Looking for Work in Bulgaria?
Jobs in Bulgaria -lots of information about working in Bulgaria, looking at the market, what documentation and permits are required.
A little of History
After the 2nd World War, the Bulgarian society was divided into four social groups, according to the type of work:
- Workers, who held jobs in the “productive” manufacturing sector
- Employees, who worked in “non-productive” service and education jobs
- Agricultural workers
- The “intelligentsia”, people who held professional or creative positions requiring specific qualifications
It is only in the 1900s that Bulgarian women’™s opinions began to have some weight in the decisions made at home and in Bulgarian society. Before that, women were kept home to tend to their husband’s needs, keep a clean house, and perhaps work outside in the fields. Historically, boys reached the age of twelve before they were expected to work in the fields alongside the adults. If fieldwork were not an option, boys would apprentice with a local artisan to learn a trade. As the number of working farms diminished, many boys were instead sent to larger cities to learn trades. These children often grew up and stayed in the cities.
During the years of Socialist Bulgaria, the government pushed for women’s rights. In the early 1970s, the constitution clearly stated that regardless of creed, colour, religion, or sex, all people were equal. This helped establish that women were entitled to the same rights and freedom, regardless of their family situation. Women gained the freedom to seek employment outside of their homes.
For those looking for jobs in Sofia or in the rest of Bulgaria, there are many websites that have job listings in engineering, medical, legal, finance, IT, professional, oil and gas, telecommunications, sales and marketing, media, teaching, executive and management fields. These sites help expatriated people to come back and find a job in the new Bulgaria.
It is advisable to leave the CV and join their mailing list to keep updated on job opportunities. Although overseas residents may also take these jobs, valid documentation, including a passport stamped with an entry visa, when entering Bulgaria. They are also required to gain both work permits and residence permits. These permits are available at your nearest Bulgarian Labour Office.
If you are a resident of the European Union and plan to stay in Bulgaria for less than a month, you are exempt from needing a visa. This is the only exemption for foreigners.
However, most employers are reluctant to facilitate the necessary information and documents for foreigner employees to get a work permit. Even if they get it, a work permit usually binds the employee or worker to a single employer, hence if it does not work out, the foreigner worker probably cannot change employers on that permit. Some foreigners work as freelancers, because of this very reason.
Apart from that, any traveler wishing to visit Bulgaria must receive a visa from the Bulgarian embassy.
There are several types of visas:
- Airport Visa: An airport visa allows foreigners to change flights within a Bulgarian airport.
- Long-Term Visa: If you are planning to enter Bulgaria a number of times, a long-term visa provides a traveler with permission to enter Bulgaria during a one-year period and stay within the country for a span of 90 days.
- Permanent Resident’s Visa: Permanent Residentâ€™s visas are given out to foreigners who have lived in Bulgaria for at least ten years. For those who own a business within Bulgaria, the period is reduced to six years. If you marry a Bulgarian citizen or foreigner holding this type of visa, you and any resulting children can gain a permanent resident’s visa.
- Short-Term Visa: A short-term visa allows foreigners to enter Bulgaria for no more than 90 days. It is valid for 90 days from the date of issue.
- Work Permits: A work permit contains the name of the foreign worker and the company for whom that worker is employed. Work permits cannot be given out if a Bulgarian citizen is capable of performing that specific job. There is a 10% restriction on the number of foreign workers allowed per company.
Bulgaria – Jobs, and Figures
A large percentage of state-run businesses have become privatized. Though the economy within Bulgaria has improved, more than three-quarters of the population still live below poverty levels.
Every year, the Central Bureau hires a few English-speaking college graduates to teach the English language. Teachers are provided with accommodation and a 70€ stipend per month. This salary is more than reasonable for the area.
Men and women who come to Bulgaria from other countries for employment purposes are required to pay for insurance. The premium often totals over 30% of their weekly or monthly income. This is only one of the downsides for foreigners looking to work within Bulgaria.
- Currently, almost 15% of all Bulgarians are unemployed.
- A number of documents are required for any foreign nationals planning to make a permanent move to Bulgaria. These documents include entry visas, a valid passport, work permits, and residence permits.
- Seasonal jobs are more common in Bulgaria, especially during ski season. Permanent jobs are harder to come by.
The strong radical economic reform expected by Bulgarian leaders includes entirely new relationships among the government, unions, and enterprise management. Moving to a Western-style free-market economy and complying with the requirements by the UE will help the Bulgarian Republic’s growth, which implies higher levels of employment and general welfare.