Today’s question:

What will happen with my immigration status in Bulgaria if I divorce? Will I loose my residence card (will it be cancelled)? Will I get deported?

Obviously, the answer to the question is of importance to those of you who have obtained Bulgarian residency permit through a marriage with Bulgarian citizen (or with a foreigner with certain legal status in Bulgaria).

Obtaining Bulgarian residence permit through marriage

Long-term residence permit

The most common legal grounds for obtaining Bulgarian long-term residence permit through marriage are the following:

  1. Marriage with Bulgarian citizen;
  2. Marriage with a foreigner who either has long-term residence permit, permanent residence permit or humanitarian status in Bulgaria.

Permanent residence permit

Permanent residence permit may be granted to foreigners who:

  1. Have been married with Bulgarian citizen and have lived continuously in the country for more than 5 years;
  2. Have been married with a foreigner with permanent residency status in Bulgaria for at least 5 years and have lived in the country legally and continuously for a period of 5 years. The condition for 5 year residency is not applied for residents by investment.

When will the residence permit be revoked?

Art.40 of the Bulgarian Law on the Foreigners clearly stipulates the hypotheses when the residence permit will be revoked (after a divorce). Namely, these are:

  1. The long-term residence status will be cancelled immediately if the marriage with the Bulgarian citizen or the foreigner with permanent residence status is terminated (no matter when);
  2. The permanent residence status will be revoked if the foreigner divorces sooner than:
    • 5 years if married with Bulgarian citizen;
    • 7 years if married with foreigner with permanent residence status.

The above scenarios are not exhaustive, although definitely the most common ones. There are many exceptions, such as that a foreigner can obtain one-time residence permit for certain period, after his/her divorce.

Conclusion

An eventual divorce will almost certainly (though not always) affect your immigration status in Bulgaria. Once your Bulgarian residence permit has been cancelled, you will be requested to leave the country or face eventual deportation. Please be sure to avoid at all cost any administrative measures as these may lead to a long ban to re-enter Bulgaria and/or the EU.

For any assistance you might need, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

2 Comments

  1. To whom it may concern,

    I want to divorce my Bulgarian husband on the grounds of adultery.

    We’ve been married for 12 years and got married in Bulgaria. If I divorce him, what will happen to my permanent residence status? Thanks.

    Regards,
    Alexis Campher-Antonova

    1. Author

      Hello,
      If you already have permanent residency, then the divorce will not have an impact on your legal status in Bulgaria. This is assuming that you have been married 12 years ago and you are non-EU citizen. If however, you have long term residency permit, then it will be cancelled. You can apply for one-time extension under the law however.
      For any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
      Regards,
      Posolstvo.eu

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