Family Reunification

In Bulgaria, the process of family reunification varies depending on the status of the main applicant - whether they are non-EU citizens, EU citizens, or Bulgarian citizens, all wishing to bring their non-EU family members to the country.

For Non-EU Citizens with Non-EU Family Members

The process for non-EU citizens wanting to bring non-EU family members begins with the main applicant, who resides in Bulgaria, submitting an application to the local Migration Office. This application is usually processed within two months. Following approval, a standard set of Family D visa application documents are submitted to the embassy or general consulate in the family’s home country. This process ensures a streamlined and efficient procedure for uniting families in Bulgaria.

For EU Citizens with Non-EU Family Members

When the main applicant is an EU citizen wishing to bring non-EU family members, the procedure commences differently. The non-EU family member initially applies for a C visa or any Schengen visa through their home country’s Bulgarian embassy or consulate. Upon arrival in Bulgaria, they then start the family reunification process with the local Migration Office. This part of the process varies in duration but typically takes a few weeks to a few months.

For Bulgarian Citizens with Non-EU Family Members

For Bulgarian citizens aiming to reunite with non-EU family members, the process begins with these family members applying for a D visa at the Bulgarian embassy or general consulate in their home country. Once the D visa is approved, they can then proceed to the local Migration Office in Bulgaria to complete the family reunification process. This pathway facilitates the integration of non-EU family members into Bulgarian society, reinforcing family bonds across borders.

In all cases, these processes highlight Bulgaria’s commitment to family unity, offering various routes tailored to different residency statuses of applicants.

Family Reunification for UK Citizens in Bulgaria

There is a distinct fourth category for family reunification specifically addressing UK citizens.

Pre-Brexit UK citizens

UK citizens who secured a valid Bulgarian residency card before Brexit are eligible for the streamlined process typically available to EU citizens seeking to bring non-EU family members to Bulgaria. This advantageous procedure simplifies their pathway to family reunification.

Post-Brexit UK citizens

Conversely, UK citizens who obtained Bulgarian residency after Brexit are subject to the same procedures as non-EU citizens looking to reunite with their non-EU family members in Bulgaria. This means they follow the standard protocol applied to non-EU nationals, which is more involved compared to the process for those who secured residency before Brexit.

Unmarried cohabiting partners in Bulgaria

Unmarried cohabiting partners can apply for family reunification if the main applicant holds EU citizenship. However, this provision does not extend to non-EU citizens seeking to bring non-EU family members to Bulgaria.


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