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Updated on 10.10.2023

From the moment you are granted refugee or humanitarian status, there are a few important steps you need to take to receive Personal Identity Number (EGN) and Bulgarian identity documents. In this article, we will lead you step-by-step through the process. 

STEP 1: Find an address where you will live and register 

Once you are granted international protection you can no longer stay at the reception centers of the State Agency for Refugees (SAR). You need to find an address where you can officially register and live as soon as possible.  If you do not have an address, you cannot be issued an EGN (see STEP 3) or identity documents (see STEP 4).  

Here you can find information on how to rent an apartment in Bulgaria: 

Renting an apartment in Bulgaria 

Attention! Keep in mind that the number of people that can be officially registered in one address cannot be more than double the number of people that can live there by law - one person per 10 m2. For example, in a place that is 70m2, a total of 14 people can be registered. This number can be higher if the people registered at the address are all relatives. In any case, if the number of people registered in the address you have chosen is higher than what is allowed, the municipality might refuse to register you. 

When you find a place to live, make sure to have:  

  • written rent contract signed by you and your landlord. If you live with your family, the names of all the family members have to be mentioned in the contract. 
  • notarized declaration of consent, signed by the owner of the place allowing you to register at the address where you will live. You can find a sample of the declaration here.  

This declaration is needed in the cases when the owner of the place does not want to accompany you to all the different authorities in STEP 2 and STEP 3. 

Attention! Your name and, if applicable, all the names of your family members should be listed correctly in this declaration. 

In the declaration, it should be underlined that the owner gives his consent to yo, so that you can use this address to make permanent and current address registration (see STEP 3). 

Notarization can be done by a notary. The owner needs to sign the declaration personally in front of the notary. While at the notary, you and the owner might consider making at least 2 identical declarations of consent. You might be requested to submit the original of this document several times to different authorities.   

Each notarization should cost you around 6 BGN (approx. 3 EUR).  

STEP 2: Inform the State Agency for Refugees about your address 

You must notify the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) of the address (the town/village, municipality, street and street number etc.) where you plan to reside and register. You can do this in one of the following ways: 

  • You can go in person to the receptiocentreer that reviewed your asylum application and present your rent contract at the desk to the SAR staff. They will give you a form to fill in.  
  • You can ask a lawyer to assist you in submitting a written application to SAR on your behalf. You would need to attach a copy of your rent contract to the application. 

After you submit your application, SAR should give you a reference number. 

SAR will prepare a letter for the respective municipality notifying them about your address and that you were granted international protection. When the letter is ready, SAR will inform your lawyer or they will call you and ask you to go and get it from the SAR receptiocentreer. Make sure that SAR has your phone number. You can also go to the receptiocentreer and check on the spot if it is ready by presenting your reference number.   

Keep this document with you because you will need to present it yourself at the municipality in STEP 3.  

STEP 3: Civil and address registration 

After you receive your positive decision from SAR, within 14 days you and your family have thelegala obligation to go to the civil registry sector (in Bulgarian known as “отдел ГРАО”) of the municipality, where you plan to live in order to: 

  • Get registered in the population registry. This registration is mandatory. 
  • Оbtain a Personal Identity Number (EGN/ЕГН).  This number is different than your Personal Foreigner’s Number (LNCH/ЛНЧ). It will consist of the year, date and month of your birth.  
  • Apply for address registration. 

In Bulgaria, every person registered in the population registry needs to have one permanent and one current address. These two addresses might be the same, but might also be different ( e.g. if you decide to temporarily move out of your permanent address).  They serve as an official correspondence address with the Bulgarian authorities. The permanent address is also included in your identity documents.  

At this li,nk you will find the addresses of the civil registry sector of all the municipalities in Bulgaria. The information is only in Bulgarian. See the instructions bellow on how to find the address: 

Select the municipality where you will live and click on it. They are listed in alphabetical order:


Scroll down until you find this section (Административни звена, в които се подават документите и се получава информация за хода на преписката) with the address, phone number and working hours. 

You apply for all three – population registry, EGN and address registration at the same time. You will need to personally present the following documents to the municipality: 

  1. Аn application to be registered at the population registry 
  2. An application for a permanent address 
  3. An application for a current address 

You will be provided with the respective forms for all three applications at the municipality. 

  1. A copy of your SAR decision, granting you international protection.  
  2. The original letter from SAR for the municipality, mentioned in STEP 2. 
  3. A copy of the ownership document of the place where you will live. In Bulgarian it is usually called “нотариален акт”. The owner should agree to give you this document. 
  4. The original notarized declaration of consent from the owner of the place allowing you to register at the chosen address. 
  5.  A copy of your rent contract. 

Even when you need to give copies, always bring the originals of the documents with you in case you are asked to show them.  Additionally, bring your green registration card that was issued to you by SAR during your asylum procedure, in case the authorities ask for it.  

The address should be correctly indicated in all of the documents that you are presenting and should be the same as the address pointed out in the ownership document. The municipality might refuse to register you, if there is a mistake and if they cannot find the address in their database.  

