Last update 23 December 2022Diplomatic missions
Level 4: Termination warning throughout the country (except in case of extreme necessity)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Diplomatic and Consular Representations of the Republic of Bulgaria to the USA or International Organizations
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Washington, USA
Address: 1621 22nd Street, NW, Dimitar Peshev Plaza, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel.: +1 (202) 387-5770; +1 (202) 387-0174
Fax: +1 (202) 234-7973
Еmergency line: + 1 (202) 387-5770
Business hours /Mon-Fri/: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]
Consular Section at the Embassy of Bulgaria
(The consular district includes District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida)
Address: 1621 22nd Street, NW, Dimitar Peshev Plaza, Washington, DC 20008
(R Street Entrance)
Tel: + 1 (202) 387-7969
Fax: + 1 (202) 234-7973
e-mail: [email protected]
Business hours /Mon-Fri/: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Visiting hours (by appointments only): 9:15 am – 12:00 pm and 2 pm – 3 pm
For phone inquiries and appointments: +1 (202) 387-7969
Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to the UN
Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in New York
Consular District: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
Address: 121 East 62nd Street, Nеw York, NY 10065, USA
Tel.: +1 212 935 4646;
Open to the public /Mon-Fri, by appointment at +1 212 935 4646/: 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Chicago
Consular District: Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Address: 737 North Michigan Ave., suite 2105, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Tel.:+1 312 867 1904
Fax:+1 312 867 1906
Out-of-hours emergency hotline: +1 312 752 0061
Open to the public /Mon-Fri, by appointment/:
09:00 AM - 17:30 PM
Phone Inquiries: (2 PM to 5 PM)
E-mail: [email protected]
Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Los Angeles
Consular District: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington
Address: 11766 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 440, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel.: +1 310 478 6700
Fax: +1 310 478 6277
Out-of-hours emergency hotline: +1 310-437-3606
Open to the public /Mon-Fri, by appointment/: 09:30 am - 12:30 pm
02:30 pm -04:30 pm
e-mail: [email protected]
American dollar (USD)
Crime and security
The level of criminality varies in the different states, cities and districts of a city. It is recommended to seek practical advice from local citizens or permanently residing co-nationals.
If you have to cross at night through insecure quarters, you should always have petty cash (a banknote). The banknote should be in the right pocket of your outer wear, and not in the left one, because reaching out with the right hand towards the left pocket could be interpreted wrongly.
If you are stopped by police officers, their instructions must be strictly followed, your hands must be visible all the time, movements must not be brisk.
The illegal hiring for work could lead to serious consequences for the employer. For the employee it is possible, depending on the practice in the particular state, to be deported, not to be admitted anymore on the territory of the United States, not to be permitted to launch a procedure for the legalization of his/her status if he/she has such a possibility.
Customs declarations (form 6059В) are distributed in advance yet on board of the airplane and, apart from English, are compiled also in several other languages among which French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish. The declaration should be completed on board of the airplane. In case a family is travelling, the head of the family can fill in one declaration for the whole family.
Goods and belongings for personal use (clothes, toilet accessories, portable radio-receiversetc.) are not declared and are not subject to imposition of customs duty, if they are in the limits of a normal quantity.
Duty-free import of 1 liter of alcohol, type notwithstanding, 200 pieces of cigarettes or 50 cigars (not Cuban), or 2 kg of pipe tobacco, or a combination of these products in a proportional quantity, is allowed.
Once in every six months duty-free import of presents for other persons to the total cost of 100 USD is allowed.
Goods that do not fall within the duty-free categories and quantities, have a customs duty of 10 % for the first 1000 USD imposed on them; in case their cost exceeds 1000 USD, duty is imposed in accordance with a tariff for every commodity.
There are no restrictions for the currency that is brought in or taken out of the USA, but should you be carrying, or should by your instructions monies be carried over (in cash, checks, securities or stock etc.), you ought to complete a declaration for monetary and financial transactions (form 4790).
More details can be found HERE.
If you are stopped by traffic police while driving, you should stay in the car and not get out unless you receive instructions for that.
If you are stopped at night, you must switch on the light inside the car yet before the policeman has approached it. Your hands must be visible all the time (for example, be put on the steering wheel).
You must reach out for documents only if you have received instructions for that from the police officer
There are no contagious diseases for which obligatory vaccination would be required.
There are no areas with an increased threat of natural disasters.
Should during stay in the middle states or along the South-East coast a hurricane or tornado warning be issued, the corresponding security instructions must be observed.
