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The Complete Guide to Moving to Bulgaria – Prepare for an Adventure in the Land of Roses

Blake Shaw May 17, 2013
Posted May 17, 2013 In Living Abroad, Plan the Move,
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Situated at the very end of the European continent, at the coast of the Black Sea, and in the heart of the massive Rhodope mountains, stands Bulgaria, the hidden jewel of the continent. If you’re looking for a safe, affordable, and prospective country to start over, or retire, moving to Bulgaria is the right solution for you! Here is how to get to one of the most beautiful European countries and enjoy all the benefits this destination has to offer.

With a population of almost 7 million people, a broad territory that encompasses some of the highest European mountains, and a 235-mile-long coastline, this country presents a compelling option. Boasting high safety standards and welcoming people, it’s a choice worth relocating across the world. If you were wondering can an American move to Bulgaria, here is a definite guide on how to do it, and what will be the greatest advantages and challenges of this adventure.

Moving to Bulgaria From the US – Should You Do It?

According to recent research, BG is one of the best European countries to live in, set in the Balkan peninsula. This fact alone can make you wonder – Can you emigrate to Bulgaria? BG doesn’t have any strict requirements when it comes to permanent residence permits for US citizens. Americans can spend 90 days without a visa in Bulgaria, or in any other EU country.

Prepare a valid passport, ID card, and the rest of the regular documents needed to travel abroad, check what health insurance requirements are, and get ready to move! However, before you pack up your bags go to the Bulgarian Embassy website and check all the easy ways you can get a visa and long-term residence permits.

Get Permanent Residency and Bulgarian Citizenship Through Investment

For starters, all potential investors who are ready to invest $600,000 and keep it there for 5 years, will be offered permanent residence in Bulgaria. However, in case you want to become an EU citizen within the next 18 months, the investment should be doubled.

After five years pass, the investment can be withdrawn. However, the benefits the investor gets are pretty good. Not only that, but the investors’ families also get full residency, and all of them will get visa-free access to 188 countries.

Is it Safe to Live in Bulgaria?

Known as an ex-communist country, many prejudices are related to this European nation. However, when it comes to safety, with considerably decreased crime rates, BG is now considered one of the safest countries on the continent. If you have further dilemmas about whether is it good to relocate to Bulgaria, here is the following answer that can help!

Heaven for Real Estate Investors Since Tourism Is one of the Drivers of GDP

Those looking for an opportunity to invest and start a hospitality business should pay attention to the Land of Roses and the Black Sea. Affordable prices of real estate and competitive summer and winter destinations all around the world are enough reasons to consider it. Furthermore, great prospects for further tourism development are another great indicator that such investment is entirely justified.

According to the latest research, the tourism industry participates with 11.7% of the total country’s GDP, making up 11% of jobs in BG. The potential is also recognized by some of the largest US hotel chains like Holiday Inn, Best Western, Marriott, Hayat, and Ramada.

The gorgeous ski centers in the central area, and the coastline 235 miles in the East of the state. All that is followed by 700 natural mineral and hot water springs. Also the famous Danube route, make it one of the most desirable destinations in Europe.

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Buying a Hotel or a Few Apartments for a Start Is More than a Good Deal!

For less than $3 million dollars you can buy a hotel situated in the most popular ski center of Bansko. The hotel consists of 176 dwellings, a fitness and spa center, and a restaurant, and is only 0.3 miles away from the ski lift. In case you would like to start with a few apartments on the coast, you should set aside around $740 per square meter. This is the average price in this area for buying a property that is close to the sea.

Those really affordable prices attracted many Europeans to invest in BG. For most of them – especially those who live in the North, buying a property and living here is much cheaper than in their home countries.

Looking for another benefit? Owning such property will help you keep in touch with local friends more easily. You’ll always have a place to invite them and spend a couple of unforgettable weeks with them. Presenting them with all the Bulgarian beauties.

What Cities Are the Best Choice to Get a High Quality of Life and Set a Home in this Country?

By European standards, BG has big territory. Major cities that provide great working and educational opportunities are spread all over the state. Each of them is in the vicinity of some great natural landscapes and tourist spots.

Quality infrastructure, vicinity to many other European countries, and great connections with other parts of the world are things you’ll like when living in BG. Here are some cities in Bulgaria you should consider when setting up your new home.

Sofia – the Capital City Dedicated to the Christian Goddess of Wisdom

The capital of the Republic. Sofia is situated in the west, at the foot of Vitosha mountain which is one of the most popular ski centers of this area. Sofia is the business, financial, educational, and political center of the state. It is also the 15th largest city in the EU, with a population of 1.2 million citizens.

Known as one of the greenest cities in the EU, meaning fresh air and plenty of outdoor activities will be easily attainable. So, do you want to start your own business?  Or find a job in the fields of IT, development, services, marketing, or customer care? Then moving to Sofia, Bulgaria is the right place to start your next chapter!

