No more a requirement to renounce existing nationality for naturalising spouses

A recent amendment to Bulgarian nationality law allows the spouse of a Bulgarian national to naturalise as a Bulgarian citizen without abandoning his or her existing nationality. This amendment came into effect in December 2013.

A spouse will still need to meet the requirements of continuing residence in Bulgaria, continuation of the marital relationship and passing a test of knowledge of the Bulgarian language.

It should be noted that on the face of the law, the entitlement to naturalise as a Bulgarian national does not at this stage extend to informal partners (irrespective of the length and nature of the relationship), nor to same-sex partners.

In relation to the language requirement, although a waiver of it has been discussed as a prospective further amendment of the law, it has not been adopted in this round of legislation. For now, the requirement of knowledge of the Bulgarian language can be met by either passing a simple test or by completing a special class in Bulgarian (in which case no test is required).

We regularly assist individuals and couples in the various circumstances of applications for naturalisation and will be happy to offer advice, support and representation. Should you wish to receive this, please contact us via our office telephone or e-mails.



Recent work:

Stopping the improper use of insolvency proceedings

A client of our dispute resolution team (led by Kamen Shoylev and Yordan Neshkov) was recently the subject of an indirect claim by a Bulgarian bank with which this client has been engaged in a multi-stage dispute. Unusually, the bank acted through a vehicle registered in an African state, which made an unfounded claim in the tens of millions of euros against our client and sought the commencement of judicial insolvency proceedings against this client. The offshore vehicle was chosen to isolate the bank from liability and create certain evidential difficulties for our client's representation.

NBLO succeeded in terminating the insolvency proceedings, with direct loss fully awarded to our client. A second claim to recover our client's indirect losses is currently under way.

Where targeted in this way through insolvency proceedings, a company may be prevented from trading properly (e.g., by suffering restrictions on its financing or being unable to participate in public procurement).

Through our considerable experience in insolvency litigation, both entirely domestic and where there are European and cross-border elements, we are ideally placed to assist clients in resisting such attacks and recovering the real and considerable losses that may be suffered.

© New Balkans Law Office 2017