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The Bulgarian Law on Foreigners provides for the possibility of obtaining Bulgarian citizenship for services to the country. At the same time, there is no need to wait 10 years, constantly being in the country, or to have the "correct" origin.
За особые заслуги


There are a number of exceptions depending on the ground, but these conditions must be met in most cases. Article 16 of the Law states that a foreigner can become a Bulgarian citizen if the state is interested in this, or if he has special services before Bulgaria. What specific services should be, the law does not specify, it is only indicated that they can be in various spheres - science, technology, culture, sports, social or economic fields. In this situation, there is no need to meet all the requirements of Article 12, and the procedure for obtaining citizenship itself is different from usual.
According to the standard conditions for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship (Article 12 of the relevant Law), a foreigner can apply for such citizenship, subject to the following conditions:
  • he has reached the age of majority;
  • at least five years before that, he received a permanent / long-term residence permit;
  • he did not commit an intentional crime of a general nature (he was not convicted for it by a court in Bulgaria), and proceedings against him were not started for such a crime (with the exception of rehabilitation)
  • has an income or profession to support himself;
  • knows Bulgarian;
  • freed from previous citizenship or will be freed from it by the time it will be possible to obtain Bulgarian.


Usually a foreigner applying for Bulgarian citizenship must collect documents, submit an application and wait for a response. But not if citizenship is awarded for special services. According to article 30 of the Law, the application for granting Bulgarian citizenship in this situation is submitted to the Ministry of Justice by the minister responsible for the area in which these services are available, or in which Bulgaria is interested in the naturalization of a foreign citizen. In the case of an athlete, the application is submitted by the Minister of Sports, if about a scientist - by the Minister of Education and Science, if about a military man - by the Minister of Defense. Before completing the documentation, the person of special services must give their written consent to make such a request. The proposal is being discussed by the Citizenship Council under the Ministry of Justice. Based on these discussions, the Minister of Justice, within three months, sends a corresponding proposal to the President of Bulgaria, who, in turn, issues a decree on granting citizenship. The decree comes into force upon its publication. The procedure is somewhat different from the procedure for obtaining citizenship by naturalization, descent and other grounds. No application required, no interview required.
Thus, it is easier and faster to obtain citizenship on the basis of special services to the Republic of Bulgaria than on most other grounds. The only difficulty lies in the need to have special services to the country. It is enough just to give written consent, as well as provide the following documents:
  • birth certificate;
  • a certificate of no criminal record in the state of citizenship and in the country where the person permanently or for a long time resides;
  • a certificate from the prosecutor's office about the absence of initiated proceedings on intentional crimes of a general nature (if the person lives in Bulgaria);
  • health certificate;
  • declarations according to 4 and 4a forms (information about personal data and about staying abroad);
  • photo;
  • copy of identity card;
  • document confirming the paid tax;
  • official certificate of name change or identity of different names;
  • autobiography.


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