How to send money to Bulgaria

Bulgaria became a part of EU countries in 2007 which made it more accessible to other EU countries and to the world too. Sending money to Bulgaria is now very convenient. Almost all major online and offline money transfer services can transfer your money there. But different services will charge you differently and may deliver different amounts to the recipient. It is because of the different fees and exchange rates offered by these service providers. The speed of their delivery also differs. I took out three major companies who have been doing an excellent job of fund transfers from years and compared their results. I reviewed the services of TransferGo, Worldremit and MoneyGram and their results on sending money to Bulgaria. Here are my findings on this small exercise that will help you find the best option for your future needs.

Fund transfer with TransferGo

TransferGo is a rapidly growing company who specializes in providing cheap money transfer solutions. It was founded in 2012 and currently has its offices at Lithuania and London. They use the innovative P2P payment transfer method. Through their local account, they receive the money from the sender and deliver money to the recipient in their respective countries.

They charge a fixed transfer fee depending on the country you are sending money from. You can check the transfer fee applicable for your country at their website beforehand to get an idea. Along with that, they charge 0.6% to 1.5% currency conversion fee. This will depend upon the amount you are sending and the country you are sending money from. TransferGo ensures that the fund never gets affected due to fluctuations in currency. It usually takes them 1 business day to transfer funds. So in case of weekends and bank holidays, your funds will be delayed. Their services are very transparent and you can directly log in to their website to get the complete idea of your transaction charges and delivery time.

How to send money to Bulgaria

Fund transfer with Worldremit

Worldremit is one of the most popular fund transfer companies. It is completely online and you can transfer money anywhere from your computer, mobile or tablet. They send money to over 140 countries and are trusted for their services around the world. It was founded in 2010 and since then has always received great reviews from its customers. They offer fund delivery in the form of bank transfer, mobile airtime top up and cash pick up. But at Bulgaria, they only have bank transfer service available. They transfer money to almost all major banks in Bulgaria within 1-2 day. On their website, you can enter your details and can see how much you will have to pay for the transfer as well as their exchange rates.

Fund transfer with MoneyGram

One of the oldest and most trusted fund transfer company, MoneyGram is a global name in fund transfer sector. Along with their online transfer, they also offer cash pick services for the recipients to over 200 countries. Their online service is very fast and in some countries, it gets transferred in minutes. If you have an agent location nearby, you can also visit them there to make a transfer. However, payment deposits and pick up from an agent location is costlier and comes with a higher fee. Their website will give you complete information about sending money to Bulgaria and the convenient pickup and deposit locations. You can also check the difference in fees using their “Estimate fee” tab to check which method will cost you the least.

Comparison

I went through all three company’s website and tried to send money to Bulgaria using their online options. I could clearly see and compare the similarities and differences in all three of them. Here are the observations below.

Amount sent Service Provider Fee Charged Exchange rate offered Real exchange rate at XE.com Money received Time Taken
EUR 1000 TransferGo EUR 0.99 1.93203 BGN 1.95583 BGN BGN 1930.12 1 business day
EUR 1000 Worldremit EUR 0.99 1.94 BGN 1.95583 BGN BGN 1937.29 1-2 days
EUR 1000 MoneyGram EUR 0.99 1.94 BGN 1.95583 BGN BGN 1934.35 1 day

To make the comparison clear, I chose to send the same amount of EUR 1000. The payment and receiving mode used in all the transactions is through a bank account. It is pretty clear that all three services charged the same fee for the transactions. However, the results were different in terms of money received. Although Worldremit and MoneyGram charged the same fee and had the same exchange rates their results are slightly different from each other. The reason could be that on their website they showed the exchange rates rounded up to two decimal points. While converting the money they must have used their accurate exchange rates. The results showed that Worldremit and MoneyGram are better options to send money to Bulgaria while TransferGo was also very close. This is what we get if we are sending money to Bulgaria. However, it is possible that you will get a different result when sending money to a different country or in different currency currency.

Greek-Bulgarian diplomatic relations

Overview

Greek and Bulgaria share a common heritage which plays a role of a solid foundation of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both countries were once under the Turkish Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries in the early 15th century. Despite having a rough and turbulent history, they have transformed their relations to a great extent from last several years. In the decades of 1970 and 1980, they took major steps forward to work hard on their diplomatic relations as neighboring countries. The friendship seems to be deepening and now evolving even more as both of the countries are a member of EU countries and NATO. Greece is also supporting the inclusion of Bulgaria into the Schengen Area. The two countries are working on strengthening new economic and political ties amongst each other and are in noticeably good relations.

