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Bulgarian Citizenship

Bulgarian Citizenship
Photo from Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency)

Bulgarian citizenship is based upon the Law on Bulgarian Citizenship, dated November 1998. Citizenship of Bulgaria can be acquired by birth, by descent, by naturalization, for special contribution to Bulgarian State, and on some other grounds.

Citizenship by birth: Birth within the territory of Bulgaria does not automatically confer citizenship. The exception is a child born in Bulgaria to unknown or stateless parents.

Citizenship by descent: Child, at least one of whose parents is a citizen of Bulgaria, regardless of the country of birth.

Citizenship by naturalization: Bulgarian citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following condition: Person has resided legally in Bulgaria for at least five years as a Permanent Resident.

Citizenship for special merits before Bulgaria is available not only for investors but also for people of art, science, for philanthropists, etc., who contribute significantly to the interests of Bulgaria. The result (Bulgarian citizenship) can be obtained in scope of 9-18 months. Successful applicants receive full citizenship of the Republic of Bulgaria by decision of the Presidential Decree, and can apply for a Bulgarian passport immediately afterwards. Passports are issued within a few days. Persons who have greatly contributed to Bulgarian society are not required to renounce their previous citizenship.

Citizenship of Bulgaria on some other grounds: The following are eligible for Bulgarian citizenship through other than the normal naturalization process: A stateless person, one of whose parents is of Bulgarian descent. A child aged less than 14 years old who was adopted by Bulgarian parents. Refugees fleeing persecution can get Bulgarian citizenship. Dual citizenship is recognized.

Loss of citizenship: Voluntary renunciation of Bulgarian citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the nearest Bulgarian Embassy for details and proper paperwork. The following are grounds for involuntary loss of naturalized citizenship: 1) Naturalized citizenship was obtained through fraud or false statement. This revocation only affects the person who made the false statements. The person’s spouse and children may retain Bulgarian citizenship. 2) Person commits criminal acts against the security of the state outside of Bulgaria.

It should be kept in mind that acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship for special contribution to Bulgarian society, if is substantiated by philanthropic actions and donations to various cultural and social institutions in Bulgaria normally involves expenses of no less than EUR 250 000 or the investment of no less than EUR 1 000 000 into smart economy or rural areas.


Bulgarian Citizenship Act, http://www.bulgarianembassy.org.uk/citizenship/BGCitizenshipAct1.html