After Bulgaria joined the European Union, the law distinguishes two categories of foreigners (in accordance with the “Law for entering, sojourning, and leaving the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for the EU citizens and their families”):

1. EU-citizens (countries in EU, the European Economical Area and Switzerland) are allowed to enter the country for a term of three months, without any formality (needed only is the ID card or passport). A visa is not required if the person has a document for sojourn released by another EU member country. A citizen of the EU may stay in the Republic of Bulgaria for a long term, or permanently, with a certificate that has been given by the National Service “Police” (in Bulgaria).


2. Non-EU citizens need:

- A visa that is based on the purpose of the sojourn in Bulgaria. One possibility is to obtain a visa from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies for Work, and so on.

- International contract for no-visa travel or sojourn.

- Permission by the Service for administrative attending of foreigners

The Asylum and Migration Law stipulates the conditions and regulations for granting special protection for foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as their rights and obligations. Foreigners seeking or being granted protection in Bulgaria receive the rights and obligations conceded by this law and bear the same civil, administrative, and penal responsibilities on the same basis as Bulgarian citizens.

Because there is in Bulgaria no specific law for sex workers, all the above listed rules concern the migrant sex workers as they are considered as foreigners in Bulgaria but not as sex workers. Sex work is not included in the formal list of professions in Bulgaria, so neither nationals nor migrants can practice it legally.

If a foreigner (including a migrant sex-worker) sojourns in Bulgaria without meeting the aforementioned conditions, then he/she is subject to deportation. A foreigner who stays, works, or studies legally in Bulgaria for more than half a year (183 days) is obliged to have health insurance. Thus, he/she has full access to public healthcare. If a person is in Bulgaria illegally, he/she has access to paid healthcare: The list of fees for medical services is available in each hospital or clinic.

Legally staying foreigners (including sex workers) are protected from deportation for medical reasons, but it is possible for a foreigner to be prohibited from entering the country for medical reasons, which means that medical checkups and testing should be done before a visa is given, wherever required. A visa may be refused if there is suspicion that there is a danger to public health in terms of the dissemination of serious communicable diseases, based on the criteria of the Ministry of health and the World Health Organisation. 

If people (including sex workers) are illegal residents, they will be deported from the country on the grounds of their illegal status. If they are diagnosed as HIV positive or suffering from an infectious disease, this will not constitute the reason for their deportation. Up to this moment, we have not confronted such cases in our practise.