At a Glance
- Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum monthly wage in Bulgaria has increased to BGN 610, up 8.9 percent from 2019.
- Foreign nationals typically receive salaries well above this threshold, since their salaries must also be in line with market rates and collective bargaining agreements.
Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum monthly wage in Bulgaria has increased to BGN 610, up 8.9 percent from 2019. The exchange rate at the time of publication of this alert is 1 BGN to 0.56 USD.
A closer look
- Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under work authorization must increase foreign nationals' salaries to comply with the new rule.
- Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew work authorization on or after January 1, 2020 must increase foreign nationals' salaries to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
- Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending work authorization applications as of January 1, 2020 must increase foreign nationals' salaries to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
Reminders on other requirements
- Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances cannot be included in the minimum salary calculation.
- Market salary rate. As before, salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the proposed position. EU Blue Card applicants must receive 1.5 times the average market salary in the relevant sector.
- Collective bargaining agreement. As before, salaries must also meet the salary rate set by the collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.
Salary increases between eight and 11 percent are common for Bulgaria. Salary increases between one and 10 percent are normal in Europe, typically seeking to keep the salary level aligned with the cost of living. The relatively high increases in Bulgaria reflect a fast-growing national average wage.
Bulgarian authorities are not expected to amend immigration policies in the upcoming months, as they continue focused on consolidating and evaluating changes introduced in May 2018 (which included faster Combined Work and Residence Permit processing and updated guidance on EU Intracompany Transfer Permit validity).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.