Information updated on 19.06.2024

When can I apply?

You can apply for Bulgarian citizenship after a certain period of time has passed, depending on your status or residence permit.

If you have been granted refugee status in Bulgaria, you can apply for citizenship 3 years after the day you were granted your status.

If you have been granted humanitarian status, you can apply after 5 years from the day you received your status. Make sure you renew your ID card after 3 years - you will need it to apply for citizenship later. 

If you are stateless and have been in Bulgaria for 3 years with a permanent or long-term residence permit, you are also eligible to apply after those 3 years.

If you have resided in Bulgaria with a permanent or long-term residence permit, you can apply for citizenship 5 years after obtaining your permit.

Important! In addition to the required time period, you must also meet several additional conditions to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, which are:     

  • You must be at least 18 years old;

  • You must have a clean criminal record;

  • Not be the subject of a criminal prosecution;

  • Be able to support yourself financially in Bulgaria;

  • Be fluent in Bulgarian;

  • You are exempt from your former citizenship or will be exempt from it when you acquire Bulgarian citizenship. This requirement does not apply to stateless persons, holders of refugee or humanitarian status, people of Bulgarian origin or spouses of Bulgarian citizens.

Documents you need

Application for Bulgarian citizenship

You will find a template application form at this link.

Birth certificate

A copy of your birth certificate issued by the relevant Bulgarian or foreign competent authority.

If you have refugee or humanitarian status and do NOT have a birth certificate, in addition to the identity document issued to you by the Bulgarian authorities, you must submit a certificate issued by the State Agency for Refugees.

Criminal record

First, you need a criminal record certificate from the country of your nationality.

Second, you need a criminal record certificate from Bulgaria. For this you need to go to the Ministry of Justice and apply for it. There is no need to make an appointment in advance. The certificate will be issued on the same day.

For more information go to:


If you have refugee or humanitarian status or are stateless, you do not need to present a criminal record from your country of citizenship. You only need a criminal record certificate from Bulgaria.

Proof that you are not the subject of criminal proceedings

To get a document stating that you are not being prosecuted, you must go to the district attorney's office closest to your permanent address. The list of district attorney's offices can be found here. There is no need to make an appointment in advance. You will receive your document within 4 working days. You have to pay a fee of 2 leva.

Proof that you can support yourself financially

To prove that you can support yourself financially, you need to provide a certificate from your employer if you are working on an employment contract.  The certificate must state the position you hold and the salary you earn, with a reference for at least the previous 6 months.

If you do not have an employment contract, you can submit a document from the territorial office of the National Revenue Agency at your permanent address, stating your declared income for the previous year.


To prove your knowledge of Bulgarian, you have two options:

  1. If you completed your secondary education (grade 7 or 8), high school education or higher education in Bulgaria, bring a notarised copy of your diploma.

  2. If you do not have a Bulgarian diploma, bring a document showing your Bulgarian language skills. The Ministry of Education and Science issues such a document.

To obtain this certificate, you must apply to the Ministry of Education and Science and attach a copy of your ID.

On the copy of your ID you should also write:

  • "True to the original" in Bulgarian (“Вярно с оригинала“);

  • Your name and surname;

  • And your signature.

If you have completed a Bulgarian language course, you can also submit a notarised copy of your certificate from that course, but there is no guarantee that the Ministry will accept it. The law does not say which institutions are authorised to issue these certificates.

If you do not have Bulgarian language course certificates or the Ministry does not accept yours, you will have to take a written Bulgarian language exam. You can find more information about the exams and some sample tests with answers on the Centre for Assessment in School and Pre-school Education website.

You can also ask the Assessment Centre for more information in person.

Address: Sofia, Boulevard “Tsarigradsko shose” 125, building 5

Phone: +35929705611

Email: [email protected]

The application process and the exam are free of charge.

A medical document issued by a medical advisory committee (MAC)

This can be obtained from the medical facility of your place of residence. You will need two separate documents:

  • A document certifying that you do not suffer from acute contagious and infectious diseases.

  • A document certifying that you do not have a mental illness.


You will find a template declaration form at this link.

Other documents

  1. Your CV.

  2. One passport size photograph.

  3. A photocopy of your identity card.

  4. A certificate for identifying your names, in case you have different names or there has been a change in your name. This is not required if the name change is due to marriage.

  5. Registration card for temporary protection in Bulgaria.

  6. A receipt for payment of the state fee of 100 leva to the account of the Ministry of Justice: BNB - Central Bank, IBAN - BG09 BNBG 9661 3000 1737 01, BIC: BNBG BGSD.

Please note that you may need to show your original documents at any time when you apply, so make sure you bring them with you.

Important! Before you apply for citizenship, check whether you owe any compulsory social security contributions (e.g. health insurance) and other debts such as taxes or fines to the state. The Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate carries out an official check for these types of debts and non-payment may be grounds for refusing you Bulgarian citizenship. 

Visit the Department of Justice website to find out more about the procedure and documents required. The information is only available in Bulgarian.

Obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by origin

This procedure has less requirements. It requires fulfilment of only some of the conditions described above. 

