Unlike immigrants, refuges do not leave their country voluntarily and on their own will for economic, family or education reasons. Refugees flee wars, violations of human rights and risks to their life or security.
It is not possible, however, for the Bulgarian state to tell whether a person is an immigrant or a refugee right away.
This is why, similar to the other European states, Bulgaria has introduced a procedure by means of which it examines each individual case and assesses if the person concerned tells the truth and if he has the right to settle in the state as a refugee or does not have this right, as the reasons indicated do not conform to the law.
While a decision is being made on this issue, those who have applied for recognition as refugees in Bulgaria have the right to remain on its territory without being returned either to the neighbouring country from which they entered Bulgaria or to their own country.
Meanwhile and pending the final decision on their issue, these persons are called “asylum-seekers”, as it is not known yet if they will be recognized as refugees in Bulgaria and Europe.