Check out the video below and see how local people usually spend their time in Bulgaria’s capital.

Plovdiv – the Cultural Capital of BG

Plovdiv is the cultural capital of BG situated in the central area of the state. Only 50 miles away from another beautiful and popular ski center – Pamporovo. It is known for its rich cultural heritage. So, if you are searching for an urban city with unique scenery, this is definitely the right choice for you.

No matter whether you plan to live overseas with your family, alone, or retire, Plovdiv has to offer everything you need. A safe community that promotes alternative lifestyles and art, and a place close to tourist attractions just sound great!

The rich history and unique mixture of Roman and typical Balkan architecture were enough reasons for this city to be the European Cultural Capital of 2019. If you want to see more about this beautiful location, check out the video below.

Burgas – Urban City on the Black Sea Coast, and One of the Favorite Cities of Bulgarians

Burgas is the largest city in the East of the country and its administrative center. Situated at the coast of the Black Sea, Burgas is known as one of the major ports at the Black Sea, a commercial hub of the state and this part of the EU too.

High safety and quality of life, as an airport that has connections to every spot in the world, are only a few of the many benefits Burgas offers.  Add beautiful beaches and the vicinity of the most popular summer destinations and you got a gold mine. For example, Sunny Beach, Nessebar, and Golden Sands will be within your reach, if you move here.

So, if you plan to invest in some of the most popular holiday destinations, and live in the city, then Burgas is the perfect solution for you.

Costs of Living in Bulgaria Are Among the Lowest in Europe

Another reason why BG is considered one of the best places to live in Europe is due to the low costs of living. A family of four spends $1,755 on average, while a single person should set aside $500 on a monthly basis.

When it comes to rental prices, the expenses are also pretty affordable. Here is how much you should set aside on a monthly basis in case you want to rent an apartment:

  • The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment on a monthly basis depending on location ranges from $220 to $290.
  • The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment on a monthly basis depending on location ranges from $380 to $500.

All this makes it pretty clear why BG is also one of the best places to retire in Europe! Just imagine this, life by the sea in a luxurious apartment, enjoying the sun and freedom. Sounds like a perfect deal, don’t you agree?

The Healthcare System Is Free for Permanent Residents

One of the crucial details to consider when moving abroad is the healthcare system. The Bulgarian healthcare system is funded through National Health Insurance which is mandatory for everyone.

It is charged through salary tax at the rate of 8% of the minimum wage.  When you register with the National Revenue Agency, you’ll get the card. Then you’ll be enabled to use all services.

Expats in Bulgaria who have the status of permanent residents have the right to free healthcare assistance. That includes basic services like emergencies, ambulance transport, hospital treatment, diagnostic tests, gynecological care, and vaccinations.

For all further assistance, like a dentist, you can use private health insurance. Or you can use the needed assistance in some privately run clinics that offer high quality and pretty affordable services and are better organized than public ones.

Private Schooling System Is Adjusted to Expat Needs

Thanks to high life quality and low expenses, expat communities in BG rise year after year. At the moment, there are around 60,000 foreigners who live in BG. They consider the Land of Roses as one of the friendliest countries in the world.

This community welcomes the expats with open arms and is interested in helping them adjust to the new environments. For that reason, BG is one of the best places to live abroad with a family.

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Private Schools Are a Better Choice Since Classes Are Organized Only in Bulgarian

Although there are many schools that adjust their programs to the native language of expat children, don’t expect to find them for free. Actually, the public schooling system does not support free education for foreign children, because of the language barrier.

So, enrolling your kid in some private school is definitely the right solution in this case. Although considered to be one of the best countries to live in, the public schooling system is not something BG can brag about. This is why the private school is a better choice in this case when moving internationally.

Learning Bulgarian Can Be Tough, But English Is Widely Spoken

Learning a language abroad is always hard no matter how similar it is to your native language. When it comes to the Bulgarian language, for US natives it will be quite challenging to break the language barrier. Mostly because the Bulgarian is similar to Russian the most, which is very different from English.

So, to begin with, learning this language, first, you should learn their alphabet – Cyrillic. Here, everything is written in Cyrillic even the advertisements of global brands.

However, this shouldn’t worry you a lot, since English is widely spoken. Before you start learning it and initiate international moving, make sure to explore all useful tips for learning a new language, like the video below shows!

Moving Overseas Will Be Easy With the Help of a Trustworthy International Moving Company

Relocating overseas, even to one of the most distant countries in the EU, does not have to be that difficult. If you have the right overseas moving company. Start by choosing the best overseas shipping company to help you out and schedule all international moving services by sea. Those can be overseas vehicle shipping or any packing services for shipping overseas.

When you book your move the preparations can start! With an overseas shipping company as your partner throughout the whole relocation process, expect the level of relocating stress to be in a non-existent category.

That’s why hiring My International Movers is the best choice. Give us a call and book your move. The rest is up to us.

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