Updated 11.06.2024


Legalisation is the authentication of the documents issued to you by the authorities of a foreign country so that they can have official effect on the territory of Bulgaria. 

Depending on the type of document, legalisation is done differently depending on the country where it was issued. If the document was issued in one of the countries on this list (e.g. Turkey, Serbia, Uzbekistan, etc.), then it must have a special certification from the competent authority that issued it affixed to it or in an annex called an apostille

If the document is issued by a country with which Bulgaria has a bilateral treaty, then you do not need an apostille. A list of countries where an apostille is not needed can be found on this link here (e.g. Lebanon, Yemen, Russia, Syria, etc.). 

For example, there is an agreement between Bulgaria and Ukraine, according to which the legalization of documents issued by the Ukrainian authorities requires only an official translation of your document and a notary's certification of the translator's signature.

If the country that issued the document does not fall under one of the above two lists, then it must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of that country of issue and then legalized by the Bulgarian diplomatic and consular missions in that country.

Recognition of educational qualifications

For the recognition of secondary education (grades 7-12) or a vocational qualification obtained at school, you must apply to the Regional Education Office (REO) where you live. For recognition of primary or elementary education (grades 1-6), you must apply to the school where you or your child will continue your education. You need the following documents:

  1. application form;

  2. a certified original document of school education and/or professional qualification.

  3. a legalised original of a document stating what rights your school certificate and/or vocational qualification gives you to continue your education, where this is not written on your diploma.

  4. if the recognition is for a child who wants to continue their studies in high school, a legalized original transcript of the subjects studied with the number of study hours and the grades given, if not written in the school record;

  5. original Bulgarian translation of the documents.

  6. original or a copy, certified by a notary, of the last grade completed in a Bulgarian school, if you or your child graduated before studying outside Bulgaria.

  7. original document of paid state fee - for documents submitted to the REO.


The state fee for the recognition of the completed stage of school education is BGN 25.

If you want to be recognised for a degree and a vocational qualification obtained at school, the fee is BGN 35.

If the recognition of documents is requested by children under 16 years of age, it is free of charge.

How long will it take?

A decision should be issued within 1 month.

Recognition of a higher education diploma

For the recognition of a higher education diploma, the procedure depends on the purpose of the recognition. In any case, you must have your diploma legalised.

  • If you want to continue your studies, you should contact the Rector of the university you wish to apply to.

  • If you want to practise an unregulated profession (for example - IT specialist, beautician, hairdresser) - you should contact your employer. If he/she wants an additional certification, you should contact the National Information and Documentation Centre (NACID),


Address. "Dr. G.M. G.M. Dimitrov" 52 A, gr. Sofia

Email: [email protected]

  • If the recognition is for the exercise of a regulated profession - you should contact the NACID and the relevant responsible authority for the profession concerned (e.g. Ministry of Health for medical professions, Ministry of Justice for legal professionals). For more information see below under "Recognition of professional qualifications"

What is the procedure for recognition of a higher education diploma?

To have your bachelor's or master's degree recognised, you need to submit the following documents to NACID:

  1. Application form;

  2. An original or copy of your university degree. Your diploma must be accompanied by a translation into Bulgarian

  3. An original or copy of an appendix or European Diploma Supplement if you have one. Again, the document must have a certified and legalized Bulgarian translation. 

  4. ID (e.g. passport). 

  5. If you have changed your name since obtaining your diploma (for example, you got married and your surname is now different), you must submit a document certifying this change (for example, a certificate from a registry in the country where the circumstance that changed your name was registered). And this document must have a certified and legalized translation into Bulgarian. 

  6. Declaration of provision of personal data

Depending on the country of issuance, the diploma must be accompanied by an apostille or be legalized through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the respective country and the Bulgarian diplomatic and consular missions. You can also check what is required for the legalisation of your documents in this procedure on the NACID website

How to submit documents to NACID:

  • You can submit them in person to the NACID with an ID;

  • You can submit them through an authorized person at the NACID front office. If the documents are submitted by parents, children, spouse, then they can verify  themselves with a document that proves the family relationship (e.g. birth certificate). However, if you have authorized someone, the original power of attorney must be presented. 

  • You can also submit electronically through the NACID portal by scanning all documents and signing them with an electronic signature. 

How to get an electronic signature in Bulgaria can be found here:

How do I get an electronic signature?

If you have submitted original documents, you can get them back within 14 days after they have been checked by NACID. 

NACID makes a decision within 2 months after you have submitted the documents. However, the deadline can be extended if they decide to ask you for additional documents. 

If an employer or other institution asks you for these documents while they are still at NACID, you may request to be issued a note from NACID certifying that they are there. 

Recognition of a the degree Doctor and the degree of Doctor of Science

If you have such a degree from abroad, it may also be recognised in Bulgaria. This recognition is again done by NACID. 

For this procedure you must submit the following documents: 

  1. An application form  for the degree of Doctor or degree of Doctor of Science;

  2. The original or a copy of the degree diploma, accompanied by a translation in Bulgarian.

  3. Dissertation and abstract (paper and electronic) if required for your degree.

  4. If you have any other documents or a diploma supplement, with an accompanying Bulgarian translation.

  5. A document certifying a change in your name, if any;

  6. Declaration of provision of personal data

At this link you can check whether your documents need to be legalised in a specific way  depending on the country of origin. 

Submission of documents to NACID is done in the same way as described above.

The time limit for this procedure is also up to 2 months, or longer if more documents are requested from NACID.

Recognition of professional qualifications

Recognition of professional qualifications depends on whether your profession is regulated or not.

If your profession is unregulated, there is no need for recognition. Your employer can request a certificate from NACID, but it is not mandatory.

Those professions that are particularly important for society are regulated and therefore the state controls who and how exercises the profession. They explicitly require a diploma or other educational certificate.

If yours falls into the list of regulated professions, recognition is according to the specific requirements for that profession, which are set by different authorities in different ways. Each profession stands on its own.

European Qualification Passport for Refugees

If you are a refugee and your diploma or other documents proving your qualification have been lost or destroyed, you have the option of applying for a European Qualification Passport for Refugees. This is a replacement document issued by the Council of Europe issued after an interview with the applicant and collection of evidence of their education, work experience and work experience and language skills. The interview is conducted in the applicant's mother tongue. There is no charge for the procedure or for obtaining the document.

This passport has no legal force, i.e. if you present it to an educational institution, such as a university, they will not be obliged to accept it. It depends on the institution whether they will accept the qualification passport, but it is still a way to get an official replacement document to certify your degree/qualification. The application process happens online by creating an account on a Council of Europe platform. You can find out more  at this link 

Photo source - CANVA Pro