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On 3 March 2021, the European Council activated the Temporary Protection Directive for Ukrainian citizens entering the territory of the Member States of the European Union.
According to the new rules all Ukrainian citizens entering Bulgaria (or another Member State) are entitled to receive card for temporary protection with validity of 1 year.
Please note that the rules for the registration procedure for temporary protection (up to 1 year) have not been published yet. We advise all Ukrainian citizens to wait for the announcement of these rules instead of submitting an application for international protection in the territorial divisions of the State Agency for Refugees. Entering Bulgaria
- Entering Bulgaria
In the light of the visa free regime applicable between the EU and Ukraine, as of 2017 citizens of Ukraine can enter Bulgaria and stay for 90 days within every 180 days without any additional permissions or registrations.
With respect to the newly adopted rules applicable after 3 March 2022, Ukrainian citizens can enter Bulgaria, if they have one of the following types of documents:
- biometric passport
- old format passport without biometric data
- ID card
- driving license
- birth certificate – for children under 14 years
In addition, all Ukrainian refugees can enter Bulgaria if they:
- have one of the above documents, but it has expired;
- do not have any of these documents, but have other official documents that indicate their identity – for example: certificates, passes, diplomas, membership cards, bank cards, employment records, property documents and the like;
- do not have absolutely any documents – exceptionally and after an inspection by the border police under Article 8 of the Schengen Visa Code.
It is also allowed to enter Bulgaria by car, regardless of whether or not there is international insurance. More information about car insurance after entering Bulgaria – see: http://guaranteefund.org/bg/kontakti.
Pets accompanying Ukrainian citizens are also allowed to enter, regardless of whether or not they have identification with a chip accompanying passports or vaccination certificates. For more information please visit: https://www.bfsa.bg or write to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Rights of Ukrainian citizens under temporary protection
Ukrainian citizens who have registered and have obtained cards for temporary protections have the following rights:
- to reside in Bulgaria for the period of temporary protection
- to conclude an employment contract with a Bulgarian employer without any additional permissions.
- To be enrolled in professional training, if necessary
- To be provided with appropriate accommodation or accommodation facilities if necessary. Currently the Bulgarian government is providing fixed financial compensation to hotels and governmental authorities hosting Ukrainian citizens
- social assistance
- medical care in emergency situations:
- People from the vulnerable groups – s.a. children under 18, unaccompanied children, pregnant women, single parents with minors, elderly people and people with disabilities, serious health problems, mental disorders victims of trafficking or suffering torture, rape or other severe forms of violence – have the right to full medical care as Bulgarian citizens.
- free education for children under 18: More information on the enrollment procedures of children in kindergartens please you may find on this website – see: https://mon.bg/bg/news/4708
- free kindergarten for children up to 6 years: More information on the enrollment procedures of children in kindergartens please you may find on this website: https://mon.bg/bg/news/4708
- to return to their country of origin if they wish.
After 1 year, the term of temporary protection for refugees from Ukraine may be extended by six months to a total of 3 years.
- Registration procedure
Ukrainian citizens will have the right to receive cards for temporary protection with validity of 1 year. The temporary protection cards under the European directive will be available within a few days at the border checkpoints, in the local regional police departments and the regional directorates of the Ministry of Interior.
Bulgarian government has published map with all registration offices where Ukranian citizens can obtain their cards. You may find the map here: https://ukraine.gov.bg/ru/issuance-of-temporary-protection/
For more information please visit this website: https://ukraine.gov.bg/