Travel papers and visas
When travelling to the USA you must possess a valid passport and an issued visa. A valid visa is only an entry document while the duration of your stay is determined by the immigration (border) officer. Every traveler must be prepared to reply to his/her questions with regard to the scope of stay, means of livelihood etc. At entry into the country finger-prints of the two index fingers are taken at the border check point. The white rectangular piece of cardboard (form І-94)issued by him/her must be kept in the passport and presented at departure from the country. Same serves as proof that the visitor has left the USA.
Visa categories and related procedures
There are many types of visas available to foreign visitors to the United States. Please review the information below to determine which visa best suits your needs.
- Temporary Business or Tourism (B1/B2)
For those going to the U.S. on tourism, please indicate where you will be staying. If you are visiting friends, please bring letters of invitation from them and a copy of a document showing that person's immigration status in the United States. If you are visiting family, please indicate the inviting person's relationship to you and indicate whether that person is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (i.e., bearer of a U.S. green card), or nonimmigrant in the U.S. on a work or student visa. You may present a letter of invitation and a copy of a document showing their immigration status in the United States.
Applicants may choose to present, but are not required to, any additional documents in order to support their claim that they will return home after a temporary visit to the United States (such as proof of ownership of property, bank statements, proof of employment, proof of family ties, etc.) Supporting documents do not need to be notarized, and if they are in Bulgarian they do not need to be translated into English. Legible photocopies may be submitted in place of original documents.
Individuals applying for business visas should be prepared to explain what kind of business trip they are making. For those visiting business contacts or clients, please bring correspondence that explains the nature of the trip.
B1/B2 visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160.
The E visa is appropriate for Bulgarian (and other qualifying) nationals wishing to go to the United States to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the United States and Bulgaria; or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the applying citizen has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.
- Temporary Work (H, L)
Nonimmigrant Worker (H)
An H visa is issued to a nonimmigrant to allow travel for the purpose of temporary employment in the United States. To qualify for an H visa, the applicant must demonstrate that (a) the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has approved a petition (Form I-129), filed by the prospective employer, requesting H status for the applicant, and (b) the applicant qualifies for the specified employment by showing proof of education and relevant work experience. H visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160.
Intracompany Transfer (L)
The L visa classification permits multinational companies to transfer qualified employees temporarily to the United States for the purpose of improving management effectiveness, expanding U. S. exports, and enhancing competitiveness in overseas markets. An applicant for an L visa must demonstrate that (a) the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has approved a petition (Form I-129), filed by the prospective employer, requesting L status for the applicant; (b) the prospective employer is the same firm, corporation, or other legal entity, or parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof, for whom the applicant has been employed abroad; (c) the prospective employer will continue to do business in the United States and at least one other country; (d) the applicant has been employed overseas by the transferring organization for at least one year within the past three years; and (e) the applicant is a manager, executive, or employee with specialized knowledge and is destined to a managerial or executive position, or a position which requires specialized knowledge. L visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160.
- Student or Exchange Programs (F, M, J)
Student Visas (F, M)
Those wishing to study in the United States must include with the visa application the Form I-20 and evidence of funding for the first year's studies, as well as sources of adequate funding for subsequent years. The Form I-20 is provided by the United States institution after a foreign student has been accepted. F-1 and M-1 visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160 and submit it online. Evidence that you have full funding for the first year at a school should be in the form of: a bank financial statement (not just a letter from the bank); evidence of employment of the persons funding for education (either in the form of a tax return or document confirming employment). Students from abroad whose I-20 is issued on or after September 1, 2004, will be required to pay the appropriate fee in most cases, $100 - prior to obtaining their visas. This fee must be paid before a visa can be issued.
Please note that students planning to attend public high schools in the United States must meet different requirements.
Exchange Visas (J)
The United States Government and many private organizations sponsor a wide variety of exchange programs. These include academic and cultural exchanges, as well as au pair programs and summer work and travel programs. Applications for J-1 Exchange Visitor visas must be accompanied by the Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for NIV Exchange Visitor) which is provided by the sponsoring U.S. organization. J-1 visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160,and submit it online. Scholars and exchange visitors from abroad whose DS-2019 is issued on or after September 1, 2004, will be required to pay the appropriate fee - in most cases, $100 - prior to obtaining their visas. This fee must be paid before a visa can be issued.
- Crew Members and/or Transit (C1/D)
Pilots, air hostesses, stewards, seamen or employees on board a ship whose services are required for normal operation, or crew members traveling to the United States as passengers to join a vessel or aircraft should apply for this type of visa. C1/D visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160.
