Bulgarian government approves draft amendments to Foreigners Act

Bulgaria’s government approved on February 28 draft amendments to the Foreigners Act, aimed at synchronising the conditions for the entry and residence of foreigners with documents adopted by the European Union and European Parliament, the government information service said.

The draft amendments are aimed at easing the system for residence of citizens of third countries and covers both those in highly qualified employment and seasonal employment, the statement said.

Also provided for is a procedure for granting residence to foreigner specialists, according to the statement.

The draft introduces into national legislation the types of related personal documents and the procedures for issuing them, and amends two laws in this connection, the Bulgarian Personal Documents Act and the law on the entry, residence and departure of EU citizens and their family members.

The statement said that the requirements for applicants for permanent residence of foreigners in Bulgaria are harmonised, the procedure for granting the right of long-term residence to investors is optimised, and the verification of the conditions for the investment, which they must meet, is assigned to the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

Penalties are also provided for administrative violations by foreigners who have not complied with the current legislation regulating the right to reside and work in Bulgaria.

The administrative burden on employers is also eased, the statement said. With the amendments, proof of the foreigner’s residential address will no longer be required in the initial set of residence permit documents. This will happen only after the foreigner enters the territory of the country.

The procedure for interaction among state bodies involved in the process of issuing the relevant permits has also been improved, the statement said.

New conditions are also being introduced for residence permits on grounds related to the presentation of documents showing annual turnover for a period of two years prior to the registration of the commercial representation of the foreign commercial company in Bulgaria, as a permit on this basis may be issued to up to two representatives.

The amendments also provide for scrapping the possibility of granting residence to foreigners who wish to carry out non-profit activities, the statement said.

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