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Last update 12 April 2024Diplomatic missions

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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

People’s Republic of China

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Address: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 4, Beijing - 100600, China
Landline telephones: +86 10 6532 1916; +86 10 6532 1946
Mobile: + 86 156 4658 8195
Fax: +86 10 6532 4502
Out-of-hours hotline: +86 156 4658 8195; +86 10 6532 1916
Consular Office: Administrative services for Bulgarian citizens: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 12.00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 by a preliminary scheduled appointment.
Administrative services for Chinese citizens: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 12:00.
Receipt of visa applications and visas: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 12:00. Information service for citizens on visa matters: every day from 14:00 to 16:00
Saturday and Sunday and public holidays are non-working days, during which no administrative services are provided to citizens, except in humanitarian cases.
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] 
Website: https://www.mfa.bg/embassies/china 

Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Address: Unit 1416, Building B, Far East International Plaza; No. 317 Xianxia Road, Changning District, Shanghai
Post code: 200051
Telephones: +86 21 62376183
Fax +86 21 62376189
Out-of-hours hotline: +8615221395146
Working hours: 09:00 – 17:30
E-mail: [email protected] 
Website: https://www.mfa.bg/embassies/chinagc

Consular Office (Shanghai):
Address: Unit 1416, Building B, Far East International Plaza No. 317 Xianxia Road, Changning District, Shanghai
Telephone: +86 21 62376183
Fax: +86 21 62376189
Working hours: 09:00 – 17:30
Opening hours: 10:00 – 12:30 pm and 14:00-16:30, with preliminary reservation by phone: +86 21 62376183
E-mail: [email protected]

Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Bulgaria
Address: Sofia, 58 James Bourchier Blvd., Lozenets Borough
Telephone: +359 2 973 38 73; +359 2 973 38 51
Fax: +359 2 971 10 81
Consular Office:
Telephone: +359 2 973 39 47
Fax: +359 2 980 31 22
Working hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 09:30 – 11:30
Е-mail: [email protected] 
Website: www.chinaembassy.bg

General information

Security level:
The crime situation in the PRC has been reduced to a minimum. However, greater vigilance is advised in busy central locations, tourist attractions, when travelling on public transport or in areas with concentrations of people where care should be taken against petty theft of cash or documents.
In the vicinity of tourist sites, you may encounter persons who make ‘invitations’ for various services pretending that they want to ‘practice English’. Avoid such ‘invitations’ from strangers, which can lead to financial or any other kind of trouble.
If you are a victim of crime or fraud, report it immediately to the nearest police station. Always request a police report when reporting a crime. If further assistance is required, our Consular Offices in Beijing or Shanghai, depending on the area where the problem has occurred, are available to provide the necessary assistance.

Medical care in the PRC is paid. Having health insurance is a convenience in case of sudden illness and need for medical assistance. No other special vaccines are required when travelling to China.
Newborns: If you are the parent of a newborn baby born in China, you must register the child with the local public security bureau. This must be done within 30 days of birth. After that, the next step is to apply for a Chinese visa in the child's passport, without which leaving the territory of China is not possible. For the registration process you need: the child's birth certificate, parents' passports and the child's passport.

Customs requirements:
ATTENTION! All addictive narcotic and psychotropic substances are strictly prohibited for import into the People's Republic of China, including: opium, morphine, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, etc.! Possession, transfer or sale is punishable up to and including a death sentence!
Special customs declarations shall be completed upon entry into the territory of the PRC. There are restrictions on the import of meat food products, as well as other perishable foods in non-standard packaging. The export of antiques is subject to enhanced customs controls, requiring special permits from the Ministry of Culture.
Strict measures are in force against the import of explosives.
The quantity of liquor imported for personal use shall also be declared.
Every foreigner entering China shall declare his/her foreign and local currency holdings in cash if it is worth more than USD 5,000 and more than CNY 10,000 respectively.
Upon departure, if the currency held is worth between USD 5,000 and USD 10,000, a document called ‘Permit to Export of Foreign Currency’, issued by the relevant Chinese bank, must be presented to the customs authorities.
When the amount exported exceeds USD 10,000, this document must be certified by the local Foreign Exchange Management Office.
Each foreigner is allowed to take out up to 2 bottles of liquor when leaving China.
The customs authorities have no specific requirements for the export of herbs produced and purchased in China by Bulgarian citizens in their capacity as individuals and not commercial companies. Depending on the quantity of the medicines or herbs, the requirements for their import into the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria should be checked in advance.

