Last update 23 October 2023Diplomatic missions
Level 3: Increased level of risk (recommendation not to travel in certain areas of the country unless necessary)
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Diplomatic passport: visa not required
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Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Australia
Address: 29 Pindari Crescent, O’Malley, Canberra, ACT 2606
Mailing address: P.O.Box 6096 Mawson, ACT 2607 Canberra, Australia
Telephone: +612 62869700, +61405897664
Fax: +612 62869600
Emergency telephone number: +614 38 005 187
Working hours: 09:00 – 17:30
Honorary Consul of the Australian Union in the Republic of Bulgaria
Mrs. Indiana Trifonova
Consular district: the entire territory of Bulgaria
Address: 1504 Sofia, Trakia St. No. 37
Phone: +359 2 946 13 34
Fax: +359 2 946 17 04
E-mail: [email protected]
The level of crime in Australia is relatively low. The main threats come from natural disasters such as fires and floods. Up-to-date information on Australia’s terrorist threat level is posted on the Australian Attorney-General’s Office website: https://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx.
We advise travellers to plan and allow sufficient time for pre-flight check-in for both international and domestic flights due to the strict security checks at the Australian airports.
Since the beginning of 2019, there has been some increase in measles (smallpox) cases in Australia and New Zealand. While the risk is relatively low in these two countries, the situation is considerably more serious in other countries in the region, especially in Samoa, where a state of emergency has been declared. A sudden increase in measles cases has also been recorded in Tonga and Fiji. The Solomon Islands authorities have introduced a number of requirements for travellers to the country in order to prevent the spread of the disease within its territory. More information on this topic can be found at the following link: https://www.mfa.bg/bg/situationcenter/23742. The healthcare system is highly-developed. Hospitals accept international insurance or payment by credit card or in cash on site.
Specifics of the local legislation:
Australian legislation is built upon the so-called Common Law system developed in the UK. The main difference between the above system and the civil law, applied in Europe, is that judges decide on cases based on previous similar cases (precedence).
Customs requirements for Australia can be found HERE, and on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website at.
In Australia, vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road. Some of the traffic rules are different and you should familiarise yourself with them before arriving in the country. You can use your Bulgarian driving licence for up to 3 months after your arrival in Australia. You must carry an international driving licence and passport along with it. Permanent residents in the country should have an Australian driving licence.
Remember that abroad you should comply with local acts. You fall within their jurisdiction during your stay there. We recommend that you inform yourself about them in advance and comply with them. Penalties for breaking the law can be more stringent than those in Bulgaria for the same offences.
Place all medications in their original packaging and check whether some of them are not considered illegal drugs abroad. If you use such substances, carry a copy of a doctor’s prescription confirming this fact.
Do not carry belongings of third parties who are not travelling with you when crossing the border.
Make sure your driving licence has not expired beforehand. We recommend that you obtain an international driving licence in advance. Do your best to familiarise yourself with local traffic rules. In Australia, heavy fines are imposed for breaking traffic rules, irrespective of whether you are a local or a foreign citizen. The traffic is in the left side of the roadway.
If you are detained by the local authorities for any reason, require to get in touch with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria. The consular officer will contact you as soon as possible.
We advise you to conclude a contract for health, travel, travel or other insurance in advance.
In case of death of a Bulgarian citizen abroad, the nearest diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Bulgaria will provide assistance and help with the formalities.
You can receive direct financial support from the diplomatic or consular mission only if your relatives or close persons deposit the amount you need in advance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Budget and Finance Directorate.
In the event of theft of your identity documents, cash, travel tickets, etc., immediately notify the nearest police office in person and in writing and ask for a copy of the record establishing the event. Contact our diplomatic or consular mission in order to make arrangements for obtaining the necessary documents to continue your trip or return to your home country.
It is not mandatory, but it is advisable to register at the Bulgarian Embassy in Canberra upon your arrival in Australia. This would facilitate getting in touch with you in case of emergency or if necessary. Before leaving the Republic of Bulgaria or immediately after your arrival, write down the addresses and telephone numbers of the Bulgarian diplomatic or consular mission in the country of your visit.
It is appropriate this information to be provided to the administration of hotels you are staying at, the tour operators you travel with and the local police office, if necessary. For your convenience, the address, telephone and fax number of the Consular Relations Directorate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Australian dollar (AUD)
AUD 1 = EUR 0.75
AUD 1 = USD 0.99
The climate varies from region to region of the country, with most being desert and semi-desert. A temperate climate prevails in the south-eastern and south-western regions, while it is tropical and subtropical in the northern part.
Forest fires are common in the summer season (September – April), and tropical cyclones and floods in November –April.
In view of the above seasonal phenomena, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises Bulgarian citizens travelling to and in Australia to inform themselves in advance about the situation in the areas they plan to visit.
Information on weather conditions, including the possible passage of tropical cyclones, can be found on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website: http://www.bom.gov.au/
Up-to-date information on wildfires and possible other natural disasters can be obtained from the mass media as well as the websites of the fire and emergency services of the Australian states and territories as follows:
• Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) - https://esa.act.gov.au ;
• New South Wales - www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me ;
• Victoria - https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/home;
• Queensland - https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map/Pages/default.aspx ;
• Western Australia - https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au ;
• Northern Territory - https://pfes.nt.gov.au/fire-and-rescue-service ;
• Tasmania - http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colCurrentBushfires ;
• South Australia - https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/home.jsp
Bulgarian citizens can benefit from the possibility to use the mobile applications of the websites in question.
