Visas

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments, but will continue to provide emergency services as resources and local conditions allow.  If you already have a full-validity B1/B2 or C1/D visa which is still valid or which expired less than 12 months ago, you may be eligible to renew your visa without an interview appointment. For a complete list of eligibility criteria and a description of the interview waiver procedure, please visit: http://ustraveldocs.com/bg/bg-niv-visarenew.asp. 

We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html
 

On Monday, June 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the proclamation extends the suspension of entry for certain immigrants (Presidential Proclamation 10014) through December 31, 2020. The new restrictions imposed by the proclamation are effective at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 24 and expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued by the President.  U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens who are or were inside the United States or those holding valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visas on the effective date are not subject to the proclamation.  

The proclamation suspends entry of nonimmigrants in the following categories: H-1B, H-2B, J (for aliens participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) and L, along with their spouses and children.  No valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation.   Presidential Proclamation 10014 and this proclamation provide exceptions to their restrictions for certain categories of immigrants and nonimmigrants.  

For more information go to:

Travel restrictions: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

U.S. Mission in Bulgaria’s COVID-19 page:  https://bg.usembassy.gov/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-information/

Appointment updates: https://www.ustraveldocs.com/bg/

Presidential Proclamation: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on travel.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange.

Immigrant Visas

For foreign citizens who want to live permanently in the U.S.

visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A visa entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not guarantee entry. An immigration official at the port of entry determines the visa holder’s eligibility for admission into the United States.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

Who Needs a Visa?
Anyone who is not eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), or is not a citizen of Canada or Bermuda.

Please note:  If you were born in the United States or hold dual citizenship with the United States, you must enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Sofia is open Monday through Friday, except for American and Bulgarian official holidays.

IMMIGRANT VISA UNIT (permanent residence in the United States)

This unit provides assistance for immigration on the basis of family relationship, adoptions, fianceé petitions, employment-based petitions and the Diversity Visa Lottery. Оnly by appointments.

Telephone: +359 (2) 937 5100 (from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00) for returning residents, permanent residents whose permanent resident card was lost or stolen, or for urgent cases.

E-mail: iv_sofia@state.gov

Postal Address from the U.S.:
Consular Section, Attn: Immigrant Visa Unit
Department of State
5740 Sofia Place
Washington, DC 20521-5740

Postal Address from outside the U.S.:
U.S. Embassy, Consular Section
Attn: Immigrant Visa Unit
Ul. Kozyak 16
Sofia 1408, Bulgaria

NONIMMIGRANT VISA UNIT (for temporary stays in the United States)

Оnly by appointments.

Call Center service is available:
Monday – Friday:
9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. for callers from Bulgaria and
7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for callers from the U.S.

The call center is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, December 25, and January 1

Telephone number from Bulgaria: 02 4916 461
From the U.S.: 1-703-988-7106
Skype: ustraveldocs-Bulgaria

Call center agents provide information in English and Bulgarian.

Interview Appointment Information:
Fax: +359 (2) 937-5209
E-mail: nivappt_sofia@state.gov

Inquiries about Nonimmigrant Visas may be made only in writing and addressed to the attention of Chief of Consular section:
Fax +359 (2) 937-5209
E-mail:niv_sofia@state.gov

Postal Address from the U.S.:
Consular Section, Attn: Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
Department of State
5740 Sofia Place
Washington, DC 20521-5740

Postal Address from outside the U.S.:
U.S. Embassy, Consular Section
Attn: Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
Ul. Kozyak 16
Sofia 1408, Bulgaria

FRAUD PREVENTION UNIT

Telephone: +359 (2) 937-5147
Fax: +359 (2) 937-5209
E-mail: SofiaFPU@state.gov

Postal Address from the U.S.:
Consular Section
Attn: Fraud Prevention Unit
5740 Sofia Pl.- Dept of State
Washington, DC 20521-5740

Postal Address from outside the U.S.:
U.S. Embassy, Consular Section
Attn: Fraud Prevention Unit
Ul. Kozyak 16
Sofia 1408, Bulgaria

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States. We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known. Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov.
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.