Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

It Begins Again


I started my Bulgarian type-D long stay visa process {again} today.

As many of you may already know, I gathered most of the paperwork and went through many of the steps in the fall, but was not able to get my visa in time for my flight to Bulgaria. As such, I gave up on it and went over to Bulgaria for the 90 days that I am allowed as a tourist.

Well, this time around I plan on being well prepared far in advance. I can’t be as nonchalant about it as I was before. I need that visa!

Last time around I even booked a flight to Chicago to visit the Bulgarian Consulate  to apply for my visa–all before even getting all the necessary paperwork. November rolled around and I didn’t have most of what I needed, so Chicago turned into a birthday trip with my friend. We did stop at the consulate briefly to ask some questions, but it was pretty useless. All the woman did was hand me the visa application form, which is easily found online. So much for good customer service!

I am still unsure as to where I will apply for the visa this time. I am leaning towards L.A. as it is the closest to my home in Utah, but I have heard that the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington D.C. approves the visas same day. I need to verify this but I hope it is true. It would be such a huge relief to fly home with my visa in hand and not have to wait for a month or so to get it. I suppose I will make my choice of where to apply sometime over the summer. If I went to D.C. I could turn it into a mini-vacation as well. That’s very enticing!

Today, I went and had my fingerprints taken again so that I can submit them to the FBI for a criminal background check. The technician told me that they turned out “a bit dark” and that if the FBI rejected them that I would need to send in another card. The thing is, it takes upwards of 12 weeks to hear back from the FBI on the status, so waiting for up to three months only to find out that I need to do it all again would really stink. I told the technician this, and he simply shrugged it off and said they would probably be fine. GRR!

The thing is, I already did all of this and got my results back from the FBI (I am a good girl–no criminal record!). However, I have heard that the Bulgarian Consulates don’t accept any background checks older than 6 months.

Thankfully, I got all of the things I needed from Vince (notarized copy of his passport and affidavit of support) while I was in Bulgaria, so I am covered there. Now I just need to wait on my background check, get it apostillated by the U.S. State Dept., get my marriage license translated into Bulgarian, get the proper health insurance, have $3,000 in the bank (although this number changes depending on which consulate you talk to), and go apply.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

SUCH a hassle for a 6 month visa!

Overall, today has turned into a life maintenance day. In addition to getting my fingerprints taken and mailing them off to the fine folks at the FBI, I also turned in my taxes to my accountant.Praying for a good refund this year!

Wish me luck!



3 thoughts on “It Begins Again

  1. Pingback: 2012: A Year in Review « Girl Meets Bulgaria

  2. Hi, reminder about your marriage certificate, did you have it registry in Bulgaria? That will be a requirement for the Visa D for family member.

  3. Bună dimineaţa. Birocraţia îşi spune cuvântul peste tot în lumea asta. Şi pretexte se găsesc destule.

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