Working in Bulgaria

Due to Bulgaria joining the EU back in 2007, citizens from other countries of the EU do not have to worry about labour restrictions. However, Bulgaria does experience low wages and high domestic unemployment levels and for a foreign jobseeker it might not be the best destination. Entrepreneurs though, will find that there will be more opportunities open to them. This is because the Bulgarian government is agreeable to foreigners establishing their businesses on condition that the majority of the employees are Bulgarian.

A working visa will be needed if a foreigner intends on seeking employment within Bulgaria. The Bulgarian embassy should be contacted for details. Landing a job within Bulgaria will be a lot easier if the foreigner is already a permanent resident. The NEA or National Employment Agency has tight control over a workerís permit, and only an employer can apply. Proof will have to be provided to ensure that a qualified Bulgarian will not be available for filling in specific vacancies. Bulgarian companies cannot have more than 10 percent of foreigners holding a job within their company. Permanent residency however, ensures the same working freedom as Bulgarians.

Most jobs to be found in Bulgaria will be centred around Varna, Plovdiv and Sofia. English speaking job seekers could approach multinational companies that are based within these cities if they have a specialist skill, such as in engineering, IT and translation. Without a specialist skill and if a foreigner does not speak Bulgarian, their most likely source of a job in Bulgaria could be in the property or tourism industries or even in teaching. Most of the jobs found in Bulgaria will be full time and will usually involve a 40 hour week. Part time jobs are scarce.

The tourist industry in Bulgaria offers year-round work due to a worker being able to move between the winter and summer resorts according to the seasons. Catering experience will come in handy and will open many doors to finding a job at the resorts. Holiday tour guides, ski instructors and chambermaids are also always needed.

Estate agencies are now operating and thriving in Bulgaria. A lot of the agencies need staff who are fluent in English for liaising with foreign buyers and investors. The property market boom has created similar employment in property development corporations.

Those with a TEFL qualification will be able to find an English teaching job in Bulgaria where most vacancies can be found at schools. There are also international companies who will offer an English course for their own Bulgarian employees.

If a foreigner is seeking a specific type of job in Bulgaria they can send a covering letter and CV to prospective employers. They can also peruse the English newspapers that are published at Sofia, as well as surf the internet for any vacancies. It is always a good idea to network if a job-seeker is already staying in Bulgaria.

Quick Facts

Population: 98th (7.4 mln)

Area: 105th (110,994 sq km)

Years in existence: 1332 years

Official Language: Bulgarian

Currency: Bulgarian Lev (BGN)

Capital: Sofia