ArticleAugust 25, 2023by SP Audit

Importing labor from third countries

2022 in our country ended with a record low unemployment rate of 4.3%.

Foreign direct investments in Bulgaria increased by 50 percent in 2022 compared to 2021 and this trend continues in 2023.

For demographic reasons, Bulgaria kills around 50,000 people every year. He lives from the protection of the herd, because he is retired with 45 thousand. More than that, they come to protect the herd, at least 18 years ago. Accordingly, the business indicates serious manpower needs that cannot be met by the current market.

It is the lack of manpower that is forcing a new trend among Bulgarian companies. Currently, the Bulgarian labor market needs at least 200 thousand personnel in almost all fields. In the “Textiles”, “Metalworking” and “Construction” sectors, they have already focused on hiring workers from countries outside the EU – Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan. Bulgaria is still an attractive destination for them, as labor in the listed countries is lower paid. It is for this reason that the aim of the arriving workers is to stay as long as possible, with current legislation allowing for an initial work permit for 3 years with the option to extend for a further 2 years or a total of 5 years. Employers usually hire groups of 10, 20 or 30 people, and the pay and conditions for these employees must not be more unfavorable than that for Bulgarian citizens for the relevant category of work.

Of course, there is a procedure to go through to gain access to the labor market, a single work and residence permit for foreigners and a D visa accompanied by a number of requirements and restrictions for employers.

What we can help you with is precisely the hiring of workers from third parties. We are currently recommending Nepali workers assistance to our clients because Nepalis are executive and hardworking people with a good nature and from the experience we have so far, we can confirm that they can be very well adjusted and independent in their work. Employers give feedback of good quality of work, high diligence, good discipline and work habits and high productivity. The main language of communication with them is English, and almost all of them use it at one level or another.

How long does the procedure take?

The term after submitting the documents to the “Migration” Directorate is from 2 to 3 months. Before that, it is necessary to select the personnel and obtain the necessary documents – an identity document, a criminal record, a diploma for secondary or higher education, as well as a residential address. It is the duty of Bulgarian employers to provide them with housing. It is necessary for workers to have basic amenities to live comfortably. After receiving the initial ERPR, at least one more month is needed to obtain a D visa and arrive in Bulgaria.

Various round tables, workshops, etc. are organized periodically. on the issue of importing workers from third countries. Business wants to be heard, but there are still no real changes to speed up processes.

How can we at SP Audit help?

Professional assistance at every step of the process;
Selection of the necessary staff, as we can organize a recording of the candidates’ presentation or online interviews.
We work with reliable partners in Asia who competently assist in the selection and preparation of documentation.
Advising our clients on how to adapt workplaces for foreigners (bilingual work instructions, etc.);
Initial familiarization and orientation of foreigners with local customs and orders;
Replacement of employees in case of unfavorable development with those appointed to the position;
If necessary – preparation of an employment contract in accordance with administrative requirements or a draft contract, necessary as a mandatory requirement for triggering the procedure for issuing permits for long-term residence and work in our country;
Of course, if necessary, we can also assist in finding suitable housing and presenting the employer to the various institutions in the process of issuing residence and work permits.
Yes, the decision to initiate this process is not easy. It has its pros and cons. The process takes time, additional resources and is bureaucratic, but it is not impossible.

We wish you success and would be happy if you let us be a part of it!

*To create this article, we used data from NSI, AZ, BAI, BSK, and Forbes.*