Last update 12 June 2019Diplomatic missions
Level 2: Increased attention (please be informed in detail about the current situation in the country)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Untied Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the United Kingdom
Address: 186-188 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5HL, UK
Telephone: +44 0 20 7581 3144; +44 0 20 7584 9400
Fax: +44 0 20 7584 4948
Out-of-hours hotlines: + 44 7 5813144; + 44 7 5849400
Office hours: 09.00 - 18.00 h
Office hours: 09.30 - 13.30 h
Tel.: +44 0 20 75893736 (13.00 - 16.00 h)
Embassy of Her British Majesty
Office: 1000 Sofia, 9 Moskovska Street
Telephone: +359 2 933 92 22
Fax number: +359 2 933 92 19
Telephone.: +359 2 933 92 22
Fax number: +359 2 933 92 50
08.30 - 17.30 h (Mon - Thu)
08.30 - 13.00 h (Fri)
British Council: 7, Krakra Street
telephone: +359 2 942 43 44
fax number: +359 2 942 42 22
British Pound (GBP)
Crime and security
In view of the forthcoming Olympic Games in 2012, the level of threat of terrorist activity in the UK has increased, therefore, all necessary preventive measures were taken and coordination between the competent law enforcement authorities has been established.
Tourists are advised to be careful in protecting their personal belongings.
Personal belongings and accessories for personal use are not dutiable, providing they are within the reasonable amounts.
Travel papers and visas
Bulgarian citizens can travel to the UK with identity card and / or passport. As an exception one can enter the UK with a temporary passport issued by a Bulgarian diplomatic mission abroad.
On January 1, 2007 Bulgarian citizens became citizens of the European Union and as such they have the right of residence in other Member States, including the Great Britain, for up to 90 days without any conditions or formalities other than the requirement to hold a valid identity card or passport. These provisions apply to family members who are not nationals of a Member State, accompanying or joining the EU citizen and holding a valid passport and residence card of a family member of an EU citizen. Those who do not have such a card must certify accordingly that they are family members of an EU citizen, then will be issued a free visa.
Bulgarian citizens have the right of residence in the United Kingdom without any formalities during the first three months of their stay. They can remain legally resident in the UK after this period, provided they have employment contract or are self employed or exercise contractual rights of a student or are individuals who can demonstrate that they are self-sufficient.
Introducing fee for application forms issued by the Home Office of the United Kingdom
On 1 July 2013, the Home Office of the United Kingdom introduced for the citizens of the European Economic Area, including Bulgaria (students, employed persons, self-employed persons, self-sufficient persons and members of their families) fee for application forms for the issuance of permanent residence certificates and for the right to access the labour market.
The Bulgarian students, studying in Great Britain are required to have yellow registration certificate, if they want to make use of their right to work 20 hours per week during the semester.
The filing, processing and issuance of these documents used to be free until now. The new fee amounts to 55 GBP and is payable at filing the application. The payment of the fee itself does not guarantee the issuing of the respective document, if the other conditions have not been fulfilled. For more details about the application forms for issuing the different categories of registration certificates you can consult the Embassy of R., Bulgaria in London.
Working in the United Kingdom
Restrictions on the access of Bulgarians to the labor market are still in force in the UK. Information and forms on this issue are available HERE.
Bulgarian citizens can work in the United Kingdom after obtaining a work permit before commencement of their employment, as the request for authorization must be submitted by the employer. After receiving the work permit (letter of approval), the worker / employee must apply for an access card.
Work permit is not required under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme / SAWS /, whereby licensed English operators may employ Bulgarian and Romanian nationals in accordance with an annual quota. In this case, the respective operator shall issue SAWS access cards to the workers. More information about the scheme and licensed operators is available HERE.
Unskilled workers can benefit from the sector based scheme for the food processing industry. Permits are issued for a particular job in the processing of fish, meat or mushrooms. More information is available at HERE.
Bulgarian highly skilled and experienced workers can apply under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, which is based point on point assessment. Information about collection of points and applications is available HERE.
Bulgarian students studying in the United Kingdom can work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during holidays. In these cases they do not need a work permit, but before starting work they must apply for a yellow registration certificate.
Self-employed persons may work in the UK after registration with the HM Revenue & Customs. For more information on the subject check HERE.
If you work legally without interruption for one year, you will get the right to free access to the labor market, i.e. you will no longer need a work permit (excluding self-employed persons).
Remember that when abroad you should comply with the local laws and customs. During your stay there you are subject to their jurisdiction. We recommend studying them in advance and following them. Penalties for breaking the law could be much more stringent than those in Bulgaria for the same offenses.
Pay special attention and comply with local rules on the possession and consumption of alcohol and psychotropic substances. Place all medications in their original packaging and check whether some of them might be considered illegal drugs in the United Kingdom. If you use such substances carry a copy of the medical prescription confirming this fact.
When crossing the border avoid carrying third party belongings.
