Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 23/02/22


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Currently, the LAR allows for access to the labour market for asylum seekers, if the determination procedure takes longer than 3 months from the lodging of the asylum application.[1] The permit is issued by the SAR itself in a simple procedure that verifies only the duration of the status determination procedure and whether it is still pending.

In January 2018 the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy attempted to amend the law and condition the asylum seekers’ access to the labour market on numerous additional and unfeasible requirements,[2] but the joint lobbying of the SAR, UNHCR and non-governmental organisations prevented the amendment from being voted, and preserved the status quo.

Once issued, the permit allows access to all types of employment and social benefits, including assistance when unemployed. Under the law, asylum seekers also have access to vocational training.[3]

In 2021, the SAR issued 146 labour permits to asylum seekers pending status determination and reported 97 asylum seekers to have engaged in employment following the issue of the permit.[4]

In practice, it is still difficult for asylum seekers to find a job, due to the general difficulties resulting from language barriers, the recession and high national rates of unemployment. Statistics on the number of asylum seekers in employment is not collected, with the exception of those officially registered as seeking employment. In 2021 only 7 status holders and 2 asylum seekers were registered as job seekers, of whom 3 status holders and 2 asylum seekers were actually employed.[5]



[1] Article 29(3) LAR.

[2] National Parliament, Law on Amendment of the Law on Labour Migration and Labour Policy, 802-01-1, 2 January 2018, available in Bulgarian at:

[3] Article 39(1)(2) LAR.

[4]  SAR, Exh. No. РД05-26/14.01.2022.

[5]  National Employment Agency, Exh. No.10-00-4797#1 from 20.12.2021.

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