Greek-Bulgarian diplomatic relations

Notable Developments

The seeds of the current diplomatic relations between Greek and Bulgaria were first planted in 1908. Since then they are taking small and constructive steps to build strong relations. In the decades of the 70s and 80s, the political leaders from both countries held many meetings to discuss many internal and mutual political issues. Many political and economic policies came into action during that period which is still continuing. They have now established embassies in each other’s countries to support their people to explore the other country. More than 300,000 Greek citizens visit Bulgaria every year and Greece also experiences an almost equal number of tourists from Bulgaria. Apart from tourism, they are also co-operating in various political and economic issues. There are frequent visits of officials from higher authorities between the two countries.

The Hellenic Educational Association of Sofia is working wonderfully in Bulgaria, helping students to learn Greek. On the other hand, Federation of Cultural and Educational Associations of Karakatsani of Bulgaria is helping over 28,000 Greeks to receive the education in Bulgaria. Bulgaria has started investing in Greece’s economy and foreign trade which is helping its GDP to grow. Greece has also made multiple investments in various sectors and is one of the most significant investors in Bulgaria. There has been a report published by Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy which has been carefully summarized here in this article calling the diplomatic relations between the two countries a “Success Story”. This will help you get an overall idea of the current political and economic scenario between them. You can also learn about the current development on their bilateral relations here.

Notable Developments

The way forward

After the establishment of the High-Level Cooperation Council, the political ties between them have only been strengthened. The council was established in 2010 to help protect the political relations between the countries. But so far there have been only 3 meetings and they have a long way to go. Both the countries are struggling in certain areas and with mutual support and co-operation, they can easily come out of it.

Bulgaria Visa and Passport Requirements

Planning to visit Bulgaria? Be it a business trip or a holiday, there are a few things you should know before flying out. Every country has a specific set of requirements for visas and passports for the residents of different countries. Since Bulgaria is now a part of EU, the visa and passport rules are a bit easier for other nationals of EU countries than those from outside the EU. Here are the requirements for visas and passports for individuals traveling to Bulgaria.

Visa requirements:

No visa is required for the citizens of EU countries for the stay of 90 days or less. If their stay exceeds 90 days, they will need to get a special permission from the local police by registering with them. Countries like the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada can also visit Bulgaria for 90 days without a visa. All other visitors need to have a visa before they start their trip to Bulgaria. To get your visa issued, you will need to apply to the Bulgarian embassy and provide the required documents and proof of identity. The following are some of the required documents which you may need to submit to get a visa:

  • Completed application for.
  • Passport: Valid till 6 months ahead of the date of travel.
  • Return ticket or ticket to the next destination from Bulgaria or 300 Euros to pay for the arrangements to leave Bulgaria.
  • Proof of sufficient funds: The visitor must be carrying an amount equivalent to at least 100 Euros per day of his/her visit.
  • To acquire a visa for a business trip you need to submit a letter from your company.
  • For a private trip, you will be required to produce a letter of invitation from a Bulgarian citizen.

You will also have to submit the proof of submission of visa processing fee. It will cost you 52 GBP to apply for a short stay visa. A short stay visa is valid for a 90-day stay at Bulgaria in the next six months. Depending on your requirements, you can apply for a single-entry or a multiple-entry visa. A single-entry visa will expire in 90 days with a stay of maximum 30 days. Multiple-entry visas are typically suggested for business trips or when one has to make multiple trips in a short span of time. It is also valid for 90 days. You can also get a transit visa which is valid for 24 hours. It’s designed for people traveling in and out of Bulgaria several times. It typically takes 15 business days to get a short stay visa.

Bulgaria Visa and Passport Requirements

Passport requirements:

EU nationals are not required to carry a passport while traveling to Bulgaria. Valid proof of nationality is sufficient for them. All other nationals are required to carry a valid passport with a validity of 6 months at the time of travel. This is relaxed to 3 months of validity for countries like the UK, USA, Australia, and Canada.

This article is purely intended to give you an idea about the basic requirements and may not be having the complete information at the time you are referring it. I will advise you to conduct a thorough research on these requirements to avoid any surprises at the last moment. You can get some more relevant details here. If you are a British citizen this article can help you understand their entry requirements. It is always wise to be prepared beforehand so your travel and stay is a great experience.