Visa and Bulgarian ID

Dear International Students,

Below you will find the necessary steps to obtain the proper documentation to legally reside and study in Bulgaria. Please identify the category, which applies to you and read through the information. And remember - the International Students Services staff are always available if you have any questions!

EU Students

As an international student accepted for study at the American University in Bulgaria, you will not need an entry visa if you are from a member country of the EU.
Upon arrival you will be issued a Certificate for long term residence for a foreigner from a member country of the EU. The procedure is as follows:   

I. Submit the following documents to the office of International Student Services:
1.  Information form - available in the office or for download here
2.  Copy of your international passport or national ID card
3.  Certificate from your residence hall director (in Bulgarian)
4.  Certificate from AUBG's Heath Center that you have insurance.                
5. Certificate from a local bank that you have opened an account and deposited 1000 BGN  

II. Take an application form from the International Student Services Office and go to the local police department.   

Important: Please write the expected date of completion of your study at AUBG in the Information Form as the certificate will be valid till that date.

US Visiting

As a visiting international student accepted to study at the American University in Bulgaria, you must have a long-term student visa, type D. To get this visa, you need to apply at the Bulgarian embassy in the country of your permanent residence not earlier than 3 months before the travelling date and not later than one month before that date. Because the visa process is slow and time-consuming, you must allow time for it. Our experience shows that you should allow at least 30 working days for the Bulgarian Embassy to issue the visa.

Please keep in mind that you should apply for a visa no later than June 15 if you have been accepted for the fall semester and no later than November 1 if you have been accepted for the spring semester.

Here’s an outline of the process:

I. The first thing you must do is to express mail (by DHL or FedEx) - not fax or regular mail - the following documents to the International Student Services Office at AUBG:

  1. An official transcript from the university you are currently attending. Please also include a photocopy of the legalized transcript.
  2. An up-to-date medical certificate, issued in your home country by your health care provider. The certificate should contain general information about your health status. 

Important: Documents 1 and 2 must have an “Apostille" attached. The apostille certificate is required to legalize a document for use in another country. You may find the competent authority providing “Apostille” at: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=authorities.d...

3. Two passport-size photos with your names written on the back as they appear on your passport.

4. Two clear and legible copies of the information page of your international passport, with your names written in the Latin alphabet, the date and place of birth. If you have dual citizenship, please mail a copy of each passport. Important: expiration date of the passport must be at least 18 months after the date on which you apply for a visa. MAKE SURE YOU MAIL ALL THE REQIRED DOCUMENTS AT ONCE.

II.   When we receive these documents at AUBG, we will forward them to the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria. It takes at least two weeks for the Bulgarian Ministry of Education to issue an enrollment certificate in Bulgarian. When it is ready, we will send to you by express mail. Make sure that you have e-mailed us your exact mailing address and a telephone number. Please be aware that the mailing expenses will be charged to your student bill.

III. Finally, you must submit the following documents required for a long-term visa to the Bulgarian embassy in your country:

  • One completed visa application form – You may download the form from the following  website: https://www.aubg.edu/international-student-services-forms-and-resources
  • Certificate from the Ministry of Education – mailed by AUBG  after receiving the documents in the visa letter;
  • Enrolment certificate from AUBG  - provided by AUBG;
  • Housing letter - provided by AUBG;
  • Health insurance letter certifying that the student will have insurance upon arrival - provided by AUBG;
  • A document proving that you have paid your tuition;
  • Document proving that you will be able to cover your living expenses – valid bank account with 4 000 BGN or the equivalent in USD.
  •  Valid passport;
  •  2 copies of the passport;
  •  1 picture (3,5X4,5cm).
  •  If you are 18 or over you will need a State police background check (issued by the State Police and not by the police in your home town), certifying that you have never been convicted. The document should be certified with an "Apostille". Please leave a copy with the embassy and bring the original with you. After you arrive in Bulgaria, you will need to translate the document into Bulgarian and submit it to Migration Office as part of your BG ID card application.*

* Important: If the duration of your visa does not cover the whole period of staying in Bulgaria, after the first month of your arrival you will need a Bulgarian ID card for foreigners. More details about Bulgarian ID card procedure will be given to you during the Orientation week upon arrival on campus.

