The Ministry of Innovation and Growth (MIG) opens the application procedure two months in advance and underlines the contribution of Bulgarian Startup Association (BESCO) for accelerating the process, which has taken Bulgaria more than 5 years

The StartUp Visa‘ will be issued to foreign citizens (outside the European Union) for development of a high-tech businesses in Bulgaria and it will be valid for one year

The Ministry of Innovation and Growth has started the process of issuing certificates for a high-tech and innovative project, or the so-called StartUp visa. Applications and related documents and applications can be submitted through the NIMS (National Investment Management System) platform at, using an electronic signature.

The new administrative service is open to foreign citizens (outside the European Union) who want to start a business using innovative technologies and expanding R&D activities. MIG accelerated the preparations for the issuing of the certificate by opening the application procedure 2 months ahead of schedule instead of the planned 6-month period.

An applicant (an entrepreneur willing to be granted a StartUp Visa) shall fill in a questionnaire noting the name of the company (if already registered), the business idea, targeted markets, potential or current investors, patents, customers, etc. A certificate for a high-tech or innovative project will be issued upon review of the application and related project documentation by a Council of Experts, consisting of representatives of the state, scientific community and the business. It will be valid for 1 year, and can be extended for an additional 2-year period.

“After 5 years of efforts, Bulgaria already has a Startup Visa, as all European developed countries do. This will allow investors from outside the EU to develop high-tech projects in Bulgaria, hire Bulgarian talents and create new job opportunities”, commented Mr. Alexander Poulev, the Minister of Innovation and Growth.

The issuance of a StartUp Visa is based on the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as on the Ordinance on the terms and conditions for issuing, extending and revoking a certificate for a high-tech or innovative project called a StartUp Visa. We note that the Ordinance was drafted by MIG and was adopted by Resolution No. 318 of the Council of Ministers of October 7, 2022.

The certificate is an official document, which grants an opportunity for issuing a long-term residence permit to foreigners (outside the EU) willing to develop an innovative or high-tech business in our country.

Until October 7, 2022, Bulgaria was the only EU country without established legal order for issuing a StarUp Visa. Futile efforts towards that aim had been made for more than 5 years. MIG highlights the contribution of BESCO for the preparation and successful introduction of the StartUp Visa in our country.

Further information about the application process, in Bulgarian and English, is published on the website of the Ministry of Innovation and Growth: (BG) (EN)