Three months beyond tentative departure date. We recommend a minimum of six months validity after entry date.
One page per stamp.
No for stays under 90 days.
10,000 Euros or equivalent.
10,000 Euros or equivalent.
16, Kozyak Street
Sofia 1408, Bulgaria
Telephone: +(359) (2) 937-5100
Emergency After-HoursTelephone: +(359) (2) 937-5101
Fax: +(359) (2) 937-5209
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Bulgaria for information on U.S. - Bulgaria relations.
A valid U.S. passport is required for U.S. citizens. Your U.S. passport must be valid for at least three (3) months from the expected date of departure from Bulgaria. U.S. citizens may stay in Bulgaria for a total of 90 days within any six-month period without a Bulgarian visa. This law is strictly enforced. Travelers who have been in the country for 90 days and then leave will not be able to re-enter Bulgaria before the six-month period expires. Please plan and apply for your visa early.
Traveling with Children Under 18 Years Old: Regulations apply to Bulgarian minors, Bulgarian-U.S. dual citizen minors, and U.S. citizen minors when one or both parents are Bulgarian.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Bulgaria.
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue to plot possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
When traveling or living in Bulgaria, you should:
Crime: ATM skimming, credit card fraud, and traffic incidents remain the most common threats to U.S. citizens in Bulgaria. The majority of incidents involving U.S. citizens are monetary in nature, though incidents of racism, ethnic slurs, and harassment of African-Americans and religious minorities have occurred. Report crimes to the police by dialing 112.
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (359) (2) 937-5101.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency telephone line in Bulgaria is 112 for police, fire, or ambulance services.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Special Circumstances: Bulgaria is still largely a cash economy.
Corruption remains an important concern of the Bulgarian government. You may refer complaints of public corruption by e-mail to the Ministry of Justice at email@example.com or by phone to +359 2 987 0697. All grievances must be submitted in the Bulgarian language.
If you plan to import an automobile to Bulgaria, be aware that customs duties on personal vehicles can be high. All documents must be originals or certified copies and contain an apostille. See more information on the Bulgarian Customs Agency website
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Bulgaria. LGBTI individuals are stigmatized by society in Bulgaria and societal discrimination against LGBTI individuals is widespread. LGBTI individuals engaging in public displays of affection may attract unwelcome attention or harassment.
While there is no legal barrier to organize an LGBTI event, pride event participants were attacked in the past. Some pride parades were also postponed on police request due to concerns that they could not effectively protect those participating in a LGBTI event.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Local law requires improved access to buildings for persons with disabilities and new public projects take this requirement into account; however, this law is rarely enforced in older buildings.
Bulgarian law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities in employment, education, and access to health care. Societal discrimination persists against persons with disabilities.
Commuting in Bulgaria is nearly impossible for disabled individuals. Buses, trams, and trolleys are generally old, extremely crowded, and lack accommodation for disabled travelers. Even in newer public vehicles access is extremely limited and disabled travelers rely on fellow passengers to help them on and off the vehicle.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Visitors are required to maintain medical insurance for the duration of their stay in Bulgaria. You may be required to show proof of medical insurance at the port of entry.
Bulgarian medical personnel are knowledgeable, however most hospitals and clinics are not equipped with appropriate medical supplies and are not maintained to Western standards.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with Bulgaria’s Customs Agency to ensure the medication is legal. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Tuberculosis continues to be a health concern in Bulgaria.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: The Bulgarian road system is largely underdeveloped.
Traffic Laws: Driving in Bulgaria is dangerous. Aggressive driving habits, lack of safe infrastructure, and a mixture of late model and old model cars on the country’s highways contribute to a high fatality rate in road accidents.
Public Transportation: Sofia’s metro system and the extensive bus network are reliable modes of transportation. Taxi cabs are also plentiful but are known to overcharge passengers. Do insist on use of the meter when using a taxi cab.
For specific information concerning Bulgarian driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please visit the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Visit the European Commission site for latest information on speed limits, traffic fines and regulations.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Bulgaria’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Bulgaria’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Bulgaria should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.
Washington, DC (202) 387-7969 (202) 387-0174 (202) 299-0273 (202) 483-1386 (202) 234-7973
Chicago, IL (312) 867-1904 (312) 867-1905 (312) 867-1906
Los Angeles, CA (310) 478-6700 (310) 478-6277
New York, NY (212) 935-4646 (212) 319-5955
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Bulgaria and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since January 1, 2005.
