The information on this page was collected from public resources and does not constitute legal advice.

General information on border crossing?

Bulgaria, as a member state of the EU, has a visa-free agreement with Ukraine. It guarantees Ukrainians the opportunity to enter Bulgaria only on the basis of a biometric passport and to stay in the country without processing documents for up to 90 days. Therefore, it is not necessary to obtain a visa before traveling.

Also, since the first days of the full-scale invasion, Bulgaria has greatly simplified the requirements for documents. Ukrainians can enter the country on the basis of any document confirming their identity: an old-style international passport, a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, a driver's license, and for children under 14 - a birth certificate.

As a temporary measure in view of the current situation in Ukraine, you may also enter with an expired passport. If you do not have any documents, you may be allowed entry on humanitarian grounds.

What documents do I need to enter?

You will be allowed entry in Bulgaria if you have one of the following documents:

  • Biometric passport
  • Non-biometric passport
  • Driving license
  • ID card
  • Birth certificate (children below 14 years old)

As a temporary measure in view of the current situation in Ukraine, you may also enter with an expired passport. If you do not have any documents, you may be allowed entry on humanitarian grounds.

If you do not have any of these documents, but have other official documents that indicate their identity โ€“ for example: certificates, passes, diplomas, membership cards, bank cards, employment records, property documents, you can still cross the border.

What happens after a border crossing?

Ukrainians who have obtained temporary protection status can stay in Bulgaria. In the country, such a document is called "Registration card of a foreigner granted temporary protection". The maximum period of stay in the country was extended mceclip0.png until March 2024 according to the EU recommendation.

To apply for the status of temporary protection, it is necessary to apply to the Border Police, the State Agency for Refugees or other bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (migration, police). The full list of institutions is at the link mceclip0.png. The registration procedure lasts from 5 to 15 minutes.

Ukrainians in Bulgaria can also apply for refugee status. A person decides on the appropriateness of this procedure independently. You can learn about the difference between temporary protection status and refugee status here mceclip0.png.

After the registration in Bulgaria and the receipt of the Registration Card of a foreigner who has been granted temporary protection by law, several important rights arise, without the need to obtain other registrations or permits. These rights apply for the duration of the temporary protection granted to them:

  • to remain on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • right to work and vocational training;
  • appropriate accommodation or means of accommodation if necessary;
  • social assistance;
  • medical care in emergencies;
  • to return freely to their country of origin;
  • free education for children under 18;
  • free kindergarten for children up to 6 years.
How can I get from the border to the capital (a certain town)?

You can get to the capital or other major city by bus, car or train. We are not aware of the allocation of free tickets for refugees by the Bulgarian government.

How can I travel to another (specific) country?

You can also travel by airplane, bus, car or train to different countries.

How long can I stay?

Currently, you are free to stay in Bulgaria without a visa for up to 90 days within a six-month period.

Furthermore, you can request temporary protection, which is valid until March 2024.

Those eligible for temporary protection include:

  • Ukrainian citizens residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 and members of their families;
  • Nationals of other third countries (other than Ukraine) and stateless people who have used their right to international protection or another equivalent type of national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, and members of their families;
  • Persons with foreign citizenship or statelessness who left the territory of Ukraine as a result of hostilities and entered and remained on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, if they explicitly state that they want to enjoy the status of temporary protection.
Where can an unaccompanied minor get help?

Children under 18 years of age, who are travelling alone or with other adults with whom they have no family relationship, and who declare at the Bulgarian border that they wish to enter and seek international protection must be admitted in Bulgaria and handed over to the social services. The asylum and protection application may be submitted to any Bulgarian public authority, including border police officers. The Bulgarian border police is obliged to provide information on how to submit such an application.

Are there any Covid-related requirements and if yes, what are they?

There are no restrictions on entry to the Republic of Bulgaria due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Where do I register for temporary protection?

Ukrainians who have obtained temporary protection status can stay in Bulgaria. In the country, such a document is called "Registration card of a foreigner granted temporary protection". The maximum period of stay in the country was extended mceclip0.png until March 2024 according to the EU recommendation.

