Legal Status and Protection of Refugees

Foreigners can seek and receive protection and resp. to apply for legal status in Bulgaria on the base of the Act for Asylum and Refugees. There are different types of protection:

– Refugee status: Foreigners, who receive it, bear almost all the rights and obligations that apply for Bulgarian citizens.They receive the right to have ID card and have the right to apply at the National Agency for refugees, for uniting with their families. There are some exceptions – for example refugees aren’t allowed to vote on elections, to participate in political organizations, to work on job positions for which Bulgarian citizenship is required, to join the Bulgarian army, etc.

– Humanitarian status: Foreign applicants, who receive it, also receive the same rights and obligations of a foreigner who holds permanent residence permit in Bulgaria. They receive the right to have ID card and also have the right to applyat the National Agency for refugees for uniting with their families.

– Temporary protection.

* On a later stage, applying for Bulgarian citizenship is possible, under the rules at the Act for Bulgarian Citizenship.

* Note that foreigners, who visit or reside in Bulgaria, are obliged to follow the public legal order, to be loyal to the Bulgarian country and not to harm the prestige and honor of the Bulgarian nation. The lack of knowing the Laws of Republic of Bulgaria is not excusable and not a reason for relief from liability.

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