How to Get Bulgarian Citizenship

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Familiarize yourself with the Bulgarian language and expectations of citizens before applying for citizenship.
Familiarize yourself with the Bulgarian language and expectations of citizens before applying for citizenship. (Image: Flag - Bulgaria image by dimis from Fotolia.com)

Bulgarian citizenship is available through many avenues, such as birthplace, parentage or naturalization. A child born in the Republic of Bulgaria is considered a Bulgarian citizen. If one parent is a Bulgarian citizen, then the child is considered a Bulgarian citizen. The Republic of Bulgaria may also naturalize you if they decide you have a desirable economic, scientific, or sports-based benefit for the country. Seeking naturalization is trickier, but there are several ways to become a naturalized Bulgarian citizen.

Apply for a permit of permanent residence. These permits last one year, and must be renewed for five consecutive years.

Learn Bulgarian during your five years of residence. You must have a grasp of the Bulgarian language considered acceptable by the minister of education and science to become a citizen.

Avoid problems with the law. If you have committed a premeditated crime, seek rehabilitation. Rehabilitation does not ensure your approval for Bulgarian citizenship, but it gives you the chance to be considered.

Apply for naturalization after three years of residence if you have been married to a Bulgarian citizen and can provide proof of having been married for at least three years. Those with refugee status may also apply after three years of residence.

Apply in person at the Ministry of Naturalization, or at a Bulgarian consulate if you are abroad, with original documents of identification, proof of gainful employment or proof of the means to support yourself in Bulgaria, and all documents concerning your residence in Bulgaria. If sending copies of documents by mail, get them notarized.

Ensure that all documents are in Bulgarian. Get translated documents notarized before mailing them or presenting them in person.

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