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Schengen Visa for Third-Country Nationals Living in Bulgaria

Schengen Visum

Schengen Visum, © colourbox

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Für kurzfristigen Aufenthalt bis maximal 90 Tage

Generally speaking, all foreigners who are not EU nationals require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for visits of up to 90 days in an 180‑day period for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.

You will find an overview on visa requirements here:

Table of countries whose citizens require/do not require visas to enter Germany

The visa has to  be applied for at the mission of the Schengen state in whose territory the sole or main destination is situated.

Note: There is no automatic entitlement to a Schengen Visa

The mission must ensure that the following requirements have been met in each individual case:

  • The purpose of the trip to Germany must be plausible and comprehensible
  • The applicant must be in a position to finance his/her living and travel costs
  • The visa holder must be prepared to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires
  • Documentary evidence must be provided of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30.000 Euros, valid for the entire Schengen area and the entire length of stay

Foreign nationals with a permanent residence in Bulgaria and the appropriate residence permit (so-called "third-country nationals") applying for a visa to travel to or through Germany have to present the documents mentioned below, depending on their purpose of travel.

All applicants must provide the originals as well as a clear photocopy of all documents. Please be advised that additional documentation may be required in individual cases.


Preparing the application

Please prepare your application as follows::

  • Visa application form
    Please fill in the visa application form in German or English and in Latin letters and sign the form. Any false statements can lead to

    the application being rejected or to the annulment of a visa already granted. Visa application forms can be obtained from the relevant mission free of charge. They can also be downloaded here.

  • Necessary documents
    Please collect all necessary documents. Uncomplete documentation can be a reason for the application to be rejected. Please find below a checklist for each type of visa.

Business visa

  • Passport
    Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages, have been issued within the previous 10 years and the validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
  • Residence Permit
    A valid Bulgarian residence permit (lichna karta or long-term visa)
  • Application Form
    1 fully completed visa application form for a Schengen Visa (in German or English)
  • Passport Photos
    2 recent passport sized photographs with biometric criteria: 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm, good contrast, light background (single-colored white or light grey), height of the face must be 32 mm - 36 mm from chin to hairline (photographs can be purchased e.g. at the photo shop in Elemag Street right behind the Embassy)
  • travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30.000 Euros, valid for the entire Schengen area and the entire length of stay
  • a detailed letter of invitation (original) from your German business partner which clearly states your travel purpose for the entire length of your intended stay
  • travel authorisation from your employer for the intended business trip; trade register excerpt of Bulgarian company; alternatively if self-employed: bank account statements for the last three months

Visa to visit Family or Friends:

  • Passport
  • Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages, have been issued within the previous 10 years and the validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
  • Residence Permit
    A valid Bulgarian residence permit (lichna karta or long-term visa)
  • Application Form
    1 fully completed visa application form for a Schengen Visa (in German or English)
  • Passport Photos
    2 recent passport sized photographs with biometric criteria: 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm, good contrast, light background (single-colored white or light grey), height of the face must be 32 mm - 36 mm from chin to hairline (photographs can be purchased e.g. at the photo shop in Elemag Street right behind the Embassy)
  • travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30.000 Euros, valid for the entire Schengen area and the entire length of stay
  • formal obligation letter (according to §§ 66 - 68 of the German Law for Foreigners), which can be issued for the host by the German Foreigners' Office
  • employees: certificate of employment and certificate of salary
  • self-employed: trade register excerpt of Bulgarian company
  • students: certificate of enrollment
  • retirees: pension certificate
  • proof of family relations in Bulgaria e.g. marriage certificate and "lichna karta" of spouse
  • if applicable: proof of ownership of real estate in Bulgaria

Tourism Visa

  • Passport
    Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages, have been issued within the previous 10 years and the validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
  • Residence Permit
    A valid Bulgarian residence permit (lichna karta or long-term visa)
  • Application Form
    1 fully completed visa application form for a Schengen Visa (in German or English)
  • Passport Photos
    2 recent passport sized photographs with biometric criteria: 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm, good contrast, light background (single-colored white or light grey), height of the face must be 32 mm - 36 mm from chin to hairline (photographs can be purchased e.g. at the photo shop in Elemag Street right behind the Embassy)
  • travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30.000 Euros, valid for the entire Schengen area and the entire length of stay
  • proof of sufficient financial means for your entire stay (e.g. current bank statements from the previous three months)
  • hotel and flight reservations
  • certificate of employment and certificate of salary
  • self-employed: trade register excerpt of Bulgarian company
  • students: certificate of enrollment
  • if applicable: proof of family relations in Bulgaria e.g. marrage certificate and "lichna karta" of spouse
  • if applicable: rental contract or proof of ownership of real estate in Bulgaria

