Bulgaria - Apply for Refugee Status
The special protection by the Republic of Bulgaria to foreigners under the Asylum and Refugee Act includes asylum, refugee status, humanitarian status and temporary protection.
Refugee status is granted to an alien who fears persecution because of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion and / or belief and because of that cannot or do not wish to benefit from the protection of that country or to return to it.
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- Refugee status in the Republic of Bulgaria is granted by the Chairman of the State Agency for Refugees in line with the criteria set out in the 1951 Geneva Convention and the Law on Asylum and Refugees;
- The applications for asylum, refugee status and humanitarian status are granted on the basis of the individual examination
- The aliens in the Republic of Bulgaria who have been granted asylum or refugee status have equal rights and obligations.
- A recognized refugee acquires the rights and obligations of a Bulgarian national with the exception of: the right to participate in general and municipal elections, in national and regional referenda, as well as to participate in the establishment of political parties and be a member of such parties; to hold positions for which Bulgarian nationality is required by law; to be a member of the armed forces; other restrictions explicitly laid down by law.
- A recognized refugee has the right to request family reunification on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. Permission for family reunification is granted by the Chairman of the State Agency for Refugees.
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Biographical data
- You may request a refugee status in person with an officer at the State Agency for Refugees or another government agency.
- Your request for status may be oral, written or in any other form, and if necessary you are provided with a translator.
- The application for refugee status must include your personal data and specific requests to the Republic of Bulgaria.
- At The State Agency for Refugees you will be searched by a person who belongs to your sex and if you have identity documents they will be retained and stored in the State Agency for Refugees.
- You will be photographed and fingerprints will be taken.
- You will be registered and you will be questioned for biographical data.
- Some medical exams will be done and you will remain under quarantine until the results are known.
- If necessary, you will be interviewed.
- Along with your registration at the State Agency for Refugees a case for granting a refugee status will be open.
- You will get a registration card.
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- Application form
- Any identity documents available
There is no fee to apply for refugee status in Bulgaria.
A refugee card is issued by the Ministry of interior and is valid for 5 years.
Please attach documents which can be used by people who would like to follow this procedure.
Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.
Within three months of opening the case for granting refugee status the Chairman of the State Agency for Refugees shall take a decision that can provide status or refuse to provide status.
You can find the contact information of the State Agency for Refugees in link below: http://www.aref.government.bg/?cat=20
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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
- If you are a parent and you are accompanied in the Republic of Bulgaria of your minor child, you can request status for your child together with your request.
- During the time you have an open case you carry civil, administrative and criminal liability under Bulgarian law.
A recognized refugee or an alien with humanitarian status have the right to an identity card and to a foreign travel certificate, which is issued under the conditions and procedure laid down in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Law on Bulgarian Identity Documents, and the Law on Asylum and Refugees.
More information which might help people.