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Working in Bulgaria

Unemployment in Bulgaria is fairly high, and finding work as a foreigner can be tough. To make matters worse, Bulgaria has firm restrictions in place when it comes to employing foreigners. Another drawback for foreigners is that unemployed foreign nationals living in Bulgaria cannot benefit from social security.

Majority of the foreigners in Bulgaria are employed by multinationals, and those jobs are usually arranged before setting foot in the country. In order to be able to work in Bulgaria, foreign nationals must first get a work permit, and those are tightly controlled. To get a permit, you must first have an employment contract, or you have to be on a business trip with specific activities planned. Bulgarian government promotes foreign investment so long as it employs mostly Bulgarian workers. Only employers are allowed to apply for a work permits and they are valid for only one year at a time. The employer also has to prove that no qualified Bulgarian can fill a vacancy before hiring a foreign national. Lastly, only 10% of the jobs in Bulgarian companies can be filled using foreigners.

Part-time jobs are rare in Bulgaria and most require you to work a forty hour week. Generally employment opportunities for foreigners are limited to cities like Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna. Foreigners with specialist skills like translation, IT and engineering stand a better chance of landing a job in one of the international companies based in the country.

It is possible to find temporary employment throughout the year in Bulgaria by moving from summer to winter resorts seasonally. Work like tour representatives, ski instructors, chambermaids is available.


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The International Wanderer aims to provide you with up to date and accurate information. However, content is submitted by writers/wanderers from all over the globe. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Furthermore, working holiday and other visa opportunities and requirements (or numbers allocated) may change. New working holiday agreements are constantly being negotiated between countries. We suggest that you contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to visit to ensure you have the most recent and accurate information. For further information about this website see our Terms & Conditions.