Get useful expat articles, health and financial news, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!

We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Finding Employment

Bulgaria - Finding Employment

Finding a good job in Bulgaria can be quite hard for foreigners who wish to start their life in this country. There are certain rules to employment of foreigners in Bulgarian legislation that should be considered before looking for a job. First of all, expats who have permanent residence status can easily qualify for any job they are offered in the same ways as Bulgarians. Other foreigners are subject to strict control by the state. Starting a job involves issuance of a working permit which is applied for by the employer and which must be renewed on an annual basis.

Like in many other countries, a position would be given to an expat only if there is no qualified Bulgarian national who could fill the post. However, the contemporary labour market in Bulgaria requires highly qualified and multilingual specialists all the time. In addition, many international high-profile corporations that have outsourced some of their service, production or marketing teams need a multicultural staff. The foreign investment in different spheres in the country usually requires the know-how of international experts.

Most jobs in Bulgaria are full-time. The working week is usually 40 hours, and daily work is 8 hours or more, with an additional hour for a lunch break.

Salary standards in the majority of sectors in Bulgaria are lower than in other EU countries. Yet some spheres offer competitive and sometimes international level remunerations. Professionals who are well paid in this country are usually highly qualified IT specialists, visual artists and engineers with knowledge of foreign languages.

Another developing job market in this country is tourism. The country boasts a wide range of landscapes and some rural and urban areas where tourism is already established or just emerging. There are conditions for winter sports in the mountains, hiking and sports like mountain and cross-country biking. During the summer season Bulgaria’s Black Sea is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. The hospitality industry in Bulgaria can offer many jobs around the year, although payment is still relatively low. A good option is to try looking for a job in tourism by contacting the agencies that are based in a foreign country, aimed at entertaining foreign tourists. This way, one can work in Bulgaria but receive a salary based on foreign standards.

One of the best choices for expats in Bulgaria is to find a teaching job. Bulgarians, especially those in big cities, are keen on learning foreign languages, mostly English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and recently Chinese. Native speakers of those foreign languages are always needed in this country. Even if it is not a full-time job, teaching can always be a source of additional income.

Among the other sectors that are in need for qualified personnel in Bulgaria are private properties, construction, environmental companies, renewable energy sources, consultancies and recruitment agencies. The country also has a lot of business opportunities based on franchising. Though the procedures for setting up a business in the country could be quite challenging, they can still lead to successful and lucrative entrepreneurship, as Bulgaria is still a market that is developing in many areas.

Apart from tourism, job opportunities in Bulgaria are mostly concentrated in the urban areas. There are three industrial and technological hubs in the country where the chances for a foreigner to get a good job are the highest.

Sofia – the capital city of Bulgaria is the place with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The IT, customer care and marketing sectors offer competitive salaries to both Bulgarians and expats. There is also a demand for highly qualified personnel with degrees in engineering, accounting and law. In recent several years many multinational companies have outsourced important departments to Eastern Europe, in cities like Sofia.

Plovdiv – this is the second biggest city in Bulgaria that has also something to offer expatriates in terms of employment. The IT and marketing firms in Plovdiv are expanding and engineers in computer sciences have a good chance of finding a decent job here. Since Plovdiv and its surroundings have a lot of industrial factories, mechanical engineers with relevant experience can also find good positions.

Varna – in addition to the IT sector and customer service and marketing area, the biggest city on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast also offers employment possibilities mainly in the private properties and hospitality industries, due to the demands of tourism. There is a port and some ship manufacturers are based here, so experts in maritime vessels could look for a post in Varna. Gas and petrol extraction are also options in this eastern region of the country.

Non-EU nationals

Those who are not citizens of EU member states must obtain a working permit for the EU countries of their choice. One way to achieve this is to apply for the Blue Card. However, this is only possible if expats have a university degree with an adequate position that is already proposed by the future employer. Prospective employers should apply for work permits for their new employees at the local Labour Office. Foreigners with an employment contract and a work permit can also apply for residence for the duration of the contract. Within a company, no more than 10% of the workforce can be foreign according to Bulgarian law. The internet is an excellent resource for tracking down job opportunities.

Job search sites:

Europe language jobs
Target jobs
Careers in Bulgaria

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.


Health is your number one priority. At Aviva we understand this, which is why we’re focused on helping you and your family access high quality healthcare at home or overseas. Our award winning medical insurance will help you get the treatment you need or simply provide guidance and advice wherever you are, 24/7.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.