To apply for the status of temporary protection, it is necessary to apply to the Border Police, the State Agency for Refugees or other bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (migration, police). The full list of institutions is at the link mceclip0.png. The registration procedure lasts from 5 to 15 minutes.

Those eligible for temporary protection include:

  • Ukrainian citizens residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 and members of their families;
  • Nationals of other third countries (other than Ukraine) and stateless people who have used their right to international protection or another equivalent type of national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, and members of their families;
  • Persons with foreign citizenship or statelessness who left the territory of Ukraine as a result of hostilities and entered and remained on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, if they explicitly state that they want to enjoy the status of temporary protection until 31 March 2022.
What are my rights while I wait to get temporary protection?

After the registration in Bulgaria and the receipt of the Registration Card of a foreigner who has been granted temporary protection by law, several important rights arise, without the need to obtain other registrations or permits. These rights apply for the duration of the temporary protection granted to them:

  • to remain on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • right to work and vocational training;
  • appropriate accommodation or means of accommodation if necessary;
  • social assistance;
  • medical care in emergencies;
  • to return freely to their country of origin;
  • free education for children under 18;
  • free kindergarten for children up to 6 years.
What documents will I receive once I get temporary protection?

Ukrainians who have obtained temporary protection status can stay in Bulgaria. In the country, such a document is called "Registration card of a foreigner granted temporary protection".

May I temporarily return to Ukraine? What will happen to my protection status?

If you have received temporary protection, you can return to Ukraine for a short period of time without any negative consequences. Before leaving the country that has given you temporary protection, we recommend that you notify the state social security authorities.

Can I move around the country and the European Union freely while under temporary protection?

If you hold a biometric passport, you will be able to travel within the EU countries. You can also stay in any city in Bulgaria for as long as your temporary protection status lasts.

Can I apply for asylum while under temporary protection? What is the difference?

Ukrainians in Bulgaria can also apply for refugee status. A person decides on the appropriateness of this procedure independently. You can learn about the difference between temporary protection status and refugee status here mceclip0.png.

How and where can I apply for the residency?

Ukrainians who have obtained temporary protection status can stay in Bulgaria. In the country, such a document is called "Registration card of a foreigner granted temporary protection". The maximum period of stay in the country was extended mceclip0.png until March 2024 according to the EU recommendation.

To apply for the status of temporary protection, it is necessary to apply to the Border Police, the State Agency for Refugees or other bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (migration, police). The full list of institutions is at the link mceclip0.png. The registration procedure lasts from 5 to 15 minutes.

How long I need to wait to get the residency?

The registration procedure lasts from 5 to 15 minutes. The document "Registration card of a foreigner granted temporary protection" will be issued within a few days.

What if I don't have the international passport?

Since the first days of the full-scale invasion, Bulgaria has greatly simplified the requirements for documents. Ukrainians can enter the country on the basis of any document confirming their identity: an old-style international passport, a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, a driver's license, and for children under 14 - a birth certificate.

Where can I take a photo for my documents?

There are numerous shops that offer such services. Look for photo studio & copy centers as they can provide you with this.

Where can I translate my documents?

You can translate your documents at any translation agency in your city. Search for ยซะฟั€ะตะฒะพะด ะฝะฐ ะดะพะบัƒะผะตะฝั‚ะธยป on Google.

How do I get Mobile phone/internet services?

A1 Bulgaria is donating prepaid cards with mobile internet to refugees from Ukraine. More information here mceclip0.png.

Yettel Bulgaria provides free calls to Ukraine and free roaming to its customers in Ukraine. Also Yettel is donating prepaid cards with included mobile internet to refugees from Ukraine residing in Bulgaria. More information here mceclip0.png and here mceclip0.png.

Do you have a legal question that you canโ€™t find an answer for in our FAQs?

Please write to us so we can provide you with legal support. Our pro-bono legal partners will try to respond to your legal request to the best of their ability and knowledge. Please note that due to a high volume of requests, you will receive an answer in a few days after submitting the request at the earliest. Thank you for your patience.