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October 2008, 17/10/2008

Dear Valued Stara Planina Properties Clients,

Last weeks have been marked with news about crisis and bailout plans and pessimism for the coming months and years dominates. Somehow this mood is in contradiction with the sunny October in Bulgaria. Let's hope things will improve for everyone soon.


Bulgarian Residence for Foreign Citizens

More and more people become interested in residing in Bulgaria full time. The trend was started in great numbers about 5 years ago by Brits but now quite a few people from Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Russia and other countries consider this opportunity.

According to the Bulgarian legislation residency permit can be granted for long- term or permanent residency.

The residency for citizens of the EU and members of their families is regulated by the "Law for EU Citizens Residing in Bulgaria". According to this law citizens of other EU countries can reside with their own identity documents (ID cards or passports) for up to three months. After that they can apply for long-term residency. Art. 8 of the above- mentioned law states that certificate for long- term residency is granted to citizens of EU- member states, who meet one of the following criteria:

Employed or self-employed in the Republic of Bulgaria;

Have the necessary funds to cover their living costs and those for the other family members and will not rely on the social security system in Bulgaria, and have a health insurance;

Study in a registered school or university, including one for vocational training, and meet the requirements of point 2.

The regime for granting long-term residency to citizens of EU countries has been improved and now it is much simpler than before year 2007. The long-term residency is granted within one day after submitting all necessary documents. Together with the many pluses of the new regime there has been a minus as the residency cards have no pictures on them. As a result the card holders have to also carry their valid passports.

If a EU citizen is granted a residency permit the members of his/hers family who are not EU citizens can be issued a residency permit too. The documents certifying the right of residence of European Union citizens and of their family members are valid only within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The stay of people from non-EU countries is regulated by the Law for Foreigners in Bulgaria. People from most other countries outside EU need a visa in order to visit Bulgaria. The visas can be for one or for multiple entries and for periods of one month or more. Those citizens of non-EU countries who wish to reside long-term in Bulgaria will need to obtain a long-term visa (D). To do this they need to apply to a Bulgarian consular service abroad. It is also necessary to show that the person possesses enough finance to provide for his/hers living during the period of the visa. Once granted by a consular service abroad the duration of a visa can be extended by the passport department of the local police. Non-EU citizens need to register with the local police within three days from their arrival if they are not staying in a hotel or other public lodging.

People holding US passports as well as citizens of some other countries do not need a visa in order to visit Bulgaria for a period of 30 days in any six-month period. For longer stays they have to apply for a long-term visa which they have to obtain from a Bulgarian embassy abroad according to the regulations of the Law for Foreigners in Bulgaria.

Non-EU citizens who are granted long-term residency receive a local ID card of a foreigner which is valid for either six months or one year.

To qualify for permanent residency a foreigner must have resided continuously in Bulgaria on long-term bases for 5 years. There are a number of conditions to be observed some of which are that the period of residency should not have been interrupted and residency should have been granted based on the same reason during the 5-year period.

An application for obtaining permanent residence card is submitted to the National Police Service within two months before expiry of the long-term residency. The card is issued within one month after submission of the application and is renewed every ten years. If residency in the country is interrupted for a period exceeding two years the permanent residency permit is withdrawn.


Stara Planina Properties - Burgas Offers Wide Range of Properties

Just a few months after starting operations in Burgas the office of Stara Planina Properties now offers wide range of properties: holiday apartments in resorts and towns along the coast, investment land next to the beach as well as along the main roads and in resorts, excellent value for money village houses suitable for all-year-round living. Price of houses needing renovation start from 12,000 euro and for ready-to-move-in houses . The office covers a large region along the South Black Sea coast and rural property inland including Strandja mountains and the south foothills of Stara Planina from the coast to the popular wine region of Sungurlare.

If you wish to receive information on properties suitable for your search please email us with your search criteria or search the properties on Stara Planina Properties website.


Bulgarian Economy To Slow Down but Not To Fall into Recession

Bulgaria's daily Dnevnik quoted Erik Bergloef, chief economist of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to say that Bulgaria together with few other countries from Eastern Europe will avoid a recession and any devaluation of their currency. Although Bulgaria would face certain challenges it held its ground against others, Bergloef said. Although wide current account deficit is an issue for Bulgaria its economy will see corrections rather than negative growth. One of the reasons was the inflow of foreign capital due to the membership in the European Union.

In line with the decisions of the European Union heads Bulgaria's government will increase the minimum bank deposit guarantee from 20,000 euro to 50,000 euro per person per bank.

Government officials declared that the bank system was not in danger of following the problems currently being experienced by other Western European countries as the instruments which lead to the problems in the USA and other more developed markets were not used and traded in Bulgaria. In addition the minimum reserves kept by the local banks in the Bulgarian National Bank were higher than similar guarantees in more developed countries.


112 Emergency Number Now in Operation in Bulgaria

The Ministry of Emergency Situations announced country-wide introduction of the general emergency number 112. The emergency number is to unite calls for natural disasters, catastrophes, wrecks, terrorist attacks and emergency medical aid.

The European emergency number had to be operational before January 2007 but has been repeatedly delayed. After European Commission gave three more months to Bulgaria to fulfil this obligation in September the number was introduced to the last three regions at the end of September.

EasyJet Launches Flights from Manchester to Sofia To Start in December

Easy Jet has announced that they will start operation from Manchester to Sofia following increasing demand. The flights will be launched on 11 December 2008 with a frequency of three times per week from Manchester. Prices will start from 29.99 pounds one way and 33.99 pounds return.

This is in addition to the already existing EasyJet service between Gatwick and Sofia, which operates daily.


Monthly Travel Guide

Below is a link to the Jamadvice HRG Bulgaria Monthly Travel Guide. It provides useful information as well as some interesting facts from the travel industry.

Monthly Travel Guide..

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