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK WITH THE BULGARIAN EMBASSY, AT WHICH YOU WILL APPLY IF THESE ARE ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS, as visa procedures are subject to change. You may find useful information about the Bulgarian Embassies in the USA on:

http://www.mfa.bg/embassies/usa/setlang/en

Make sure that you submit original documents and two copies to the Bulgarian Embassy.

IV. When the visa is ready, go to the Bulgarian embassy to pick it up. Make sure you carry your passport with you. Please notify the Office of International Student Services that you have received your visa. V. You may travel to Bulgaria after the visa is entered in your passport. Please do not buy a nonrefundable ticket until you receive your visa.

AUBG mailing address is:

Pavlina Pavlova/Viktor Draganov 
Office of International Student Services
American University in Bulgaria
America for Bulgaria Student Center, room 6206
12 Svoboda Bachvarova Str
Blagoevgrad 2700
Bulgaria

Transfer Students

As a transfering international student accepted to study at the American University in Bulgaria, you must have a long-term student visa, type D. To get this visa, you need to apply at the Bulgarian embassy in the country of your permanent residence not earlier than 3 months before the travelling date and not later than one month before that date. Because the visa process is slow and time-consuming, you must allow time for it. Our experience shows that you should allow at least 30 working days for the Bulgarian Embassy to issue the visa.

Please keep in mind that you should apply for a visa no later than June 15 if you have been accepted for the fall semester and no later than November 1 if you have been accepted for the spring semester.

Here’s an outline of the process:

I. The first thing you must do is to express mail (by DHL or FedEx) - not fax or regular mail - the following documents to the International Student Services Office at AUBG:

1. An official transcript from the university you are currently attending. Please also include a photocopy of the legalized transcript.

2. A notarized copy of your high school diploma and your transcript with all the grades during your full course of study at the high school.

3. An up—to—date medical certificate, issued in your home country by your health care provider. The certificate should contain general information about your health status. You may find a sample on the following link: https://www.aubg.edu/documents/1204

Important: The documents in 1, 2 and 3 should have a Bulgarian translation done and certified by the Bulgarian Embassy in your country.

  • If your country has signed the Hague convention (Albania, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Turkey, or USA) you must get an "Apostille" before translating the documents.  An “Apostille” certificate is needed to legalize a document for use in another country. You may find the competent authority providing “Apostille” at http://www.hcch.net
  • If you are from a country which is not a member of the Hague convention (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, or Kosovo) the documents must be first verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then translated by the Bulgarian Embassy.
  • If you are from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan the documents do not need legalization with an Apostille or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

4. Two passport-size photos with your names written on the back as they appear on your passport.

5. Two clear and legible copies of the information page of your international passport, with your names written in the Latin alphabet, the date and place of birth. If you have dual citizenship, please mail a copy of each passport. Important: expiration date of the passport must be at least 18 months after the date on which you apply for a visa. MAKE SURE YOU MAIL ALL THE REQIRED DOCUMENTS AT ONCE.

II.   When we receive these documents at AUBG, we will forward them to the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria. It takes at least two weeks for the Bulgarian Ministry of Education to issue an enrollment certificate in Bulgarian. When it is ready, we will send to you by express mail. Make sure that you have e-mailed us your exact mailing address and a telephone number. Please be aware that the mailing expenses will be charged to your student bill.

III. Finally, you must submit the following documents required for a long-term visa to the Bulgarian embassy in your country:

  • 1 completed application form – you may download the form from the following  website: https://www.aubg.edu/international-student-service...
  • Certificate from the Ministry of Education – mailed by AUBG  after receiving the documents in the visa letter;
  • Enrolment certificate from AUBG  - provided by AUBG;
  • Housing letter - provided by AUBG;
  • Health insurance letter certifying that the student will have insurance upon arrival - provided by AUBG;
  • A document proving that you have paid your tuition;
  • Document proving that you will be able to cover your living expenses – valid bank account with 4 000 BGN or the equivalent in USD.
  • Valid passport;
  • 2 copies of the passport;
  • 1 picture (3,5X4,5cm).

If you are 18 or over you will need a Police clearance report* issued in your home country, certifying that you have never been convicted

If you are under 18 years old at the time you apply for a visa you will need a Declaration - agreement from your parents that you can travel abroad and apply for extending your stay in Bulgaria, because you will be studying at the American University in Bulgaria.**More information on the translation and legalization requirements for these two documents will be sent to you later on. The last two documents need to be legalized and translated into Bulgarian by a Bulgarian Embassy.

