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21 Apr. 2022


Bulgaria: employment for Ukrainian refugees

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Bulgaria: employment for Ukrainian refugees

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At present, Ukrainian refugees seeking temporary protection in the EU have been equated with residents in the right to work. This means that in the vast majority of cases they do not need to wait for a residence permit and work permit (if so, everything happens almost automatically, very quickly and simplified), but as soon as the shelter seeker's card is in hand, you can start searching for a job. And even if your case is not resolved positively for more than 3 months, you can still get a job after its completion. Bulgaria, of course, has joined the mechanism as an EU member.

By the way, if you can prove your Bulgarian origin, even this condition is not mandatory. Moreover, even if you are in the country on a 90-day traditional visa-free visa regime, you can work during this term in forestry, agriculture, fisheries, or in the restaurant and hotel business (every 12 months, at the prior invitation of the employer).

Next - how to look for vacancies in this country, what documents you need, where to go for help and other benefits.

Language is the first step to assimilation

Without knowledge of the Bulgarian language it will be, frankly, difficult. And if you are going to settle somewhere in the resorts, you need at least English. Especially if you have the profession of a skilled worker. Here is where you can learn Bulgarian for free: (online)

Language courses from the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) - you will be offered when you apply for international protection. This can be done at registration centers (Sofia, Ovcha Kupel, 21A Montevideo Street; Banya Village, Nova Zagora, Mineralni Bani District №17; Garmanli, Druzhba Residential Complex № 23).

Several resources with educational materials:учебни-помагала 

in general, a lot of information on this issue can be found here ( and here (

Required documents

If you entered as a seasonal worker (for 3 months), having concluded a contract before crossing the border, you are required to have a valid identity card with photos and other data, as well as documents recognizing professional qualifications, if any. If you are employed as an ethnic Bulgarian, you must also submit papers that will be the basis for this fact. You do not need anything if you are temporary protection seeker, except for your identity card and what will be issued to you when applying for this status.

Everything about the procedure for recognition of professional qualifications in Bulgaria is set out here ( - this is the National Information and Documentation Center, located in Sofia, Blvd. “Dr. G.M. Dimitrov ”52 A

1125, tel. (+359 2) 817 38 24, e-mail - [email protected]. This mainly applies to physicians and teachers.

Of course, if you are not looking for a job as a seasonal worker, finding the best vacancy with good pay will be easier if you  have any diplomas, certificates, proof of work experience etc.

For most vacancies you will need a competent and attractive resume. Writing tips (general). Templates: you can fill it out online and save or print out.

Bulgarian labor market

Confectioners, masseurs and drivers are always needed for summer or winter (seasonal work), maids, waiters, assistant chefs, people at the reception, bartenders are gladly invited to hotels in resort areas. They are also looking for engineers, programmers, sales managers, power engineers, financiers, pharmacists, doctors and social workers. And, of course, agriculture always and everywhere needs extra hands.

By the way, the country has a very developed system of internships for students - again at the resorts.

The current minimum wage is set at 332 euros. The median earnings in the country is 460-770 euros.

IT workers are expected to receive the most - 1,360, financiers and insurers - about 928, educators and doctors - 530, in construction and agriculture you can earn 460, and the least paid are jobs in the hotel and restaurant business - about 360 euros, on average. For comparison, unpretentious one-room not in the capital can be rented for 100-200 euros. In Sofia, it will cost somewhere between 180-270 euros, depending on the equipment and location.

Job search

First of all, as an international protection seeker you have the right to register with the Labor Office at the place of residence, its contacts can be found here. Fill in the application-declaration (form), show all the documents related to the profession, education, etc., which were evacuated (and if available) - legalization might be needed, the Bureau will advise where and how to do it. You will further be entitled to:

• Advising on the Bulgarian labor market and the specifics of job search;

• Services on career guidance, vocational education;

• Finding suitable offers for you, bringing you together with your employer.

You can check whether there are vacancies in the Labor Office according to your requirements, using the filters on this page:

Secondly, consultations and all possible assistance in employment on the hotline of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy are available: 0800 88 001 (in Russian).

You can also search for vacancies on your own, for which we advise you to use the following useful contacts:

• International platforms - especially for our refugees: 

Online work: 

• Bulgarian labor exchanges: 

you can leave your request here or join the group on Facebook.

• Personal offers:

Internship for youth / students (seasonal) -, 

SAP - IT (including onboarding and language courses)

What to do after employment?

In general, the whole mechanism of employment of third-country nationals in Bulgaria is divided into three categories, depending on the nationality of the applicant, length of stay and legal status:

1. If the employee is an ethnic Bulgarian. It must be registered at the Central Office of the Employment Agency (address: Dondukov Boulevard, 3, Sofia - 1000, tel. 980 87 19, email - [email protected]), filling out the Declaration in 2 copies. It must be stamped and signed by the employer.

If the qualification or profession of the worker requires documentary evidence, these documents are also attached (see above), as well as a copy of the contract (must be at least six months), a copy of identity card with a mark of entry and any papers confirming Bulgarian origin.

2. If the employee entered without a visa for 90 days (seasonal work). A visa is not required - we emphasize once again! In this case, the employer must confirm with the employment contract the fact of providing housing, pay for the transfer, health insurance and insurance for a seasonal worker. However, all this must be completed before the worker crosses the Bulgarian border. It is also registered with the Employment Agency (coordinates - above), sending a special declaration (form) in duplicate, with a copy of business permits (applies only to restaurant and hotel business) or registration with the Ministry of Agriculture for others, application for working conditions (form), a copy of the employment contract, if the profession requires recognition - documents in this regard, an application for housing (form) and a copy of the employee's identity card.

3. If a temporary protection seeker has been hired. At the place of work in the directorate "Labor Bureau" (contacts: the employer submits in 2 copies Declaration, a copy of the employment contract, a copy of the identity card of the person who was granted temporary protection. These papers must be submitted within seven days.

All questions can be addressed to [email protected] to the Labor Inspectorate (be sure to indicate the contacts where you can receive a reply). They also accept any complaints about discrimination against your labor rights, understatement of wages, inadequate working conditions etc.