Bringing your family to Bulgaria

You have a right to bring your family members to Bulgaria once you are granted refugee status or subsidiary (humanitarian) protection.

Who you can bring to Bulgaria

  • Your spouse or long-term partner

This does not include cases of polygamy where one of your wives is already with you in Bulgaria. You cannot reunite with additional wives even if your country of origin recognizes polygamy.

  • Your child who is under 18 and not married, except in rare cases when the best interest of the child is to be with his or her initial family
  • Your child who is 18 or older and not married, but only if they are unable to support themselves for serious health reasons
  • The parents of each spouse, but only if they can’t live independently due to advanced age or serious illness

Unaccompanied children

If you are an unaccompanied child and you have been granted international protection, you have the right to reunite with your parents. In case they are missing or they have passed away, you have the right to reunite with another adult member of your family.

How to apply

  1. Apply for asylum in Bulgaria
  2. Submit a reunification application to the State Agency for Refugees

In your application to reunite with family members, include the following:

  • Names of the family members you want to bring to Bulgaria
  • Proof of your family connection

For example, you could include a marriage certificate or birth certificates of your children. If these documents are not available, you can include a statement containing the names, dates of birth and location of your family members. Make sure to get this document certified by a notary.

  • Your SAR asylum number

For this process, request help from a lawyer. Learn more:

Legal Services

After you apply

Once you receive permission to reunite with your family, SAR will inform the embassy of Bulgaria in the country where your family members are living. If there is no embassy, the information will be sent to the Bulgarian embassy responsible for that country.

Then, your family members must visit the embassy to receive visas in their passports to travel to Bulgaria. If they do not have passports, the Bulgarian authorities will provide travel documents.

Following their arrival in Bulgaria, they have 2 options to obtain a residence permit:

  • Apply for a residence permit with the Migration Directorate, valid for 1 year
  • Apply with SAR for the same international protection status as yours

If your application is rejected

If the SAR rejects your application to be reunited with your family, you may appeal the decision within 14 days. The judgment of the first administrative court may be appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court. You will need legal assistance to file the lawsuit.

If you need help finding a family member

FINDING A FAMILY MEMBER