Your Legal Status
Up-to-date information about Ukrainian citizens entering Bulgaria
You are now in a safe place! We know it’s important for you to know what rights you have in our country, so please read the following information. Here is a summary of the two options you can choose from:
1. Receive immediate temporary protection for at least 1 year
2. Be our dear guest for the next 90 days
Discover more information down below.
On March 3, 2022, the European Council implemented the Directive on the temporary protection of Ukrainian citizens entering the territory of the Member States of the European Union. This directive is an instrument that allows large groups of citizens coming from countries with military conflicts to receive temporary protection in the EU.
This enables all people running from the war in Ukrainian to gain access to rights on the territory of Bulgaria. For up-to-date information on all Ukrainian citizens who have already entered our country or who are yet to come to our country – continue down the page.
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee’s program for the legal protection of refugees and migrants running form the war in Ukraine of the has opened a hotline for legal assistance.
You can call on the following phones:
Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00:
00359 2 980 20 49
00359 2 981 33 18
Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 18:00: 00359 8888 19 745 (hotline)
Since 2017, Bulgaria, as part of the EU, has an agreement with Ukraine on visa-free travel. It guarantees the opportunity for all Ukrainian citizens to enter the territory of our country only with their biometric passports and to stay for up to 90 days.
After Russia’s attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Ukrainian citizens automatically had the right to seek protection in Bulgaria without these conditions being met, that is, even if they do not have a valid passport to travel abroad.
⚠️ Due to the emergency situation, the entry of people running form the war in Ukraine is allowed those who:
- have an old passport format without biometric data;
- have an ID card;
- have driving license;
- have birth certificate – for children up to 14 years;
- do not have any of these documents, but have other official documents that indicate their identity – for example: certificates, passes, diplomas, membership cards, bank cards, employment records, property documents and the like;
- do not have absolutely any documents – exceptionally and after an inspection by Border Police officers.
It is allowed to enter Bulgaria by car, regardless of whether or not there is international insurance. More information about car insurance after entering Bulgaria: http://guaranteefund.org/en/contacts.
It is also allowed to enter Bulgaria with pets, regardless of whether they have identification with a chip accompanying passports or vaccination certificates. The relevant Bulgarian authorities have adopted a simplified procedure for these cases. More information on this issue – see: https://www.bfsa.bg or write to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration in Bulgaria
On March 3, 2022, the EU implemented the Temporary Protection Directive for people running from the war in Ukraine. This means that people running from the war in Ukraine automatically receive temporary protection as refugees in the territory of the EU Member States for an initial period of 1 year.
The Bulgarian government has adopted an act determining where and how people running from the war in Ukraine will be able to register in Bulgaria and obtain their Bulgarian residence documents as refugees under temporary protection.
This document is called “Registration card of a foreigner who has been granted temporary protection”.
After the expiration of 1 year, the term of temporary protection may be extended.
This period could be terminated earlier if the war is over and peace and independence are restored in Ukraine.
More information for temporary protection and where are the places, where you can issue a document for temporary protection, find out here: https://ukraine.gov.bg/issuance-of-temporary-protection/
Rights as a Refugee from Ukraine in Bulgaria
- to remain on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;
- right to work and vocational training;
- appropriate accommodation or means of accommodation if necessary;
- social assistance;
- medical care in emergencies;
- to return freely to their country of origin.
- social assistance
- emergency medical care: People from vulnerable groups – children under the age of 18, unaccompanied children, pregnant women, single parents with minors, the elderly and people with disabilities, serious health problems, mental disorders victims of trafficking or suffering torture, rape or other severe forms of violence – have the right to full medical care as Bulgarian citizens.
- free education for children under 18: For more information on where and how to apply for school enrolment – read more here: https://mon.bg/bg/news/4708
- free kindergarten for children up to 6 years: For more information on where and how to apply for enrolment in kindergarten – read more here: https://mon.bg/bg/news/4708
- to return freely to their country of origin if they wish.
- bank accounts and debit / credit cards – the country’s legislation allows Ukrainian citizens to open a bank account for basic operations. This account is opened in BGN and through it many payment operations can be performed – depositing, withdrawing money at a cash desk or ATM, transfers, including online. According to the law, banks offer payment services on this account free of charge or for a reasonable fee, regardless of the number of services provided through the account. Ukrainian citizens can use their Visa or MasterCard debit and credit cards within the daily limit set by Ukrainian banks and up to the guarantee limit for the specific card.
- Who can apply for temporary protection?
- How long does the process take?
- What rights does temporary protection give me?
- Where can I issue a document for temporary protection?