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Born in Bulgaria

Nowadays it is not unusual to buy your Bulgarian dream home, move out here and have a baby! The dramatic increase in the numbers of young people choosing a permanent life in Bulgaria has lead to increases in the number of children born to foreign parents on Bulgarian soil. There are various issues like nationality and registration to consider if you decide to have your child here – QBG guides you through the maze of paperwork associated with being born in Bulgaria!

Registering a Birth in Bulgaria

The day after your baby is born, a representative from your local Municipality will visit you in hospital to register the birth in Bulgaria. The official fills in a form with the name of the mother of the child, the child’s name, the time, place and date of the birth and the father’s name. The Bulgarian birth certificate is free of charge and you will need this to register your child in the UK. If the child’s parents are not married, the child would normally take the name of the mother. However, the father can give his surname to the child by making a declaration at the Municipality and paying a tax of approximately 5 lv.

Defining British Citizenship

British citizens are defined in two ways; either as a ‘British citizen otherwise than by descent’, or a ‘British citizen by descent’. It is important to distinguish between which type of citizen you or your partner is, as this affects the way that you pass your British citizenship on to your child if it is born in Bulgaria. The terms “by descent” and “otherwise by decent” may appear confusing, but basically most people will fall into the category of birth “by descent,” which means you were born in the UK to British parents – your parents do not have to be born in the UK, but must hold British nationality through for example naturalisation.

Obtaining a British Birth Certificate

A child can be registered at the British Embassy in Sofia or its Consul in Varna as a UK citizen if they were born to parents, one or both of whom are British citizens by descent and the parent who is British by descent was born to a parent (the child's grandparent) who was a British citizen otherwise than by descent. The parent who is British by descent must have lived in the UK for a continuous period of three years at any time before the child's birth. You must make any application for a child’s citizenship within 12 months of the child's birth. You will need to produce the original copies of your own UK birth certificates or naturalisation certificates, your passports and if appropriate your marriage certificate – if you are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth you must both complete a Statutory Declarations of Paternity. You must also supply the Bulgarian birth certificate issued when your child was born and this must be translated into English by a registered translator and legalized with an Apostille from the Bulgarian authorities – your translator will be able to organize this for you. It will cost you 230 lv. to register the birth and 150 lv. for the British birth certificate. Births must be registered within 42 days of the birth in England and Wales.

Applying for your Child’s British Passport

All children regardless of age must hold their own valid passport is you intend to travel outside of Bulgaria with them. You can apply directly to the British Embassy in Sofia or to one of its Consul in Varna. To apply for the passport you will need to supply your child’s birth certificate, evidence that you or your partner is a British citizen. It takes up to five weeks to get a new passport because they are issued by the UK Embassy in Vienna, Austria. It will cost you 300 lv. to get a British passport and there will be courier costs on top of this which amount to around 20 lv.



Dual Nationality

Birth on Bulgarian soil does not automatically entitle your child to dual nationality unless one or both parents are Bulgarian citizens. Generally speaking UK law does not restrict British nationals from holding Bulgarian nationality and your child will not lose its right to British nationality. Dual Nationality between the UK and Bulgaria is possible. If you would like your child to acquire Dual Nationality with Bulgaria, you must discuss this with the Municipality officer when he registers the birth of your child. Usually,you or your child have to live in Bulgaria for five consecutive years before either of you are entitled to apply for dual nationality.



Further Information can be obtained from the following sources:
The British Embassy,
9 Moskovska Street, Sofia.
Tel: 00 (359) (2) 933 9222
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The British Honorary Consul, Varna
40 Graf Igantiev Street, PO Box 229, Varna.
Tel: 00 (359) (52) 6655 555
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Consular Division
King Charles Street, London, SW1A 1AH.

Tel: 00 (44) 0207 008 0186

Immigration & Nationality Directorate (Home Office)
General Register Office

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
186-188 Queen’s Gate, London, SW7 5HL.
Tel: 00 (44) (0) 207 584 9400/9433