The ETIAS Bulgaria visa for U.S. citizens
The United States will be part of the countries whose citizens have to present an approved ETIAS visa upon entry in Bulgaria. ETIAS visa can be obtained online, by filling out the ETIAS application form online and receiving your ETIAS via e-mail when the application is approved.
What is ETIAS Bulgaria?
ETIAS will come into force in 2023, as part of a program of the European Commission aimed at strengthening European borders and keeping a digital track on all people entering the European Schengen Area. This program was already approved in 2016, following the terrorist attacks that affected some European countries.
How does the ETIAS Bulgaria visa work for U.S. citizens
From 2023 American citizens must be in possession of an ETIAS visa before embarking on a trip to Bulgaria. However, if the trip has other reasons than those provided for ETIAS visa, or it will be longer than 90 days, they will have to obtain a Schengen permit, at the embassy or consulate of Bulgaria, respecting timing and requirements for the permit they are applying for. Once issued, ETIAS is valid for 3 years, and can be used for multiple entries in Bulgaria and other Schengen Area countries, as long as each trip has a duration of less than 90 days.
ETIAS destinations for Americans
From November 2023 ETIAS visa will come into force for Americans to travel to the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
At the moment, Americans are not required to obtain an ETIAS visa to travel to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania, since these countries are not Schengen Area members yet. However, this may change in the future, so please keep updated with the requirements.
ETIAS Bulgaria requirements for Americans and how to apply
In order to apply for ETIAS, you will need to be a U.S. citizen and hold a valid electronic passport issued by the United States of America. If you are not entitled to an American passport, you will require a Schengen permit.
ETIAS visa application can be completed online, entering all necessary information by following the required steps, and making sure all the data is entered correctly. Once the application form is completed, all citizens aged between 18 and 70 years will also be required to pay a fee of 7 euros, using a credit or debit card.
Generally, most ETIAS permits are issued within few minutes, or at most in a few hours, and you will receive the approved ETIAS visa via e-mail as a PDF file. Other than that, you are not required to print the visa, because all the information will already be in the European Schengen authorities’ databases, and those data will be linked to the passport data provided during the application. However, to avoid delays, it is recommended to apply for ETIAS visa at least 4 days in advance, to make sure that the permit is approved and to have the necessary time to provide any additional documents should they be required. If an ETIAS is denied, you can apply for a Schengen permit at the embassy or consulate of Bulgaria. It is highly recommended to read and carefully check all the requirements for the ETIAS permit before applying, to avoid any mistakes in the application that could lead to delays in the visa approval.
How much does ETIAS cost for Americans
After completing the application form, all Americans between 18 and 70 years of age must pay a 7 euros fee, using a credit or debit card. Americans under 18 and over 70 years of age are entitled to apply for ETIAS free of charge.
Bulgaria is officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria.
Situated in the Balkan Peninsula, bordering the Black Sea in the east, Bulgaria shares international borders with Turkey, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Greece.
Bulgaria has a land area of 42,855 sq. miles, the capital city is Sofia, and it has a population of 7.4 million people.
The official language spoken is Bulgarian, and the main religion is Christianity.
Bulgaria is a country with a diverse landscape, ranging from the mountainous western regions to the lowlands that border the Black Sea.
The Balkan Mountains and the Rhodope Mountains are well-known mountain ranges attracting climbers, skiers and tourists alike.
Sofia, the capital city, is also known as the City of Roses in a nod to the fact that Bulgaria singlehandedly produces more than 50% of the rose oil in the world.
During May and June each year, the oil-bearing rose petals in the Kazanlak and Karlovo valleys are harvested for the production of the essential oil, Attar of Roses.
Bulgaria typically enjoys hot summers and long, cold winters with popular sports for every season. Football is the most popular sport, but Bulgaria has enjoyed considerable success at weightlifting, tennis, boxing, and wrestling.
Known as a nation of book lovers, Bulgaria has not only thousands of libraries but also thousands of reading rooms which can be found throughout the country from the capital city of Sofia to the smallest of villages.
Bulgaria at a glance
Timezone: UTC/GMT +2 hours
Languages: Bulgarian 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, Other 0.7%, Unspecified 10.5%
Area: 110,910 KM2
Currency: Lev (BGN)
Calling Code: +359
Travel to Bulgaria
Historically, Bulgaria was of strategic importance to the trade routes between Asia and Europe. Having close proximity to Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey, travelers to Bulgaria find further travel in Europe very convenient.
Bulgaria is enjoying a growing awareness of its attractions to visitors in a largely unspoiled country. Diverse interests are catered to by the geographic qualities of the country; the beaches on the Black Sea Coast, the mountain ranges for skiing and hiking, the historic river the Danube and historical and modern cities.
Bulgarian cuisine reflects a strong Turkish and Greek influence. Interestingly meat is eaten less than is the European average, with an abundance and variety of salads being consumed instead.
Bulgaria is a major wine exporter with ample locally produced wine available to the interested traveler to sample some vintage years.
There are many interesting cities to visit for business or pleasure. In addition to Sofia the capital, other notable Bulgarian cities are Bansko, Burgas, Plovdiv, and Varna.
Sofia is a cultured city with many museums; The Natural History Museum, The National Art Gallery, The National Archaeological Institute and Museum and the National Ethnographic Museum.
Folklore is an important part of Bulgarian culture with fire frequently being used to banish evil spirits. Folk music, which has developed over many years, has a distinctly Bulgarian sound with a distinctive ‘extended rhythmical time.’
The US and Bulgaria
Bulgaria has a long tradition of facilitating investment and trade with the U.S.
Education, seen as a common goal, is given great importance in Bulgaria. The American University of Bulgaria, the American College of Sofia and the Anglo-American School of Sofia are important educational establishments.
The U.S. Summer Work-Travel Programme is further proof of the commitment the two countries have towards each other. Thousands of young Bulgarians are given the opportunity each summer to work and travel in America; thousands more are issued travel visas to study there.
The American Chamber of Commerce has worked for decades to improve bilateral commercial ties. American companies are welcomed to Bulgaria with a heritage of investment, job creation, language skills, and work ethic.
The United States and Bulgaria have developed a strong and endearing relationship. With a joint belief in the importance of education, the rule of law, fighting terrorism, security and the vital agreement on defense, Bulgaria and the US consider themselves allies.
The ETIAS is based partly on the successful American travel scheme, the ESTA. With a huge investment in time, money, resources and knowledge, the ETIAS visa waiver scheme will facilitate radical changes in the security of Europe, benefitting residents and visitors alike.
FAQ about Etias Bulgaria visa
List of US diplomatic offices in Bulgaria
The Embassy of USA in Sofia, Bulgaria
Address: 16, Kozyak Street Sofia 1408, Bulgaria
Phone: +359 2 937 5100
Fax: +359 2 937 5320
Facts: Eric Rubin – Ambassador
The Embassy of Bulgaria in Washington, USA
Address: 1621 22nd Street, NW, Dimitar Peshev Plaza, Washington D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 387 0174
Facts: Tihomir Stoytchev – Ambassador
Consulate of Bulgaria in New York, USA
Address: 121 East 62 Street, New York, NY 10065
Phone: (212) 935 4646
Fax: (212) 319 5955
Consulate of Bulgaria in Chicago, USA
Address: 737 North Michigan Ave., suite 2105, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 867 1904
Fax: (312) 867 1906
Consulate of Bulgaria in Los Angeles, USA
Address: 11766 Wilshire Blvd., suite 440, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 478 6700
Fax: (310) 478 6277