Last updated 30/10/2023

Updated o 30.04.2024

What is temporary protection?

Temporary protection makes it possible in exceptional situations of mass displacement of people to receive immediate protection on the territory of a Member State of the European Union (EU) - for example, in Bulgaria - without applying for international protection under the standard procedure.

Who can receive temporary protection?

Under the Decision of the Council of the EU of 4 March 2022 and the Decision of the Government of Bulgaria of 9 March 2022, you can receive temporary protection if you are:

  • A Ukrainian citizen and their family having resided in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
  • A citizen of other third states (except Ukraine) and a stateless person and their family who was granted international protection or another equivalent type of national protection in Ukraine before 24th of February 2022, and their family members;
  • A person with a foreign nationality or a stateless person, who has left Ukraine due to the armed conflict, entered and stayed on Bulgarian territory, in case you explicitly state that you want to be granted temporary protection.

“Family members” include spouses, partners with whom you have not entered into marriage, minor unmarried children and other close relatives, such as parents who are dependent on you.

You have the right to choose:

  • When you arrive on the territory of the EU, you have the right to choose from which Member State you want to receive temporary protection. Ukrainian citizens are exempted from a visa requirement and have the right to free movement inside of the EU for 90 days for a period of 180 days after they have been permitted to stay on the territory of the Union. The beneficiary of temporary protection has a guaranteed right to use all rights granted to them under the temporary protection, but only in the Member State which has issued the residence permit.
  • You have the right to choose whether to apply for immediate temporary protection or individual international protection (the maximum time limit for examination of the application for international protection is 21 months) or choose to settle your residence in Bulgaria as per the Law on Foreigners. Even after you have received temporary protection, you continue to have the right to apply for individual international protection (Art. 17 and 19 of Directive 2001/55/EO).

How can I apply for temporary protection?

As opposed to the individual application for international protection, managed by the State Agency for Refugees (SAR), you can submit your the application for temporary protection both at SAR registration-reception centers, and also by officials of the Ministry of Interior at the border police or regional departments of the Ministry of Interior on the territory of Bulgaria. The state employees will take your personal and biometric data, then generate a Personal Foreigner's Number (PFN/ЛНЧ) and issue you a temporary registration document with your photo.

For more information on where you can register your application for temporary protection, see List of registration offices for temporary protection.

Address card

When you first register for temporary protection, and also to exercise your rights as a person with temporary protection, you might be asked to provide an address where you will live in Bulgaria and to fill in an address card. 

You need to fill in this card at the police station in the place where you want to settle. They will give you a sample address card at the desk. You need to fill in 2 identical address cards 

In addition to the address card, you will need the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • A rent agreement for the place where you will live or a notarised declaration from the landlord that he agrees you to live in their apartment.  You can download a sample declaration at this link.

Important! If you are accommodated under the State Humanitarian Aid Programme for Refugees from Ukraine, the address card is completed by the managers of the place where you are accommodated. Similarly, if you are staying in a hotel, this hotel will also automatically submit data to the police with a completed address card and information about your name as it is written in your passport, date and year of birth, citizenship, passport number.

How long does the temporary protection last?

Temporary protection is granted until 4 March 2025.  

What should I do after the extension of the period of temporary protection?

If you already have temporary protection in Bulgaria and your registration card expires, you can re-register and obtain a new registration card that will be valid until 4 March 2025.

Your old card will be considered valid until 31 March 2024, but if, for essential reasons, you miss this deadline, you will have the option to re-register even after it.

Re-registration does not happen automatically, but only at your own initiative.

You can re-register both before and after the 31st of March 2024. The new card will look as follows:

How and where can I re-register?

You should submit:

  • An application form for renewal of your registration card. The application form will be provided to you on-site.
  • You might also be asked to provide proof of address
  • National ID document
  • Your old registration card. 

Depending on where in Bulgaria you live, currently, you can re-register at:

  • the Ovcha Kupel registration and reception center (Address: 1618 Sofia; Ovcha Kupel residential district, 21-A Montevideo Str.)
  • the Banya registration and reception center (8914 Banya village, Nova Zagora Municipality, 17 Mineralni bani Region)
  • Pastrogor transit center (6519 Pastrogor village, Svilengrad Municipality)
  • Harmanli registration and reception center (6450 Harmanli, 23 "Druzhba" St.)

The information presented here has been obtained from official sources. Given the dynamic situation and depending on the operational decisions taken by the Council of Ministers, it may change. We will strive to notify you about any changes in a timely manner.

What rights do I have under temporary protection?

In Bulgaria, persons under temporary protection have the following rights:

  • Right to remain on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • Right to written information in an understandable for you language about the rules and conditions of temporary protection;
  • Right to a temporary protection registration card for the period of the protection;
  • Right to reuniting with your family;
  • Right to work and the right to receive professional education;
  • Right to education and right to access kindergarten for children under the age of 6. For more information, please click here: 

Access to education for children-refugees from Ukraine

  • Right to appropriate accommodation or to funds for accommodation if needed; For more information, please click here: 

Humanitarian aid program for Ukrainian refugees 

  • Right to social aid;
  • Right to health insurance. Read more here:

Health insurance status of persons with temporary protection

Registration at the doctor/GP

What should I do if I am not eligible to apply for temporary protection but cannot return safely to my country? 

In this case, you can apply for international protection. More information can be found here:

Application for international protection 

Request assistance