After being registered as an applicant for protection by the staff of the Agency for Refugees, the foreigner must surrender all the national documents that he/she has on himself/herself. Within 3 days after registration the Agency issues to the applicant for protection a document replacing the national documents: a registration card that the applicant uses for exercising his/her rights throughout the procedure. The registration card is issued free of charge!
- name and photograph
- date of birth
- gender (male or female)
- place of birth
- nationality (citizenship)
- accompanying children aged under 14
The card also indicates:
- the foreigner’s ID in Bulgaria
- the residence address (in a refugee centre/camp or in rented housing outside the centres)
If the applicant wants to change his/her residence address, he/she must, before changing the address, ask permission from the Agency for Refugees which will indicate the new address on the card; this will help avoid any problems in case the police checks the applicant’s identity.
The registration card is issued with a term of validity of 1 or 3 months depending on the stage of the procedure – Dublin, accelerated or general, and is renewed in the course of the procedure. If the validity of the card expires while the procedure is still underway, the card must be renewed for another term of validity. In such a situation, the applicant must go to the refugee centre where the card was issued at least several days before the expiry date in order to have the validity extended before the term has expired.
The registration card gives the applicant the right to reside legally in Bulgaria while his/her procedure is conducted. The applicant must always have the card on himself/herself in order to present it when the police check his/her identity, and when he/she receives services at state institutions, courts or hospitals.
The registration card does not give the applicant the right to go into border areas, to leave Bulgaria and to work, unless he/she has received a written permission from the Agency for Refugees. The registration card cannot be used, either, for getting married in Bulgaria.