Visa according to the Freedom of Movement Act EU: required documents

  • Passport
    Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages, have been issued within the previous 10 years and the validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
  • Residence Permit
    A valid Bulgarian residence permit (lichna karta or long-term visa)
  • Application Form
    1 fully completed visa application form for a Schengen Visa (in German or English)
  • Passport Photos
    2 recent passport sized photographs with biometric criteria: 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm, good contrast, light background (single-colored white or light grey), height of the face must be 32 mm - 36 mm from chin to hairline (photographs can be purchased e.g. at the photo shop in Elemag Street right behind the Embassy)
  • "lichna karta" or passport of the family member with EU-citizenship
  • corresponding marriage certificate or birth certificate of child

Airport Transit Visa

  • Passport
    Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages, have been issued within the previous 10 years and the validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
  • Residence Permit
    A valid Bulgarian residence permit (lichna karta or long-term visa)
  • Application Form
    1 fully completed visa application form for a Schengen Visa (in German or English)
  • Passport Photos
    2 recent passport sized photographs with biometric criteria: 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm, good contrast, light background (single-colored white or light grey), height of the face must be 32 mm - 36 mm from chin to hairline (photographs can be purchased e.g. at the photo shop in Elemag Street right behind the Embassy)
  • airplane ticket
  • valid visa or residence permit for country of Destination
  • All visa applicants are required to make an appointment!
    Visa appointments for the Embassy in Sofia can only be booked online with the German Foreign Office. To make an appointment online please visit their website: BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
    Please note that the appointments offered on this system are the earliest and the only appointments available. Due to a high demand there can be a waiting period for appointments. Therefore we are unable to offer you a short term appointment. We ask you to make an appointment as early as possible (and not earlier than three months before your travel date).
    Before booking an appointment, please read carefully all information. Uncomplete applications must be rejected, and a new appointment is required.
    It is not possible to book an appointment just for information without application.

Appointment for application

As a rule, applicants must submit visa applications, together with all necessary documents, in person at the German mission responsible for their place of residence. In order to avoid time‑consuming requests for additional information or documentation, applicants should consult the website of the respective mission well in advance of their departure date to find out about the visa procedure and about the documentation which has to be submitted.

Please be on time to avoid any delays. You will submit your application, answer questions about your travel plans, leave your finger prints and pay the fee. More information about the fees you can find here.


Process of the visa application

As a rule, missions require between two and ten working days to decide on an application for a short stay visa. Please understand that during this time no questions about the the process can be answered. Once the decision has been made only the applicant himself or a duely entitled Person can get further Information.


Passport pick-up

Once the decision has been made you can come and pick up your passport during the opening hours for that purpose.

Should a visa application be rejected, the applicant will be informed of the main reasons for the rejection. Every applicant is entitled to take legal recourse against the mission’s decision.

It is also always possible to submit a new application with complete documents.


Enjoy your trip! Some information for visa holders

Please check upon picking up your passport, if all data on your visa sticker are correct. You will find your complete name, your passport number and your photo. The visa also contains the period of validity (this is the time within you can travel to the Schengen Area) and the maximum number of days of stay.


The Schengen Visa does not automatically entitle to enter the Schengen Space. The decision about your entry is made at the border by the Border Police. Possibly you will be asked to present next to your valid visa more documents proving the purpose and length of your stay as well as how you are going to finance it. You should also always have some proof of health insurance with you.


More Information you can find here (FAQ)


Please note:

Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.

Weitere Informationen

Visa application forms can be obtained from the mission free of charge. Applicants may also download the forms here. The forms submitted must be original versions in German or English language.

Please note that all fees must be paid in Bulgarian Leva (BGN), in cash or by credit card (visa, mastercard). Fees are to be paid when submitting an application. Further fees will not be charged.

Since 14 May 2008, the fee for all types of visas has been BGN 118,-.

Exemptions may be possible. Please refer to our fees page for information

Here you can find information about biometric passport photos which can be purchased e.g. at the foto studio behind the Embassy, ul. Elemag, / ul. Konstantin Kisimov

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