The Institute of Bulgarian Citizenship is governed by the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria and by the Bulgarian Citizenship Act. There are two ways to acquire Bulgarian citizenship - by origin and by naturalization. Acquisition of citizenship by origin is possible under the following conditions: one of the parents of the person is a Bulgarian citizen or the person's place of birth is on the territory of Bulgaria (if the person does not acquire any other citizenship of origin).

Acquisition of nationality by naturalization is only possible for an alien who has been granted permanent residence status. The permanent residence decision must have been issued for at least 5 years prior to the application for citizenship. There are also several exceptions where the period is reduced to 3 years for married Bulgarian citizens not less than 3 years old for those born on the territory of the country and for those who have been permanently residing as minors.

The alien must also meet the following conditions:

  • be of full age
  • not be convicted of a crime by a Bulgarian court;
  • to be able to sustain in the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • to speak Bulgarian;
  • be released or to be released from his / her current nationality;


An application is filed with the Bulgarian Citizenship and Adoption Directorate at the Ministry of Justice. The application may be filed through the diplomatic or consular representation of the Republic of Bulgaria. Different types of documents are applied to the application, such as: birth certificate, residence permit, conviction certificate, income certificate, Bulgarian language, medical document, photo, import note for the state fee, etc.

The submitted application is considered by the Council of Citizenship at the Ministry of Justice within a period of up to 3 months - at the request of persons of Bulgarian origin and up to 18 months in the applications for acquisition of citizenship of naturalization. Within 12 months of filing the application, the Minister of Justice shall make a proposal for the issuance of a decree by the President. Based on the proposal of the Minister of Justice, the President issues a decree on the acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship. The Decree shall enter into force on the day of its issue. The person who has acquired Bulgarian citizenship must obtain Bulgarian identity documents within 30 days of granting the citizenship.

Go to top