Even though you are aged under 18, you have rights which the Bulgarian authorities are obliged to observe.

During the procedure you have the right to:

  • stay in Bulgaria until a decision is made on either granting or refusing a status to you;
  • receive a registration card which will be your identity document;
  • be accommodated in a refugee centre;
  • receive food every day;
  • receive cash aid in the amount of 65 BGN every month;
  • receive medical care when you get sick;
  • receive education at a Bulgarian school;
  • be appointed a guardian who will take care of your rights;
  • use an interpreter, a lawyer and a social worker during the interviews;
  • receive a decision which either grants or refuses a status to you in Bulgaria.

In addition to the rights during the procedure, you have the obligation to:

  • observe the rules in the refugee centre (camp) where you are accommodated;
  • when you receive a written invitation for an interview or for the service of a decision, to make an appearance at the Agency for Refugee on the exact date and time indicated in the invitation;
  • not leave the territory of Bulgaria, in particular in an illegal manner. Firstly, such an attempt may urge the Bulgarian authorities to refuse, instead of granting a status to you. Secondly, the illegal exit from Bulgaria is a crime, which means that, if you are caught, you may get into prison for this crime.

After receiving a status, you have the right to:

  • receive Bulgarian identity documents from the police – an identity card and a travel document for travelling abroad outside Bulgaria;
  • receive education at state schools and universities;
  • be allowed to reunite with your family on the territory of Bulgaria;
  • work without a special permit – after you turn 18 years of age;
  • receive Bulgarian citizenship – after 3 years (if you have refugee status) or after 5 years (if you have humanitarian status);
  • travel abroad – under the terms and conditions applicable to Bulgarian nationals (if you have refugee status), and under the terms and conditions applicable to foreigners with a permanent residence permit in Bulgaria (if you have humanitarian status).

If you receive a decision refusing you a status, it is very important to immediately do the following:

  • Immediately inform your guardian and your lawyer, if they were not with you when you were served with the decision!
  • If you do not have a lawyer and you cannot contact your guardian, you must immediately go to one of the offices of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and show the refusal decision to the staff there! The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee has offices at the following addresses:

Sofia, 1 Uzundzhovska street
Telephone: 02/ 981 3318

Svilengrad, 5 General Strukov street
Telephone: 0379/ 63 118

  • A lawyer has to immediately write an appeal to the court against the decision of the Bulgarian authorities which refuses a status to you.

The appeal must be signed by you and your guardian and lodged at the refugee centre where your registration card was issued. The staff of the Agency for Refugees at this centre are obliged to receive your application and give you a copy with a stamp and a signature on it.

The appeal must be lodged within a certain time limit from the day on which you received a copy of the decision and signed to certify the receipt.

The time limit is indicated at the end of the decision and may vary – 7 or 14 days. You must not miss this time limit!

You must keep the copy of the appeal with the stamp on it and take it to the lawyer who was with you during the interviews or to the lawyers of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, if they wrote the appeal for you.

Later on you will receive a subpoena from the court which will indicate the day and time when your case will be heard by the court. You must take this subpoena to the lawyer who was with you during the interviews or to the lawyers of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, if they wrote the appeal for you; they will let you know who will come with you to the court and help you there.