Exclusive interview of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) with Bulgarian Ambassador to USA Elena Poptodorova for Novinite's "International Survey: Bulgaria-USA."
In August 2010, Elena Poptodorova started her second term as the Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United States of America. Her first term was as Bulgaria's Ambassador to the USA was in 2002-2008.
In 2009-2010, she served as the Director of the Security Policy Directorate at the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in 2008-2009 – as Ambassador-at-Large for the Black Sea Region at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She served as a Member of the Bulgarian Parliament in 1990-2001....
While the matter of visa waiver for Bulgarians is examined, important to bear in mind that Americans looking for longer-term 'D' visas in Bulgaria face formidable hurdles.
Few are here teaching, since salaries are phenomenally low, even for Eastern Europe. Most Bulgarian universities are offering American academics 4 leva per hour for part-time (lektorski) teaching contracts. Some have retired here, but since their SSA retirement checks cannot be converted to direct transfers into Bulgarian banks, the Immigration Office cannot recognize their pension as a basis for a pensioner's visa. This is the existing law.
Some Americans with permanent residence (постоянно пребиваване) have found they have lost it, revoked, simply by working abroad (as many Bulgarians do for a reasonable salary).
The ambassador Ms. Poptodorova should seek to assure that Americans dedicated to contributing to Bulgaria are given a longer-term visa without umpteen bureaucratic hurdles. And that Americans with permanent residence (still a relatively small number) are not stripped of that residence because they have returned to work in the U.S. or elsewhere for a time.
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