President of the Republic of Bulgaria
Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, the President has been delegated powers related to the Bulgarian migration policy, namely granting asylum and dealing with Bulgarian nationals abroad. In his or her activity the President is assisted by a Vice President who can exercise constitutional powers if explicitly assigned by the President with a decree, including powers relevant to the protection and integration of refugees, i.e. granting asylum and giving and restoring Bulgarian citizenship.
The Vice President can grant asylum. Under the terms and conditions of the Law on Asylum and Refugees, special protection shall be granted to foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria who are prosecuted for their beliefs or activities in defense of internationally recognized rights and freedoms. The Vice President’s activities are assisted by a specialized committee with advisory functions. The Vice-President grants and restores Bulgarian citizenship as well as revokes it. The procedures, terms and conditions under which this power is exercised are detailed in the Bulgarian Citizenship Act. The Vice President’s activities are assisted by a specialized committee with advisory functions.
Ministry of the Interior
The Ministry of Interior is involved in forming the migration policy of the Republic of Bulgaria and the EU and interacts with other competent ministries and agencies.
International Projects Directorate
The International Projects Directorate (IPD) is a structure with the Ministry of the Interior for managing programs and projects funded by the European Union and other international programs and contracts. IPD assists the Minister of the Interior in coordinating the activities related to the preparation and implementation of projects and programs financed entirely or partially by European funds including activities for the protection and integration of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria. The International Projects Directorate is the managing body of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).
The Migration Directorate
The Migration Directorate is a specialized structure for coordinating migration processes and regulating and controlling the migration of third-country nationals residing in the Republic of Bulgaria, for administrative servicing of EU citizens and the European Economic Area (EEA) and for accompanying foreigners subject to expulsion or forced escort to the border of the Republic of Bulgaria. There are nine regional directorates of the Ministry of the Interior altogether which all have “Migration” departments.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs participates in the formation of the visa and migration policy of the Republic of Bulgaria and the EU. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains the National Visa Information System and local systems in overseas missions, in accordance with the requirements and standards of the EU, as well as primary and backup visa centers.
The Directorate “Consular Relations”
The Directorate “Consular Relations” and missions of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad are responsible for the issuance, denial, cancellation and revocation of visas in collaboration with other ministries and departments and authorities of the Republic of Bulgaria and relevant bodies of the EU Member States.
Visas for long-term residence, type D, for the purpose of family reunification of persons granted refugee status ор асълум in the Republic of Bulgaria are issued on the basis of a written decision by the State Agency for Refugees at the Council of Ministers
Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP) is responsible for formulating and implementing the policy on the following issues: admission of third-country nationals to the labor market; conclusion of bilateral employment contracts and social security contracts with third countries; assistance of Bulgarian citizens in other Member States and citizens of other EU Member States in Bulgaria in exercising their rights as EU citizens regarding employment and social security; coordination of the integration policy for third-country nationals in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy through the Agency for Social Assistance under the conditions for the Bulgarian citizens provides access to:
- social services
- social benefits
- programs and measures for the protection of children
The Agency for Social Assistance
The Agency for Social Assistance is an executive agency with the Minister of Labor and Social Policy responsible for the implementation of the policy for social assistance and protection of foreigners mainly in the process of their integration into the Bulgarian society. These activities are carried out by the Agency for Social Assistance mainly through its territorial divisions.
Access to social assistance and social services includes:
- provision of monthly social benefits under the Social Assistance Act;
- provision of single social benefits to satisfy incidental health, educational, communal and other vital needs;
- provision of a single targeted social assistance for the issuing of an identity card;
- use of the Temporary Accommodation Center social service within 3 months per calendar year;
- provision of targeted heating aid;
- provision of social services;
- ensuring the payment of the provided hospital medical aid for diagnosis and treatment in the medical establishments of the individuals who have no income and / or personal property to ensure their personal participation in the health insurance process;
- inclusion in child protection programs and measures.
The Employment Agency
The Employment Agency is an executive agency with the Minister of Labor and Social Policy responsible for implementing the labor market protection policy and regulating the access of third-country nationals to employment on the territory of the country. Through its territorial divisions the Employment Agency also registers third-country nationals with employment rights equivalent to those of the Bulgarian citizens for admission and obtaining relevant statutory services offered by the Employment Agency, including beneficiaries of international protection or asylum-seekers in a situation of an unjustifiably long period of failure to complete the procedure.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy through the Employment Agency provides:
- registration as jobseekers in Labor Office directorates;
- mediation in informing and recruiting;
- inclusion in training and employment programs and measures.
The Executive Labor Inspectorate
The Executive Labor Inspectorate with the Minister of Labor and Social Policy has the main responsibility for the control of the legality of the work done at any workplace in the country including by foreigners. There are specific responsibilities and powers in relation to the establishment of unregulated employment of foreigners, especially in the case of illegal residence on the territory of the country.
Ministry of Justice
The Citizenship Council includes representatives of all competent ministries and departments and gives an opinion on the applications and proposals related to Bulgarian citizenship. The Minister of Justice prepares drafts of proposals to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria for the issuing of decrees or refusals related to Bulgarian citizenship. The Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate is responsible for accepting and carrying out verification of applications and proposals for the acquisition, restoration, refusal and revocation of Bulgarian citizenship, organizes the intergovernmental coordination procedure and performs the functions of a Secretariat of the Citizenship Council.
The Bulgarian Citizenship Directorate is responsible for accepting and carrying out verification of applications and proposals for the acquisition, restoration, refusal and revocation of Bulgarian citizenship, organizes the intergovernmental coordination procedure and performs the functions of a Secretariat of the Citizenship Council.
Ministry of Youth and Sports
The Ministry of Youth and Sports encourages and supports:
- sport organizations for the inclusion of beneficiaries of asylum or international protection in physical activity and practicing a sport for the purpose of maintaining and improving their motor skills, healthy lifestyle and integration in the Bulgarian society;
- youth NGOs and organizations working with and for young people to carry out activities aimed at young foreigners aged 15-29 with granted asylum or international protection.
State Agency for Refugees (SAR) with the Council of Ministers
The State Agency for Refugees with the Council of Ministers carries out the state policy on international protection and is the competent body for examining an application for international protection filed in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person. The SAR has territorial units in which asylum seekers are accommodated and proceedings are carried out to handle applications for international protection in liaison with other competent institutions.
The State Agency for Refugees with the Council of Ministers participates in the implementation of the state policy on the integration of beneficiaries of refugee or humanitarian status.
The State Agency for Refugees:
- draws up an integration profile of the foreigner during the procedure for granting asylum and international protection;
- during the asylum and international protection procedure provides information on the possibility of concluding an integration agreement;
- for the municipalities which have applied for an Integration Agreement conducts information campaigns among foreigners residing in its territorial units who have been granted asylum or international protection;
- during the asylum and international protection procedure provides information materials in which the rights and obligations resulting from the conclusion of the integration agreement are explained in an intelligible language for the foreigner;
- provides for the mayors of the municipalities included in the register under Art. 13 Para. 4 information on foreigners who have applied for an integration agreement;
- assists the transportation of a foreigner and his / her family members to the respective municipality.
State Agency for Child Protection with the Council of Ministers
The State Agency for Child Protection deals with the integration of children seeking or receiving international protection, especially unaccompanied minors, taking into account the peculiarities of this group while executing their competences. The State Agency for Child Protection participates in and coordinates the development of the state policy on child protection.
The State Agency for Child Protection:
- provides methodological support to the child protection bodies as well as observes and controls the observance of the rights of the children beneficiaries of asylum or international protection on the territory of the country;
- coordinates the work on the development of a mechanism for interaction between the responsible institutions in their work on cases of unaccompanied minors and minor beneficiaries of international protection.
Ministry of Education and Science
The Ministry of Education and Science coordinates the policy of educational integration of children and students from the refugee community. It provides access to quality adult education through different support measures.
The Ministry of Education and Science shall determine the terms and conditions for admission and training of foreigners seeking or having been granted asylum or international protection for:
- Bulgarian language training of minors and under age adolescents;
- attending preparatory groups for compulsory pre-school education;
- attending school by minor and underage adolescent members of a foreigner’s family with granted asylum or international protection.
Ministry of Healthcare
The Ministry of Healthcare coordinates the policies in the health sector by implementing targeted measures to improve access to healthcare.
The access to healthcare includes the provision of health services to foreigners with asylum or international protection.
Through its regional health inspectorates the Ministry of Healthcare provides the following services to a foreigner who has concluded an agreement on integration:
- provision of information on the procedure for carrying out the compulsory immunizations and re-immunizations according to the Immunization Calendar of the Republic of Bulgaria and the elaboration of a plan for priority implementation of the obligatory immunizations and re-immunizations in case of lack of data for such immunizations;
- conduction of the compulsory immunizations and re-immunizations under item 1 until choosing a GP;
- provision of information on the procedure for conducting preventive examinations and tests and the preparation of a plan for their implementation;
- provision of information on a foreigner’s right of access to healthcare activities under national and regional health programs;
- provision of information on the health requirements for admission to a kindergarten or another educational establishment;
- conduction of anti-epidemic measures if necessary.
Commission for Protection against Discrimination
The Commission is an independent specialized state body exercising control over the implementation and observance of the Protection against Discrimination Act and other laws regulating equal treatment. It carries out its activity under the Protection against Discrimination Act and the Rules of Procedure and Activities of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination.
National Statistical Institute
The Institute is a central body for collecting and analyzing statistical information and a contact point for the provision of EUROSTAT migration statistics. The official statistical information – a product of the National Statistical Institute – is intended for analyzes and research as well as for planning, forecasting and decision making at a micro and macro level. The analyzes of the National Statistical Institute are an essential tool in the management of migration processes.
Institutions with partial competence
The Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works can also be added to the institutions with partial competence in the field of migration, asylum and integration.