Residence permit



Bulgarian Helsinki Committee

Both refugee and subsidiary protection (“humanitarian”) statuses granted are indefinitely and are not limited in duration, but differ in the duration of validity of identity documents issued to holders. The duration of validity is 5 years for refugee status holders,1 and 3 years for subsidiary protection holders.2 The different validity of the documents derives from the different scope of rights attributed to each of them.

Recognised refugees are explicitly entitled to equal treatment in rights to Bulgarian nationals with just a few exclusions, such as: participation in general and municipal elections, in national and regional referenda; participation in the establishment of political parties and membership of such parties; holding positions for which Bulgarian citizenship is required by law; serving in the army and, other restrictions explicitly provided for by law.3 Individuals granted subsidiary protection (humanitarian status) have the same rights as third-country nationals with permanent residence.4

The relevant identity documents are issued by the police on the basis of decisions of the asylum authority to grant either of the international protection types.

  • 1. Article 59(1)(2) Law on Bulgarian Identity Documents.
  • 2. Article 59(1)(3) Law on Bulgarian Identity Documents.
  • 3. Article 32(1) LAR.
  • 4. Article 32(2) LAR.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti