Problems with LTR for non-eu girlfriend

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Problems with LTR for non-eu girlfriend

Postby mememe » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:00 am

Hi everyone!

Can anyone tell me if they have experienced a similar problem? Any ideas for an easy solution?

I am a Brit and have LTR obtained in 2009. My girlfriend is from Taiwan, citizens of which have not needed a visa to visit all the EU since about January of this year. She can also travel to Britain visa-free. However, she had already obtained her Lichna Karte in the summer of 2010 and at the time we were told by the immigration office in Pernik that renewing it annually would be relatively simple and speedy.

However, and although I was aware that there have been some changes in the recent past, on arriving at the immigration office my girlfriend was told that he class of Lichna Karte (investor in Bulgaria, by being 50% director or a company owning a house and land) no longer exists. The LK expires on August 5th. The immigration officer didn't seem to know what we had to do - but after some consultation of manuals, said we had two alternatives.

1. Start employing and paying salary to and NI contributions for 10 Bulgarian employees (no thanks).
2. The second option as far as I can make out, entails making her the representative of a foreign company in Bulgaria (we have no foreign company, btw) and also involves a long list of documents that need to be provided, including medical insurance, notarised copy of Bulstat, certificate of current registration of BG on the Trade Register etc etc, etc...

Interestingly, the immigration officer said she had to take out medical insurance but could do so for as long as she required the LK to run for - 1 month, 6 months, 5 years, You insure it and you can have it, it seems!!

Owing to lack of time, we won't be able to realise option 2, so it looks like we're back to square 1 and, as we did last year, once more jumping through all the hoops to get a D-visa, followed by a rollover to LK next summer..... but to what?

The immigration officer also said my girlfriend would have to leave BG before or on the 5th of August when her LK expires but I don't think this is right as my girlfriend entered at Sofia airport showing both her Taiwanese passport and her LK. The border officer just glanced at her LK and then put the normal entry stamp in her passport. I also believe that even if this were true, the 90-days-in-any-180-days rule kicks in and my girlfriend could stay after August the 5th with no problems anyway.

Futhermore, the immigration officer dismissed out request for her name (should we need to contact her again) witha curt ''You don't need to know my name, all you need to know is that I am an immigration officer''... :o

Any ideas or solutions please? Is the MBP officer talking B*LLS or will I have to marry her? (the girlfriend, not the MBP officer) :D

If you need any more info, then please just ask.

Cheers

mememe

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marry ot not to marry

Postby sheenbg » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:01 am

The best solution and it works is to marry her..
The reason being my mother has a British passport while my father has a Kenyan Passport so long as they travel together and have their original marriage certificate with them they can travel anywhere in Europe without a visa

While such was is the case for Bulgaria my father has to apply for Visa C (from UK free as mother being EU citizen) then come here and when he went back he applied for Visa D and then came back here and applied for the LK card although his is only for one year and has got a proper on not the white crap.

With most of my family is the same one is a British and the other either an Indian or a Kenyan and with the new EU law they can travel together without paying for visa although the visa is stamped on their passport

Hope this helps
All the best
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Postby gimlet » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:38 pm

If your relationship is "durable" and you can prove it you could argue Art. 2 of the so called "Citizenship Directive".

The biggest difficulty would be resisting any suggestion that the examination of the facts should take place abroad on a visa application.

But the Directive clearly contemplates that any denial of residence has to be justified so your unnamed immigration officer friend should carry out the necessary "extensive investigation" if a request for stay is made on the basis of this provision of the Directive.

Get a lawyer if you don't feel confident about putting forward this claim. A lawyer for you, not her since it is your right that is being denied.


DIRECTIVE 2004/58/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 29 April 2004

................

2. Without prejudice to any right to free movement and
residence the persons concerned may have in their own right,
the host Member State shall, in accordance with its national
legislation, facilitate entry and residence for the following
persons:
...................
(b) the partner with whom the Union citizen has a durable
relationship, duly attested.

The host Member State shall undertake an extensive examination
of the personal circumstances and shall justify any denial
of entry or residence to these people.

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Postby mememe » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:34 pm

Thanks sheenbg - I can't remember who said it but I think it ran something like "Getting married is like setting fire to your house to make a piece of toast" :D But she'll get me eventually, I fear......

Thanks too, Gimlet - I have already considered that avenue as well, getting sworn affadavits and the like. They shouldn't be difficult to support given that we can prove we share an address in Russia and have both a house and a flat in Bulgaria which were purchased jointly. There is also the matter of her having had a Lichna Karte for the last year, obtained with both my moral support and multiple accompanied visits to the MBP office.

Thanks again guys, you have suggested the only possibilities that had sprung to my mind. But maybe someone else has another angle on it I/we haven't thought of?

Cheers!

mememe

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Postby mememe » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:02 pm

Just a quick update, which part involves gimlet's advice and also a 'hidden X-factor' :D

I had mentioned my little problem to a former high-ranking government official and his wife, from whom we have recently bought a flat in Sofia....

She phoned me this morning with a very kind offer to lend a hand and we had a meeting with her this afternoon lasting about 3 hours.

She made calls to the current Minister of the Interior, the current Minister of Immigration, a registered translator, and a notary. We then hopped into a company car to pick up two copies of a bi-lingual declaration of an enduring common-law relationship, and after that went onto a notary to get them stamped. Then we were dropped back home to our flat.

The current Minister of Immigration has phoned the Pernik immigration office to 'offer them certain advice' and we will go there tomorrow, submit the application form and declaration, pay the 10-day, 36-leva fee and a residency card (hopefully at least 5-year) can be collected 10 days later....

That's the plan anyway - I'll let you know should any lamentable deviation from that plan occur.

