How to Obtain an ICT Work Permit for Bulgaria

In order to transfer non-EU employees from one foreign entity to a branch of the same one in Bulgaria or to a company within the same group of companies registered in Bulgaria you would need to obtain an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit for them.

This type of work permit is processed through the Migration Department (MD) and Employment Agency (EA). The main requirements for obtaining such are that the employees have been hired by the sending company not less than 6 months prior to the transfer application for junior/apprentice positions and not less than 12 months for specialist and managerial positions. Another important requirement is that the connection between the companies is proven by officially verified registration documents showing the connection between the two entities. This could be a difficult part as the connection may be not so visible from the company documents.

The initial application is submitted by the local company in the Migration Directorate depending on the address registration of where the employee will be residing once he/she arrives in Bulgaria. The employer submits various company documents together with translated and legalized company relation documents and confirmation from the sending entity that the employees will remain under home country payroll after the transfer is over. The processing time officially is up to 60 days, unless the EA or MD request further information about the entities or assignees which may delay the process.

Once the above documents have been reviewed and the ICT work permit approved, you can prepare your visa application documents and within 20 days the employee must apply for his visa at the closest  Bulgarian Embassy or consulate. The processing time for the visa is up to 45 calendar days, usually less.

After receiving the visa within 20 days the employee must enter Bulgaria and continue with the application for your local residence permit issued in accordance with the work permit. The application takes places at the Migration Office responsible for the area your Bulgarian residence address is located. The employee can’t start officially work until he/she has obtained the residency card so it is advisable that you apply as soon as you arrive in the country. The review of the application documents takes up to 14 days and another 3 to 30 days (depending on the type of service you pay for) for issuing of your new ID card. As soon as you receive your residence permit you can start your employment and you would have another 7 days to register your employment in-front of the Labour Inspectorate.

The ICT work permit can be issued with validity of up to 3 years for the managerial positions and for up to 1 year for the junior/apprentice positions, however, the Residence Permit will have an initial validity of 1 year and each year you must renew it by submitting the same set of documents required for the initial application.

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