The procedure starts after the registration of the foreigner as an applicant for protection in Bulgaria; the registration is made by the staff of Agency for Refugees.

The procedure for the examination of the application has 3 stages – the first stage is the Dublin procedure, followed by the accelerated procedure, and, finally, the general procedure.

Each stage of the procedure requires the completion of the previous stage, for example: a decision must have been issued in the Dublin procedure in order to move on to the accelerated procedure; a decision must have been issued in the accelerated procedure in order to move on to the general procedure.

There are only two exceptions to this rule:

1). unaccompanied minors move on from the Dublin procedure directly to the general procedure without going through the accelerated procedure; if, however, an accelerated procedure is conducted in respect of an unaccompanied minor, such a procedure is considered invalid.

2). Applicants who have filed a repeated application, after being once refused protection in Bulgaria, do not go through the Dublin procedure and get straight into the accelerated procedure.