Types of accommodation


Country Report: Types of accommodation Last updated: 23/02/22


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Reception centres are managed by the SAR. As of the end of 2021, there were 4 reception centres in Bulgaria. The total capacity as of 31 December 2021 was as follows:

Reception centre Location Capacity Occupancy end 2020 Occupancy end 2021
Sofia Sofia 2,060 463 742
Ovcha Kupel shelter   860 54 220
Vrazhdebna shelter   370 154 168
Voenna Rampa shelter   800 249 343
Closed 3rd Block Busmantsi   30 6 11
Banya Central Bulgaria 70 36 93
Pastrogor South-Eastern Bulgaria 320 46 261
Harmanli South-Eastern Bulgaria 2,710 487 1,381
Total   5,160 1,032 2,447

Source: Ministry of Interior. Note that the occupancy rate includes the closed centre in “3rd Block” in Busmantsi, which is a closed centre.


2,447 asylum seekers resided in reception centres as of the end of 2021, thereby marking an occupancy rate of 47%.

Wherever possible, there is a genuine effort to accommodate nuclear families together and in separate rooms. Single asylum seekers are accommodated together with others, although conditions vary considerably from one centre to another. Some of the shelters are used for accommodation predominantly of a certain nationality or nationalities. For example, prior to its closure, Vrazhdebna shelter in Sofia accommodated predominantly Syrians and Iraqis, Voenna Rampa shelter in Sofia accommodates almost exclusively Afghan and Pakistani asylum seekers, while the other reception centres accommodate mixed nationalities, such as in Harmanli reception centre, Banya reception centre and Ovcha Kupel shelter in Sofia.

Alternative accommodation outside the reception centres is allowed under the law, but only if it is paid for by the asylum seekers themselves and if they have consented to waive their right to the social and material support.[1] They must submit a formal waiver from their right to accommodation and social assistance, as warranted by law, and declare to cover rent and other related costs at their own expenses.[2] Except for the few asylum seekers who are able to finance private accommodation on their own, other group of individuals living at external addresses include Dublin returnees, to whom the SAR applies the exclusion from social benefits, including accommodation, as a measure of sanction in accordance with the law (see Withdrawal of Reception Conditions).[3] As of 31 December 2021 altogether 405 asylum seekers lived outside the reception centres under the conditions as described above.[4]



[1]           Article 29(9) LAR.

[2]           Ibid.

[3]           Article 29(4) LAR.

[4]           Ministry of Interior, Migration statistics, 26 December 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