For information concerning travel to Bulgaria, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Bulgaria.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Bulgaria. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
United States Department of State
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Bulgarian Central Authority (BCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice, Legal Child Support Department. The BCA reviews Hague applications for completion, initiates location efforts for missing children, and if appropriate, approaches taking parties about whether or not abduction situations may be resolved voluntarily. The BCA can be reached at:
The Ministry of Justice
Legal Child Support Department
Central Authority of the Republic of Bulgaria
1, Slavyanska Street
Telephone: +359 (2) 923 7302
Fax: +359 (2) 987 1557
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Bulgaria, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the BCA. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the BCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into Bulgarian prior to court proceedings commencing. The BCA can assist with translations, although the case processing may occur more expeditiously if applicant parents provide translations. Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Bulgarian central authorities. Fees for privately retained attorneys are the responsibility of the applicant parent. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Bulgaria. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Bulgaria. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Legal representation is required in a Hague Abduction Convention case in Bulgaria. It is not mandatory for a parent or legal guardian to retain a private attorney, however, as the BCA will appoint a lawyer from the Ministry of Justice to present the applicant parent’s Hague case to the specialized Hague court in Bulgaria (the City Court of Sofia). This service is free of charge. Parents or legal guardians may hire a private attorney to assist them with their case and to advise them as to the best course of action for their individual circumstances. A privately hired attorney should contact the BCA as soon as possible after the BCA receives the Hague application. The Ministry of Justice lawyer will continue to participate in advancing the Hague petition in court even if an applicant parent retains private legal representation.
The U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
While Bulgaria does not offer a formal, structured mediation program, the Ministry of Justice maintains a list of mediation providers (in Bulgarian only). The average fee for a mediation procedure, regardless of how many sessions are necessary, is about $500. Costs are typically divided equally between the parties.
WARNING: Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Bulgaria before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter.” See the “How to Adopt” section for more information.
Bulgaria is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all adoptions between Bulgaria and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Act of 2000 (IAA), and the IAA implementing regulations.
Adoption between the United States and Bulgaria is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Bulgaria, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. government. The U.S. government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Bulgaria also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
Children are listed on the registry for domestic adoption if they are officially relinquished or abandoned by the parents. If no Bulgarian family adopts a child from the domestic registry within six months of listing, the child is entered into the registry for international adoptions, maintained by the Ministry of Justice. Biological parents may reinstate their custody even after they have officially relinquished or abandoned their child and the child has been entered into the registry for domestic or international adoptions. However, this happens very rarely and only after careful review by the Bulgarian social services.
Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Bulgaria must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Bulgaria have determined that placement of the child within Bulgaria has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Bulgarian requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
WARNING: Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Bulgaria before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter.” Read on for more information.
Bulgaria’s Adoption Authority
Department of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions
Ministry of Justice
Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Bulgaria must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
NOTE: If you filed your I-600A with Bulgaria before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases.
1. Choose an Accredited ASP
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3. Be Matched with a Child
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
5. Adopt the Child in Bulgaria
6. Bring your Child Home
The recommended first step in adopting a child from Bulgaria is to select an accredited ASP in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services in Convention adoptions between the United States and Bulgaria. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.
The U.S. ASP must work with a Bulgarian adoption agency that has been accredited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. The U.S. ASP may not work directly with the Ministry of Justice. For a complete list of Bulgarian adoption agencies accredited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, please visit the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.
After you choose an accredited ASP, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read more about Eligibility Requirements.
Once the U.S. government determines that you are “eligible” and “suitable” to adopt, you or your adoption agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in Bulgaria. Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Bulgaria’s law.
After completing the U.S. pre-adoption requirements through USCIS, the U.S. ASP works with a Bulgarian adoption agency that has been licensed by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. While the two agencies work together as partners, with a signed agreement,under 22 CFR 96.46, the Bulgarian ASP would be considered a foreign supervised provider. The U.S. accredited or approved ASP has certain responsibilities of oversight over the conduct of the Bulgarian ASP, even though the Bulgarian ASP is also accredited by the Bulgarian Central Authority. All required documents must be filed at the Ministry of Justice by the Bulgarian ASP. If the prospective parent(s) application is accepted, their names are placed on a registry.
If both the United States and Bulgaria determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice may provide you with a referral for a child in accordance with the criteria you have specified in your home study. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child.
Due to the priority given to children with special needs, the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice processes referrals of prospective adoptive parents willing to adopt a child with special needs before other referrals. A child with special needs is defined as a child with significant health issues or a child over seven years of age.
