US

Feb 05 2019

Minimum Salary Level Increased

Bulgaria

The situation

Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in Bulgaria has increased to BGN 560, up 9.8 percent from last year.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals must increase the foreign national’s salary to comply with the new rule.  
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew Bulgarian work authorization on or after January 1, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending work authorization applications as of January 1, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
  • Unaffected categories. EU Blue Card applications are subject to a separate salary threshold of 1.5 times the average salary in the relevant sector, calculated over the previous 12 months.


Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances cannot be included in the minimum salary calculation.
  • Market salary rate. As before, salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the proposed position.
  • Collective bargaining agreement salary rate. As before, salaries must also respect salary rates set by collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.


Background

Bulgaria increased the salary requirements by 9.5 percent for 2017 and 10.9 percent for 2018. Salary increases between one and 10 percent are normal in Europe, typically seeking to keep the salary level aligned with the cost of living. The relatively high increases in Bulgaria reflect a fast-growing national average wage.

Looking ahead

Most European countries have published their new salary thresholds over the past weeks. Countries that have not yet published threshold changes at this time are not expected to implement any changes shortly.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.