The applicants for international protection are advised to use the services and help of a lawyer, in particular for the purpose of writing and lodging an appeal against a refusal decision.

The applicants for international protection can approach, above all, the lawyers of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) which is an official legal partner of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The BHC lawyers provide free legal aid – consultations, drafting applications and appeals, including assistance in the course of the court procedure. The BHC lawyers provide free legal aid, including consultations on any matters related to the procedure for international protection and the appeal, drafting of applications and appeals, assistance during the court procedure.

The offices of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee are located at the following addresses:

Sofia, 1 Uzundzhovska Street, floor 3
Telephone: 02 981 3318 / 02 980 2049

Svilengrad, 5 General Strukov Street
Telephone: 0379 63 118

The applicants who have received a refusal should visit one of the BHC offices immediately after receiving the decision in order not to miss the time limit for the appeal.

The applicants who wish to also use the services of a lawyer during the court procedure must inform about this the BHC lawyers writing the appeals for them. The BHC lawyers will draft a special application, which will be attached to the appeal, requesting that the court assigns a free-of-charge legal representative. The legal representatives assigned by the court are lawyers on the list of the National Legal Aid Bureau with the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. Hence, these officially assigned legal representatives do not have the right to ask for a fee to be paid by the applicants for representing and defending them in court proceedings, as their services are paid for by the Bulgarian state.