See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.
UK driving licences seized by the Bulgarian authorities are returned to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK. See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport). As well as the European emergency number 112, Bulgaria also has: To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre. Definitive information should be obtained from the Bulgarian authorities.
British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter. The FCO will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.
You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Bulgaria.
If you are planning to reside in Bulgaria on a long-term basis you must register with the National Health Insurance Fund and then choose a GP and a dentist.
See our travel advice for Bulgaria and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies. See entry requirements for Bulgaria in our travel advice.
If you intend to stay in Bulgaria for longer than 3 months, you will need to apply for a long-term residence permit from the Migration Directorate of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior.
If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.
If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.
Once you’ve been resident in Bulgaria for 5 years, you can apply for Bulgarian citizenship. The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Bulgaria.
You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries.
Information about local Bulgarian benefits and pensions is available from the National Social Security Institute. See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.