Applicants to change their citizenship book a date and time to submit applications and conduct interviews at the Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate only electronically as of 2 January 2019.

The  new procedure for registration of applications to acquire, restore and be released from Bulgarian citizenship, laid down with the amendments to Ordinance No. 1 of 1999 on the application of Chapter Five of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act which have entered into force, aims to reduce the administrative burden for citizens and prevent abuse attempts.

Using the automated information system of the Ministry of Justice (http://publicbg.mjs.bg/BgSubmissionDoc), each applicant may choose an appropriate date and to submit their documents without having to wait in queue.

The interview with the candidates is also held on the date of submission of an application, if it is found that all necessary documents are presented. This overcomes the previous practice to postpone the interview and schedule a new date when the applicants had to appear again for the interview, which is an unjustifiable lengthening of the procedure by almost a year.

After the interview, an expert review is carried out within 14 days as to whether the documents provided are in line with the regulatory requirements; if irregularities are found, by means of a notice about it in the automated information system the applicant is given two months to remedy them. If the irregularities are not remedied within the deadline set, the proceedings are terminated by virtue of an order of the Minister of Justice.

Certain administrative burden is also taken off the applicants; they will not need to submit a certificate from the Ministry of the Interior about the consent for a permanent or long-term stay in Bulgaria, a document certifying the payment of the obligatory social security contributions and the existence or lack of obligations, a marriage certificate if a marriage is concluded by a Bulgarian citizen on the territory of Bulgaria.

All other circumstances are checked by the Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate staff ex officio in the Population National Data Base and the inter-registry exchange (RegiX).

Any proceedings to acquire, restore and be released from Bulgarian citizenship which were not completed by 1 January 2019 will continue until completion as per the current terms and procedure.