The front cover of a contemporary Bulgarian biometric passport
The data page of a contemporary Bulgarian biometric passport
|Date first issued||29 March 2010 (current biometric version)|
|Type of document||Passport|
|Eligibility requirements||Bulgarian citizenship|
|Expiration||5 years after acquisition for adult. 5 or 10 years for adult after 1 October 2020. 5 years for children.|
Bulgarian passport is an international travel document issued to nationals of Bulgaria, and may also serve as proof of Bulgarian citizenship. Besides enabling the bearer to travel internationally and serving as indication of Bulgarian citizenship, the passport facilitates the process of securing assistance from Bulgarian consular officials abroad or other European Union member states in case a Bulgarian consular is absent, if needed.
According to the 2018 Visa Restrictions Index, Bulgarian citizens can visit 169 countries without a visa or with a visa granted on arrival, which ranks it 16th in the world. Bulgarian citizens can live and work in any country within the EU as a result of the right of free movement and residence granted in Article 21 of the EU Treaty.
Every Bulgarian citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card allows for free rights of movement and residence, establishment and employment in any of the states of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland.
The Ministry of Interior is responsible for the issuing and renewing of Bulgarian passports.
For travel within the European Union, (Schengen Area and Common Travel Area countries), as well as to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, North Cyprus and Serbia, Bulgarian citizens are not required to carry a passport and only need a valid national identity cards.
A Bulgarian passport gives its bearer the right to assistance and protection by Bulgarian diplomatic missions and consular offices abroad (or to those of other EU member states when there is no Bulgarian diplomatic mission or consulate in the destination country or territory).
The passport remains the property of the Republic of Bulgaria.
- Regular – available to all Bulgarian citizens and valid for five years.
- Service – issued to their staff on request by the respective government agency or directorate.
- Diplomatic – issued to diplomats, high-ranking state officials and their immediate families.
Bulgarian passports are of the common EU design, burgundy in colour, with the Bulgarian Coat of arms emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. The text "Европейски съюз" (Bulgarian) / "European Union" (English), the country's official long name "Република България" (Bulgarian) and the English form "Republic of Bulgaria" are inscribed in capital letters above the coat of arms, with the word "паспорт" (Bulgarian) / "passport" (English) underneath. It is issued for a period of five years, and contains 32 or 48 pages.
Security features include holographic images, micro printing, UV-visible features, watermarks, etc. In addition, the passport holder's photograph is digitally printed directly onto the paper, in standard ink as well as a holographic image. All passports are machine-readable.
Since 29 March 2010, all newly issued Bulgarian passports contain a chip with biometric data, and also feature the text "Европейски съюз" (Bulgarian) / "European Union" (English) above the country's official name, thus reflecting Bulgaria's EU membership. Additional design changes include the placement of pictures of famous Bulgarian landmarks and monuments on the inside pages of the passports. The new passport fees are 20 € (40 BGN) and with the same validity (5 years).
The passports contain a note from the issuing state that is addressed to the authorities of all other states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of that state and requesting that he or she be allowed to pass and be treated according to international norms. The note inside Bulgarian passports states:
The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria requests all Civil and Military Authorities to let through the holder of this passport without hindrance and, in case of need, to render him/her the necessary aid and assistance in accordance with the international law.
This passport is valid for all countries.
As of 01 October, 2019 Bulgarian citizens have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 170 countries and territories, ranking the Bulgarian passport 17th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index.
|1||Turkey||1 106 913||1 218 842|
|2||Greece||866 609||1 200 576|
|3||Romania||321 546||423 396|
|4||Serbia||316 146||404 975|
|5||North Macedonia||327 033||360 422|
|6||Germany||239 310||344 713|
|7||Italy||126 313||178 287|
|8||Austria||110 085||163 979|
|9||United Kingdom||101 737||141 941|
|10||Spain||102 417||139 418|
Gallery of historic images
- Citizenship of the European Union
- Bulgarian nationality law
- Bulgarian identity card
- Uniform civil number
- Driving licence in Bulgaria
- Bulgarian diplomatic missions
- List of passports
- Foreign relations of Bulgaria
- Visa requirements for Bulgarian citizens
- Visa policy of Bulgaria
- Passports of the European Union
- "Такси за издаване на лична карта и паспорт на български граждани". www.mvr.bg. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Treaty on the Function of the European Union (consolidated version)
- "VISA Regulations - Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". gov.ct.tr. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Bulgaria to Start Issuing Biometric IDs in March 2010 - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". novinite.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Global Ranking - Visa Restriction Index 2016" (PDF). Henley & Partners. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- "Trips of Bulgarian residents abroad by months and by country of destination - National statistical institute". www.nsi.bg. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Passports of Bulgaria.|
- Official passport renewal website of the Bulgarian Embassy in the United States
- Republic of Bulgaria : International Passport (2000 — 2005) from PaperToTravel.com collection