Amendments of the Bulgarian Citizenship Law
After the amendments of the citizenship law of 2021, the procedures to obtain Bulgarian citizenship by origin (see here and here) were significantly changed. Many customers who have applied for Bulgarian citizenship by origin prior to 2021 were left at the mercy of the administration. This is so, because the officials didn’t basically know how to process the pre-2021 applications. So how does one apply for citizenship by origin after 2021?
The procedures as per the Citizenship Law
Application and interview
The first step is the submission of an official application to the Bulgarian Minister of Justice. The application can be lodged either in the Ministry of Justice or in a Bulgarian diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate). At the time of the application, the applicant will undergo a naturalization interview, which is an essential part of the process.
The required documents
The applicant for Bulgarian citizenship by origin must submit the following documents:
- Official documents issued by Bulgarian or foreign authorities, with which the applicant certifies that he is related to at least one person of Bulgarian origin, who is his ascendant up to the third degree. The documents must contain information about the name of the ascendant and his relationship with the applicant;
- Copy of a birth certificate or a duplicate of a birth certificate issued by the relevant Bulgarian or foreign authority;
- Criminal record certificate from the country of which the applicant is a citizen. If he resides in Bulgaria or in a third country, he presents a criminal record certificate from the local authorities too. The criminal record certificate must state that it is issued for the purposes of the Bulgarian citizenship proceedings;
- Document from the prosecutor’s office that no criminal proceedings have been initiated against the applicant for an intentional crime of a general nature. This is required only if the person is residing in Bulgaria;
- Medical document certifying that the person does not suffer from certain diseases;
- All required legal declarations;
- Recent photo in passport format;
- Photocopy of a document certifying the identity of the applicant;
- Document for paid state tax;
- Official document certifying the change of names, if any, as well as an official identity document of a person with different names;
- Current C.V.
In comparison with the old law, the new requirements look straightforward. And they are, sort of. The thing is that the expected complications are manifold. The Bulgarian authorities are acting with ultra bureaucratic approach. And when it comes to granting citizenship, they often act like a German shepherd, guarding its yard.
In all cases, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with your application for Bulgarian citizenship by origin.