Bulgarian permanent stay certificate

The permanent stay certificate (or permanent residence card) is normally applied for after:
•  five years of continuous legal residency; or
•  marriage to a Bulgarian citizen.
The certificate is nominally granted indefinitely, but will be issued for the length of your national passport. Thus, when your passport expires, you should also renew the certificate. This is not a problem provided there have been no significant changes in your circumstances and you have continued to reside in Bulgaria. If for example your card expires and you have lived elsewhere for more than 12 months,you may need to apply again.

mountain view in bulgaria
The process for obtaining the permit cards is relatively straightforward and involves only one visit to your local police station with the required documentation. However, note that there have been reports in the local English-language press and Internet forums stating that the permit cards are not accepted by many institutions and businesses in Bulgaria as proof of identity because they do not have a photo of the holder or a personal ID number. You may need to carry your passport, or at least your driving licence, so that people you conduct business with are able to verify your identity.

Registering with the British Embassy in Bulgaria

The Foreign Office advises that British nationals who are either visiting or resident in certain countries should register their presence with the British consulate in the relevant country. This allows the embassy to keep in touch with British nationals when they are overseas and to provide consular assistance in the event of an emergency. The British embassy keeps a register of British citizens. It is designed for those staying in Bulgaria for some time, but they do not discourage short-term stayers from registering if they wish. Their details are kept on file until after they leave, whereas details of longer-term stayers are added to an electronic database.

If you are resident in or visiting Bulgaria, you can register your presence by using the FCO’s online registration form at www.fco.gov.uk (go to ‘online services’). Alternatively you can go in person to the Consular Section of the embassy in Sofia (9 Moskovska Str, 1000 Sofia) during office hours.


In Bulgaria all legal and official documents are in Bulgarian. English, German and Russian are commonly spoken, and if you buy property here you will normally deal with an English-speaking agent. Any documents you are asked to sign should be translated first; if they are not, ask for a translation. You can go to any local registered translation service, which will provide independent translations for around €1.50 a page.

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