Bulgarian Parliament passes amendments to the Foreigners Act

The Bulgarian Parliament passed the amendments to the Foreigners Act on January 13 2011, in which it stipulated that a short-stay visa will be issued to foreigners for a period of up to three months within any six-month period from the date of first entry. Another type of short-stay visa will be the transit visa, which in turn will be valid for up to two days.

Changes to the country’s Foreigners Act, were approved earlier in 2010 by the Cabinet.

A Cabinet memorandum signed by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov envisaged that the changes were intended to bring the country’s legislation in line with the EU, for example on visas to meet the criteria for Schengen visa zone implementation.

The amendments revise rules on obtaining permanent residence and open the way for the “Blue Card” system earlier approved by the EU that is intended to encourage skilled non-EU nationals to live and work in the bloc’s 27 countries.

To apply for long-term residence, the applicant will have to prove sufficient resources and have health insurance so as not to be a burden on the state. Third-country nationals wanting to become, and remain, long-term residents “should not pose a threat to public order and national security”.