16 April 2024
Canva pro

Updated on 16.04.2024

If you are an employer, you have the right and the opportunity to hire people with refugee, humanitarian status or temporary protection, as well as people who are currently in the process of applying for protection. In this article, we will look at some specifics about employing them that you should bear in mind.

Depending on the regime under which the foreigner resides in Bulgaria, certain steps should be taken:

Employment of persons with refugee/ humanitarian status or temporary protection

These persons do not need a special work permit from the Employment Agency to work in Bulgaria. They have the same rights to work in Bulgaria upon as Bulgarian citizens upon obtaining their status. 

Important! In these cases, in addition to the actions normally taken when employing Bulgarian citizens, you must also notify the Executive Labour Inspection Agency within 7 days of employment that you have employed a third-country national or a stateless person. For this purpose, a notification of employment of a third-country national must be submitted. This notification can also be submitted online, which is possible after submitting an application to create an account on the Labour Inspectorate's e-portal

In addition, you should request from the worker a notarised copy of a valid residence document. You should keep this copy with you for the duration of the employment contract together with the other documentation. 

Employment of persons who are in the process of obtaining international protection

These are people who have applied for international protection, but their proceedings are still pending. They are entitled to work in Bulgaria if 3 months have passed since they applied for protection and their proceedings have not yet been completed. They do not need to be granted a special work permit. 

Important! Their employment must be declared to the Employment Agency. The declaration shall be submitted by the employer to the Directorate of the Labour Bureau at the workplace of the employee within 7 days of his employment

You need the following documents: 

  • Аn official note from the State Agency for Refugees certifying the worker’s right to work. This should be obtained by the worker.

  •  Declaration form, of which 2 original copies must be submitted. 

You need to describe the documents you attach to this declaration.

On the back of the declaration you need to fill in the list the foreigners with their details. This list shows the start date and end date of employment for each foreign national you employ. The start date is the date pointed in the employment contract as a starting working date, not the date on which you file the declaration. The end of employment should be in line with the validity of the person's residence document

  • A certified copy of the labour contract.

  • A copy of the worker's valid residence document (the so-called green card of the asylum seeker, containing his/her photograph, expiry date, date of birth, country of origin and national ID number).

After submitting the declaration and the required documents, you will receive a reference number from the Labour Bureau, which serves as proof that you have fulfilled your obligation. 

Along with the aforementioned declaration, in this case you must also notify the Executive Labour Inspection Agency within 7 days of employment that you have employed a foreigner by submitting a notification of employment of a third-country national.

Employment of long-term or permanent residents

In general, foreigners who have resided legally and without interruption in Bulgaria for the last 5 years are entitled to a long-term or permanent residence permit. For this, they must have applied for this type of permit and been issued with the relevant residence cards.  These persons are also issued with a Unique Civil Number – EGN/ЕГН. 

This category of foreigners also do not need a special permit to work in Bulgaria. When employing them, you as an employer must again notify the Labour Inspectorate to provide you with a notarised copy of a valid residence document to keep in your records. 

Early termination of the labour contract

If the worker you employed leaves the job, is dismissed or you terminate the contract early by mutual consent, i.e. before the employment contract or the person's period of residence has expired, you must notify the Employment Agency within 3 days about this circumstance. 


If you employ third-country nationals who do not have a residence permit in the country and their stay is unregulated, you may be fined upon inspection:

  • from BGN 750 to BGN 7500 when you are an employer who is a natural person

  • from BGN 3000 to BGN 30 000 - for employers - legal entities. 

The fine is greater if you commit this offence again. It is also imposed separately for each foreign national employed with an unregulated stay. 

A fine of BGN 1,500 to BGN 10,000, or BGN 3,000 to BGN 20,000 in case of a repeated offence, may also be imposed if an inspection reveals that you have not complied with your obligation to notify the Labour Inspectorate that you have employed a third-country national.


If you need further legal advice when employing people with refugee, humanitarian or temporary protection status, you can contact us by filling in this form:


If you have a job vacancy suitable for refugees fill in this form and our team will contact you to assist you with your recruitment:


For further information on the employment of other categories of foreigners than those mentioned above and on the single work and residence permit or the EU Blue Card, read this article:

Access to the labour market for foreigners in Bulgaria and the relevant residence permits