Bulgaria introduces a statelessness determination procedure into national law


On 2 December 2016 the Bulgarian parliament at a final second reading adopted the introduction of a statelessness determination procedure into national law. The legal provisions were published in the State Gazette on 6 December 2016.

Foundation for Access to Rights (FAR) - ENS's member organisation in Bulgaria - commented on the recent development:

We are very glad that Bulgaria has joined the countries that have a statelessness determination procedure in their national legislation. The final law has undergone improvement in comparison with the initial draft. The national legal definition of a stateless person corresponds to Article 1 of the 1954 Convention. However we also look with caution at the newly introduced paragraph 2 in Article 21e of the Law, which reads:

(2) Decision on refusal may be issued when it is established that the applicant:

1. has entered the country or attempted to pass through it not through the established entry border points or using false or forged documents;

2. resides unlawfully on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria to the date of lodging the application; 3. has resided legally and continuously in Bulgaria for less than five years.

We hope that by direct application of the 1954 Convention and strategic litigation this paragraph will not be applied.

You can read more about the legislation in this blog "Bulgaria is introducing a statelessness determination procedure. Or is it?" and "Counting down the days in detention: the situation of stateless persons in Bulgaria"

Related topics