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK WITH THE EMBASSY WHERE YOU WILL APPLY IF THESE ARE ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS as the visa procedure is subject to change.

You may find useful information about the Bulgarian Embassies at http://www.mfa.bg/15/findanembassy Make sure that you submit original documents and two copies to the Bulgarian Embassy.

IV. When the visa is ready go to the Bulgarian embassy to pick it up. Make sure you carry your passport with you. Please notify the International Student Services Office that you have received your visa.

V. You may travel to Bulgaria after the visa is entered in your passport. Please do not buy a nonrefundable ticket until you receive your visa. VI. Important: In order to stay legally in Bulgaria as a student you must have a Bulgarian ID card. This is Bulgarian Law and there can be no exceptions. Please be aware that the expenses for its issuing are in addition to visa fees. You may obtain one only if you enter Bulgaria with a student visa (type D). One of the documents needed for your Bulgarian ID application is a police clearance report/parents declaration. You can use the same document from your visa application but only within 6 months after the issuing date unless there is a shorter validity specified on the document. More details about Bulgarian ID card procedure will be given to you during the Orientation week upon arrival on campus.

AUBG mailing address is:
Pavlina Pavlova/Viktor Draganov
Office of International Student Services
American University in Bulgaria
America for Bulgaria Student Center, room 6206
12 Svoboda Bachvarova Str
Blagoevgrad 2700, Bulgaria

US Exchange Students

As an exchange international student accepted for study at the American University in Bulgaria, you must have a long-term student visa, type D. To get this visa, you need to apply at the Bulgarian embassy in the country of your permanent residence not earlier than 3 months before the travelling date and not later than one month before that date. Because the visa process is slow and time-consuming, you must allow time for it. Our experience shows that you should allow at least 30 working days for the Bulgarian Embassy to issue the visa.

Please keep in mind that you should apply for a visa no later than June 15 if you have been accepted for the fall semester and no later than November 1 if you have been accepted for the spring semester.

Here’s an outline of the process:

I. Send a scanned copy of the front page of your international passport to the International Student Services Office. The page should include your full name and your date and place of birth. Important: The expiration date of your passport must be at least 18 months after the date on which you apply for a visa.

II. After that AUBG will issue: enrollment certificate, housing letter, health insurance letter certifying that you will have insurance upon arrival.

III. All documents issued by AUBG will be express mailed to you. Please give an exact mailing address and a telephone number. This should be a street address, not a post office box. Note that mailing expenses will be charged to your student bill.

IV. Finally, you must submit the following documents required for a long-term visa to the Bulgarian embassy in your country:

• One completed visa application form – you may download the form from the following  website: https://www.aubg.edu/international-student-services-forms-and-resources

  • Enrollment certificate from AUBG – provided by AUBG;
  • Housing letter – provided by AUBG;
  • Health insurance letter certifying that the student will have insurance upon arrival - provided by AUBG;
  • Document proving that you will be able to cover your living expenses – valid bank account with 4 000 BGN or the equivalent in USD;
  • Valid passport;
  • 2 copies of the information pages of your passport;
  • 1 current passport photo (European sized – 3.5x4.5cm).

You are exempt from visa fees according to an Agreement signed between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the US Government.

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK WITH THE BULGARIAN EMBASSY, AT WHICH YOU WILL APPLY IF THESE ARE ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS as visa procedures are subject to change.

You may find useful information about the Bulgarian Embassies in the USA on: http://www.mfa.bg/15/findanembassy

Make sure that you submit original documents and two copies to the Bulgarian Embassy.

V. When the visa is ready, go to the Bulgarian embassy to pick it up. Make sure you carry your passport with you. Please notify the International Student Services Office that you have received your visa.

VI. You may travel to Bulgaria after the visa is entered in your passport. Please do not buy a nonrefundable ticket until you receive your visa.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at vdraganov@aubg.bg  if these procedures are unclear.