The Adoption Council within the Ministry of Justice reviews the registries of prospective parents and available children, including all relevant documentation, and proposes a match. The MOJ provides the adoptive parents through their Bulgarian accredited agency photographs of the child and information about the child, including his/her medical condition. If the family declines to adopt the child, the agency must inform the Council within two months of the referral, and the Council will suggest a match with a different child. There is no limitation as to the number of times prospective adoptive parents may decline a proposed match.
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.
After provisional approval of Form I-800, an electronic visa application form (DS-260) must be submitted. The visa application may be filled out and submitted by you or your U.S. or Bulgarian ASP. You, or someone acting on your behalf, will then visit the consular section of the U.S. Embassy to pay the visa fee and submit a photograph of the child. A consular officer will review the child’s information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities.
WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Bulgarian Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Bulgaria where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Bulgarian Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.
Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Bulgaria before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.
Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Bulgaria, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Bulgaria.
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Bulgaria generally includes the following:
In addition to the above, U.S. adoption agencies charge fees for the services they provide.
The Department of State discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of “buying” a baby, may be contrary to the Convention and U.S. law, and put all future adoptions in Bulgaria at risk. If you think such a fee has been asked or demanded, please inform the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:
You will firstneed to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
Note: The process of obtaining a birth certificate and passport takes 3 - 4 weeks. The parents are not required to do anything in order to apply for these two documents. Their accredited adoption agency authorizes an attorney to represent them at court and deposit documents at various Government entities.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Bulgaria.
After the new birth certificate has been issued, the representative has to apply for a passport of the child. The process of obtaining a birth certificate and a passport takes 3-4 weeks.
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for a U.S. visa from the U.S. Embassy in Sofia for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child’s I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child.
The visa interview may be scheduled by the adoptive parents or by their Bulgarian representative over the telephone as soon as the child obtains a Bulgarian passport. They must first make sure that their fingerprint clearances have not expired. The visa interview may be scheduled a few days before the intended interview date.
Interviews can be scheduled by calling (359-2) 937-5444 each working day from to 09:00 to 12:00. This is the direct line to the Immigrant Visa Unit. In case of emergency or if the line is busy, adoptive parents may reach the Immigrant Visa Unit through the Embassy's switchboard: (359-2) 937-5100. The Embassy conducts immigrant visa interviews Monday through Thursday from 13:00 to 15:30 hours.
For adoptions finalized abroad: Pursuant to the provisions of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, children who enter the U.S. on an IR-3 or IH-3 immigrant visa generally acquire U.S. citizenship automatically upon entry to the United States for the purpose of lawful permanent residence.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: Pursuant to the provisions of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, children who enter the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 immigrant visa generally acquire U.S. citizenship automatically when a court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his or her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.
Obtaining Your Visa
In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.
To find information about obtaining a visa for Bulgaria, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department webpage is a good place to start. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Bulgaria, registration assists the U.S. embassy or consulate in reaching you. Registration is free and can be done online.
What does Bulgaria require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?
Bulgaria requires adoptive parents to submit post adoption reports. The Ministry of Justice requires four post-placement reports – one every six months after the adoption for the first two years.
We strongly urge you to comply with all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Bulgaria’s history of positive experiences with U.S. parents.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of content.
Bulgarian Adoption Authority
Ministry of Justice
Slavyanska Street # 1
Tel: (359 2) 923-7303 (Bulgarian only)
Internet: http://www.justice.government.bg (in Bulgarian only)
Embassy of Bulgaria
Embassy of Bulgaria
1621 22nd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: 202-387-0174 (main), 202-387-7969 (consular section)
Email: office@Bulgaria-Embassy.org, Consulate@Bulgaria-Embassy.org
*Bulgaria also has consulates in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
|A-3 1||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|CW-1 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|CW-2 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|E-1 2||No Treaty||N/A||N/A|
|E-2 2||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|E-2C 12||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|G-5 1||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|J-1 4||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|J-2 4||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|NATO 1-7 10||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|Q-1 6||None||Multiple||15 Months|
|S-5 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-6 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-7 7||None||One||1 Month|
|V-2||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
|V-3||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.
The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:
An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.
Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.
The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.
Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.
Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.
There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.
Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.
In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).
However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.
Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.
Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.
Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.
Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.
No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.
V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.
Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:
The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.
The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
Please check back for update.
Comments: Court records are requested as a substitute.
Sofia, Bulgaria (Embassy)
U.S. Embassy Sofia
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20521-5740
Address: 16, Kozyak St., 1408 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone Number: +359-2-5100
All visa categories for all of Bulgaria.