U.S. Exchange and Visiting 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 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 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:

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

Step three

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.

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;
  • 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;
  • Two copies of the information pages of your passport;
  • One 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 U.S. Government.


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 pavlinap@aubg.bg if these procedures are unclear.

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