Bulgaria’s Justice Ministry said on January 16 that it has simplified the process of acquiring Bulgarian citizenship, reducing the amount of paperwork required from candidates and speeding up the proceedings, but the new rules will not apply to applicants who are currently mid-process.
As of January 2 2019, candidates can reserve online the time to submit their application package and have their interview at the ministry’s citizenship department. The form is available only in Bulgarian language and the reservation can only be made online, the ministry said in a statement.
This will eliminate any waiting times and, should the candidates file a complete application package at the time they reserved in advance, the citizenship interview can be held immediately, as opposed to the old practice of scheduling the interview at a later date, the ministry said.
After the interview, the ministry’s staff would review the application within a period of 14 days. If the review finds any inconsistencies, the applicant would be given two months to address the issue, via a notification published in the ministry’s automated information system.
The candidates will no longer be required to submit some of the application paperwork – such as Bulgarian marriage certificates or documents on their current residence status in Bulgaria and lack of outstanding tax arrears, which would be checked directly by the ministry’s employees in the respective state registers.
However, the new rules, which the ministry said would both reduce the administrative burden on applicants and prevent fraud attempts, will only apply going forward for new citizenship applicants, while those that are currently mid-process will have to finish under the regulations in force at the time when they applied.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)