Citizenship in Bulgaria - Guide for 2022
Citizenship in BulgariaUpdated on Wednesday 16th February 2022
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In the past few years, Bulgaria has become an attractive destination for those looking to move to European countries with emerging economies. With a low taxation system as well as progressive developments in terms of legislation and options of starting a business or finding good jobs, many of the foreigners living here decided to apply for citizenship in Bulgaria.
If you want to know if you qualify for citizens, our lawyers in Bulgaria can help you. We can also advise if you want to move here and get acquainted with the Bulgarian citizenship requirements for later.
Legal pathways for citizenship in Bulgaria
There are several ways through which foreign citizens can apply for Bulgarian citizenship. These are:
- naturalization which is one of the most common ways through which foreign citizens obtain full rights of living in Bulgaria;
- origin which is available only for those who have Bulgarian relatives or ancestors;
- birthplace which is available for the children of foreign citizens born in this country;
- investment which is one of the most employed pathways by foreign high net worth individuals.
No matter the ways you want to obtain a passport, you must first meet the Bulgarian citizenship requirements which can be presented by our lawyers.
For those who want to know if Bulgaria dual citizenship is permitted, the answer is yes, however, this option is available for certain persons only.
How to obtain Bulgarian citizenship by origin
Bulgarian citizenship by origin is available for persons who have relatives (parents or grandparents who are still alive) and ancestors they can prove they have had a blood relationship with.
Obtaining citizenship in Bulgaria this way is not uncommon, however, in the case of those who have lived abroad most of their lives and have lost contact with their Bulgarian relatives completing all the formalities related to finding their relatives can be a lengthy procedure.
Our law firm in Bulgaria is at the service of those interested in the requirements they must meet in order to obtain citizenship.
Those who are citizens European Union, European Economic Area countries and Switzerland can also qualify for Bulgaria dual citizenship.
Applying for Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization
Many foreign citizens who decide to move to Bulgaria choose to remain here for a long term. In many cases they reach the timeframe for obtaining permanent residency and from there, citizenship is only one step away.
These can obtain citizenship by naturalization in Bulgaria if they meet one of the following requirements:
- they have been residents of Bulgaria for 5 years;
- they have a clean criminal record;
- they have sufficient funds for support themselves;
- they know Bulgarian and have a good knowledge of the Bulgarian culture.
Foreign citizens who are married to Bulgarian ones can be eligible for citizenship after 3 years of living here.
The documents one needs to provide when applying for citizenship in Bulgaria are:
- the application form;
- the passport or document issued by the Bulgarian authorities;
- a recent photography;
- the criminal record;
- the application fee.
Those are married to Bulgarian citizens must also submit proof of changing their names, however, if they got married in Bulgaria, such a document is no longer required.
Our lawyers can explain all the Bulgarian citizenship requirements in accordance with your status here.
Who can obtain Bulgaria dual citizenship?
Bulgarian dual citizenship is an option for those who born abroad of Bulgarian parents, other applicants being required to give up their citizenship when applying for Bulgarian passports.
There are also a few exceptions to the dual citizenship rule, as citizens of EU, EEA and Switzerland can retain their first passports when applying for Bulgaria dual citizenship.
We kindly invite you to reach out to our Bulgarian lawyers for detailed information on the requirements applicable on a case-to-case basis.
Statistics on Bulgaria’s population
Currently, Bulgaria has a large expat community made which is distributed evenly in major cities of the country, and according to this data provided by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development:
- at the level of 2019, the size of the foreign-born population was 0.2 million, out of which 51% were women;
- they represent 2% of the country’s population;
- 18% of the foreign citizens living in Bulgaria are of Russian descent;
- Syrian and Turkish migrants account for 8% of the foreign-born population each.
Most of the people immigrating to Bulgaria from non-EU countries came here based on employment contracts.
If you want to apply for citizenship in Bulgaria and need guidance, do not hesitate to contact our law firm for tailored support.