Children of one Bulgarian parent may be or may not be considered to be Bulgarian citizens

There are many “Bulgarians”, who have been born abroad. Logically, many of them have one Bulgarian and one foreign parent. And some of them got automatically other citizenship at the time of birth. The parents of those who have been born long ago, when the Bulgarian passport was not as valuable as it is today, didn’t care to take any legal steps as to arrange Bulgarian citizenship for their children. So what is the status of these people today? Are they Bulgarian citizens or if they are not, can they obtain Bulgarian citizenship?

Bulgarian citizen or not?

The answer to this question, unfortunately, is much more complicated that one might expect. A lot depends on the date of birth of the person. This is so, because the citizenship status is regulated by the Bulgarian citizenship law, that has been applicable at the moment of the baby’s birth. So first things first, let’s start with the most senior citizens.

If you are born outside of Bulgaria before 1948 and have one Bulgarian parent

These are the times when gender equality has not been a known concept. So if your father has been Bulgarian citizen at the time of your birth – you are considered to be Bulgarian citizen too. This is even if you are born abroad and your mother is a foreigner.

If your father is a foreigner though, you are not considered to be Bulgarian citizen, even if your mother is such. This is even in the case that you are born in Bulgaria. Well, there are also some more complicated hypotheses, but we will not dig deeper.

If you are born outside of Bulgaria between 1948 and 1968 and have one Bulgarian parent

During the first years the communist regime has made the law much easier to comprehend. If one of your parents is Bulgarian citizen, you are considered to be Bulgarian citizen if you are born in Bulgaria.

If you are born abroad however, you are considered to be Bulgarian citizen only if neither the legislation of the country you are born in nor the legislation of the homeland of your foreign parent, consider you to be their citizen. This is very rarely the case, so the rule of thumb is that if you have been born abroad, you are most likely Bulgarian citizen.

If you are born outside of Bulgaria after 1968 have one Bulgarian parent

After 1968, the law is most straightforward. If any of your parents is Bulgarian citizen, you are also considered to be Bulgarian citizen. Your place of birth is irrelevant.

More difficult than it may sound

With all that being said, even if you are considered to be Bulgarian citizen by origin, there are certain legal steps that need to be taken. Please contact us if you need assistance so you can obtain Bulgarian passport. And you will realize that you need, after you contact the Bulgarian authorities and try to get assistance from them.

1 Comment

  1. Hello,
    I am a Bulgarian citizen living in Norway and I am married to a Norwegian citizen.
    We are expecting a child together and I want my child to also have a Bulgarian citizenship.
    What is the procedure to apply for this after the child is born?
    Can I apply at the local embassy?
    Do I need to register my marriage in Bulgaria in order for my child to get the citizenship?

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