Customs requirements for China can be downloaded from HERE.

Practical advice:
Travel to Tibet, Xinjiang and other provinces and autonomous regions requires special permission from the Chinese authorities describing the route, vehicle, etc.
In view of the increasing number of cases of travel bans imposed on citizens of EU member states, Bulgarian citizens who intend to visit this country should bear in mind that in the PRC, in the event of unsettled disputes (civil, financial, commercial, etc.) between foreigners and Chinese citizens, according to local legislation, Chinese citizens can file a complaint with the police, after which the foreigner is banned from leaving the country until the dispute is resolved. It is important to take into account that in not a few cases the foreigner is not informed in advance, but only learns about the ban at the airport/relevant border upon departure from China. Respectively, he/she is not allowed to leave the country until the dispute is settled.
There has been an increase in arrests of Bulgarian citizens for bank and credit card fraud in Macao. The penalties are severe and include monetary fines and an imprisonment of several years.
When passing through/travelling within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PRC, it should be borne in mind that there is a ban on the possession of tear gas and shock batons and violators are subject to monetary fines. More information can be found on the HKSAR Police website: http://www.police.gov.hk/ppp_en/04_crime_matters/cpa/cpa_at_01.html 

Local currency:
Chinese Yuan – CNY, also known as RMB. The exchange of foreign currency into Chinese yuan can be done at most Chinese bank offices, in major cities or at the reception desk in hotels. ATMs are widely available in major Chinese cities. Payments in most hotels, restaurants, etc. are possible with international credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard. Payment with the Chinese online applications WeChat and Alipay is also particularly popular.
Only use ATMs in a secure location such as a bank or shopping centre. Do this during daylight hours.

Travel papers and visas

Bulgarian citizens travelling to China with regular passports are required to have a Chinese visa, obtained in advance from the Embassy of China in Sofia or other diplomatic and consular missions of the PRC abroad. Holders of office and diplomatic passports travel visa-free, with an authorised stay of up to 90 days.

On 11.01.2024, China's National Immigration Administration (NIA) officially announced the introduction of five measures aimed at easing foreign nationals' access to Chinese territory. The measures are designed to formally facilitate activities related to business, education, private visits and tourism and are as follows:

1. Obtaining a visa at a port:
Any person wishing to visit China for the purpose of a "business" or "private visit" trip and unable to obtain a visa in advance due to time constraints may apply for a visa upon arrival at a Chinese port with a letter of invitation and other supporting documents. Persons travelling to China on diplomatic business (non-diplomatic activities) are expressly excluded from the scope of this measure.

2. 24-hour visa-free transit:
Applies to foreign nationals traveling within 24 hours to a third country or region. Any foreign national holding an airline ticket providing for transit within 24 hours through the following nine international airports: Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing Daxing International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, Chengdu Tianfu International Airport and Xi'an Xianyang International Airport shall be granted visa-free direct transit without border checks. In the case of transit, it is a prerequisite that the traveller has a pre-purchased air ticket proving that he is continuing his journey to a third country other than the country from which he arrived. The purchase of such a ticket on arrival at PRC airports is not permitted. When transiting through the territory of China, it is a mandatory condition that the traveller has a pre-purchased air ticket proving that he/she is continuing his/her journey to a third country other than the country of arrival. The purchase of such a ticket upon arrival at PRC airports is not permitted.

3. Application for extension, reissue or renewal of visas:
The third measure allows foreign nationals who are already in China to apply for visa extensions, reissues or renewals at the nearest public security authority.Any foreign national who is in China on a short-stay visa for "business", "private visit" or "tourism" travel and has a valid reason for extending their stay may apply to the migration department of the nearest public security authority.

