As a transferring 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 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 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:
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 can find a sample here.
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: the 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 REQUIRED DOCUMENTS AT ONCE.
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 it 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.
Finally, you must submit the following documents required for a long-term visa to the Bulgarian embassy in your country:
- One completed application form;
- 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;
- Two copies of your passport;
- One 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 mfa.bg/en. Make sure that you submit original documents and two copies to the Bulgarian Embassy.
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.
You may travel to Bulgaria after the visa is entered into your passport. Please do not buy a nonrefundable ticket until you receive your visa.
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 a card 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 six months after the issuing date unless there is a shorter validity specified on the document. More details about the Bulgarian ID card procedure will be given to you during the Orientation week upon arrival on campus.
Office of International Student Services
American University in Bulgaria
America for Bulgaria Student Center, room 6206
12 Svoboda Bachvarova Str
Blagoevgrad 2700, Bulgaria