Six thousand people are waiting for Bulgarian citizenship

waiting for Bulgarian citizenship decree
Queuing at the citizenship directorate in Sofia. (image from Asia Nikolova /

Currently six thousand people are waiting to receive Bulgarian citizenship. The procedures for obtaining the Presidential Decree have been delayed, as there is already a backlog of unissued certificates. The latest boom in applications for Bulgarian citizenship was to be expected after Bulgaria revamped its Law on the Bulgarian citizenship and foreigners Law in March 2021.

Luckily the situation is improving and our clients who have applied after 01.12.2020 should not expect any delays for their citizenship decrees.

The current situation

As of the end of May, there are about 6000 citizenship applicants, waiting to receive their Bulgarian citizenship Certificate, the Ministry of Justice has told BGNES.

On May 28, the Ministry of Justice announced that from 31.05.2021, the Ministry of Justice will provide free admission of citizens to obtain certificates pursuant to a decree for the acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship. This is done in order to overcome the current delays. An option is now foreseen for those who haven’t reserved their pickup date through the automated information system. These candidates will be now served too, as per the newly introduced rules.

The long queues are due to the huge amount of applications that outnumber by large factor the free hours for electronic registration and the incoming decrees. This has led to a big time lag. For example, as of May 26, 2021, all hours for registration for services until March 2022 are fully booked. For the period from 31.05.2021 to 08.06.2021, a more than a thousand citizenship certificates were issued by the Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate.

The promise of the authorities

The Ministry assured that they are working to increase the number of service hours that can be booked electronically. And they promise that with the new measures, the huge waiting times will become a thing of the past.

What to do if your Bulgarian citizenship has been delayed

You should take actions if your citizenship decree, or the decision by the Citizenship Council has been delayed. There are legal ways to speed-up the procedure, but you must act fast and on time. In Bulgaria, as in many other countries, timing is extremely important in law.

Please contact us asap if you need assistance with your Bulgarian citizenship application. One email or a phone-call can make the difference between becoming Bulgarian citizen or not.

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