Updated on 25.05.2024г. 

If you are a stateless person, i.e. no country considers you as its national, there is a specific procedure through which you can obtain a permanent residence permit in Bulgaria. You need to meet the following requirements: 

  • to have entered Bulgaria before 27th December 1998, or to have been living here and have not left or if you were born in Bulgaria, and 
  • you are not recognised as a national of the former Soviet republics

For this type of permit you do not need to leave the country and apply for visa type D.

How to apply?

You need to apply for this permit in person either at the Migration Directorate at 48 Mariya Luiza Blvd in the capital city Sofia or at the Migration Sector of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior in accordance with where you live and where your address is. In this regard, for example, the authorities will consider the address indicated in a rental contract/notary act of ownership that you present to them. 

You need to submit the following document: 

The template for this form can be found at this link.

  • a copy of the pages of your passport issued by a former Soviet republic, with which you initially entered Bulgaria; 
  • your birth certificate.
  • proof that you have housing in Bulgaria (e.g. rent contract, notary act of ownership etc.)
  • evidence that you have stable, regular, predictable and sufficient means of subsistence (e.g. labour contract, extract from the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency, bank statement etc.)

The amount needs to be no less than the minimum monthly salary (933 BGN for the year of 2024) in Bulgaria or the minimum pension (580,57 BGN as of 1 July 2024) in the country.  This amount is increased every year.

  • an official document issued by a diplomatic or consular representation of the relevant former Soviet republic proving that you have NOT been recognised as a national of the respective country. 
  • An official document which certifies your entry in Bulgaria before 27th December 1998 (e.g. your passport with a stamped entry date or a decision/paper/order issued to you by a Bulgarian institution such as the State Agency for Refugees, Migration Directorate that  can show that you have been living in Bulgaria before this date).
  • Proof of paid state fee of 10 BGN for the service. 

What happens after you submit your documents?

Firstly, the migration authorities will send your application to the State Agency for National Security which prepares a written statement on whether you should be permitted to receive a residency in Bulgaria. This written statement is then sent to the responsible Migration Directorate or Sector which also examines your application. 

The migration authorities must inform you about their decision on your application in written form.  

If your application is rejected you have the right to appeal the decision before the competent administrative court within 14 days of receiving the decision.  Consult with a lawyer to prepare your appeal and submit it on time. 

If you receive a positive decision, you have the legal 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).  
  • 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 link, you will find the addresses of the civil registry sector of all the municipalities in Bulgaria. The information is only in Bulgarian. 

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. Notification letter issued by the authorities that issued you the positive decision for permanent residence permit. 
  2. 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. 
  3. The original notarized declaration of consent from the owner of the place allowing you to register at the chosen address. 
  4.  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.  

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 also be 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: 

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 

After receiving these papers, you can apply for a plastic residence permit at the Migration Directorate at 48 Mariya Luiza Blvd in the capital city Sofia or at the Migration Sector of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior in accordance with your permanent service.  You will need to pay a state fee – 1000 BGN.  

This permit allows you to lawfully reside in Bulgaria for an indefinite period of time. You only need to regularly renew your permanent residence permit before the expiration date indicated on your card.  

How long will it take?

After you have submitted your application and the relevant documents, this procedure can take 2 months until the administrative officials issue a decision. This period can be  extended for an additional 2 months if your case is complex and additional documents are needed. Overall, the procedure should not take more than 4 months in total.