I am an Indian citizen living and working in the UK for 5 years now. I hold a Tier-2 resident permit in the UK with an Indian passport.

I am keen on visiting Sofia, Bulgaria en-route to Belgrade, Serbia in August 2015. As I hold a visa issued by the UK (which is part of the EU), and I am a resident here, do I still need a Schengen Visa to visit Sofia, Bulgaria and then to Belgrade, Serbia?

It's mentioned on their embassy websites, that if a member EU nation visa is there, I don't need a Schengen for these countries?

It would be really helpful, if someone can provide the answer to my questions soon please.

  • Yes i think you need visa to visit these countries. Only with UK passport you can go there without visa.
    – pbu
    Jul 3, 2015 at 12:40
  • 1
    You don't need a Schengen visa to visit these countries and they can't issue one (although if you have one from a visit to a Schengen country, it might allow you to enter Bulgaria or Serbia too) but you might need a local visa instead.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 3, 2015 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


As @Relaxed indicated, Bulgaria and Serbia aren't part of the Schengen area (yet). They will both let you in if you have a Schengen visa, but it's not required.

You do need a local visa for Bulgaria, it seems it doesn't care about your status in the UK, but Serbia will let you in.

Bulgaria (reference)

Last update: 03.06.2015

Country Visa is required

India    Yes

On 25 January 2012 the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted a decision according to which by the date of Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area, our country will unilaterally apply a visa-free system for holders of valid Schengen visas. They will have the right to enter and reside in the Republic of Bulgaria for a period of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of the first entry, without needing to have a Bulgarian short-stay visa. The decision entered into force on 31.01.2012.


At its meeting of 30 October 2014, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Decision on visa free entry to the Republic of Serbia for holders of foreign passports having a valid Schengen, UK and other Member States' visa, or visa of the United States of America, and for holders of foreign passports having residence permit in the countries of the Schengen area, EU or the United States of America, which was published in the "Official Gazette of RS", No. 119 of 31 October 2014 and which will enter into force on 8 November 2014

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