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Short-term visas: general information


  • Schengen area is formed by the following states:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria (by air and sea), Croatia, Czech Republic,  Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania(by air and sea),  Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

  • Schengen (short-term) visa issued by a diplomatic mission of the Republic of Bulgaria or of another Schengen state entitles its holder to stay in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria/Schengen area for the period indicated in the visa,but maximum of 90 days within any 180 days. After a 90 days long stay, it is necessary to travel out of the Bulgaria/Schengen area. 
  • Visa is only a preliminary permission for entry, which does not automatically authorize its bearer to enter Bulgaria or other countries of the Schengen area. Police of the Republic of Bulgaria may at its own discretion request presentation of the relevant supporting documents, incl. proof of travel medical insurance, during the border control.
  • The Schengen visa application has to be submitted at the representation of the country which is competent for examining and deciding on it according to the main destination of the travel. The competent country will be:
  • the country whose territory constitutes the sole destination of the visit;
  • if the visit includes more than one destination, or if several separate visits are to be carried out within a period of two months, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length of stay, counted in days, or the purpose of stay;
  • if no main destination can be determined, the country whose external border the applicant intends to cross first in order to enter the territory of the Schengen Member States.
  • The application should be lodged not earlier than 6 months before the intended travel to the Republic of Bulgaria/Schengen area  and not later than 15 days before the travel.
  • The validity period of a Schengen (short-term) visa is determined in accordance with the length of travel, for a maximum of 5 years. According to expected number of stays, Schengen (short-term) visa may be issued as follows:

single entry visa – entitles to a single uninterrupted stay during the period stipulated in the visa, which may not exceed 90 days;

double entry visa – entitles to two stays during the period stipulated in the visa, while the sum of the lengths of stay may not exceed 90 days within 180 days;

multiple entry visa – entitles to multiple stays during the period stipulated in the visa, while the sum of the lengths of stay may not exceed 90 days within a 180 days.

  • The application for a Schengen visa is submitted in person at the VFS Global Visa Center. For a list of VFS Global Visa Centers, please check their webpage Welcome to VFS Global | vfsglobal . Schengen visa applications can be also submitted at Embassy of Bulgaria in Beijing by the holders of Passport for Public Affairs or family members  of EU citizens. For clients submitting Schengen visa at the Embassy of Bulgaria in Beijing, a prior appointment is mandatory. Applicants must send their e-mail requesting an appointment to: [email protected] or [email protected].
  • Basic application documents:
  • completed application form signed by the traveler
  • passport (it should have been issued within the previous 10 years, valid for at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Schengen states and to contain at least two empty pages)
  • Photo (it should be a passport-size photo taken within the last 6 months)
  • Travel medical insurance (its minimum coverage should be EUR 30.000, it has to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with urgent medical treatment, repatriation for medical reasons or death and it should be valid throughout the territory of the Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit)
  • application fee

 Depending on the purpose of travel, additional supporting documents should also be attached according to the harmonized list of such documents.

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