Bulgaria – Student

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to study in Bulgaria? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

You may come to Bulgaria as a student if you are:

  • a student in full-time education at higher education institutions;
  • a pupil for upper secondary education within an exchange programme.

You must obtain:

  • a visa type “D” and
  • a residence permit.

Where and how to apply



Once you have been admitted to an educational institution or programme, you must obtain a visa type D for students at the embassy or consulate in your home country.

Residence permit

Once you have arrived in Bulgaria with your valid visa (in case you need a visa to enter the country), you must also obtain a residence permit from the Migration Directorate after you enter Bulgaria.

Documents required

To be admitted in a full-time programme of an educational institution you must submit a certificate showing that you have passed a linguistic exam.

To obtain a visa, you must show evidence of:

  • admission to an educational programme;
  • accommodation;
  • health insurance;
  • sufficient financial resources to ensure your subsistence and your return to your country of origin;
  • medical certificate.
Duration of validity of permits

The duration of your residence permit is aligned to the duration of your study programme. It is granted for a maximum of one year and is renewable.

Once your study programme ends your residence permit will no longer be valid and you must return home.

Further requirementsUpon arrival, you have five days to notify your address of residence to the competent authorities.
AppealsDecisions related to residence permits can be challenged before the administrative courts.
Further information

More on visas

More on studying

Ministry of Education and Science

Change of studiesYou are not allowed to change studies. A new application must be submitted.
Employment during studiesYou can work without a work permit for 20 hours per week during the academic year as well as during official holidays.
Employment after studies

If you wish to work after your studies, you must apply for a work permit under the same conditions as other non-EU citizens.

After finishing your education, you may within 9 months seek and start work and may use brokerage employment services if you submit an application for registration to the Employment Agency within 7 business days.

You may come to Bulgaria as a student with a valid residence permit issued by another Member State if you are covered by a Union programme or a multilateral programme which includes studies in more than one Member State, or by an agreement between two or more higher educational institutions, at least one of which being Bulgarian. You have the right to enter and stay in Bulgaria for a period of up to one year.