Many Bulgarian businesses, faced with the shortage of qualified specialists within the country, are increasingly researching ways to recruit professionals from abroad.  A number of industries experience hunger for skilled personnel, which leads to fierce competition between companies in terms of successful hires.  At the same time available recruitment channels remain limited.

Existing national labor legislation places serious restrictions on the employment of foreigners, especially non-EU citizens. They must be legally resident in the country and the process for application for such permit must start prior to their arrival to Bulgaria.

At the moment there are very few recruitment agencies that offer relocation services for specialists from non-EU countries who traditionally encounter difficulties with bureaucracy and the complexity of the work permit application process.

We do this instead of you!

Radioactive International Recruitment (RIR) is one of the few recruitment agencies in Bulgaria, which provides assistance to its clients – employers that have decided to hire qualified personnel from non-EU countries. Services for appointment and provision of work permit for specialists tend to decrease the turnaround rates in companies and corresponds with lower training costs. Work permit is issued for a particular position and is personal. Such an employee cannot switch job without leaving the country and starting the process for application for “single permit for work and residence” first.

What does a Bulgarian employer need to know prior to commencing the procedure for “single permit for work and residence” application?

The process usually takes between 3 to 5 months and is associated with a considerable amount of paperwork and communication with different state institutions. This is one of the main reasons why businesses turn to outsourcing in the HR area.

Work permits are issued to foreigners who possess specialized knowledge, skills, and professional experience needed for the job or the position in question, in accordance with social needs and current labour market conditions, provided that the total number of non-EU citizens employed by the company does not exceed 10% of the total workforce.

Another necessary condition is that the employee’s remuneration provides for sufficient means of subsistence in the country, calculated by reference to the scale laid down in the Decision of Council of Ministers (CM) on the matter.

Permission for access to the national labour market is issued for the duration of the work contract, but no longer than a year. For individuals recruited within an employment relationship, the permission can be extended twice for up to 12 months, for total of 3 years, after which if the employer wishes to continue the working relationship with the employee in question, they sign a new contract and restart the application procedure for a “single permit for work and residence”, as the same procedures are apply.

Work Permits Statistics

According to data from the National Economic Council there are 395 work permits issued to non-EU nationals from 39 different countries for the first half of 2017. A hundred and five of those are for recruitment of highly-qualified specialists who are going to receive a Blue Card and will not need to pass a market test to prove their abilities.