The Trade Representative Route for Digital Nomads Seeking EU Residence via Bulgaria

29 April 2024

Private Clients, Citizenship and Immigration

As digital nomads and young entrepreneurs continue to explore avenues for establishing residence within the European Union, Bulgaria emerges as an attractive option, particularly with its recent accession to the Schengen Area. The Trade Representative Route (TRO) stands out as a unique pathway, granting not only residence rights in Bulgaria but also access to the wider Schengen region.

This article provides an in-depth look at the TRO, highlighting its potential for digital nomads seeking to establish a foothold in the EU.

Bulgaria: An Emerging Hub for Digital Nomads

Bulgaria’s entry into the Schengen acquis signifies a significant shift for holders of Bulgarian residence permits. This development enables digital nomads with Bulgarian residence to enjoy the freedom of movement throughout the Schengen Area, opening up a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional development across Europe.

The Trade Representation Office: A Unique Pathway

The TRO offers a cost-effective route to gaining residence in Bulgaria and, consequently, the EU. This pathway is particularly well-suited for digital nomads and entrepreneurs seeking to explore and potentially expand their business ventures within the Bulgarian market.

Company Requirements for the TRO Route:

  1. The company must have been incorporated for a minimum of two years and maintain active and tax-compliant status throughout that period.
  2. It should demonstrate intentions to explore the Bulgarian business landscape, conduct market research, and prepare for future expansion.
  3. The company can appoint up to three Trade Representatives based on its business needs and growth plans.

It’s worth noting that the TRO does not function as a separate entity and does not require the appointment of a director or shareholders.

Residence Permits for Trade Representatives

Trade Representatives are eligible for ‘prolonged residence’ permits, allowing them to establish residence in Bulgaria. These permits are renewable on an annual basis.

After holding a valid prolonged residence permit for five years—and physically residing in Bulgaria for more than 30 months during this period—Trade Representatives can apply for either Permanent Residence or ‘EU long-term residence‘ The latter status grants the right to reside in another EU country without the need for a visa.

The Path to Permanent Residence and Beyond

Upon completing five years under the TRO scheme, applicants can pursue Permanent Residence, which opens up employment opportunities and paves the way for Bulgarian citizenship, subject to meeting specific requirements.

Taking the First Steps

To embark on the TRO route, the first steps involve establishing a TRO, securing an office address, providing long-term proof of accommodation in Bulgaria, and appointing up to three individuals as Trade Representatives.

These initial steps, essential for setting the stage for business expansion into Bulgaria, require careful planning, and NBLO possesses the expertise to guide digital nomads and entrepreneurs through the process.

Why Work with NBLO?

NBLO is a law firm renowned for its expertise in Bulgarian and EU immigration and nationality law.

Our team is committed to providing personalized guidance to clients throughout their immigration journey, whether it involves applications for citizenship by investment, origin, or residence, or the settlement of family members of EU/Bulgarian citizens. With a private client team boasting extensive experience in corporate and immigration law, we are well-equipped to offer tailored advice and support for those exploring the TRO Route and other immigration-related matters.

To begin your journey to Bulgaria and the EU, contact us at [email protected] or through our Contact Form.

© New Balkans Law Office 2024

The Bulgarian and dual-qualified lawyers of New Balkans Law Office are regulated by the respective Bar of their registration. New Balkans Law Office is a brand name of Legal Services EOOD, a company registered under Bulgarian law. Reg’d No. 202331677. Further details are available here.

© New Balkans Law Office 2024