You might be also asked to pay fees, which may vary depending on the municipality you are applying in.  Information in Bulgaria about fees in different municipalities you can find at the following links: 

Select the municipality where you will live and click on it. They are listed in alphabetical order:

Scroll down until you find the section (Заплащане) to find the fees :


After you submit all the documents, you should receive the following documents within approximately 7 days, depending on the municipality: 

  • Certificate that you are registered in the population registry which will include your EGN  
  • Certificate for permanent address 
  • Certificate for current address 

Attention: Without having an EGN you cannot receive any identity documents! 

STEP 4: Issuance of identity documents 

After you are registered in the population registry and have an EGN and address registration you have the legal obligation to apply for Bulgarian identity documents within 30 days. 

Attention! It is also a legal obligation for all persons aged 14 years and more to whom international protection has been granted to obtain a valid identity document. Applications must be submitted in person, in the presence of a parent or legal guardian, who signs the application. 

No identity cards are issued to children below the age of 14 years. 

Identity documents are issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. You need to go to the regional police departments in accordance with your permanent address. You can find the websites and contact details of the regional police departments in Bulgarian language here

The following types of identity documents are issued in Bulgaria

  • refugee card (valid for 5 years); 
  • card of a foreign national to whom asylum by the president has been granted (valid for 5 years); 
  • card of a foreign national to whom humanitarian protection has been granted (valid for 3 years); 

The specified time period indicates the period of validity of the document and should not be confused with the period for which protection has been granted.  

In order to apply, you need to personally submit the following documents: 

  1. Аpplication form which will be provided to you at the police department.  
  2. A copy of the official document granting refugee or humanitarian status (only when you apply for the first time for an identity document).
  3. Certificate of registration in the population register.
  4. Certificate for your permanent address.
  5. Proof of paid state fee: 
  • For a refugee card – 30 BGN  
  • For a card of a foreign national to whom humanitarian protection has been granted – 30 BGN 
  • For a card of a foreign national to whom asylum by the president has been granted – 40 BGN  

The fee can be paid at the desk where you are submitting your document either by debit card or in cash.  

Additionally, bring your green registration card that was issued to you by SAR during your asylum procedure, in case the authorities ask for it.  

Your presence is mandatory because the authorities also need to take your picture that will be put in your Bulgarian ID.  

Your document will be issued within 30 days. If you want them faster – within 10 days, you would need to pay a double fee.  

You can receive these documents personally or you can provide someone else with a notarized authorization to receive them for you. 

Attention! When your documents expire or they are lost, stolen or damaged, you must obtain new ones within 30 days.

Change of permanent address

If you change your permanent address, you need to go to the Civil Registration and Administrative Services Department of the municipality of your new permanent address (See Step 3 for instructions on how to find the address of the civil registry sector of the municipality in which you need to go).

Attention! You must have a valid ID when you change your permanent address.

At the civil registry, you need to submit the following documents:

1)   An application for a permanent address, available in Bulgarian language here;

2)   A copy of the ownership document of the place where you will live, if this is your own property;

If you are renting then you need to submit:

3)   A copy of your rental contract;

4)   A declaration of consent from the owner of the place allowing you to register at the chosen address, available in Bulgarian language here. If the owner is not personally with you at the civil registry then this declaration needs to be notarized at a notary by the owner.

5)    Proof of paid fee – each municipality decides what the amount of the fee will be.

You can submit these documents in person, or through an authorised representative upon presenting a notarized and explicit power of attorney.

Attention! Bear in mind the restrictions on the number of persons who can be registered at one address (See Step 1).

The municipality will then issue you a Certificate of permanent address within approximately 7 days – you can find a sample here.

When you successfully change your permanent address, you will need to renew your Bulgarian identity card within 30 days or otherwise you will be fined.

Renewal of identity documents

You need a new identity document within 30 days when:

  • The validity of your previous ID expires

The fact that your ID expired DOES NOT mean that you need to apply for international protection again. You still have your refugee/humanitarian status. You only need to renew your plastic ID card. 

  • If your previous ID is lost, stolen or damaged
  • If you change your permanent address

To renew your ID you need to go personally to the Bulgarian Identity Documents Sector of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of your permanent address, where you need to:

1) Submit an application for issuance of the identity document 

2)    Return your expired identity document – if it is not lost or stolen

3) Submit a Certificate of permanent address –if you have changed your permanent address before renewing your ID

4)    Pay the state fee:

  • 30 leva for a refugee card/card of a beneficiary of humanitarian protection;
  • 40 leva for a card of a person granted presidential asylum.

You can pay the fee at the desk where you are submitting your document in cash or by debit card.

The new document will be issued within 30 days. You can request it to be renewed within 10 days, but in that case, you would need to pay a double fee.

You can receive your new Bulgarian identity document in person or by an authorised representative.


If you do not issue identity documents on time or do not issue new ones in case of loss, theft or damage, the State Agency for Refugees may start a procedure to withdraw or terminate your international protection, unless you can provide evidence that there are objective reasons, due to that you could not renew your document. 

For information on issuing a travel document: 

Bulgarian travel document