Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice is proposing to change the regulations on applications for citizenship to require candidates to declare in which countries they have lived for the past 10 years.
The proposal has been posted on a government website for comment, with a deadline of December 23.
The deadline for comment is shorter than usual, 14 days instead of 30, because the ministry already posted other proposed changes for comment in May 2019. Those proposed changes related to tightening the procedure for citizenship applied for on the basis of investments and streamlining some bureaucratic procedures.
In an explanatory note, the Ministry of Justice said that the project seeks to improve the procedure regarding Bulgarian citizenship in terms of assessing whether a person poses a threat to public order, public morality or national security.
It is intended to improve the checks carried out by the Ministry of the Interior and the State Agency for National Security in connection with Article 19 of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act.
Article 19 of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act says: “The application of any person meeting the requirements for acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship through naturalisation shall be refused if there are serious grounds to believe that due to his/her conduct he/she may constitute a threat to public order, public morals, public health or national security”.
The proposed changes to the regulation include a draft form that an applicant will have to fill in regarding countries resided in during the past 10 years.
The draft form requires the applicants’ full name, written in Cyrillic and Latin scripts, date of birth, identity number, name of the country resided in (the form has space for more than one country), the period of residence, residence status, address where resided, and place of work or activity.
The proposed changes to the regulations also include some regarding easing the burden on applicants regarding the submission of documents such as birth certificates. These checks would be done by communication between administrative bodies.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)