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Single Residence and Work Permit for Non-EU Citizens as of 24 December 2013

In accordance with Directive 2011/98/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 13 December 2011 on a Single Application Procedure for a Single Permit for Third-country Nationals to Reside and Work in the Territory of a Member State, with the State Gazette, copy 70 dated 2013, in force as of 24.12.2013, there were published adopted amendments in the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act and the Employment Promotion Act regarding the introduction of the so called Single Residence and Work Permit. The obtaining of the Single Residence and Work Permit aims to enable citizens of non-EU Member States to obtain simultaneously work and residence permit following a single application procedure. The latter is related to taking a decision on a single application for the residence and work permit of a third-country citizen, which is submitted by the Employer.
According to the new amendments the Work Permit shall not be issued as a separate document, but shall be included in a Single Residence and Work Permit in respect to third-country citizens who: (i) apply for a residence permit for the purpose of work; (ii) by virtue of the FRBA and the requirements of the EU transposed hold a valid residence permit for the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria; (iii) hold a valid Work Permit. 
In this case, the Employment Agency issues only a written decision on the exercise of employment for the issuance of a Single Residence and Work Permit. The latter is issued by the Ministry of Interior for a term not longer than one year.
Only for comparison there should be noted that the previous regime for issuance of Work Permit has envisaged the following of two separate procedures. The first procedure is carried out before the Employment Agency which shall come up with the issuance of a Work Permit. Secondly, based on the issued Work Permit, the non-EU citizen shall apply before the Ministry of Interior for obtaining a residence permit.
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