What if your Bulgarian citizenship application seems to be stalled?

Today we will discuss the situation of many Bulgarian citizenship applicants. What happens is that the citizenship applicant submits his documents, goes through the citizenship interview and then everything goes to a dead end. The Bulgarian citizenship application is stalled. Checking the application status on the website of the Bulgarian citizenship directorate doesn’t help. The application status is either not changing at all or there is a standard message that “dossier is under mandatory reconciliation”. So what now? Should you wait another year? Maybe two? Forever?

What are the statutory time limits for a decision on the citizenship application?

The Bulgarian citizenship law is quite clear about the time limits in which the Minister of Justice has to make a proposal to the President to either grant you or no to grant you Bulgarian citizenship. And these time limits are of extreme importance to you. So the time limits that the Minister of Justice is obliged to observe are as follows:

3 months6 months9 months12 months
Citizenship for special meritsRestoration of Bulgarian citizenship
Citizenship by originGeneral naturalisation
The above time limits are compulsory for the Minister of Justice, according art. 35, par. 1 of the Bulgarian Citizenship Law

With that being said, the time limits are dependent on the legal ground of the Bulgarian citizenship application. But why are these time limits so important for the applicant?

The importance of the legal time limits for an eventual appeal

First of all, the above time limits are your true guide as to when to expect your citizenship application to be “approved”. If your online status on the website of the Citizenship directorate doesn’t seem to be advancing, after the relevant time limit has passed, this is a reason for serious concern. But that’s not all.

Appeal against an implied refusal

According to Bulgarian law, if your application isn’t processed in time and the time limits above are not observed, you may appeal this in the Court. There is a catch however. As you will not hear from the authorities and your application will be seemingly “being processed”, you won’t know that you should appeal. And your time-frame when you can appeal is very narrow, namely one month only. And this is calculated from the date when the time limit for your particular application has expired. But all these calculations you have to make yourself. And bearing in mind that you don’t get any notices, these calculations prove to be extremely complicated. To make things even worse, there are some “exceptions”.

The exceptions from the general rule

During the naturalisation process, there may be some irregularities in your application. The authorities may contact you in order for you to correct these issues. If this is the case, the time limits start from the moment when these issues are solved.

And now if you still think that it’s feasible to calculate the time limits yourself, then think again. For assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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