As Eastern Europe opens its doors, a whole new world of beautiful countries emerges. Bulgaria offers many attractions - from the magnificent mountains to the beautiful Black Sea coast and beaches.
Considering relocating abroad is a daunting thought and when one is planning on moving to a lesser known country like Bulgaria, the feelings of being a bit of a pioneer are likely to be at the forefront.
But never fear - you will always encounter people who have gone before you and paved the way for you. There are a fair few foreigners living in Bulgaria these days and they have already established a wealth of activities and events to help you settle in and feel at home from day one.
First thing you can do is research on the internet into what life is like in Bulgaria. As Sofia is the capital city of Bulgaria it is where the majority of international businesses are located.
Foreigners are drawn by the climate, the incredibly low cost of living and the low prices of Bulgarian properties. Bulgaria is becoming a holiday destination enjoying the safe sandy beaches, ski resorts and rich historical heritage. Newcomers are attracted to Bulgaria because of the sunny climate and attractions as diverse as wine tasting, aqua parks, ancient monuments, nature parks, music and flower festivals.
While Bulgaria does not yet have the same destination appeal of Spain or Portugal, all that is about to change as Bulgaria gets closer to entry into the EU in 2007.
Those choosing a new life in Bulgaria now are getting in ahead of the pack as this country is about to become very fashionable. The biggest immigrant growth is expected in the more desirable areas in and around the major resort centres of Varna and Bourgas, with further population development expected in other selected locations on the Black Sea coast.
The economic forecast for Bulgaria
Since 1989 Bulgaria has been going through a successful transformation from a state controlled economy to an open market economy - so successful has the transformation proved to be that Bulgaria has been invited to join the European Union with membership time-tabled for 2007.
In general financial analysts agree that Bulgaria is currently undervalued, and therefore base costs are lower than the market realization set against forecasts of growth and increased investment flows.
In terms of what this means to those living in Bulgaria - the costs of living are exceptional low, but this is not going to last forever.
Education in Bulgaria
The country’s government is working on ensuring that the children of Bulgaria have free access to a quality, well structured but open education system that will allow them to learn the skills and gain the knowledge necessary to compete equally with their European counterparts on the world business and economic stage.
From several years the country has worked on reforming the entire education structure from primary through to higher education and as a direct result the quality of education available in Bulgaria today is far more sophisticated and of a much higher standard than it was only a few years ago.
Foreigners already living in Bulgaria are attracted to the fact that you are far less likely to become a victim of crime in Bulgaria than, lets say, on any UK street nowadays. Street crime in Bulgaria is rare, and general crimes against ‘the person’ are statistically lower compared to western European countries. On the whole Bulgaria is a peaceful, law abiding and trouble free country and Bulgarians are friendly, warm and welcoming people.
To travel to Bulgaria for a holiday or a short stay around some hot property projects for example you don’t necessarily have to have any particular visa type. The type basically depends on the country you herald from and the validity of your passport. Again, depending on your home country you can remain for either 30 or 90 days in a six month period.
Staying in Bulgaria
If you want to stay on in Bulgaria past your visitor visa duration then the first step is to apply for a long stay visa known as ‘type D’ from the Bulgarian embassy in your originating country. The cost of this varies depending on where you come from with example costs USD 25 for US citizens and GBP 44 for UK citizens. You can either download the forms you need to fill in or ask the embassy to post them to you. Here are the websites of the Bulgarian embassies in UK and the US respectively: http://www.bulgarianembassy.org.uk/ http://www.bulgaria-embassy.org/
With your type D visa safely in hand you can now apply to the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs for residency. You can either apply for temporary residence for up to one year or permanent residence.
If you want to work for a living in Bulgaria you have to have a work permit in addition to your type D visa or residence permit and this cannot be granted if you’re in Bulgaria, you have to get it before you go to the country, and again, you can get it from the Bulgarian embassy in your originating country.
The material for this article was collected from the new web portal for Bulgarian properties and information about Bulgaria, real estate market, hot property destination and useful tips - Bulgarian Properties Expert - all you need to know before buying a property in Bulgaria .