Bulgarian Citizenship by Naturalization

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Bulgarian Citizenship Team

The Bulgarian Citizenship Act allows any person who has resided in Bulgaria for a period of time defined by law and satisfies the requirements in Chapter III of the same Act to obtain Bulgarian citizenship by Naturalization. If we have to compare obtaining Bulgarian Citizenship by Origin and the Naturalization route, the latter follows more rigorous process. All applicants who would like to acquire Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization are required to prove their fluency in Bulgarian language subject to obtaining a language proficiency certificate from the Ministry of Education. The language proficiency certificate is not required if they have studied in a Bulgarian school or university. The applicants also have to prove that they have an income and occupation enabling them to support themselves in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Citizenship by Naturalization under Article 12 of the Citizenship Act:

  1. is a major; (above 18 years old)
  2. was granted permission for permanent residence in the Republic of Bulgaria not less than five years ago;
  3. has not been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for a premeditated crime of a general nature and has not been the subject of criminal proceedings for such a crime unless the person concerned has been rehabilitated;
  4. has an income and occupation enabling him/her to support himself/herself in the Republic of Bulgaria;
  5. has a command of the Bulgarian language subject to verification in accordance with a procedure established by an order of the Minister of Education and Culture, and
  6. (New SG No. 41/2000) was released from his/her previous citizenship or will be released from his/her citizenship as of the moment of acquiring the Bulgarian citizenship (few exceptions are available).

Bulgarian Language Exam

The Bulgarian citizenship language exam comprises 20 multiple-choice questions. To successfully pass, applicants need to answer a minimum of 12 out of the 20 questions correctly. Our services encompass assistance with exam preparation, registration, and result retrieval, ensuring a seamless process for your language proficiency assessment.

Bulgarian Citizenship Act, Article 13

Article 13 of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act allows any person who satisfies the sub-paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Article 12, and not less than three years as of the date of filling the application for naturalization, was granted a permission for permanent residence in the Republic of Bulgaria may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if he/ she also meets one of the following requirements:

  1. has been, for at least three years, and still is, legally married to a Bulgarian citizen;
  2. (Repealed SG No. 41/2001);
  3. was born in the Republic of Bulgaria;
  4. was granted permission for permanent residence before he/she became of age
  5. (Repealed SG No. 41/2001).

Bulgarian Citizenship by Naturalization for holders of refugee status, Article 13a

Any person who was granted a refugee status not less than three years before the date of filing the application for naturalization may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if he/she meets the requirements under Article 12, sub-paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Bulgarian Citizenship Act, Article 15

Any person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship through naturalization not subject to the provisions of Article 12, sub-paragraphs 2, 4, 5 and 6 if he/she meets one of the following requirements:

  1.  is of a Bulgarian origin;
  2. has been adopted by a Bulgarian citizen on terms of full adoption;
  3. one of his/her parents is a Bulgarian citizen or has passed away as a Bulgarian citizen.

Next steps

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