Thanks again both!

mememe
Last edited by mememe on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby gimlet » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:11 pm

Don't mention it. I'm glad it helped you :)

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Postby leedarkwood » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:35 am

I wonder if this declaration would also work for forced heirship here for people who are not married but sharing a home?

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Postby mememe » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:49 am

I dunno Lee - Probably the best move would be to see a BG lawyer with a view to getting some advice and possibly making a Bulgarian will because, as you probably know, you can't make such provision for assets outside the UK using an English one.

Before MOD steps in, as the subject is not really to do with LTR, possibly you could check out with a search and maybe, if necessary, start a new thread to discuss it?

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Re: Problems with LTR for non-eu girlfriend

Postby Moscow_Wolf » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:37 am

mememe wrote:Hi everyone!

Can anyone tell me if they have experienced a similar problem? Any ideas for an easy solution?

I am a Brit and have LTR obtained in 2009. My girlfriend is from Taiwan, citizens of which have not needed a visa to visit all the EU since about January of this year. She can also travel to Britain visa-free. However, she had already obtained her Lichna Karte in the summer of 2010 and at the time we were told by the immigration office in Pernik that renewing it annually would be relatively simple and speedy.

However, and although I was aware that there have been some changes in the recent past, on arriving at the immigration office my girlfriend was told that he class of Lichna Karte (investor in Bulgaria, by being 50% director or a company owning a house and land) no longer exists. The LK expires on August 5th. The immigration officer didn't seem to know what we had to do - but after some consultation of manuals, said we had two alternatives.

1. Start employing and paying salary to and NI contributions for 10 Bulgarian employees (no thanks).
2. The second option as far as I can make out, entails making her the representative of a foreign company in Bulgaria (we have no foreign company, btw) and also involves a long list of documents that need to be provided, including medical insurance, notarised copy of Bulstat, certificate of current registration of BG on the Trade Register etc etc, etc...


I do not know how 'recent' is recent, but when I was in this situation two years ago, I was told then that to go down the 'business route' would mean employing 10 Bulgarians and all that goes with it. I dismissed it straight away as a non viable option.

Forming a Representative Office of an Off-shore (non Bulgarian) Company is another back door way we used to do in Russia years ago to obtain visa free type privileges, but it costs money to set-up and maintain and is not really worth the effort unless you are actually trading from your offshore company via your Representative Office in Bulgaria.

mememe wrote:Interestingly, the immigration officer said she had to take out medical insurance but could do so for as long as she required the LK to run for - 1 month, 6 months, 5 years, You insure it and you can have it, it seems!


This is nothing new, WE are all supposed to have and can be asked to prove that we have Medical Insurance when visiting or residing here. It is a topic well discussed in other parts of the forum, but suffice it to say that buying cheap medical insurance outside of the Taiwanese or Bulgarian Embassy in Moscow for each trip will suffice.

mememe wrote:Owing to lack of time, we won't be able to realise option 2, so it looks like we're back to square 1 and, as we did last year, once more jumping through all the hoops to get a D-visa, followed by a rollover to LK next summer..... but to what?

The immigration officer also said my girlfriend would have to leave BG before or on the 5th of August when her LK expires but I don't think this is right as my girlfriend entered at Sofia airport showing both her Taiwanese passport and her LK. The border officer just glanced at her LK and then put the normal entry stamp in her passport. I also believe that even if this were true, the 90-days-in-any-180-days rule kicks in and my girlfriend could stay after August the 5th with no problems anyway.


In one of your follow up posts it would appear that you have been lucky to get help right from the top, but not everyone in the same or similar situation might be so lucky. The EU Directive on Rights of EU Citizens and their Non EU Spouses does (if I remember correctly) list the options or, what is meant by a Civil Partnership), but my interpretation of it was another form of marriage or, just as much work to achieve with all the proof and documentation required.

As you have stated that there is now a VISA free regime between Taiwan and the EU, your GF can of course stay for any period of 90 days out of 180 although, it is unlikely that the immigration officers will total up unless you really take the Michael. Therefore, unless you wish to stay here for more than 90 days in any one 180 day period, you need do nothing. Otherwise, as you say, it is back to applying for and obtaining the D Visa of which, you should be able to obtain on the basis of your GF being a part owner of a BG Company and property. I believe that the type D visa gives the right to stay for circa 360 days from 365, but don't quote me on that.

mememe wrote:Futhermore, the immigration officer dismissed out request for her name (should we need to contact her again) witha curt ''You don't need to know my name, all you need to know is that I am an immigration officer''... :o


Nothing surprises me here either, security, security and no comebacks if I got it wrong scenario.

mememe wrote:Any ideas or solutions please? Is the MBP officer talking B*LLS or will I have to marry her? (the girlfriend, not the MBP officer) :D

If you need any more info, then please just ask.

Cheers

mememe


I doubt that the Immigration Officer is talking B*LLS, but each and everyone interprets the EU Directives as they wish too and only hard copies in their own language of the directives backed up by a little confidence might make them think twice. I have been forced to marry when living in sin was more than enough for us both, but if that is what the EU requires or, is the easiest option from the ones you have listed to enable to two people to live together then, so be it. Just handover your house keys, bank account and keep one empty suitcase for your belongings when/if it all goes sour in the future. :roll: Just my early morning cynicism.

Good luck.

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Postby MarkMc » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:16 am

We have an American teacher here who was issued a visa last year on the old rules and he renewed his visa a few months ago without any problems. There was also an article in the Sofia echo stating that people who already have residency dont need to start the process again. The information you were given looks like for new applicants. Here is a link to the article http://www.sofiaecho.com/2011/02/18/104 ... ner-furore


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