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.
AFI Europe group - ongoing legal support
In 2012 NBLO has continued to provide a full range of legal advice to its long-term client AFI Europe NV and its seven subsidiaries in Bulgaria. Our advice has ranged over a variety of issues – from day-to-day corporate governance and company secretarial work, to complex corporate transactions and banking and financing matters. We have also carried out two due diligence projects on behalf of AFI Israel Properties Ltd. in view of the contemplated public offering of the company on the Israeli Stock Exchange.
© New Balkans Law Office 2017