All Other New Students

Information for New International Students

As an international student accepted to study at the American University in Bulgaria, you need to have a long-term student visa, type D. The visa should be issued on the grounds of article 15, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Law for foreigners.  To obtain it, you need to apply at the Bulgarian embassy in your country or in a neighboring country if your country has no Bulgarian embassy or consulate. Because the visa process is slow and time-consuming, you must allow time for it. Please keep in mind that it takes at least 30 working days for the Bulgarian Embassy to issue the visa.

Please keep in mind that you should apply for a visa no later than July 15 if you have been accepted for the fall semester and no later than November 15 if you have been accepted for the spring semester.

Here’s an outline of the process:

I. The first thing you must do is to express mail - not fax
or regular mail - the following documents to the International Student Services Office at AUBG:

1.     A notarized copy of your high school diploma with the grades and the subjects studied.  

2.     A document certifying that your high school diploma gives you the right to continue your education in the higher education institutions in the country where you graduated from high school. This document is issued by the Ministry of Education in your country or by your high school.

3.     An up - to - date medical certificate, issued in your home country by your health care provider. The certificate should contain general information about your health status.

 Important: The documents in 1, 2 and 3 should have a Bulgarian translation done and certified by the Bulgarian Embassy in your country.

  • If your country has signed the Hague convention (Albania, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Turkey, or USA) you must get an "Apostille" before translating the documents.  An “Apostille” certificate is needed to legalize a document for use in another country. You may find the competent authority providing “Apostille” at http://www.hcch.net
  • If you are from a country which is not a member of the Hague convention (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, or Kosovo) the documents must be first verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then translated by the Bulgarian Embassy.
  • If you are from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan the documents do not need legalization with an Apostille or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

4.     Two passport-size photos with your names written on the back as they appear on your passport.

5.     Two clear and legible copies of the front page of your international passport, with your names written in the Latin alphabet, the date and place of birth. (If you have dual citizenship, please mail a copy of each passport). Important: The expiration date of the passport must be at least 18 months after the date of applying for a visa.

PLEASE MAIL ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS AT ONCE.

II. When we receive these documents at AUBG, we will forward them to the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Ministry of Education then issues an enrollment certificate in Bulgarian that we will send to you by express mail. Make sure that you have e-mailed us your exact mailing address and a telephone number. The mailing expenses will be charged to your student bill.

III. Finally, you have to submit the following documents required for a long-term visa to the Bulgarian embassy in your country:

  • 1 completed application form – you may download the form from the following  website: https://www.aubg.edu/international-student-services-forms-and-resources
  • Certificate from the Ministry of Education – mailed by AUBG  after receiving the documents in the visa letter;
  • Enrolment certificate from AUBG  - provided by AUBG;
  • Housing letter- provided by AUBG;
  • Health insurance letter certifying that the student will have insurance upon arrival - provided by AUBG;
  • A document proving that you have paid your tuition - issued by Accounting Office upon request ONLY if you have paid your tuition. For students on scholarship:  a scholarship letter in Bulgarian, provided by AUBG. Please contact the Bulgarian embassy and ask if they require these documents.
  • Document proving that you can cover your living expenses - valid bank with the equivalent of 4 000 BGN;
  • Valid passport;
  • 2 copies of the passport;
  • 1 picture (3,5x4,5cm).
  • If you are 18 or over you will need a Police clearance report* issued in your home country, certifying that you have never been convicted.
  • If you are under 18 years old at the time you apply for a visa you will need a Declaration - agreement from your parents that you can travel abroad and apply for extending your stay in Bulgaria, because you will be studying at the American University in Bulgaria.*

*More information on the translation and legalization requirements for these two documents will be sent to you later on. The last two documents need to be legalized and translated into Bulgarian by a Bulgarian Embassy.

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK WITH THE EMBASSY WHERE YOU WILL APPLY IF THESE ARE ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS as the visa procedure is subject to change.

You may find useful information about the Bulgarian Embassies at http://www.mfa.bg/15/findanembassy

Make sure that you submit original documents and two copies to the Bulgarian Embassy.

IV. When the visa is ready go to the Bulgarian embassy to pick it up. Make sure you carry your passport with you. Please notify the International Student Services Office that you have received your visa.

V. You may travel to Bulgaria after the visa is entered in your passport. Please do not buy a nonrefundable ticket until you receive your visa.