Forest fires can lead to a significant deterioration of air quality, including in large cities where high levels of haze can be periodically observed.
It is recommended to avoid strenuous outdoor physical activity in case of polluted air. This is of particular importance for people with respiratory and heart problems, who should seek medical assistance if they feel unwell despite the usual treatment plan they follow.
In case of an emergency, call 000 immediately.
It is recommended not to open windows and doors in order to avoid fogging, and to use air conditioning to ventilate the rooms, if possible.
Most local authorities provide detailed information on air quality.
Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) - https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/population-health/environmental-monitoring/monitoring-and-regulating-air;
New South Wales - https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/air-quality;
Victoria - https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/EPAAirWatch;
Queensland - https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/air-quality/;
Western Australia - https://www.der.wa.gov.au/your-environment/air/air-quality-index;
Northern Territory - https://nt.gov.au/environment/environment-data-maps/air-quality-monitoring;
Tasmania - https://epa.tas.gov.au/epa/air/monitoring-air-pollution/real-time-air-quality-data-for-tasmania
South Australia - https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/air-quality/
Travel papers and visas
When travelling to Australia, you must have a passport with a minimum of six months validity after the date of entry as well as an entry visa. We advise Bulgarian citizens to apply for an Australian visitor (eVisitor) visa at least one month before the planned date of travel, as visa processing times vary at different periods of the year.
New provisions for short-stay visas:
As of 23 March 2013 the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship has introduced new regulations for obtaining Australian short-stay visas.
The existing subcategories of tourist visa types are reduced from nine to four:
- Visitor visa (subclass 600), which has four streams - Tourist stream, Sponsored Family stream, Business Visitor stream, Approved Destination Scheme stream;
- eVisitor (subclass 651) - allowing tourism and business;
- Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) - allowing tourism and private visits;
- Medical Treatment Visa (subclass 602) - allowing short and long stays for medical treatment.
The 600, 601 and 651 subclass business streams will allow for business activities such as research, negotiations, contract signing and review, attendance of conferences and seminars, and visits by government delegations. Such visas will not allow business visitors to work or carry out other activities for a fee.
The limited work rights previously granted under the Business visitor visas are listed in a separate subclass - Temporary Work / Short Stay Activity (subclass 400). All visitors who intend to work during their stay in Australia should apply for this visa subclass, or another visa that allows work.
Detailed visa information can be found on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website at http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1. The website provides the possibility to digitally submit visa applications.
Visas are not issued at the airport. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is the institution that grants visas.
Bulgarian citizens holding regular, official and diplomatic passports are exempt from the requirement of a transit visa for airport transfers for stays of up to 8 hours without leaving the airport. A transit visa is required for stays of 8 to 72 hours.
The visa issuance procedure (excluding online applications) for Bulgarian citizens is carried out by the Australian Embassy in Athens.
Visa fees are between AUD 135 and AUD 365 depending on the type of visa, rising to AUD 550 for some long-stay visas. The eVisitor (subclass 651) and Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) visas are free.
Your passport must have at least one blank page so that the border stamp can be affixed to it.
If a visa is issued and the passport is changed, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection should be notified in a timely manner. More details can be found at https://www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Form/Immi-FAQs/What-if-I-have-a-new-passport.
What consular officers can do for you?
- to issue a travel document, if you do not have one;
- to inform your relatives in the event of an accident, serious illness or death, and to provide the required assistance;
- in the event of arrest, to inform your relatives, to assist them to visit you in prison; to ensure that you are treated in the same way as nationals of the host country;
- to provide assistance in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as natural disasters and civil protests;
- to provide you the most up-to-date travel information;
- to verify and certify your signature;
- to issue civil status certificates (birth certificate, civil marriage certificate, death certificate);
- to forward civil status certificates already drawn up by the local authorities to the municipality of your permanent address in Bulgaria.
Certifications and legalizations:
The diplomatic mission in Canberra carries out standard legalization of copies of documents and of signatures as well as contents of documents in Bulgarian language to serve before the relevant authorities in Bulgaria. Legacy documents shall also be drawn up prepared at a preliminary scheduled appointment. The Embassy shall also certify the signatures of the sworn translators registered with the Embassy.
All official documents issued in Bulgaria and intended for use in Australia must be legalized with an ‘Apostille’ stamp. The same applies to documents issued in Australia and intended for use in Bulgaria, with the exception of those issued by the Embassy in Canberra.
Issuance of Bulgarian identity documents:
Since 01 June 2012 the Embassy in Canberra has been equipped with a biometric station. The Embassy accepts applications for issuance of passports, identity cards, driving licences and Emergency Travel Documents.
Upon acceptance of documents for the issuance of an Emergency Travel Document or identity card to minors and under-aged children, the signatures of both parents or the signature of one parent and a power of attorney from the other, or a court decision on parental rights are required.
A document issued by Australia must be legalized with an ‘Apostille’ as per the 1961 Hague Convention for Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents in order to be recognized in Bulgaria. If the translation is made by a sworn translator registered with the Embassy, the Embassy shall also certify the translation A document legalized with an ‘Apostille’ stamp can also be translated in Bulgaria by a translator who has a contract with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing official translations.
Under the stringent requirements of the Australian Data Protection Act, the receipt of civil status documents from the local registers shall be done personally or by an explicitly authorized agent. In rare cases, the Embassy may assist in obtaining death certificates without a certificate of heirs.