Who can seek asylum in Bulgaria?

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The law allows any foreigner to lodge an application for asylum in Bulgaria and to request protection and status in order to settle in Europe.

This can be done irrespective of whether the person entered Bulgaria legally or illegally, and of whether he has a valid identity document on himself. If, however, the foreigner possesses any documents, he should immediately present them to the authorities, as this will help speed up the decision on his case.

An application for asylum can be lodged in Bulgaria by any person – a man, a woman or a child. In Europe women have equal rights with men, and have to lodge the application on their own behalf even if they are married.

When children have entered Bulgaria with either or both of their parents, it is the parents that will lodge an application for asylum on behalf of their children but only if the children are aged under 14.

If any of the children has turned 14 years of age, the authorities may require that this child signs its own application, and one of the parents confirms the application by also signing it.

Children who have turned 18 years of age always lodge their own application without the need for one of the parents to sign it.

Children who have entered Bulgaria without a parent or other relatives are called “unaccompanied children”, and have special rights. These children can lodge an application for asylum and status before the Bulgarian authorities independently only by means of their signature.