4. Applying for a multiple-entry visa for legitimate reasons:
Any foreigner who is already in China may apply for a multiple-entry short-stay visa at the migration department of the nearest public security bureau, subject to legitimate reasons, by submitting a letter of invitation and other supporting documents.

5. Optimizing documents:
The last measure aims to streamline the type of documents required from foreign nationals when applying for a Chinese visa. Foreign nationals whose evidence of secured accommodation, business licenses and other information can be verified through shared information systems are now exempted from having to provide physical documents when applying for visas. When applying for a short-stay visa for the purpose of a "private visit", a declaration of kinship may be used instead of an official document of kinship.

The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the date on which you plan to leave the PRC.
When minors travel, the Chinese side does not require parental authorization or other documents.

Journalist visas are issued after obtaining a special certificate from the competent Chinese authorities. Visas for students for education in the PRC are permitted upon written consent/assurance from the PRC Ministry of Education; China Scholarship Council or the relevant Chinese university.

Bulgarian citizens may enter the territories of Macao SAR and Hong Kong SAR without the need for a visa for up to 90 days within 6 months. Those wishing to visit Hong Kong or Macau from China and then return to China should have obtained a double entry (or multiple entry) visa for China prior to the start of their trip.
No stamps are affixed to documents when entering Hong Kong SAR. On arrival, each foreign national is issued with a form containing the name of the traveller, the date of arrival and the number of days of stay. Foreign visitors to HKSAR should keep the document until they leave Hong Kong. If the form is lost, foreigners can obtain a new one from the Hong Kong SAR Migration Department.

In exceptional cases, documents for a Chinese entry visa can be submitted on the spot in Hong Kong, but then the same documents are required that were submitted for the issuance of the Chinese visa at home or at another diplomatic or consular mission of the PRC. Bulgarian citizens who apply for a Chinese visa in the territory of Hong Kong SAR should be prepared to submit a previous passport (copies of the pages) or a certificate from the relevant Home Affairs Department in Bulgaria (with English translation) and an official note from the Embassy in Beijing certifying the numbers of the previous passports held by the person concerned.

A foreigner who has entered the country with a certain type of visa is not allowed to change the type of visa on the spot. In the case of a short stay in the country, if necessary, the foreigner may apply to the Foreigners Offices of the Police (Public Security Bureau, Entry-Exit Administration) for an extension of his/her stay. They also have jurisdiction over long-term residence permits in China.
The Chinese authorities can issue long-term residence permits in China with a validity period of 1 to 5 years to foreign investors, highly qualified foreign professionals and foreign students at state-run educational institutions.

When staying in private accommodation, foreigners must register within 24 hours with the local police station in the area where they are staying. When checking into a hotel, hotels are responsible for the registration of their foreign customers.
If foreign travellers cannot leave the territory of the PRC within the specified period for reasons beyond their control, they need to apply for a visa extension to the Public Security Bureau, the ‘Entry-Exit Administration’ of the relevant city. Administrative penalties and fines are imposed for failure to settle visa status in a timely manner.

Competitive service

Civil status:
Chinese law allows marriage between Chinese citizens and citizens of another country. For this purpose, the Bulgarian citizen should present a document issued, certified and previously translated in Bulgaria that at the time of the conclusion of the civil marriage in China there is no another one validly concluded.

Certifications and legalizations:
The documents/deeds drawn up by Chinese institutions shall bear the seal of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which shall be certified by the Consular Office of the Bulgarian diplomatic mission, and then translated into Bulgarian and certified by the Legalization and Certification Department. of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Bulgaria and China have signed a legal assistance agreement, under which documents/deeds drawn up in the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions do not require any further legalisation than an Apostille to serve before the Bulgarian authorities. Bulgarian documents/deeds also do not need further legalization to be recognized in Hong Kong and Macao.
China does not recognise dual citizenship. Persons who also have Chinese citizenship are perceived by the authorities as Chinese citizens and the Bulgarian consular services in the PRC may not be able to provide them with consular assistance, for example, if the person is detained.

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