VI. Important: In order to stay legally in Bulgaria as a student you must have a Bulgarian ID card. This is Bulgarian Law and there can be no exceptions. Please be aware that the expenses for its issuing are in addition to visa fees. You may obtain one only if you enter Bulgaria with a student visa (type D). One of the documents needed for your Bulgarian ID application is a police clearance report/parents declaration. You can use the same document from your visa application but only within 6 months after the issuing date unless there is a shorter validity specified on the document. More details about Bulgarian ID card procedure will be given to you during the Orientation week upon arrival on campus.

AUBG mailing address is:
Pavlina Pavlova/ Viktor Draganov 
Office of International Student Services
American University in Bulgaria
America for Bulgaria Student Center, room 6206
12 Svoboda Bachvarova Str.
Blagoevgrad 2700
Bulgaria

Returning Students

As a returning international student, you should keep in mind that your BG ID card is cancelled if  you are not currently enrolled at AUBG either on Leave of Absence, Exchange*, withdrawn, suspended, or dismissed.

*This does not apply to students going on an Erasmus Exchange program.

In order to continue your education at AUBG you need to obtain a long-term student visa (type D). This requirement applies to ALL international students from countries which are not members of the EU. To get this visa, you need to apply at the Bulgarian embassy in the country of your permanent residence, not earlier than 3 months before the traveling and not later than one month before that date.

Because the visa process is slow and time-consuming, you must allow time for it. Please keep in mind that you should apply for a visa no later than June 1 if you are returning for the fall semester and no later than October 1 if you are returning for the spring semester. It takes at least 30 working days for the Bulgarian Embassy to issue the visa.

Here is an outline of the process:  

1.  Complete and fax the attached Returning Student Data Sheet to the following fax number: +359 73 888 158 (Office of Registrar). You may also e-mail a scanned copy of the form.

2.  Send a scanned copy of the front page of your international passport to the International Student Services Office. The page should include your full name written in the Latin alphabet and your date and place of birth. Your passport must be valid for at least a year and a half after the date on which you apply for a visa.

3. Only after that AUBG will issue: enrollment certificate, housing letter, health insurance letter certifying that you will have insurance upon arrival.

4.  If the Bulgarian embassy requires a document about paid tuition, please contact Daniela Kovacheva from the Accounting office at daniela@aubg.bg  to request it. The document can be issued ONLY if you have paid your tuition.

5. All documents issued by AUBG will be express mailed to you. Please give the exact mailing address and a telephone number. Note that the mailing charges will be charged to your student bill.

6. If you are 18 years and over you should have a Police clearance issued in your home country, certifying that you have never been convicted.

  • If your country has signed the Hague
    convention (Albania, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Turkey, or USA) you must get an "Apostille" before translating the documents.  An “Apostille” certificate is needed to legalize a document for use in another country. You may find the competent authority providing “Apostille” at http://www.hcch.net
  • If you are from a country which is not a member of the Hague convention (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, or Kosovo) the documents must be first verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then translated by the Bulgarian Embassy.
  • If you are from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan the documents do not need legalization with an Apostille or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Important: You will need Police clearance report for your D visa application and for your Bulgarian ID card to be issued after you come to Bulgaria but you may use it only within 6 months after the issuing date unless there is a shorter validity specified on the document.

Please double check with the Bulgarian embassy at which you apply, what documents are required for your visa application and collect them. You may also complete the application form: http://www.mfa.bg/pages/109/index.html

7. All students applying for a D visa and then for a Bulgarian ID card should have a document proving that they will be able to cover their living expenses - valid bank account with the equivalent of 4 000 BGN. Please double check with the Bulgarian embassy what documents you need for the visa application and collect them. You also may complete the application form:  http://www.mfa.bg/pages/109/index.html

8. When you receive the documents from AUBG, take them and the other documents required for a long-term visa to the Bulgarian embassy in your country (or in a neighboring country if your country has no Bulgarian embassy or consulate) for your visa to be issued.

9. When the visa is ready, go to the Bulgarian embassy to get it. Make sure you carry your passport with you.

10. You may travel to Bulgaria after the visa is entered in your passport. Upon arrival on campus you must be issued new Bulgarian ID card. You need to return the old one to the police although it has expired.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information:

Pavlina Pavlova  
Coordinator      
e-mail: pavlinap@aubg.edu

Viktor Draganov                                     
Administrative Assistant
e-mail: vdraganov@aubg.edu

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