Residence permit


Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 18/04/24


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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. However, in 2020 an amendment to the law introduced a new illegal ground to cease or withdraw international protection (see Cessation and review of protection status).[3]

The relevant identity documents are issued by the police on the basis of decisions of the SAR to grant either of the international protection statuses. However, difficulties are encountered by beneficiaries in obtaining identity documents in practice, due to the pre-condition of Civil Registration prior the submission of an application for identity documents; the latter preconditioned by a chosen place of domicile.

During the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2023, the Ministry of Interior issued 10,136 refugee identity cards and 19,645 humanitarian identity cards.[4]




[1] Article 59(1)(2) Law on Bulgarian Identity Documents.

[2] Article 59(1)(3) Law on Bulgarian Identity Documents.

[3] Article 42(5) LAR, enforced on 20 October 2020.

[4] MOI, Identity Documents Department, reg. No.УРИ 285300-323 from 2 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