Bulgarian nationality in foreign passport (or birth certificate)
We often receive questions like the one below:
In my mother’s Ukrainian passport*, it is written that she is of Bulgarian nationality. Am eligible to obtain Bulgarian citizenship by origin?
* many times “Bulgarian nationality” is mentioned in the birth certificate or both in the birth certificate and the passport.
The short answer to the above question is “YES”. Unfortunately, the probability that someone who has asked such question will get Bulgarian citizenship is close to 0%. So let’s see why.
The Law on the Bulgarian Citizenship
After the changes in the Citizenship Law in 2021, there is no unified document that proves that one is of Bulgarian origin. The origin is proved in the process of naturalization and can be quite subjective, to put it mildly. Alexander Dobrinov has written a very informative article about how can Bulgarian origin be proven. So a “Bulgarian nationality” remark in one’s passport or birth certificate should be sufficient to prove he is of Bulgarian origin? Well, not really.
The problem with the “Bulgarian nationality” remarks in passports and birth certificated is that the majority of these remarks and documents are FAKE! There are virtually tens of thousands of scammers on the internet, who will offer their victims birth certificates. Cheap certificates, showing Bulgarian origin – the dream for many. The majority of these scams are in Russian, quite logical as there are many ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, etc.
If you are reading this article, then you have probably already seen the so many adverts like “Bulgarian citizenship – fast – from 4000 EUR”. Well, these are all scams and you won’t only part with your money, but may also be criminally prosecuted. Obviously, you will never get Bulgarian citizenship, but that’s the least thing you have to worry about.
So what is really happening is that the Bulgarian authorities receive huge amount of bogus applications. They know very well that the documents that show Bulgarian origin are bought on the internet or from a “trusted agent”. And unfortunately, even the tiny percentage of legitimate documents also fall victim of the scammers’ reputation. Frankly speaking, we can’t blame the authorities for their stance. If Bulgarian origin could be proven by a simple birth certificate, issued in the USSR (non existent state now) 50-80 years ago, that would be too good to be true indeed.
So is there a solution? If you or your ascendants are of Bulgarian origin indeed, how can you prove that? If you only have a foreign passport with a remark that the holder is of Bulgarian nationality, then what? Or even worse, if you only have an old birth certificate of your grandmother with similar remark, how can you use it to get Bulgarian citizenship? There should be a way to shine among all the scammers, so the authorities can identify you as a genuine applicant?
The solution is complex and has to be dealt with 100% legal conformity in mind. Your application for Bulgarian citizenship should be drafted flawlessly. Your eligibility to be of Bulgarian origin should be legally backed. The authenticity of the documents should be proven without any trace of doubt. And last, but not least, your application should be submitted by a trusted (to the authorities) body. The authorities in Bulgaria may be slow and bureaucratic, but they are no fools. If you are genuine applicant and are strictly following the above recommendations, you may soon get, what remains miracle for many, a Bulgarian passport.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need professional assistance with your Bulgarian citizenship application.