This matter is regulated by the Bulgarian Citizenship Act as the law defines the terms and conditions for the acquisition, loss and restoration of Bulgarian citizenship.
Bulgarian citizenship shall be governed also by the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria by law and by international treaties in force at the onset of the facts or events related to citizenship.
Bulgarian citizen who is a citizen of another country are considered only Bulgarian citizens in the implementation of the Bulgarian legislation, unless the law provides otherwise.
There are three possibilities for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship:
1. Acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship by origin
- Bulgarian citizen by origin each of whom at least one parent is a Bulgarian citizen.
- Bulgarian citizen by origin is and any person who is fathered by a Bulgarian citizen or originating from a Bulgarian citizen has been established by judicial decision.
2. Acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship by birth
- Bulgarian citizen by birth shell be any person born in the Republic of Bulgaria, if not entitled to citizenship of origin.
- It is considered born on the territory of Bulgaria child found on this territory, whose parents are unknown.
3. Acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization
A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if on a date of filing the application for naturalization:
- is an adult – at least 18 years old
- not later than 5 years has been given permission to reside in Bulgaria
- has not been convicted of a crime of general character of the Bulgarian court against him and not prosecuted for such offense unless rehabilitated
- has income or occupation, which enables him to withstand in Bulgaria
- speak Bulgarian, which establishes a procedure established by the Minister of Education and Science and
- is released from their citizenship or will be released from it at the time of acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship
A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen, meets the requirements of Art. 12, item 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and not less than 3 years from the date of application for naturalization has obtained permission for permanent residence in Bulgaria can acquire Bulgarian citizenship if they meet the one of the following:
- not less than three years has continued to be legally married to a Bulgarian citizen
- was born in Bulgaria
- permit for permanent residence is received before coming of age 18 years old
A person granted refugee status or asylum before no less than three years from the date of filing the application for naturalization may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if they meet the requirements of Art. 12, item 1, 3, 4 and 5.
A person granted humanitarian status not later than five years from the date of filing the application for naturalization may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if they meet the requirements of Art. 12, item 1, 3, 4 and 5.
Stateless person can acquire Bulgarian citizenship if they meet the requirements of Art. 12, item 1, 3, 4 and 5 and not less than three years of the date of filing the application for naturalization has a permanent residence in Bulgaria.
A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship through naturalization, without any conditions under Art. 12, item 2, 4, 5 and 6 if it meets one of the following requirements:
- is of Bulgarian origin
- is adopted by a Bulgarian citizen under conditions of full adoption;
- one of his parents is a Bulgarian citizen or has died as a Bulgarian citizen.
A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship without the conditions of Art. 12, if the Republic of Bulgaria is interested in naturalization or if the person has special merits to the Republic of Bulgaria in public and economic sphere, in science, technology, culture and sport.
Children under 14 years of age shall acquire Bulgarian citizenship if their parents or living accept Bulgarian citizenship or if only one of their parents do so if the other is a Bulgarian citizen. Under the same conditions of children 14 – to 18 years of age shall acquire Bulgarian citizenship if they so wish.
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