Visas

Important: Negative COVID-19 test required to enter the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air passengers entering the United States to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers if they do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. This requirement is separate from the visa application process. All Presidential Proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19 remain in place, and continue to apply to subject potential travelers regardless of their test results or vaccination status. Travelers holding a National Interest Exception also remain subject to all applicable pre-departure testing requirements. For more information on waivers to the testing requirement please click here.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Embassy in Sofia remains unable to resume routine visa operations. We are currently offering as many appointments as local conditions, resources, and safety considerations allow in mission-critical visa categories, including a limited number of appointments for petition-based employment visas, student visas, and exchange visitor visas. We encourage all applicants to be mindful of the constraints and also to apply early. Appointments will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis as capacity allows.

We continue processing of K1 fiancé visas and other immigrant visas currently backlogged. Please note that immediate family visas (IR1, IR2, CR1, CR2, IR5, and IH3 visas) have priority over all other immigrant visa categories. As a result, expect significant delays for Family Preference (FP) cases, Employment Preference (EP), and Diversity Visa (DV) cases until further notice.

Processing of B1/B2 and C1/D visa renewals ​which meet the requirements for an interview waiver will continue.

The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased until September 30, 2022. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/bg/bg-niv-expeditedappointment.asp or e-mail us at: niv_sofia@state.gov to request an emergency appointment.

The Presidential Proclamations suspending the entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within 14 days in certain countries prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States, remain in effect. For details about these Presidential Proclamations click here.

On April 8, the Secretary of State determined that the travel of immigrants, fiancé(e) visa holders, certain exchange visitors, and pilots and aircrew traveling to the United States for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance is in the national interest for purposes of approving exceptions under the geographic COVID Presidential Proclamations (9984, 9992, and 10143). These proclamations restrict the entry of individuals physically present, within the 14-day period prior to their attempted entry into the United States, in the People’s Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Federative Republic of Brazil, or Republic of South Africa. This article provides further details regarding this determination.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/updates-to-national-interest-exceptions-for-regional-covid-proclamations.html

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021.

Interview waiver applications: If you already have a full-validity B1/B2 or C1/D visa which is still valid or which expired less than 48 months ago, you may be eligible to renew your visa without an interview appointment. For interview waiver information, please visit: http://ustraveldocs.com/bg/bg-niv-visarenew.asp.

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.