Asylum in Bulgaria

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Application for international protection

Regardless of how you entered Bulgaria, by law you have a right to stay in the country as soon as you apply for asylum.

Applications are handed by the State Agency for Refugees (SAR). SAR decides on individual asylum applications and grants or rejects international protection.

How to submit an application

An application for international protection can be made by telling a state official that you seek protection or asylum. State officials include people like SAR employees, border police and detention officers.

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Bringing your family to Bulgaria

Update on 17.05.2021, based on the information provided by Magdalena Bahoudaila, senior protection assistant at UNHCR, during the webinar “Reuniting Refugees with Their Families” on April  29, 2021

You have a right to bring your family members to Bulgaria once you are granted refugee status or subsidiary (humanitarian) protection.

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Asylum interview

After your registration has been completed, a date for an interview will be set. Your asylum interview is very important. At this interview, the State Agency for Refugees will determine if you will receive refugee status or subsidiary protection, or if you will be denied asylum. It is important to prepare what you will say.

You will be expected to convince the SAR official that you meet the requirements for international protection. You will have to describe your reasons for seeking international protection in detail.

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Asylum in Bulgaria

About asylum

  • Asylum is when a country grants protection on its territory to people from another country who are fleeing persecution or serious danger.
  • You have the right to seek asylum if you need international protection, no matter your country of origin.
  • You have the right to stay in Bulgaria until you get a decision on your asylum application.
  • Whether you plan to stay in Bulgaria or move on to another country
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If your asylum claim is rejected

Receiving a negative decision

If the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) rejects your asylum application, they will send you a letter inviting you to pick up a copy of your negative decision. It is important to get this copy: You need it to appeal your decision.

The decision will explain the reasons your application was rejected. Since the decision is in Bulgarian, you have a right to an interpreter at the time you receive the document.