Bulgaria & The Schengen Area: ETIAS Rules

Bulgaria ETIAS

Bulgaria Travel Information

  • Year Joined the EU: 2007
  • Schengen Member: No
  • Capital City: Sofia
  • Official Language: Bulgarian
  • Size (Square Km): 110,994
  • Calling Code: +359
  • Time Zone: EET
  • Currency: Bulgarian lev (Лв)
  • Main Airport: Sofia Airport

What is ETIAS?

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a visa waiver program established by the European Union. It aims to enhance security within the EU by pre-screening travelers from visa-exempt countries who wish to enter the Schengen Area. ETIAS is expected to be operational by the end of 2025.

Do I need an ETIAS for visiting Bulgaria?

While Bulgaria is an EU member, it's not yet part of the Schengen Area. However, ETIAS is required to enter Bulgaria for visa-exempt nationals. If you're planning to visit other countries in the Schengen Area during your trip, you would also need an ETIAS.

How do I apply for an ETIAS for Bulgaria?

You can apply for an ETIAS to visit Bulgaria by using an online form. The application requires personal details, passport information, and responses to several security questions.

If I hold a passport from Bulgaria, will I need an ETIAS?

As a Bulgarian passport holder, you are a citizen of the EU and do not need an ETIAS to travel within the Schengen Zone.

Will local border authorities know of my arrival into Bulgaria?

Yes, border authorities in Bulgaria will be aware of your arrival. Although Bulgaria isn't part of the Schengen Area, your ETIAS will still be checked as it is required upon entry.

Do I need an ETIAS is transiting through Bulgarian Airports?

No, you do not need an ETIAS when transiting through Bulgarian airports. However, if you do leave the transit area of a Bulgarian airport, you will need to apply for an ETIAS if you are eligible.

Do I need an ETIAS when entering Bulgaria by land, air, and sea?

Yes, you will need an ETIAS for entering Bulgaria regardless of the mode of transport you use.

Is applying for Bulgaria ETIAS different than other countries?

There isn't a specific ETIAS for Bulgaria. ETIAS applies to the Schengen Zone, not individual countries.

Can I use the Bulgaria ETIAS for visiting other countries?

Yes, an approved ETIAS allows you to visit any country in the Schengen Area.

How long can I stay in Bulgaria with an ETIAS?

An approved ETIAS permits visa-exempt nationals a stay of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Can I stay 90 days in Bulgaria then visit another Schengen country for another 90 days?

The 90-day limit applies to the entire Schengen Area, not individual countries. Thus, moving to a different Schengen country wouldn't reset the 90-day count.

How can I contact the local ETIAS office for Bulgaria nearest to me?

ETIAS is managed by the European Union, not individual countries. As such, there isn't a local ETIAS office in Bulgaria. You should reach out to EU authorities for any ETIAS inquiries. The individual National Units, each run by a member country, contributes to the processing of information through data-sharing agreements. So, if a traveller has committed a crime in one EU country, their ETIAS application may be denied.

If my ETIAS is denied for Bulgaria, how do I appeal?

ETIAS rejections are accompanied with the reasons for refusal. Applicants are advised to review these reasons and plan to appeal. Otherwise, an applicant can also reapply should they discover they made an error on biometric information on their application such as a misspelled name or passport number.

What if I lose my passport while in Bulgaria on an approved ETIAS?

If you lose your passport while in Bulgaria, report it to the local police and get in touch with your country's embassy or consulate in Bulgaria. Remember, your ETIAS is tied to your passport, so if you get a new passport, you'll need a new ETIAS if you're planning to visit Schengen countries.

What can I do if my ETIAS for Bulgaria is revoked?

If your ETIAS is revoked, the reason and the process for appeal will be given by EU authorities, as they handle ETIAS authorizations.