How Russians can get to Bulgaria in 2022: visa issues and real ways of getting to Bulgaria

Again, August brought a poor surprise to the Russians. After announcing the expulsion of 14 diplomats, Bulgaria declared that it would temporarily suspend issuing visas in Russia. Such information was distributed by the Association of Tour Operators on the 5th of August.

There was no official statement from the Bulgarian embassy though. According to unofficial data, the very next day the Bulgarian embassy announced that it would issue visas, but the process will take longer. Apart Estate specialists try to find out what has really happened, and what the owners of property in Bulgaria and tourists should do in this situation.

Will Bulgaria issue tourist visas to Russians

How Russians can get to Bulgaria in 2022: visa issuesOn August 5, the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation published an official statement about handing over a special declaration to the Bulgarian Ambassador in Russia, Mr. A. Krystin. In compliance with this note, fourteen employees of the Bulgarian consulates and diplomatic missions in Russia were offered to leave the country. 

This document became a new step in a series of expulsions of diplomats from both countries. In June, Bulgaria sent home seventy employees of diplomatic missions of Russia, including technical staff. 

As a result of these actions, both countries are faced with the fact that in some consulates there are simply no staff left to receive and process documents, as well as to issue visas. 

Gradually, the Russian consulates in Varna, Sofia, and Burgas began resuming their operation. However the Bulgarian Embassy, ​​according to ATOR, informed on the 5th of August that due to the expulsion of diplomats and the lack of staff, documents for visas would not be temporarily accepted. 

The decision concerns single and multiple entry visas type C. They can be used by owners of property in Bulgaria and usual tourists.  

No official information was provided on the issuance of long-term permits (visa D). Despite the unequivocal position of ATOR, on Saturday, August 6, some Russian media reported sending inquiries to the Bulgarian Embassy. Based on the received response, it became clear that Bulgaria will not stop issuing visas. However due to the lack of personnel, the process will last longer. 

How to come to Bulgaria from Russia in 2022

For more than ten years, Russians could count on getting Bulgarian visas quickly and without any issues. Those people who had already visited Bulgaria, received visas of Schengen or had property in Bulgaria, could get a multiple-entry visa for up to 3 years. 

Thus, the information about the suspension of issuing permits was a shock to many people. While tourists can change their destination at the last moment, most owners of property in Bulgaria would like to come to this country, check their houses and apartments, pay taxes and fees, or just relax. 

While the issue of how to get a Bulgarian visa in Russia is being clarified, Apart Estate specialists confirmed that there are more opportunities to come to Bulgaria. Here are just a few options: 

  • Contact Bulgarian embassies located in other countries. 
  • Apply for a multiple visa of Schengen. 
  • Use a multiple tourist visa to Croatia, Cyprus, or Romania. 

Note, that if you have a visa issued by some other country, you must first visit these countries, and only then go to Bulgarian resorts. 

By the way, the most convenient way to get to Bulgaria in 2022 is through Istanbul. From the Istanbul airport you can fly to Varna or Sofia. It is possible to get to the Bulgarian resorts by bus (the price is about 40 euros), or using transfer services (the price starts from 200 euros).

What can owners and buyers of real estate in Bulgaria do in this situation

Not always people who possess or want to buy or sell property in Bulgaria have a Schengen or another country visa.
In this case, most issues they face can be resolved remotely. Apart Estate offers following types of remote services: 

  • Selection and buying apartments and houses in Bulgarian sea and ski resorts, in Burgas, Bansko, or Pamporovo. 
  • Selling apartments in residential buildings and gated communities in St. Vlas, Sunny Beach, Chernomorets, Pomorie, and Sozopol. 
  • Advice on how to pay taxes, support fees, and utility bills. 
  • Organization of transfers to different destinations in Bulgaria. 
  • Assistance in obtaining a residence permit. 

Despite temporary difficulties which Russians face in obtaining Bulgarian visas, the Apart Estate agency continues to assist in buying and selling real estate in Burgas and in the Black Sea and ski resorts.

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