What you need to know about intra-company transfers in Bulgaria

23 July 2021

Corporate Clients, Employee Incentives, Business Immigration, Employment


“Intra-company transfers” refer to the internationally-recognised practice of transferring qualified employees from an employer group operating in more than one country to a branch, subsidiary or affiliate of that employer that does not usually employ the employee.

Many countries have introduced specifically designed intra-company transfer visas or permits – eg, the member states of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and others. 

The procedures governing the issue of both intra-company transfer visas and permits can differ between countries.

New Balkans Law Office is a law firm which provides Bulgarian corporate immigration law advice to international corporate groups which need to transfer staff from overseas into Bulgaria. We also manage the appointment of overseas corporate law advisors for Bulgarian corporate clients in a variety of countries and thus assist with intra-company transfers. Our team of highly qualified immigration lawyers have a proven track record and excellent reputation in assisting with matters with a foreign element.

Intra-company transfers in Bulgaria 

Bulgarian law provides for intra-company transfers. They can be:

  • For a period of up to three years for management level employees
  • For a period of up to one year for specialists and trainees
  • May be renewed after a 6-month “cooling-off period” for all types of employees

Nationals of countries outside of the EU (in the jargon, “third-country nationals”) who intend to be transferred to Bulgaria must first obtain both a residence and a work permit. 

Types of employees who qualify

As above, in order for an employee to qualify under the intra-company transfer scheme, they must be within one of the following categories: 

  • Management level employees
  • “Specialist” staff
  • Trainees

Management level employees and specialists must have also been employed by the transferring company for no less than 12 months prior to being sent to a host entity, while trainees must have been employed for no less than 6 months prior to being transferred.

Definitions of manager, specialist and trainee for the purposes of intra-company transfers

For the purposes of intra-company transfer, a manager is a person who holds a senior management position, directs the management of the host undertaking, controls and supervises the work of other professionals and administers actions concerning the rights and obligations of employees.

“Specialist” staff refers to an individual who works in a division of the enterprise, with registered office or address of management on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and has specialised knowledge that is essential for the activities, management and technique of the host entity.

Trainee is an employee who has higher education qualification and has been transferred to the host entity for the purpose of professional development and training and who receives remuneration for the transfer period.

Intra-company transfer application process

Obtaining an intra-company transfer permit in Bulgaria takes up to 60 days. The application for intra-company transfer permit has to be submitted to the migration authorities either by yourself, your employer or an individual authorised by your employer.

New Balkans Law Office has the resources and the right team of professionals to guide you through the process.

The Intra-EU mobility scheme

Once you have been issued with an intra-company transfer visa and permit by Bulgaria, you may also spend periods of time working for your employer group in other countries of the EU. E.g., if you are an Egyptian citizen who has been issued with an intra-company transfer work permit by Bulgaria in order to employed by the Bulgarian group entity of your American multinational company employer, you may also spend a period of time in the German office of the same group, etc.

You will be able to do so under the Intra-EU mobility scheme without needing to obtain another intra-company transfer permit.

Please contact our experienced team of immigration lawyers at New Balkans Law Office for efficient and effective services in the field of corporate immigration.

We pay attention to the smallest details and offer legal services tailored to your needs and budget, so get in touch today to discuss obtaining an intra-company transfer permit with our lawyers.

Please contact us at:

[email protected]
+359 (0) 2 950 6239

or at

[email protected]
+44 (0) 20 7183 0262 


© 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