Аccess to the labour market to a third-country national

The work of foreigners, third-country nationals, in the Republic of Bulgaria is regulated in the Labour Migration and Labour Mobility Act (LMLMA), the Implementing Rules to the LMLMA, and the Act on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria (AFRB). In accordance with the LMLMA, access to the labour market to a third-country national shall be allowed when she/he has an employment contract with a local employer; is posted or sent in the context of the provision of services on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria; has been moved in an intra-corporate transfer; carries out an activity as self-employed. When applying for initial access to the labour market, the foreigner shall reside outside the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, except in the cases provided for by the LMLMA. Access to the labour market of third-country workers shall be allowed when taking up positions, which do not require Bulgarian citizenship.

                As regards the issuing of the work permit/decision that is necessary to do work, the competent authority is the National Employment Agency (NEA). The GLI EA carries out specialized control activity related to the compliance with the legislation, regulating the employment of foreign nationals. The NEA provides information concerning all the documents, required for the submission of an application for the provision of a decision for access to the labour market, including the ensuing rights and obligations for third-country employees. The terms and the procedure for issuance, renewal, refusal and withdrawal of the decision of the NEA, shall be determined by the Regulation on Implementing the LMLMA. Depending on the type of the work permit that is applied for (a single residence and work permit, a Blue Card of the European Union, a seasonal worker permit, intra-corporate transfer, a work permit, a permit to conduct self- employed activity), to the NEA shall be submitted all the necessary documents, specified in the Regulation on Implementing the LMLMA.

                Again, depending on the type of the work permit applied for, the specific permit for residence and work shall be issued by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and it contains the decision for access to the labour market issued by the NEA, except for cases where the NEA has issued authorisation for work or authorisation to conduct self-employed activity, on the grounds of which a permit for residence is issued by the MoI.

                Art. 9 of the LMLMA specifies the cases where no permit for access to the labour market shall be required for third-country workers, and Art. 8 specifies the cases where third-country workers shall not have the right of access to the labour market of the Republic of Bulgaria.

                Furthermore, the LMLMA also makes provision for exceptions, where third-country workers shall have their employment registered or declared, accordingly Sections VII and VIII of the Regulation on Implementing the LMLMA specify also the required documents for registration/declaration.

                In § 1, item 28a of the Additional Provisions to the LMLMA, ‘a trainee employee’ shall be any third-country citizen with higher education, or who participates in a training course to acquire higher education in a third country, and who has been accepted on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria within the framework of an internship programme to gain knowledge, practical skills and experience under the conditions of the professional environment.

                In accordance with Art. 38a of the LMLMA, third-country nationals, who have been admitted as trainees under employment contracts with a condition of internship (a contract pursuant to Art. 233b of the Labour Code) with a local employer, shall exercise employment in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria without work permits for the duration of the internship and with an authorized stay under Art. 24c, Para. 1 of the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act. The concluded employment contract shall contain a programme of the internship and conditions for conducting theoretical and practical training.

                More information about the employment of foreigners, third-country nationals, on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is available on the websites of the GLI EA at: http://www.gli.government.bg and the NEA at: http://www.az.government.bg.

Last edited: 01.03.2019