposed changes also reduce the current administrative burdens regarding the residence of highly qualified and seasonal workers, the government statement said.
Under the current law, when changing employer during their stay in Bulgaria, foreigners in this category have to apply for a new long-stay visa.
The residence status of unaccompanied foreign children is also regulated by issuing a permit for long-term residence in Bulgaria until reaching the age of majority.
A number of amendments to the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act and the Act on the entry, stay and departure of the Republic of Bulgaria of EU citizens who are not Bulgarian citizens and their family members are envisaged.
The Bulgarian Identity Documents Act introduces a new type of document to be issued to foreign children, and a time limit for the issuance of documents and residence of aliens.
The statement said that the law on the residence of EU citizens lacked legislation on the issue of residence of family members of Bulgarian citizens who had exercised the right of free movement.
The amendments also envisage a provision to withdraw the right of residence in Bulgaria in cases where marriages and cohabitation are proven to be fictious.
The amendments are to be tabled in Bulgaria’s National Assembly for debate and approval, the government statement said.