Bulgarian citizenship by Naturalization

The Bulgarian Citizenship Act provides a pathway to citizenship through naturalization for those who have legally resided in Bulgaria for a legally specified period and meet the criteria set out in Chapter III of the Act. When comparing citizenship by origin and naturalization, the latter is notably more stringent.

Eligibility for Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization is extended to individuals who have resided in Bulgaria on a long-term or permanent basis for at least five years. An essential requirement is the demonstration of a reasonable proficiency in the Bulgarian language, at least to an A2 level. This means that while complete fluency is not mandatory, applicants should be able to understand and communicate in Bulgarian to a basic extent to qualify for citizenship through naturalization.

Bulgarian Citizenship by Naturalization Article 12:

To qualify under Article 12, an applicant must:

  • Be over 18 years old.
  • Have been granted permanent or long-term residency at least five years prior. Understand the residency requirements for Bulgarian citizenship. 
  • Have a clean criminal record in Bulgaria and not currently be subject to any criminal proceedings, unless rehabilitated.
  • Meet the financial self-sustainability requirements.
  • Pass a Bulgarian language exam or qualify for an exemption from this exam. For guidance on how to obtain an exemption, please reach out to our team.
  • Be released or willing to be released from their current citizenship upon acquiring Bulgarian citizenship, except to:
    Applicants not required to renounce their current citizenship include:

    • Individuals who are spouses of Bulgarian citizens;
    • Citizens of a Member State of the European Union, of a state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or of the Swiss Confederation;
    • Citizens of countries with which the Republic of Bulgaria has concluded treaties that establish reciprocity.

Bulgarian Language Exam for Bulgarian citizenship:

The language exam consists of 20 multiple-choice questions, requiring a minimum of 12 correct answers to pass. Our services include comprehensive support for exam preparation, registration, and results management. Learn more about the Bulgarian language requirements and exemptions. 

Bulgarian Citizenship through Marriage to a Bulgarian Citizen

While you must meet the general criteria for naturalization, the requirement for permanent or long-term residency in Bulgaria is reduced. Instead of the standard five-year residency requirement, being married to a Bulgarian citizen only necessitates a three-year period of permanent or long-term residency in Bulgaria. This modification acknowledges the significance of marital ties in the naturalization process.

Bulgarian Citizenship by Origin

Applicants of Bulgarian origin are regarded with particular favor in the citizenship application process. Unlike other applicants, they are not required to have permanent or long-term residency in Bulgaria. Additionally, fluency in the Bulgarian language, while beneficial, is not currently a mandatory requirement for them, though there is consideration for introducing a language requirement in the future. Origin applicants are also not required to provide proof of a Bulgarian source of income.

These pathways offer various options for acquiring Bulgarian citizenship, each with specific requirements and processes. Our expertise lies in guiding applicants through these pathways, ensuring a thorough understanding and adherence to all legal prerequisites for a successful citizenship application.

If you do not fit any of the above categories, you may consider to apply for the Bulgaria Golden visa.

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