When is a person stateless?

You are stateless if you are not considered a citizen of any country under the operation of its law.

What can I do if I am a stateless person?

You can apply for status as a stateless person. To do so, you need to fill in and submit an application form in person.

Together with the application, you need to attach any relevant documents you may have that prove you do not have citizenship: a birth certificate, a certificate from your country of birth/residence that you are not its citizen, as well as any other documents relevant to your status as a person without citizenship.

This procedure is free, and no state fees will be charged.

Where can I submit my application?

You have to submit your application in person at the Migration Directorate or at the Migration Department of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior based on the address of your permanent or temporary residence.

The address of the Migration Directorate is Sofia, 48 Knyaginya Maria Luiza Blvd.

If you have been detained, you can submit your application through the state authority you have access to (for example, the head of the Special Home for Temporary Accommodation of Foreigners). He or she is obliged to forward your application to the head of the Migration Directorate. You have the right to receive legal aid. You need to ask for the reference number of your submitted application.

What happens after I apply?

You will be given several documents you need to sign:

  • A Protocol certifying that you have been informed about your rights and obligations during the length of the procedure. Take a copy of this protocol and keep it. It proves that you have submitted an application and the date of its submission.
  • Invitation for an interview in writing specifying the date, time and place for the interview.


You must go to your interview. If you fail to do so, your procedure will be terminated. If you have legitimate reasons for missing your interview date, you need to present proof of your reasons immediately.

The interview is documented in the form of a protocol. At the end of the interview, you will be read the contents of the protocol. Sign the protocol if you agree with its contents.

What rights do I have during the procedure?

You have the right:

  • to receive information about your rights and obligations during the procedure;
  • to be assigned an interpreter if you do not speak Bulgarian;
  • to repeal your application;
  • to have a decision on your application within 6 months of its submission date. In case of particular legal or factual complexity, this term can be extended for an additional period of two months;
  • to be notified in writing of the decision on your application.

If you are granted status, you can:

  • apply for a continuous residence permit in Bulgaria for a renewable period of 1 year;
  • if you already have a long-term or permanent residence permit, you have the right to be issued an identity document called Certificate for travel abroad for persons without citizenship.


You may receive, at the mailing address specified in the application form, instructions from the administrative body, which require your immediate response. You should not miss the deadline for response, or your procedure will be cancelled.

If you cannot comply with instructions to provide a birth certificate or a document certifying your legal residence, you need to state in writing the reasons why you cannot comply.


You have the right to appeal the decision refusing status as a stateless person or any other decision that suspends or terminates your procedure within 14 days of the date on which it was served.

Legal aid

Pursuant to the Law on Legal Aid, you are entitled to free legal aid under certain conditions.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bulgaria also provides legal aid. For more information, visit www.statelessness.bg