If detained by local authorities for any reason, request to contact the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Bulgaria. The consular officer will contact you as soon as he/she can.
Visitors are advised to take out health, tourist, travel and other insurances.
In case of theft of your personal documents, money, travel tickets, etc. notify immediately personally and in writing the nearest police station and ask for a copy of the document establishing the event. Contact the Embassy in London to make arrangements for obtaining the necessary documents to continue your trip or your return to Bulgaria.
The Embassy does not provide accommodation, means of subsistence or funding to return to Bulgaria. In cases where Bulgarian citizens are left without funds in the United Kingdom, the Embassy of Bulgaria in London may assist them to get money transfers from their families, relatives or friends through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia to the Embassy, and the amounts shall be paid immediately to those persons by the Embassy. The amount shall be paid on the name of the person in need to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Financial and Economic Activities Directorate at 1040 Sofia, 2, Alexander Zhendov Street, telephone: +359 2948 2743, +359 2 948 2731, +359 2 971 7577, +359 2 870 3184.
Before leaving Bulgaria, please save the addresses and phone numbers of Bulgarian diplomatic missions in London. Administration of the hotels you’re staying in, your tour operator and the local police authorities, where appropriate, should have this information. For your convenience, you can find the address, telephone and fax numbers of the Consular Relations Directorate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia online on the website of the Foreign Ministry for any further details and information.
Detailed information and tips for air travelers, as well as the any new security requirements in this regard can be found on the website of Sofia Airport.
Certification and legalisation
British public documents shall be authenticated by "apostille" at the Legalisation Office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Issuance of Bulgarian identity documents
Applications for new personal documents - identity card and passport or temporary passports in the UK are accepted only by the Consular Section of the Embassy in London. These services can not be requested by the Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Dundee, Scotland.
The Consular Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in London accepts applications for issuance of personal documents. In order to improve customer service an electronic system for reservation of appointments for replacement of identity documents of Bulgarian citizens permanently residing in the UK was introduced.
Electronic appointments can be made online HERE (for selection of date and time) - please follow the instructions on the site: GSM - SMS to number 60999 (to confirm the closest available date and time) - by sending a text message (SMS) containing: FOR BGLDS passport number.
Reserving an appointment online is free, and GSM-SMS service is charged at the regular rate of the telecom provider.
Upon successful appointment registration, a message with unique reference code shall be received back, and should be presented to the consular office.
Documents relating to passport services shall be submitted in person during visiting hours of the Consular Service – from 9:30 to 13:30 h with prior appointment. The passport application shall be submitted in person and in the presence of an authorized official.
Payment of all services in the consular section of the Embassy is made in cash only and in British Pounds only.
Every Bulgarian citizen residing abroad may apply for a passport and identity card at the Consular Office of the Embassy of Bulgaria in the UK.
The Consular Office of the Embassy of Bulgaria in London does not accept applications for driving licenses.
The Consular Section of the Embassy of Bulgaria in London provides the following civil status services:
- Certification of translation of a birth certificate of a child who has a Bulgarian parent (for registration of the child in Bulgaria).
- Certification of translation of an English marriage certificate (for registration of marriage in Bulgaria).
- Marriage at the Embassy of Bulgaria in London and issuance of Bulgarian copy of the Marriage Certificate.
- Issuance of Certificate (official record) on the status of a Bulgarian citizen who is a permanent resident abroad for deferment from military service.
- Validation of a School Certificate for deferment from military service.
- Issuance of Certificate for receipt of all documents related to the procedure for adoption of a Bulgarian child.
- Issuance of Bulgarian birth certificate, death certificate, certified translation of the original death certificate, etc. documents necessary for registration in Bulgaria in case of a tragic accident involving a Bulgarian citizen in the UK.
Registration in Bulgaria of a child born in the UK
The newborn child must be registered in Bulgaria within one year after birth in the municipality of residence of the mother, if she is a Bulgarian citizen. If only the father is a Bulgarian citizen, the child must be registered at the father’s residence address in Bulgaria.
The document required for registration is the Birth Certificate issued by the local authorities in the UK (the official form containing the parents' names). The document shall be certified by "apostille" by the Foreign Office (The Legalisation Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, www.fco.gov.uk/legalisation).
The document legalized by "apostille" should be translated into Bulgarian, which can be done in Bulgaria by a licensed company or by any certified translator registered with the Embassy of Bulgaria in London. If the translation is made by a certified translator in London, it should be certified together with the original paper at the Consular Section of the Embassy in London.
The birth certificate duly legalized by "Apostille" should be represented at the municipality of residence of one of the parents in Bulgaria (preferably the mother) where the child will be registered and issued a Bulgarian birth certificate with personal identity number. The UK birth certificate is kept on record by the local authorities in Bulgaria.
Registration of a child in Bulgaria can be done by a representative authorized by the parents and backed by power-of-attorney certified at the Consular Section of the Embassy.
