Bulgarian Citizenship by Naturalization

Foreign nationals can acquire Bulgarian citizenship via naturalization after meeting specific conditions, including residency, language proficiency, and other eligibility criteria. The prerequisites and steps for attaining citizenship by naturalization are laid out in the Bulgarian Citizenship Act.

Who Can Get Citizenship by Naturalization?

An applicant must have lived lawfully in Bulgaria for at least five years in a row, or three years if they were married to a Bulgarian citizen for at least three years, in order to qualify for Bulgarian citizenship via naturalization. Additional requirements for qualifying include being above 18 years old, having a clear criminal history, and having the ability to support oneself financially. A Bulgarian language test or a Bulgarian language course must be successfully completed in order to prove the applicant’s fluency in the language.

What is the application process?

The application process for Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization typically involves the following steps:

  1. Meeting the eligibility requirements: Before applying for Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization, the applicant must meet the eligibility criteria, such as residency, language proficiency, and other requirements outlined in the Bulgarian Citizenship Act
  2. Gathering the required documents: The applicant must gather all the required documents for the citizenship application, such as a valid passport, residency permit, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), and language proficiency certificate
  3. Submitting the application: The applicant must submit the citizenship application to the relevant Bulgarian authorities in Bulgaria, along with all the required documents
  4. Application review: The authorities will examine the application after it has been submitted and may ask the applicant for more information or supporting documentation
  5. Decision on the application: After reviewing the application, the authorities will decide whether to grant citizenship. The applicant will be informed if their application has been accepted
  6. Taking the oath of loyalty: If the citizenship application is approved, the applicant must do so in front of a relevant official, such as the mayor of their municipality, and swear allegiance to Bulgaria

It is important to note that the application process for Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the applicant. For example, the residency requirement may be shorter for individuals who have Bulgarian ancestry or are married to Bulgarian citizens. It is recommended that individuals seeking Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization consult with a qualified immigration lawyer or the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in their country for more information on the process and requirements specific to their situation.



How long does it take to naturalize and become a citizen of Bulgaria?

To be eligible for citizenship by naturalization in Bulgaria, you must have lived in the nation continuously for at least five years. This period of residency begins on the day you were granted a legal residence permit in Bulgaria.

After meeting the residency requirement, you can apply for naturalization with the Ministry of Justice. Depending on multiple conditions, the processing time for the application can range from several months to over a year.


Is it necessary for me to relinquish my present citizenship in order to become a citizen of Bulgaria?

You might be able to maintain your present citizenship while also obtaining a Bulgarian passport because Bulgaria normally permits dual citizenship. It is advised, however, that you confirm whether dual citizenship is permitted under the laws of your present nation of citizenship.

Do I need to pass a language exam to become a citizen of Bulgaria?

Yes, individuals seeking Bulgarian citizenship through naturalization must prove their language skills by passing an exam or finishing a course in the language.


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