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.
We have been providing day-to-day corporate and commercial advice to the Bulgarian subsidiary of Filter AS, an Estonian joint-stock company with operations across Central and Eastern Europe. Recently, we have supported the management team of the company in preparing and submitting its bid in a public procurement project financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
© New Balkans Law Office 2020