Delays with obtaining Bulgarian citizenship – TRUE or FALSE?
Obtaining another citizenship is a serious undertaking. Getting new passport is cumbersome, anywhere in the world. Nobody in his right mind would expect processing speed of light when applying for second citizenship.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus and the state of emergency in Bulgaria however, many customers have complained about delays with their Bulgarian citizenship applications. In most cases this relates to applicants for citizenship by origin. In some cases, such delays are absolutely unacceptable and we work hard with the authorities to mitigate these problems.
Other times, the applicants’ ignorance of the legal norms in Bulgaria are the only reason for these delays. Unfortunately, the Bulgarian authorities are not making it any easier for the applicants neither.
Legal compliance in Bulgaria – brought to the extreme in 2020
We all know the world is now a different place to live. Long gone are the days when one could open nameless bank accounts in Austria, Switzerland and many other countries. Bank secret is a term of the past. Money laundering is the hot ticket of the new times, no matter how confusing this term may sound to many. Governments from across the world are fighting hard against tax evasion, financing of terrorism, etc., but their methods often cross the red line of the reasonable and acceptable. You can check one of those “methods” that the banks invented to avoid any risks from the new regulations – Bulgarian banks decline to open bank accounts for foreigners.
The EU gave birth to yet another “tool or protection” for its citizens – the GDPR. This “protective tool” resulted not only in huge fines and bankruptcies for many, but it also brought us to the new era of clicking and accepting before we can visit a website. SEO gurus will tell you website loading speed is an important factor, but nowadays legal compliance is like a concrete wall in front of Lewis Hamilton. Next time you see a message “We value your privacy“, be sure that the website owner means “We fear your privacy“. We live in a world where we click and confirm, accept and agree with. We never read what we accept though.
This is the false feeling of privacy and security. And it is very dangerous. Both for our own security, but also for the ability of the others to provide services, without fear of being punished (for not complying with the draconian regulations).
The institutions in Bulgaria – frozen with fear not to brake some law, any law…
Legal fears rule in 2020
With so many regulations, the Bulgarian authorities are now applying a policy of “extreme legal compliance”. In order not to brake any legal codes, the authorities are now extremely cautious to process any paperwork at all. Unless of course they are 10000% certain that it is all perfectly legal.
We can now confidently say that from the first months of 2020, all citizenship procedures in Bulgaria need to be legally backed to the extreme. Any deviation from the legal framework is not tolerated and the process is immediately put to a standstill.
Fear for a reason
The “legal fear” of the authorities is not without a reason. The corruption scandals in the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad resulted in several arrests in 2018. Since then, the Bulgarian officials became extremely sensitive with any citizenship applications, being overcautious not to be branded as “corrupt”. The authorities realize very well that any approved citizenship application may be used against them. And their best defense is to approve slowly, cautiously, over-cautiously, rarely….
The corruption is dead long live the extreme legal compliance
The extreme legal compliance – devastating by nature
The problem with “scared officials” is that the application procedures become feasible only for professionals who can convince the authorities about the legality of their actions. Basically, at the moment, the officials in Bulgaria need some sort of assurance that whatever they sign or approve is 100% legal. Such assurance is best given by those who are in the “business” and who have successfully processed other citizenship applications.
Not without some pride, we can certainly state that we perfectly fit in this role. In the name of honesty however, we feel that this is not how things should work in a real democracy. Citizenship should be available to anybody who qualifies for it under the applicable laws. Not to the ones who can afford professional legal support. For the time being however, it seems only the latter will get be getting it.
If you need assistance with your Bulgarian citizenship application
Don’t lose hope if your Bulgarian citizenship application is delayed or declined. There are many different legal approaches to restore your status and bring the procedure to a successful end. The best you can do is to contact us asap for urgent assistance.