Bulgaria’s National Assembly approved on March 20 the first reading of amendments to the Foreigners Act, including those covering the residence status of British nationals in the country after Brexit.
Deputy Interior Minister Krassimir Tsipov told Parliament that the amendments make special provision for family members of UK nationals.
After Brexit, British nationals seeking residence in Bulgaria will be treated in the same way as any other non-EU national seeking to do so. The exception will be those who have already settled and who have established lasting ties, as well as members of their familes.
The new rules being proposed in the Foreigners Act amendments are the same as those currently proposed by British authorities regarding Bulgarian nationals in the UK.
There will be a re-registration procedure by which British citizens permanently resident in Bulgaria will retain their pre-Brexit status.
Citizens of the UK and their family members who have entered or reside legally in Bulgaria or have a valid residence permit will have the right to apply for the new status.
The re-registration deadline is the end of the year 2020, and applications will have to be made in person at the Migration Directorate headquarters in Sofia or at regional directorates of the Interior Ministry.
Families who have not exercised the unification right by the date of Brexit will be able to do so by the same date of Brexit – whatever it may be – in 2022. The condition is that the family relationship is a fact at the time of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Candidates for residence status will be subject to security checks.
The amendments to the Foreigners Act also envisage introducing a new document for children entering Bulgaria unaccompanied by an escort, facilitating the visa procedure for highly-qualified and seasonal workers, and measures against fake marriage to obtain residence status.
(Photo of Bulgaria’s National Assembly: Nenko Lazarov)