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Visas for Exchange Students

The information below is for exchange and visiting students only.

Non-EU & Non-US Citizens US Citizens

Visa process for

Non-EU and Non-U.S. Citizens

As an exchange student with non-US or non-EU citizenship, 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 IN PERSON at the Bulgarian embassy or the nearest Consulate not earlier than 3 months before the traveling 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 not later than June 15 if you have been accepted for the fall semester and not later than November 1 if you have been accepted for the spring semester.

Here’s an outline of the process:

Step one

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.

Step two

After that AUBG will issue a Certificate, stating that you are accepted at AUBG, you will live on campus, and you will have insurance upon arrival.

Step three

The AUBG certificate 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.

Step four

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;
  • AUBG certificate – 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;
  • Two copies of the information pages of your passport;
  • One current passport photo (European sized – 3.5×4.5cm).
  • Police clearance report* issued in your home country, certifying that you have never been convicted.
  • Document about paid visa fee (200 EUR);

* The police report should be legalized, then translated into Bulgarian and certified by the Bulgarian Embassy in your country. Legalization requirements:

  • 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 hcch.net
  • If you are from a country that 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.

Double-check with the Bulgarian embassy where 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 at mfa.bg/en.

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

Step five

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.

Step six

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

Please do not hesitate to contact the International Student Services Office at [email protected] if these procedures are unclear.

Visa process for

U.S. Citizens

As an U.S. exchange or visiting 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 three months before the traveling 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 not later than June 15 if you have been accepted for the fall semester and not later than November 1 if you have been accepted for the spring semester.

Here’s an outline of the process:

Step one

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.

Step two

After that AUBG will issue a Certificate, stating that you are accepted at AUBG, you will live on campus, and you will have insurance upon arrival.

Step three

The AUBG certificate 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.

Step four

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;
  • AUBG certificate – 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;
  • Two copies of the information pages of your passport;
  • One current passport photo (European sized – 3.5×4.5cm).

You are exempt from visa fees according to an agreement signed between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the U.S. Government.

Please double-check with the Bulgarian embassy where 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 at mfa.bg/en.

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

Step five

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.

Step six

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

Please do not hesitate to contact the International Student Services Office at [email protected] if these procedures are unclear.

Do you have questions?

Contact the International Student Services Office.

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