In this case, you are eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship if:

  • you have Bulgarian origin;

This means that when you apply, you must prove that you are related to at least one person of Bulgarian origin. This cannot be any relative of yours, but must be your ascendant to the third degree, i.e. mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great-grandmother and/or great-grandfather

  • you are over 18 years old;

  • and you have not been convicted of a criminal offence and no criminal proceedings are pending against you.

You must submit the following documents:

  • Application for Bulgarian citizenship;

  • Official documents issued by Bulgarian or foreign authorities proving that you are related to this person of Bulgarian origin;

  • A copy of your birth certificate;

  • Criminal record certificate from the country of which you are a citizen, stating that it is issued for the procedure of acquiring Bulgarian citizenship;

  • A document from the prosecutor's office stating that no criminal proceedings have been initiated against you for a premeditated crime if you are a permanent or long-term resident of Bulgaria;

  • A medical document certifying that you do not suffer from acute contagious and infectious diseases; 

  • A declaration describing your personal data and another declaration if you reside abroad;

  • If you have a change of name, you must certify this with an official document;

  • CV;

  • A recent passport-sized photograph;

  • A copy of your identity document;

  • A receipt for the state fee paid, which is 30 leva, but if you are a student in Bulgaria until the age of 26, the fee is 10 leva

Bulgarian citizenship for children under 18

Children up to the age of 18 whose parents have accepted Bulgarian citizenship or only one parent has accepted and the other is a Bulgarian citizen can also apply for Bulgarian citizenship.

If only one parent of children under 18 is a Bulgarian citizen, they can become Bulgarian citizens if their parents give their consent. This also applies to adopted children.

For children in these cases, the documents required are the same as those listed in the paragraph on "Obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by origin", except that children DO NOT HAVE to present a criminal record, a document from the prosecutor's office and a medical document. Additionally, for adopted children the adoption decision must be presented. 

For these procedures for issuing Bulgarian citizenship for children, the fee is 10 leva.

Obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by a stateless person

As already noted, the period that must have passed is 3 years from the acquisition of a permanent or long-term residence permit if you are a stateless person.  In this case, you must submit the entire number of documents listed above under "Documents you need", taking into account the following:

  • You only need to submit a criminal record certificate issued by the Republic of Bulgaria.

  • You do not need to present a document certifying that you have renounced your previous citizenship. 

In this case, the state fee for the service is 100 leva.

Further information on stateless people can be found in the following articles:




How do I apply for Bulgarian citizenship?

Submitting documents

Before you submit your application, make sure you have all the necessary documents.

Each document must be written or translated into Bulgarian and legalized.

If you do not have all the necessary documents, the Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate may not accept your application for Bulgarian citizenship. If it does accept it, it will give you 2 months to submit the ones that are missing. If you cannot obtain them within this time limit, your proceedings will be terminated.

If you have a residence permit in Bulgaria, have temporary protection or are a citizen of a Member State of the European Union, you must submit your application, together with the necessary documents, personally WITHOUT PRIOR RESERVATION to the following address:

Ministry of Justice - Administrative Services Directorate

Address: Sofia, 5 “Aksakov” Str.

Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 17:30

If you are not in Bulgaria, you can submit the application at the consular or diplomatic representation of Bulgaria.

Booking an appointment

If you are a non-EU citizen living abroad and wish to apply for Bulgarian citizenship, you should book an appointment in advance before submitting your documents on the spot. 

Important: You do not need to book an appointment if you have temporary protection, however as of 24.06.2024 it is required that your temporary protection has been granted at least 6 months ago at the time of booking an appointment. 

Booking is made online on the Ministry of Justice website.

For this you need an email address.

First, you need to choose a day that is convenient for you. Reservations can only be made for 60 calendar days in advance. The system will check to see if that date is available. If not, try another date. The day and time reservation system opens every day from 12:00 to 17:30 automatically.

Be sure to click the "reserve" button. You will receive an email with your confirmed reservation. Only if you receive this email, your appointment is considered booked.


When you have submitted all required documents, the Directorate will schedule an interview in Bulgarian on the same day of your application registration. The interview will be conducted by an official of the Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate.

During the interview you can expect questions related to:

  • Your reasons for applying for Bulgarian citizenship;

  • Your documents;

  • Your public life in Bulgaria;

  • Your knowledge about Bulgaria (such as public holidays and important historical events).

How long will it take?

The Minister of Justice must make a recommendation to the President on whether to grant you Bulgarian citizenship within 12 months, or 9 months if you are applying on grounds of Bulgarian origin.

Citizenship is granted or denied by presidential decree. The President is not bound by a time limit within which to issue this decree, so in some cases it may take years to acquire Bulgarian citizenship. The President's decree is final and cannot be appealed in court.

The most common grounds for refusal are related to national security or public order, or documents that show that the applicant for Bulgarian citizenship is under investigation and suspected of committing a crime.

You can follow what is happening with your application for Bulgarian citizenship on the website of the Ministry of Justice, Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate. To do this, you need to enter the submission number of your application and a special PIN code that you will receive when you submit your application.

Even if you are refused Bulgarian citizenship, you can apply for Bulgarian citizenship an unlimited number of times.