Refugee status holders have the right to apply for Bulgarian citizenship three years after receiving international protection in Bulgaria, while humanitarian status holder – five years after receiving international protection in Bulgaria.
The application is submitted before the Ministry of Justice, directorate ‘Bulgarian citizenship’ at 1 Slavyanska Str., Sofia from 9:00 to 17:30 on work days. Before submitting an application for citizenship at the above address, you are obliged to make an electronic appointment at http://publicbg.mjs.bg/BgSubmissionDoc.
The following documents are necessary for completing a citizenship application:
- Application request (downloaded from the internet or written on the spot in Bulgarian language);
- Birth certificate, or if not available, a certificate substituting for the lacking document, issued by the State Agency for refugees (see section II. Civil Registration and ID Documents, point 5.4.);
- A decision from the State Agency for Refugees certifying that a refugee or humanitarian status has been granted;
- Criminal Record certificate (see section II. Civil Registration and ID Documents, point 5.3.);
- Certificate from the Prosecutor’s Office that no criminal proceedings have been initiated against you for a deliberate crime of general nature;
- Certificate by the employer that you are legally employed, or a certificate issued by the respective tax office for the income stated for the previous year, and a document certifying the payment of the compulsory insurance contributions;
- A document of proficiency in Bulgarian language issued by the Ministry of Education and Science or a notarized copy of a diploma for a completed education degree in Bulgaria (primary, secondary or higher);
- A medical certificate issued by a Medical Consultants’ Committee serving you at the place of residence, certifying that you do not suffer from any acute contagious and infectious diseases or mental illness;
- A declaration form (downloaded from the internet or filled on the spot);
- An official document certifying a change of your name, if any, and official identity document of a person with different names;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- One actual passport size photo;
- Copy of ID document;
- A receipt for state fee, amounting to 100 leva paid into the account of the Ministry of Justice with the Bulgarian National Bank, IBAN: BG09 BNBG 9661 3000 1737 01, BIC: BNBG BGSD
NB: The document of proficiency in Bulgarian language is issued by the Centre for Assessment in the Pre-School and School Education with the Ministry of Education and Science. In case you hold a certificate or a diploma for a completed Bulgarian language course, you need to apply for recognition thereof at the same centre, located at 125 Tsarigrardsko Shose Blvd., bl. 5, fl. 2 from 9:30 to 17:00 on work days. You need to fill in a form on the spot or available online here: http://copuo.bg/page.php?c=24&d=19. In addition, you need to provide a copy of the ID card and a notarized copy of the certificate or diploma above. In case the certificate or diploma is not recognized or is not available, you need to sit for a Bulgarian language test at the Centre for Preparation of Pupils for National Competitions located at 21A Dragan Tsankov Blvd. at the set time and date.
Upon submission of the documents for Bulgarian citizenship a date for an interview is set. The interview is in Bulgarian language and takes place at Directorate “Administrative Service Office” of the Ministry of Justice at 5 Aksakov Str., Sofia from 13:30 to 16:00 on work days. The Ministry of Justice has to issue a decision in 18 months from the interview. If the decision is positive, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria issues a decree which grants citizenship to the applicant. In order to receive the decree granting citizenship, you need to pay a fee of 250 leva. Negative decisions cannot be appealed.
NB: Applicants must be above 18 years old. For juvenile refugee or humanitarian status holders the application shall be filled by their parents or guardians.