- Journalists (I)
Representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other information media should apply for this type of visa. This includes personnel whose activities are essential to the foreign information media function, e.g., media reporters, media film crews, videotape editors, and persons in similar occupations. The I visa classification may be accorded not only to primary employees of foreign information media engaged in filming a news event or documentary, but also to the employees of independent production companies when those employees hold a credential issued by a professional journalistic association. I visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160.
Religious workers include ministers of religion who are authorized by a recognized denomination to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by members of the clergy, such as administering the sacraments or their equivalent. The term does not apply to lay preachers. A religious vocation means a calling to religious life, evidenced by the demonstration of a lifelong commitment, such as taking vows. Examples include nuns, monks, and religious brothers and sisters. A religious occupation means an habitual engagement in an activity which relates to a traditional religious function. Examples include liturgical workers, religious instructors or cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospitals, missionaries, religious translators, or religious broadcasters. It does not include janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, fundraisers, solicitors of donations, or similar occupations. The activity of a lay-person who will engage in a religious occupation must relate to a traditional religious function, i.e., the activity must embody the tenets of the religion and have religious significance, relating primarily, if not exclusively, to matters of the spirit as they apply to the religion. R visa applicants must complete the online application form DS-160.
- Fiancé/Fiancee Visas (K-1/K-2)
Processed by the Immigrant Visa Unit. The Immigration and Nationality Act provides nonimmigrant visa classification (K-1) for aliens proceeding to the U.S. to marry American citizens. The marriage must be concluded within 90 days of their admission into the U.S. Following the marriage, the alien spouse must apply to the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to establish a record of entry for Conditional Permanent Residence (CR) status. After two years, the alien may apply to the USCIS for removal of the conditional status and change to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.
- Spouse/Children of U.S. Citizen (K-3/K-4)
Processed by the Immigrant Visa Unit, the nonimmigrant K-3 visa (spouse) and K-4 visa (child) has been created to reunite families that have been, or could be, subject to a long separation while their immigrant visa petitions are being processed. The visa entitles the holder to travel to the United States to await the approval of the immigrant visa petition.
Spouses of U.S. citizens and their children under the age of 21 for whom an immigrant visa petition has been filed, but not approved by the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), are eligible for this visa category.
Note: The child of a U.S. citizen will qualify for a K-4 visa only if he or she has no claim to U.S. citizenship and his or her parent qualifies for a K-3 visa.
In case a problem occurs: Address the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria or a corresponding Consulate General depending on the state where you find yourself.
Police, fire brigade or medical emergency are called on telephone 911 in every state.
Bear in mind that abroad you have to conform to the local laws and customs.During your stay there you fall under their jurisdiction. It is recommended to make yourself informed about them in advance and to observe them. The penalties for violation of the law could be much more severe than those in Bulgaria for the same violations.
Keep all the medicines in their original package and check whether any of them are not considered abroad as illegal narcotic drugs. In case you use such substances carry a copy of the doctor’s prescription confirming that fact.
Avoid carrying items belonging to third persons when crossing a border.
If for any reason you get detained, request that a contact with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria be ensured to you. The Consular officer shall establish contact with you in the shortest time possible.
You are advised to conclude in advance a contract for medical, tourist, traffic or other insurance.
In the case of death of a Bulgarian citizen in the USA the nearest diplomatic or consular representation of the Republic of Bulgaria shall render co-operation and help for settling formalities.
You could receive direct financial assistance from the diplomatic or consular representation only in case if your kin or relatives deposit the required amount in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate “Finance and Maintenance”.
In the case of theft of your personal documents, monetary funds, tickets for travel etc., please inform without delay in person and in writing the nearest police station, and request a copy of the report on the determination of the incident. Get in contact with the diplomatic or consular representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to make all the applications for the receipt of the necessary documents for the continuation of your travel or for your return home.
Before departing from Bulgaria or immediately after your arrival in the country of destination, please note down the addresses and telephone numbers of the diplomatic and consular representation of the Republic of Bulgaria. It is appropriate that the administration of the hotels you stay at, or the tourist operators arranging your travel, and the organs of the local police have this information at their disposal in case of necessity.
Certification and Legalisations
Republic of Bulgaria and USA are parties to the Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents, concluded in The Hague on 5 October 1961. The documents issued by the Bulgarian authorities should be provided with an ‘Apostille’ stamp in order to be recognized by the authorities in the USA, and vice versa – those issued in the USA must have an “Apostille” stamp to be recognized in Bulgaria.
In Bulgaria the “Apostille” stamp is applied by the Ministry of Justice on judicial documents, and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on all other documents. In the USA ‘Apostille’ is applied by the Service of the Secretary of State of the state, from which the document originates.