Practical Guide for Immigrants

BULGARIANS

PRACTICAL GUIDE

Before starting to look for a job abroad through Bulgarian companies, be sure that the companies which offer this service have accreditation to do so. You can check their accreditation in the website of the National Employment Agency http://www.az.government.bg
You can check available work placements in the Internet website of EURES (European Employment Services): http://ec.europa.eu/eures

Within the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), freedom of movement for people is a basic right, allowing EEA nationals to work in another EEA country without a work permit. Free movement of workers will apply to citizens of the new Member States subject to the transitional arrangements set out in the Accession Treaties. The section following on "The Transitional Arrangements put in place for the New Member States." deals specifically with questions concerning New Member States.

What practical things do I need to consider before looking for work?

Living and working in another European country can present some obstacles, such as adapting to a new culture, working in a foreign language, and familiarizing yourself with unfamiliar tax and social security systems. You can best prepare yourself by being well informed about the country of your choice. Your own personal qualities and determination also play a role in finding a job, as of course, do your qualifications and foreign language knowledge.

Before you start your job search, it is important to realize that it is not necessarily easier to find a job abroad than it is in your home country (the overall European Union unemployment rate is still high). Nevertheless, some sectors on the European labor market may offer considerable opportunities, such as the tourist sector and the service sector (financial services, management, consultancy, the construction sector, the IT sector and some segments of the health sector) as well as seasonal work in agriculture. You should also remember that there are considerable differences in job opportunities between regions in the European Economic Area and that the situation can change very quickly.

Other less common routes for finding a job, apart of EURES?

  • In many Member States, there are private agencies, specifically geared towards finding temporary work. You should check if they charge for their services and find out the nature of their employment contracts beforehand.
  • Private recruitment agencies also exist but usually target managerial level jobs or particular sectors such as computing or finance.
  • For students, job fairs and career guidance centers can play a very important role in the job search.
  • Spontaneous applications to firms are becoming increasingly common. You should find out as many details about the firm as you can, as success may depend on your ability to demonstrate how well you would fit into their structure and requirements. You should set out your application in a letter, giving your qualifications, experience and the reasons for your particular interest in the firm. Alternatively many companies have their own online recruitment sites, where you can sometimes submit an electronic application form.
  • Networking is very important in most countries, as the first notification of many vacancies is often by word of mouth.
  • Spending some time in the country of your choice on a traineeship or work placement is an ideal way of getting to know the country and provides the opportunity to job search on the spot. Many large companies organize such work placements.

Points to consider when applying for a job

One of the most important elements is finding out how to get your qualifications recognized in the ’host’ country. The crucial point, for those with professional qualifications, is whether the profession is regulated or not. The regulated professions are those professions that are restricted to persons holding certain qualifications (lawyers, accountants, teachers, engineers, paramedics, doctors, dentists, veterinary surgeons, pharmacists and architects, for example). In some of these professions, a list of recognized and equivalent qualifications has been established, while in others, the equivalence is judged on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the course length and content. If your profession is not a regulated one, you may start practicing as soon as you get a job, but you must observe any necessary procedures applicable to that profession in the host country, and which may be different to what you are used to.

If you plan to visit Greece for tourism or immigration, you have to know the following information:
After 1st of January 2007 the citizens of Bulgaria became citizens of the European Union and have the right of stay in the territory of another member state for a period up to 90 days without any conditions or formalities, but only with valid ID card or international passport. These rules are in force when children or family members of the EU citizen traveling with him/her and who possess valid international passport and residence permit. Those accompanying family members who do not possess valid residence permit must be able to prove their family relationship with the EU citizen and they will receive automatically free visa. 
When crossing external borders of the EU, all persons will be subject of border control and control of vehicles and objects. Travelers are subject of a minimal control of their identity on the basis of presented personal documents. This measures concern only citizens of EU. 
All citizens have the right to stay in a Member state for a period longer than 90 days if:

  • they are workers or independently employed persons in the respective country
  • they are students in an accredited, according to the laws of the hosting country, private or state educational institution with the objective to follow educational or vocational courses
  • they have full health insurance in the hosting country and can prove that they have enough financial funds for themselves and for their families

In case of stay longer than 90 days; the existing administrative rules require citizens to be registered in the respective authorities. The authorities will issue certificate of registration containing the name and the address of the registered person. If you do not register yourself, you can be subject of sanctions. When registering you have to present a valid ID card or international passport, health insurance documentation, confirmation from employer or a proof that you are independently employed; in case you are a student, you have to present a confirmation from an accredited educational institution.     

Member states are not allowed to determine a fixed amount which they consider “minimum funds” you have to demonstrate.

Registration card is issued to the family members of a citizen of the European Union, who are not citizens of a Member state.

You have the right of stay if you are not a burden for the social security system of your hosting country. The right of stay is related to some conditions and the authorities of the member states are allowed to check periodically if you satisfy these conditions. If there are apprehensions, the authorities have the right to make regular controls.

Impose interdiction on stay can be implemented for security reasons related to public security, public peace or public health.
Expired passport or ID card can not be reason for expulsion.

Permanent residence can be granted when the respective citizen lived legally in a member state for a period of at least five years. This period is not interrupted if the citizen goes abroad temporary for a total period of six months per year (for reasons related to military service, pregnancy or serious illness). The right of permanent residence can be lost in case of absence from the hosting member state for a period longer than two consecutive years.

Customs regulations
For more information you can visit the website of State agency “Customs”:
http://www.customs.government.bg/enter.html

Employment
For more information you can visit the website of the Ministry of labor and social policy:
http://www.mlsp.government.bg/bg/index.asp

In case of problems
In case of health problems do not forget that between Bulgaria and Greece there is an agreement in the field of the medical benefit. According to this agreement, the two states are obliged to ensure free medical assistance for the citizens of both countries who are temporary on their territory when during this stay appears the need of urgent medical help like consequence of serious illness or accident. The medical assistance is free of charge till the moment in which is already possible for the citizen to come back to his/her home country and his/her life is out of danger. In case the citizen wants to continue his/her medical treatment in the hosting country he/she must pay for all expenses. In order to be eligible for this free medical assistance, the citizen must be legally resident in the country and arrived in a legal way in Greece.

If other problem arises during your stay in Greece, which you can not solve by yourself, you can contact the diplomatic representations of Bulgaria:

Embassy of Bulgaria in Athens:
GREECE, 15452 ATHENS
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
33-A, Stratigou Kallari Str., Paleo Psychico
Tel.: 0030210/ 67 48 106; 67 48 107; 67 48 708, fax: 0030210/ 67 48 130

Consulate General of Bulgaria in Thessaloniki:
GREECE, THESSALONIKI
Consulat General de la Republique de Bulgarie
Nikolau Manou №12 Str.
Tel.: 00302310/ 829 210; 829 211; 869 505; 869 510; 869 5210
Fax: 00302310/ 85 40 04

Embassy of Greece in Sofia:
http://info.greekembassy-sofia.org/
Consular section: 19, “Oborishte” str. Sofia, tel. ++359/2/9461562, 9461563 working hours 9:30-13:30
Offices: 33, “San Stefano” str. Sofia, tel.: ++359/2/9461027, 9461030, working hours 9:00-16:00

Consulate General of Greece in Plovdiv:
Offices: 10, “Preslav” str, Plovdiv, tel.: ++359/32/632003, 625366
Working hours 9:00-15:00