Admissibility procedure

Bulgaria

Country Report: Admissibility procedure Last updated: 11/04/24

Author

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Visit Website

General (scope, criteria, time limits)

The admissibility assessment is no longer part of the Accelerated Procedure, but a separate procedure that could be applied prior or during the status determination.[1]

The examination can result in finding the asylum application inadmissible, where the applicant:[2]

  1. Following a proper invitation the applicant does not appear for an interview and, in 30 days thereof, does not present any objective reasons for his omission;
  2. The applicant failed twice to be found at the permitted address of residence or at another address indicated by him/her;
  3. The applicant changes the address of residence without notifying the State Agency for Refugees and within 30 days does not indicate any objective reasons for doing that
  4. The applicant refuses on three or more occasions to cooperate the staff of the State Agency for Refugees to clarify the circumstances related to his application;
  5. The applicant withdraw his application for international protection;
  6. Has been granted international protection in another EU Member State;
  7. Is granted asylum by the President of the Republic;
  8. Is deceased;
  9. Is issued a decision Article 67c, para. 1, item 1[3], which allows his transfer to another EU Member State.

In the hypotheses from 1 to 5, the decision maker can opt to proceed and refuse the applicant under the Accelerated Procedure if sufficient evidence has been gathered to consider the application as manifestly unfounded.[4]

Out of all inadmissibility grounds set out in the LAR and mirroring the recast Asylum Procedures Directive, Bulgaria applies solely the ground relating to Subsequent Applications. It provides the opportunity to consider them based on a preliminary examination whether new elements or findings have arisen or been presented by the applicants relating to their personal situation or country of origin.[5] The admissibility assessment of subsequent applications differs in many aspects from the rules, deadlines and guarantees applicable when an inadmissibility decision is taken on the basis of the other admissibility grounds. The provisions listed above which refer to grounds for terminating asylum procedure could be re-open once on the applicant’s request within 9 months from the date of termination.[6] Whenever the admissibility procedure is applied with regard to a subsequent application, it can be deemed inadmissible unless new circumstances are presented,[7] and in such case the asylum authority refuses to open a new, subsequent  procedure to review the case once again after the first final refusal on its merits.

In 2023, 94 applicants submitted subsequent asylum claim and were dealt with in an admissibility procedure. Of these, 64 (55%) were declared inadmissible and 30 (33%) were granted access to a new procedure for a subsequent determination.[8]

Personal interview

The same rules and guarantees apply as in the Regular Procedure: Personal Interview. In particular, if the interview is omitted, decisions cannot be considered in accordance with the law, unless it concerns a medically established case of insanity or other mental disorder.[9] In practice, all asylum seekers are interviewed at least once to determine their eligibility for refugee or subsidiary protection (“humanitarian status”). Further interviews are usually only conducted if there are contradictions in the statements or if some facts need to be clarified.[10]

 

Appeal

The same rules and guarantees apply as in the Regular Procedure: Appeal. Applicants can access one instance appeal within 7 days since serving the termination of procedure[11] or the refusal to open a subsequent procedure based on a submitted subsequent application[12]  before the the respective regional administrative court.

 

Legal assistance

The same rules and guarantees apply as in the Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance, namely that legal aid for asylum seekers at all stages of the status determination procedure is provided under the national legislation, funded through the state budget.[13] In practice, due to insufficient funding, free legal aid at the administrative stage of the asylum procedure is only provided to vulnerable persons[14] upon their explicit request. Access to legal aid at the court stage is provided to all applicants who do not have sufficient means to cover their legal fees.

 

Suspension of returns for beneficiaries of protection

Suspended returns to another EU Member State

 No returns to another EU member state were ever suspended, neither in 2023.[15]

Relevant national jurisprudence 

There is no national jurisprudence suspending returns of beneficiaries of international protection following inadmissibility decisions or finding applications admissible due to the impossibility to return beneficiaries of international protection to another EU member state or any other country, which granted the protection.

 

 

 

[1] Article 15 LAR.

[2] Article 13(2)(1)-(5) LAR.

[3] Dublin transfers.

[4] Article 15(2) LAR.

[5] Articles 75a to 76c-76d LAR.

[6] Article 77(2) LAR.

[7] Article 13(2) LAR.

[8] SAR, reg. No. №РД05-31 from 15 January 2024.

[9] Article 63a (7) LAR in conjunction with Article 61a (5) LAR.

[10] Article 63a (5) LAR.

[11] Article 15 LAR.

[12] Article 84(2) LAR.

[13] Article 22(8) Law on Legal Aid.

[14] §1(17) from Additional Clauses LAR, namely: children, unaccompanied children, disabled, elderly, pregnant, single parents taking care of underage children, victims of trafficking, persons with serious health issues, psychological disorders or persons who suffered torture, rape or other forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence.

[15] SAR, reg. №РД05-31 from 15 January 2024. 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation