Asylum is one of the types of protection granted to foreigners who are persecuted for reasons of their opinions or activity in the defense of internationally recognized rights and freedoms, and is granted by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria in conformity with Art. 98, item 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian Constitution guarantees equality before the law, including for foreigners, and does not allow any privileges or restriction of rights on the grounds of race, national origin, ethnic background, gender, religion, education, opinion, political affiliation, personal or social status or property status.
The Law on Asylum and Refugees lays down the terms and the procedure for granting protection to foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, including the terms and the procedure for granting asylum.
Pursuant to the Law on Asylum and Refugees any foreigner can request asylum in the Republic of Bulgaria by making an application in person and on his/her own will to the President.
During the procedure for granting protection and after receiving protection, the foreigner shall not be returned to the territory of a country where his/her life or freedom is threatened due to his/her race, religion, nationality, membership of a specific social group or political opinion, or where he/she faces a threat of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The foreigners who have lodged an application for asylum or have received asylum in the country shall bear civil, administrative criminal and criminal liability under the terms and procedures applicable to Bulgarian nationals.
Pursuant to Art. 6 (2) of the Law on Asylum and Refugees at the request of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, the officials of the State Agency for Refugees shall establish all the facts and circumstances relevant to the procedure for granting asylum and shall assist the administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria.
During the procedure for granting asylum, the applicants shall have all the rights and obligations under the Law on Asylum and Refugees.
On the grounds of Art. 31 in conjunction with Art. 32 (1), items 1-4 of the Law on Asylum and Refugees, a foreigner who has been granted asylum shall have the rights and obligations of a Bulgarian citizen, with the exception of:
- the right to participate in general and municipal elections, in national and regional referenda, to participate in the establishment of political parties and to be a member of such parties;
- the right to hold positions for which Bulgarian citizenship is required by law;
- the right to serve in the army;
- other restrictions explicitly provided for by law.