Legal (regular) immigrants are foreigners from other states who have received permission by the Bulgarian authorities to enter (a visa) and to stay (residence) on the territory of Bulgaria.

In order to receive permission for legal residence, the immigrant must enter Bulgaria with a special visa (visa D). The tourist visa (visa C) entitles its holder only to a short-term stay of up to 3 months without the right to request a longer-term residence.

The longer-term residence can be prolonged (up to 1 year), long-term (up to 5 tears), and permanent (no fixed term). As each type of residence is conditional on specific requirements, the immigrant has to submit documents which prove that he/she meets these requirements. It is only legal immigrants with a long-term or permanent residence that are entitled to employment. Furthermore, legal immigrants have the right to travel to other European states, as long as they observe certain requirements and rules.

In Europe most states are united in the European Union (ЕU). The states of the European Union apply common rules regarding the entry and stay of foreigners from states outside the EU. Some European states do not exercise control over the national borders with other European states (Schengen area), which does not apply to the borders between the European Union and the states outside the Union (the so-called “external borders”) where the passports and visas of all passengers are subject to control.

If you receive a residence permit in one EU state, this does not automatically entitle you to residence in another EU state. The residence card issued in an EU state gives you the right to stay in another EU state for a maximum of 90 days within 6 months. When you travel with a residence card you are required to also have a valid passport on yourself. The passport must have a term of validity of at least another 3 months and must not have been issued more than 10 years ago. Passengers are required to have medical insurance and sufficient financial resources for subsistence during the period of their stay abroad.