The Bulgarian government decided to allow foreign nationals to enter freely in the country on valid Schengen visas. This will facilitate all BG IIP clients with expired visa D who have their PR approvals but are yet to apply for their Bulgarian ID.
The full text of the press release (in Bulgarian) is available on the site of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria. An english translation is available below:
SCHENGEN VISAS WILL BE EQUAL TO BULGARIAN
25 January 2012
The Government decided, until the full joining of the country to the Schengen zone, to accept as equivalent to the national visas and to apply visa-free regime to the owners of valid unified (Schengen) visas, valid visas for long-term stay and residence permits, issued by the member states, who fully apply the laws of Schengen, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
The government decision that has been taken today means that the owners of such visas and permits will have the right to enter and stay on Bulgarian territory for up to three months within each 6-month period, as on the date of their first entry, without the obligation to have short-term stay Bulgarian visa.
The decision is expected to attract to a larger number of tourists and businessmen who possess Schengen visas and residence permits, issued by countries, which fully apply the laws of Schengen. An increased interest is expected by the citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Turkey and other non EU member countries for tourism and with the purpose to invest in the Bulgarian economy.
With another decision the Government approved changes in the Ordinance for the Conditions and Terms for Printing, Keeping, Stamping, Annulment, Condemnation and Destruction, and Reporting of Visa Stickers and of Visa Stamping Templates. The purpose is to optimize and to increase the efficiency in the process of printing of visa stickers and the visa stamping templates.
It has been proposed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organizes and carries out a public procurement procedure, and that the Ministry of Interior provides the design, the technical description and the working documents and instruments for the printing of the stickers and the templates.
According to the current practice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives its annual order for printing of visas and templates to the Ministry of Interior, which, in turn, assigns the printing under the Ordinance for the Special Public Procurements.
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