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:

Acting as a Bulgarian law expert in the context of a FIDIC Dispute Adjudication Board

NBLO acted as Bulgarian law experts to a Dispute Adjudication Board constituted under the terms of a FIDIC modelled construction works agreement between the Bulgarian government and a continental Europe-based general contractor. Advised in detail and in successive iterations in relation to the Bulgarian law questions raised by the DAB at the summary of issues stage as well as at the reply and comments stages. Of particular importance to the DAB was the ability of NBLO lawyers to advise on the distinctions between Bulgarian law principles and proximate English and Swiss law concepts in the law of contract as well as to advise on the direct effect and direct applicability of certain European Commission legislation as a matter of Bulgarian law.

© New Balkans Law Office 2019