Bulgaria already has a Startup Visa issued to investors from outside the EU who want to develop high-tech projects in Bulgaria. Foreign founders can now apply for the document through the Management System of National Investments (MSNI) at https://enims.egov.bg/en.
Non-EU citizens with tech and innovative businesses are now invited to apply for a 1-year valid Visa that can be extended for two more years. The Ministry of Innovation and Growth accelerated the preparatory procedures by publishing the ordinance on the terms and conditions for the certificate two months ahead of schedule. Guidelines on how to apply are published on the website of the Ministry here.
Among the information required by entrepreneurs are data about the company, patents (if applicable), market presence, business goals, etc. After evaluation, a certificate for a high-tech or innovative project is issued. The applications are to be assessed by an Expert Council, part of which are also experts from the Bulgarian startup association – BESCO, the organization that worked hard during the last years for the adoption of an official regulation for the procedure. An ordinance on the terms and conditions for issuing, extending and revoking a certificate for a high-tech or innovative project was adopted by the Council of Ministers in October last year. Thus, our country joined a large part of the EU countries which already have established regulations for the procedure.
The Startup visa will help companies from countries outside the EU to set up their operations here faster, for the benefit of the Bulgarian economy, pay local taxes and attract investments, and bring in new skills, technologies and experts – benefits that will enrich the local business ecosystem and favor the labor market.
A detailed explanation of what the Startup visa is and what it is for can also be found on the BESCO website here.