Obtaining a Bulgarian Passport — Bulgarian Citizenship — Legal Information
Today many Israelis are interested in acquiring another citizenship. Obtaining a Bulgarian passport is one the easier paths to citizenship in a European country, for the eligible. Many Israelis of Bulgarian origin are eligible to receive this citizenship, assuming they fit certain criteria. Citizenship in one of the EU countries provides many benefits, such as: working anywhere in the EU, subsidized or free academic studies, higher income, purchasing property in the EU, and more. Thus, obtaining a Bulgarian citizenship means obtaining a European passport, which opens the door to new opportunities in a variety of areas.
At the law office of Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh we specialize in immigration. We can help you obtain an EU Bulgarian passport. Our office operates in immigration to various countries, such as the United States, Canada, England, Austria, Portugal, and more. If you are are of Bulgarian descent and can prove this (bourekas making skills are not sufficient evidence), we can assist you in acquiring and/or recovering Bulgarian citizenship.
Who is Eligible to Obtain a Bulgarian Passport?
In principle, every person born in Bulgaria is eligible to receive Bulgarian citizenship, including Israeli citizens. In addition, Jews from Bulgaria who made Aliyah to Israel during the Great Aliyah (1948-1950) are eligible to receive Bulgarian citizenship.
On the other hand, if you left Bulgaria during years other than those mentioned above, you will be required to prove that you lived there for at least 3 years consecutively, and that you were eligible to be, or are, a citizen of Bulgaria, and that you never renounced your Bulgarian citizenship. If you meet these conditions, you can apply or re-apply for citizenship.
Obtaining a Bulgarian Passport for Children of Bulgarian Citizens
A second option allows a person whose parents were citizens of Bulgaria to apply for a Bulgarian passport. In this section we must emphasize that the main condition is that the parents’ citizenship is valid. If it is not valid, then the parents’ citizenship must first be renewed. If the parents passed away, then a Bulgarian death certificate must be issued before applying.
Citizenship for Spouses Married to Bulgarian Citizens
A third option is through marriage to a Bulgarian citizen. If your spouse is a Bulgarian citizen, then you are also eligible to receive citizenship. But, there is a caveat — you will be required to be married for at least 3 years in addition to living in Bulgaria for 3 years consecutively. Israeli citizens have an advantage, in that they are not required by Israel to renounce their Israeli citizenship, and they can be dual citizens of Israel and Bulgaria. If you have citizenship in another country besides Israel, you may be required to renounce it in order to gain Bulgarian citizenship.
Bulgarian Passport Based on Investments
An additional option is to obtain Bulgarian citizenship due to investing in the Bulgarian economy. Like many other countries, Bulgaria also promotes investors from all around the world and gives them the option to invest in obtaining Bulgarian citizenship. In order to take this route, the applicant must comply with the Bulgarian Companies Law regarding companies investment in which is considered as investment in Bulgarian economy for the purpose of obtaining citizenship. In this case, the company would have to meet a certain annual financial turnover, as well as employing locals.
How Can You Obtain a Bulgarian Passport?
If you are a descendant of Bulgarian citizens, a fair amount of evidence showing a direct family connection need to presented. There are various forms that the applicant is required to present for citizenship. Some of them must be issued in Israel and others issued in Bulgaria. However, it must be noted that Bulgaria only accepts documents that are in the Bulgarian language.
Generally, it is required to show a connection through parents’ birth certificates, and sometimes even birth registrations, resumés, copies of official records indicating Bulgarian citizenship of family members, registration summaries, residency certificates, marriage certificates, and more. After presenting the forms you will need to submit a request to the Bulgarian Embassy or directly to the Department of Justice in Bulgaria.
In terms of passports for children — if at least one parent has Bulgarian citizenship, the child is also eligible. In other words, obtaining a Bulgarian passport is the same for children as for adults.
Documents Required for Receiving Bulgarian Citizenship
- Police background check.
- Birth certificate.
- Registration summary from the Ministry of Interior.
- Physician’s note that you do not suffer from HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, or mental illness.
- 3 passport photos.
- Copy of passport.
What are the Advantages of having a Bulgarian Passport?
- In 2005, Bulgaria became a member of the European Union.
- As a Bulgarian citizen, you are also an EU citizen. Therefore, there is no need for a visa to travel to over 150 countries around the world.
- As a new country within the European Union, Bulgaria may soon be exempt from requiring a visa to the United States.
- As a European citizen, you can take advantage of the rights and benefits of healthcare, a growing economy, taxes, pension, work, etc. in any EU country.
- You can live and work in any of the EU countries, such as Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and so on.
- If you are an investor, we must note that the taxation on Bulgarian companies is one of the lowest in Europe. The corporate tax rate is only about 10%.
- Bulgaria encourages foreign investment. Thus, there is an option of receiving income tax exemption for the first 25,000 Euros earned by a business.
- You can study in leading universities in Europe. You can study for free or for minimal cost in countries such as France, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Ireland, and more.
Contact a Lawyer Specializing in Obtaining a Bulgarian Passport
The law office of Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh can help you in the process of obtaining a Bulgarian passport. Also, if you are considering applying for Bulgarian citizenship, even when not absolutely sure about your eligibility, we can assist. Contact us to inquire and check the criteria and the documents needed for this process.