Bulgarian passport visa to the United States
In 2007, Bulgaria was officially recognized as a member state of the European Union. With the EU’s announcement of Bulgaria’s new status, Bulgarian citizens received advanced European benefits which assured them significant access to many economic, academic, and medical arenas. One of them is entry to the United States with a Bulgarian passport visa to the U.S,
In our law offices you can find attorneys specializing in emigration to Bulgaria, ready to meet you in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Our office helps Israelis obtain European passports – Portuguese, Austrian, Polish, Romanian, and of course, a Bulgarian European passport. If you are a descendant of Bulgarian citizens or perhaps interested in investing in Bulgaria, we recommend contacting us. We can explain the various parameters involved in obtaining a Bulgarian passport.
Bulgarian passport — a visa to the U.S.
Many Israelis desire Bulgarian citizenship, since, as noted, it is a member state of the European Union. But what exactly does an Israeli gain from a European Union passport? Does it provide one with an exemption from getting a visa?
First and foremost, the Bulgarian passport can provide you with the opportunity to work in any of the European Union member states, including attractive countries with developed economies such as Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland, Hungary, Sweden, and more. Likewise, you can live in these countries for an unlimited period of time. You have the option to invest in a local business or even travel in dozens of countries that Israelis are not privileged to enter. Moreover, you can move freely between EU countries all over Europe, benefit from advanced medical services if needed, and also study in leading academic institutions on the continent, with partially and sometimes even fully subsidized tuition.
However; regarding an exemption from a visa to the United States, Bulgarian citizens are not recognized, as of November 2020, as being exempt from needing this visa. For years the American government has favored adding Bulgaria to the official list of countries whose citizens are freed from the procedure of obtaining a visa. It appears that the outbreak of the Corona virus is currently preventing the European country from becoming recognized as exempt from requiring a U.S. visa. American priorities have changed in recent months in the wake of the virus’s destructive influence, and the country has been focusing on domestic rather than international matters.
ESTA Permit – Bulgarian passport visa to the United States
In early 2019, Bulgaria’s participation in the ESTA (Electronic system for travel authorization) program came up for discussion. ESTA is an electronic permit, obtained from the American security services, which rapidly approves the entrance of citizens of certain countries to the US after an expedited check. The permit enables you to stay in the country for up to 90 days for tourism/business/transit. The process is primarily intended to cut red tape and make it easier for people to enter and leave the country.
As noted above, this program has been frozen in the wake of the Corona pandemic and has been halted until further notice. As of now, it is difficult to determine what the U.S. government will decide in this matter. In addition, it seems unlikely that a committee which is supposed to discuss these issues will be meeting any time soon. And yet, according to professional sources, there is a high likelihood that Bulgaria will soon join the list of visa-exempt countries, by becoming one of the countries that have ESTA permits; though of course, we cannot guarantee that such a change will necessarily take place.
The ESTA permit changes the need for issuing a visa to the U.S., and in effect enables a shortened process and a rapid permit for entering the country. As of now, the process of implementing ESTA is effectively on hold and, as noted, there is no guarantee that Bulgaria will take part even after the Corona period, as a visa-exempt process may take its place. The matter will apparently be decided one way or another by the end of 2022.
ETIAS visa – entrance ticket to Europe
The ETIAS (European travel information and authorization system) visa is a permit which, starting in 2022 or 2023, will be mandatory for Israelis visiting Europe. In essence this is an innovative electronic system which enables passage between European countries who are part of the Schengen Pact. Citizens of countries not in the “Schengen Club” will be required to present an ETIAS visa, which will permit entrance to EU countries as well as other countries in the pact region, such as Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland.
This smart computerized system will enable improved control for the EU countries, higher and stricter levels of security, and easier and more rapid prevention of terrorism. Foreign citizens of non-EU countries, including Americans and Canadians, will need to obtain an ETIAS visa before travelling, and will be required to present documents and provide information regarding employment status, education, means of payment, criminal record if relevant, medical condition, etc.
If you are a Bulgarian citizen, you will not be obliged to obtain an ETIAS visa, and will thus be saved the bother described above, since Bulgaria is an EU member state, and its citizens enjoy lenient entrance requirements that do not apply to citizens of non-EU countries.
For a comprehensive article on Bulgarian citizenship, see here.
Contact us – Bulgarian passport visa to the U.S.
Our law offices specialize in legal assistance for everything related to obtaining Bulgarian citizenship and/or restoring lost citizenship. If you have Bulgarian parents or grandparents, we can help you find out if you are eligible. In addition, we can help you clarify which documents are required to send in the application and begin the process of obtaining Bulgarian citizenship.