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Admission of International Students

Admission of International Students

A foreign citizen is any person who is not a Bulgarian, EU or Swiss Confederation national, or a citizen of any state under the European Economic Space Agreement.

Foreign citizens are eligible for PhD application under the same rules and conditions as Bulgarian citizens:

  • If they have the status of permanent resident in the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • If they are of Bulgarian nationality, although permanently residing abroad;
  • If they have a refugee status.

PhD applicants to Varna Free University must submit the following documents:

  1. An Application to the Rector or Vice-Rector for Scientific Research, containing brief biographical information, and specifying the level of their Bulgarian skills and their skills in any language, other than their mother tongue, as well as the scientific and research field they wish to write a dissertation in;
  2. A notarised copy of the higher education document certifying that the applicant possesses a master’s degree;
  3. A medical certificate issued no later than one month prior to the date of application to VFU, and certified by the respective institution/institutions in the country which the applicant is from;
  4. A list of publications (if any);
  5. A copy of the nationality documents possessed by the applicant (provided the applicant has a dual nationality), one of which must be a Bulgarian nationality document;
  6. A certificate of higher education, provided the applicant’s diploma has been issued by a non-Bulgarian higher education institution;
  7. 2 photographs.

All documents must be legalised, translated and certified in compliance with the terms and conditions of the international agreement signed by and between the Republic of Bulgaria and the respective country, where such documents have been issued. In case no such documents are available, applicants must undergo a standard procedure of legalisation, translation and certification of their documents and papers.

All documents must be submitted with the PhD Student Centre at VFU.


Afterwards, the documents are sent to the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth with regard to the initiation of a long-term Bulgarian residence visa issuance as per the Regulation on the State Requirements for Admission of Students to Higher Education Institutions in the Republic of Bulgaria.


After receipt of a D-Type Visa and arriving in Bulgaria, international PhD applicants are officially enrolled at VFU as PhD students.


PhD enrollment of foreign nationals takes place based on a Department Council proposal, affirmed by Faculty Council, and following an order by the Rector/Vice-Rector for Scientific Research. PhD enrollment does not require a competitive entrance exam.


All foreign nationals enrolled as PhD students pay annual tuition to the amount defined by a Varna Free University Academic Council Resolution or an Order by VFU’s Rector for the current academic year.


The University provides language training and specialised courses for international PhD students, according to the Regulation on the State Requirements for Admission of Students to Higher Education Institutions in the Republic of Bulgaria.