Customs Regulations and Visa Requirements of Bulgaria
Despite the fact that the Bulgarian authorities in 2015 made an unexpected decision to simplify the visa regime with Russia, a visa to visit this sunny country is still needed, and the procedure for obtaining it will take a lot of time. Cardinal changes in the procedure for obtaining the main tourist document began to occur in 2010. Check a2zdirectory for history of Bulgaria.
Now, in order to obtain a Bulgarian visa, you will need to prepare the following:
- Copies of all pages of the internal Russian passport. Blank pages should also be copied.
- A copy of the international passport on the page with personal data and a photo. The passport itself must be valid for 3 months at the time of entry into Bulgaria.
- Color photo 5 x4.5 cm in size. The photo must be taken against a white background, the face must occupy at least 70% of the photo.
- Visa application form. It is filled in Russian in block letters. If desired, for the amount specified in a particular consulate, it can be filled in by consular employees. It is obligatory to have the personal signature of the applicant on each page.
- Health insurance policy with a coverage amount of 40,000 euros. The validity of the document must be calculated for the entire stay in Bulgaria.
- Passed fingerprinting. The requirement for those who travel to Bulgaria for the first time is due to the condition of the gradual integration of Bulgaria into the Schengen area. According to this condition, tourists are required to take fingerprints again every 5 years.
- Copies of round-trip air or train tickets. They must indicate fixed dates of arrival and departure from Bulgaria.
- Copies of driver’s license, registration certificate and Green Card of international insurance. Rule for those who are going to travel in their own car.
- A document confirming the hotel reservation. If there is no desire to give the original for consideration, you can send a copy or a letter sent by fax. Most of the Bulgarian hotels meet tourists halfway and send this confirmation in a form convenient for a potential guest.
- Help from the place of work. A document must be attached to it, indicating the contact details of the head or his secretary to confirm the data. On the certificate itself, a state-issued seal is required, as well as information on earnings for the last 12 months.
- An extract from a bank account on the availability of the necessary amount for a stay in Bulgaria. The amount is taken from the calculation: 50 euros per person per day according to the current exchange rate. The account can be opened in any currency.
- Consent to the processing of personal data. To be completed by the applicant himself or by a representative of a travel agency.
Minor tourists, in addition to a passport, a mandatory questionnaire and a copy of a birth certificate, must be provided with a certificate from an educational institution. Also, the parents of the child are required to provide a notarized permission to travel abroad.
The collected documents must be submitted in person by making an appointment at the nearest Bulgarian visa center or Consulate, or come there on a first-come, first-served basis, if possible.
You can track the status of the application on the special website of the Visa Service Center of Bulgaria in Russia.
The changes adopted by the Bulgarian government in 2015 will affect those who have already been to Bulgaria – now such people have the opportunity to obtain a Bulgarian visa for a period of three years.
Those who are going to visit Bulgarian resorts for the first time, a visa (single or double entry) will be issued for a period of one year.
Bulgaria visa processing time
Despite the large number of required documents, for Russians a Bulgarian visa is issued quickly – within 4 working days. Urgent visas can be issued within 2 days, but then the consular fee is doubled. The urgent visa can be only single.
Documents for obtaining a visa can be submitted in three millionaire cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. In addition, there are visa centers and consulates in 17 cities – from Central Russia to the Far East.
The fee for obtaining a visa to Bulgaria consists of two parts. The actual consular fee has remained unchanged since 2010 and amounts to 35 euros. For urgent visas – 70 euros.
The amount of the service fee has increased every year. In 2015, it amounted to 1425 rubles.
In case of refusal to obtain a visa, neither the consular nor the service fee is returned.
Due to the law on European integration, the customs regulations of Bulgaria have changed several times since 2009. Now most of the points remain relevant, but minor changes continue to be made every new tourist season. See Bulgaria import restrictions.
Allowed duty-free import to Bulgaria
- Alcohol with a strength of more than 22% – no more than 1 liter per person over 17 years old;
- Alcohol with a strength of less than 22% – no more than 2 liters per person over 17 years old. Red and white wines, sparkling wines and champagnes fall under this category;
- Beer and drinks based on hops and malt – no more than 16 liters ;
- Tobacco products – no more than 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars ;
- Tobacco – no more than 200 grams of pure tobacco;
- Tea – no more than 100 grams ;
- Coffee and coffee drinks – no more than 200 grams ;
- Vintage perfume – no more than 50 ml ;
- Eau de toilette – no more than 250 ml ;
- Products made of gold and platinum (only jewelry) – no more than 30 grams ;
- Silver items (jewelry, collectible coins) – no more than 200 grams ;
- Any currency in cash (at the current exchange rate) – no more than 8000 Bulgarian leva.
Banned for import to Bulgaria
- Any types of firearms, gas and pneumatic weapons, as well as ammunition for them;
- Any type of edged weapons, as well as any sharp objects that can injure;
- Explosive, poisonous and psychotropic substances of organic and inorganic origin;
- Counterfeit products, including films, music recordings and video games;
- Pornographic magazines and other publications prohibited by Bulgarian law;
- Pets without a veterinary passport and a quarantine certificate;
- Meat and dairy products, including cheeses, sausages, canned food and bacon;
- Chocolates not produced in the territory of the European Union.
Banned for export from Bulgaria
- Rare species of flowers and plants, including seeds;
- Cash more than 25 thousand leva;
- Art objects and antiques that have not received an export permit.