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Trade Representative Office in Bulgaria: Residence permit

Bulgaria’s simplified registration process is one of the many market opportunities the country presents. In the following article, Yan Incorporation clarifies the steps and the rules concerning a popular subsection: the residence permit for a trade representative office of a foreign business.

Trade Representative Office (TRO)

Before explaining the procedure, it may be useful to provide an explanation of the entity to which we refer as TRO. The establishment of a representative office allows foreign companies to advertise products and services to a clientele. No trade activities can originate from the office itself and therefore it provides only facilitation/support for the main business (i.e marketing and accounting). It is important to mention that the incurred expenses fall on the mother company.

Returning to the subject, 5 steps are present in obtaining a residence permit on the basis of TRO:

  1. Registration of the TRO The application is to be delivered to the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) by a legal representative of the company or a proxy. The type of documentation needed ranges from those pertaining to the condition of the mother company (think of certificates of good standing, incorporation etc.) to financial ones (e.g. annual statements, proof of payment of the fee for the registration of the TRO) to strategic papers (expansion plans, the decision leading to the TRO, information regarding the representatives) For clarity, what you should primarily arrange is: Application for registration of a trade representative Main company’s status document (no older than 6 months prior the application) Decision for registration of a trade representative Legal empowerment of trade representatives via power of attorney Evidence of paid fee for the registration

Note: As for timelines, 3 days may be needed to complete this registration process. A BCCI certificate will be consequently issued. From 2019, the number of trade representatives eligible for long-term residency is 3 per company. Lastly, the Chamber of Commerce is in charge of communicating with immigration services for any type of change.

  1. BULSTAT Register Once completed the above, an additional registration at the local (district in which your office is located) Bulstat registry should be performed. It is recommended to complete said task in a maximum of 7 days from the TRO registration.

  2. Visa D application After the issue of a TRO registration certificate, the involved person(s) can apply for a Visa D (under Art 15 para 1). The application is made through the Bulgarian embassy/consulate in the current country of residence. Attachments are criminal record, accommodation, bank account, insurance among others. Up to 35 working days is the typical issue period.

  3. Residence permit application Subsequent the Visa D, the representative itself must travel to Bulgaria to request residence (district Migration Directorate). Similar documentation* as the Visa D is necessary as well as the newly obtained TRO certificate and BULSTAT number. Note: the permit is valid for 12 months and then shall be renewed. * Copy and original of passport and visa D.

  4. Positive statement of the Migration Directorate

Examination may take 14 days. Depending on the legal complexity or the need of additional documents, due diligence may be extended to 1 month. When prompted, the involved person shall send the requested papers within a 14 days deadline. Failure to do so will lead to termination with no option for revision. Ulterior state fees can be requested.

Final details It is important to mention that a trade representative shall work only for the established employer. In addition, their stay may be revoked upon termination of the contract between the two entities. On the positive side, a representative may bring familiars with them in the country, On top of that, it is possible to apply for permanent residency after the fifth year.

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