Marriage at the Embassy of Bulgaria in London
Marriage at the Embassy of Bulgaria in London can be contracted by Bulgarian nationals or a Bulgarian citizen and a citizen of another country if so allowed under their legislation. Marriage between a Bulgarian citizen and UK citizen shall be contracted by the local authorities in the United Kingdom.
- Declaration by the persons to be married certifying there are no impediments to the marriage, and that they are not bound by another marriage, are not under judicial disability or suffer from any mental disease or imbecility which constitute grounds for their placement under judicial disability; that they do not suffer from a disease which constitutes a serious danger to life or health of the offspring or the spouse, except in cases where the latter knows about them; that they are not lineal relatives (siblings) or other collateral relatives up to fourth degree inclusive, or persons for whom adoption may create a relationship of lineal relatives or of brothers and sisters;
- A notarized joint declaration under Article 18, paragraph 1 of the Family Code for the selected matrimonial property regime of the spouses. Signatures of both persons to be married shall be certified.
It should be noted that the statement shall contain the matrimonial property regime under Article 18, paragraph 1 of the Family Code, respectively: "legal regime of community," "legal regime of separation", "contractual arrangements" selected by the future spouses.
When upon marriage the spouses do not choose any matrimonial property regime or where they are minors or under restricted interdiction, the "legal regime of community" shall be recorded in the marriage certificate.
Given the legal specifics of marriage contracts governing property relations between spouses and the lack of legal framework for their certification by the Consulate, where the future spouses choose the "contractual arrangements" they should present a marriage contract, preliminary concluded in Bulgaria, notarized and duly registered, which shall be recorded in the marriage certificate.
- Birth Certificate;
- Medical certificate;
- Passport or identity card;
- Passports or identity cards of the two witnesses;
- Application for marriage (it is a general application in free text, submitted to the embassy, and a fee of GBP 8). The application shall indicate the last name of the wife that she wishes to assume after marriage;
- Two Marital Status Certificates (for each of the future spouses) issued by the Civil Registration and Administrative Services office with the municipality of their permanent residence in Bulgaria, evidencing that there are no impediments to the marriage (single, divorced, widower / widow).
Appointment of the date and time for the marriage shall be made at least two weeks in advance, after a meeting with the Consul of the Embassy. This can be made by phone.
The documents shall be submitted to the embassy in the original, one week before the appointed date for marriage ceremony.
The spouses shall receive an official (free of charge) copy of the Marriage Certificate.
The Bulgarian Embassy in London was notified by letter from the Home Office that the United Kingdom shall not recognize marriages with emigration intentions (accession). Further information can be found online on the web site of the Home Office.
Marriages contracted in the Embassies of Bulgaria abroad are legal under the Bulgarian law and shall be registered in Bulgaria in the offices of the civil status of the population.
Registration in Bulgaria of a marriage contracted in the United Kingdom
When the marriage is concluded outside of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian citizens have to register their marriage in Bulgaria within 6 months from the date of marriage. Marriage registration takes place in the municipality of residence of either of the spouses in Bulgaria.
The original marriage certificate issued abroad is subject to registration. If the marriage was contracted at the Embassy of Bulgaria in London the certified transcript of Marriage Certificate does not require any further certification for registration of the marriage in Bulgaria. If the marriage was contracted before the local authorities in the United Kingdom, the document shall be certified by "apostille" in the Foreign Office (The Legalisation Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office www.fco.gov.uk/legalisation).
After receiving the "Apostille" on the original marriage certificate, it must be translated into Bulgarian. The translation can be made in Bulgaria by a licensed company or in London by a certified translator registered with the Embassy. When the translation is done by a certified translator in London, the translation and the original document shall be certified by the Consular Section of the Embassy in London.
After the document is so certified, it should be sent officially through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the municipality of residence in Bulgaria, where it will be registered and a Bulgarian marriage certificate will be issued. The original English document will be kept on record by the local authorities in Bulgaria.
The marriage registration in Bulgaria can be done by an authorized representative backed by power-of-attorney certified at the Consular Section of the Embassy in London.
It is advisable to request and keep two copies of the English marriage certificate.
If the wife wishes to take the family name of the spouse, an official certificate from the Register Office shall be presented, explicitly specifying that at the time of conclusion of the marriage she has declared before the civil status official her wish to change her family name. This certificate will be attached to the marriage certificate and presented for registration at the local municipality of residence in Bulgaria.
The change of the family name of the spouse can take place only at the time of registration of the marriage in Bulgaria. After that, Bulgarian citizens can change their names only by court order in accordance with provisions of the Law on Civil Registration in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Registration of death
A death of Bulgarian citizen in the Untied Kingdom shall be registered in the municipality of his/her residence in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Death Certificate issued in the UK shall be certified by “apostille” at the Foreign Office.
(The Legalisation Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office http://www.fco.gov.uk/legalisation).