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I am in the UAE on a work visa. My Visa is sent for cancellation this week. I have my Citizen Card from Portugal but i do not have the portuguese passport yet.

My current Work visa for UAE is stamped on my Indian Passport.

I will be traveling to Bulgaria after 1 week. Since i did not have the Portuguese passport i applied for Bulgarian Visit Visa at the Consulate.

But the Consulate of bulgaria said i don't need a visa. This was also confirmed by the Portuguese Embassy in Bulgaria (very helpful and friendly).

But when i contacted the Portuguese Embassy in UAE (who are Very very Slow) this morning they said i needed a Visa to travel to Bulgaria(I doubt they have a clue).

I did Request the Portuguese Embassy in UAE for a Passport two months ago, but they don't respond to any of my emails and haven't given me an appointment date for the Passport yet.

I am so Confused at the moment.

I would like to know if i will be allowed to travel to bulgaria with these documents? (Portuguese National ID )

  • Where are you now? Where will you be traveling from when you travel to Bulgaria? How long will you be in Bulgaria? Where will you be going when you leave? – phoog Sep 20 '17 at 12:20
  • Bulgaria is not in schengen but if you have a valid schengen visa (multiple entry) or a residence permit issued by schegnen state you can visit Bulgaria - mfa.bg/en/pages/109/index.html – pbu Sep 21 '17 at 15:26
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    @pbu as a Portuguese citizen, Kevin will not have a valid Schengen visa nor a residence permit, but needs neither to enter Bulgaria, the Cartão de Cidadão being sufficient. – phoog Sep 21 '17 at 16:48
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It is a fundamental principle of European Union freedom of movement that EU citizens can use national ID cards, such as the Portuguese Cartão de Cidadão, to travel to other EU or Schengen countries. With your national ID card, therefore, you need neither a visa nor a passport to enter Bulgaria.

You will of course need to exit whatever country you are in at the moment, for which you will probably need a passport. If you do not have the proper documents to leave your country of departure, you will be unable to board your flight. The specific documents you need will depend on your itinerary.

Similarly, you will also need a passport to travel outside the EU. If, when you leave Bulgaria, you are traveling to a non-EU destination, you will need a passport and possibly a visa to enter the country, and therefore also to board the flight.


The only perplexing thing about your question is the report that the Portuguese embassy in the UAE told you you would need a visa to travel to Bulgaria. It's possible that your speculation that they don't "have a clue" is correct, but it's also possible that there is some policy or practice of UAE exit controls that creates a requirement for you to have a visa. I can think of two ways to resolve this; neither is particularly satisfactory:

  1. Ask the Portuguese embassy in UAE to explain why you need a visa. Then take that explanation to the Bulgarian consulate and see whether they will issue a visa. This solution is likely to be unsatisfactory because, as you say, the Portuguese embassy is "very very slow."

  2. Just make the trip with the documents you have and see what happens. This is obviously unsatisfactory because there's a risk that you won't be able to get to Bulgaria in time given the uncertainty about the documentary requirements.

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I thank you for your answer.
I did go to the Bulgarian embassy in UAE. The lady there spoke to the consulate guy and she came back saying I don't need a visa. And returned my visa application back to me. I will be having my UAE visa cancelation papers along with my indian passport to exit UAE.
My only concern is if I woudl be able to board the flight here with my portuguese citizen card. The Portuguese embassy in UAE said the cartao cannot be used as a travel document. And the Portuguese embassy in bulgaria said I can use that. No doubt I will use my indian passport to clear the immigration in the UAE. On arrival in bulgaria I will use the cartao de citado of portugal. Thnx

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    They might be both right and wrong. The citizen card (or any ID card) is valid throughout the European Economic Area and Switzerland as a travel document see wikipedia for which countries are affected. It is however not valid as a travel document outside the EEA. So it depends on where you are if you can use it as a travel document. With respect to the UAE the citizen card is not a valid travel document, but in Bulgaria it is. – Adwaenyth Sep 21 '17 at 14:06

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