Types of International Protection
According to the Law on Asylum and Refugees, Bulgaria grants two types of international protection:
A foreigner granted refugee status acquires the rights and obligations of a Bulgarian citizen with the exception of:
- The right to take part in national and local elections, national and local referenda, as well as to participate in the establishment or be a member of political parties;
- The right to hold positions for which Bulgarian citizenship is required by law;
- The right to serve in the army;
- Other restrictions expressly provided for by law.
A foreigner granted humanitarian status acquires the rights and obligations of a foreigner holding a permanent residence permit in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian President grants another form of protection: asylum. Persons granted such status have the same rights and obligations as refugee status holders.
Both types of international protection, as well as asylum guarantee their holders full access to the social and economic systems in the country, including the right to education, access to social benefits (some limitations to the right to family benefits may apply, see section IX. Social Benefits, point 3), healthcare and the labour market.
Once you are granted international protection, you may sign an Integration Agreement with one of the municipalities in Bulgaria which has agreed to receive refugees on its territory. In order to do this, during the procedure for granting international protection, you can inform the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) staff that you wish to sign such an Agreement, whereby an Integration Profile will be prepared by the SAR social workers with information on previous education and professional experience to serve as an indication for the development of an individual integration plan once you are granted international protection. It indicates your wish to integrate in Bulgaria and is a preparation for the exercise of all the rights listed in the remainder of the brochure.