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Bulgarian citizenship: the latest numbers

Author: Nadezhda Chipeva

Author: Petar Kostadinov Date: Fri, Apr 23 2010

15 Comments, 12917 Views

A total of 5773 people have been granted Bulgarian citizenship since the start of 2010, Bozhidar Dimitrov, Minister without portfolio responsible for Bulgarians abroad, told Bulgarian news agency Focus on April 23 2010. Of the 5773 Bulgarian passports, 4200 have gone to Macedonian nationals and the rest have gone to applicants from Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine and Israel, Dimitrov said. The number of newly-issued passports means that for the first four months of 2010 Bulgaria has issued almost the same number of Bulgarian passports as the whole of 2008, when about 6000 people got one. In 2009 the number was 9040, Dimitrov said. This means that if the rate for 2010 remains the same, close to 20 000 people would get Bulgarian passports in 2010. Overall, 75 000 people have been granted Bulgarian citizenship over the last 20 years, of whom 50 000 have been Macedonian nationals. According to Dimitrov, the trend of Macedonian nationals applying for Bulgarian passports was still strong, contrary to comments by Macedonian politicians. "It will probably go down when Macedonia becomes a EU member and I certainly would like this to happen soon," he said. The trend meant that the holders of Bulgarian passports in Macedonia now formed the second largest minority group after Albanians. "This is a well-known fact by the Macedonian authorities and I don't see why they are concerned by it. Bulgarians in Macedonia are loyal Macedonian citizens. The criminal rate

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with Bulgarians is lower than in other minority groups. "Macedonia can only feel proud that EU nationals live there and that their number grows by 500 a week. There is nothing frightening in the this fact and I don't understand their concerns," he told Focus. According to Dimitrov, Moldovans have started catching up lately because Moldovan legislation now allowed dual citizenship. The Bulgarian community in Moldova numbered close to 90 000 people, he said, of which 15 000 already had Bulgarian passports. This meant that every sixth Moldovan national of Bulgarian origin had a Bulgarian passport, he said. Still, more than 40 000 applications for Bulgarian citizenship, filed since 2006, remained to be processed by Bulgarian authorities. According to Dimtirov, when he took office in August 2009 at the time that the current Government was formed, this number was about 60 000. The trend for thousands of newly-filed applications was continuing, he said, noting that most of the applications had come from Macedonia and Moldova. "Recently we have been experiencing an increased interest in Bulgarian citizenship from nationals of Israel, Armenia, the US and the UK," Dimitrov said. The most exotic application had come from Guinea. "In most cases this is about nationals of European, African and Asian states who have purchased properties in Bulgaria and have moved here and need the passport to come and go," Dimitrov said.

"Usually they say it's because their wives want them to," Dimitrov said and noted that five US nationals recently had been granted Bulgarian citizenship. "There are about 7000 UK nationals settled in Bulgaria some of whom also got citizenship," he said.
Stefko
Rating:

neutral
#15 21, 30, Mon, May 10 2010

I think these numbers are seriously inflated to make bulgarian citizan feel special. the truth is bulgaria is still a corrupt cavity in the eu.

Valeri
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"I wonder if the situation was reversed, would Bulgarians apply for Macedonian passports?" An interesting question. Bulgarians, like everyone would like to have an international passport - that's why I got an American one years a go - but that's not the point. Macedonia is a geographic term, not a nationality, so unless you can prove that your family comes from what's known as "Macedonia" it would be hard to prove the so called "Macedonian" nationality, in order to get the passport. However, the FUROM-sti who get BG [...] Read the full comment

neutral
#14 23, 14, Tue, Apr 27 2010

duh
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neutral
#13 10, 57, Mon, Apr 26 2010

Welcome to EU Bulgaria, even being in EU there are restrictions for Bulgarians to when and where they would like to work in EU. This is all as a great "thank you" for closing the last piece of borders with the "east". EU and USA should be ashamed for insulting Bulgarian people like that. US starts something they can never finish and sh*ts its pants because of that. So Bulgaria should wake up before getting further involved with any country that only wants the advantages instead of doing something back for it.

Marjo
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neutral
#12 00, 54, Mon, Apr 26 2010

Maybe it then differs in EU, but at least in Finland you have to register yourself or to leave country for a moment after 3 months. "EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have the right to enter, reside, study, seek work, or practise a profession in Finland for three months without a residence permit. If the stay lasts longer than that, they must register their right to reside in Finland at a police department." http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?nodei d=15721&contentlan=2&culture=en-US#who

Iggy
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neutral
#11 23, 45, Sun, Apr 25 2010

Just want to point out that MA at Sun 25 Apr 02:48 is wrong and Mezak at Sat Apr 24 00:22 10:00 is right, with an EU passport there is no 3 month limit and you can stay in EU countries indefinitely (there is a 90 day limit for some non EU countries, maybe that's where MA got misguided..). I wonder if the situation was reversed, would Bulgarians apply for Macedonian passports?

Valeri
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neutral
#10 20, 07, Sun, Apr 25 2010

Not to mention that not everone can get BG passport. There is a basic condition where you have to prove Bulgarian roots - easy thing for 90% of the Slavs there, as most of their grandparents were Bulgarian before the Big Remake. I bet that Gruevski's granddad was Gruev.

MA
Rating:

neutral
#9 02, 48, Sun, Apr 25 2010

"Macedonian passport holders can travel to the schengen zone for up to three months only, Bulgarian passports and ID cards can be enter Schengen and Britain and Ireland and stay indefintely...There is an incentive." Actually even with EU passport you can stay in other EU country only 3 months. After that you have to leave country (of course you can come back immediately) or to register yourself.

MA
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neutral
#8 02, 48, Sun, Apr 25 2010

"Macedonian passport holders can travel to the schengen zone for up to three months only, Bulgarian passports and ID cards can be enter Schengen and Britain and Ireland and stay indefintely...There is an incentive." Actually even with EU passport you can stay in other EU country only 3 months. After that you have to leave country (of course you can come back immediately) or to register yourself.

Valeri
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What do you mean "get rid of"? The actual paper is irrelevant. You're all missing the point! FYROM is a Yugoslav leftover and as such, it's very much infected with the tribal ethnic mix that propmted them to kill each other like crazy in the 90s, eventhough the violence didn't get a chance to get exactly there, probably due the NATO/Kosovo business. If BG sits and does nothing, there are already signs that the newly advented heirs of Alexander the Great are aspiring to other peoples territory - it's all [...] Read the full comment

neutral
#7 02, 22, Sun, Apr 25 2010

Joseph
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neutral
#6 19, 34, Sat, Apr 24 2010

It's also very helpful to get work with an EU passport. I had one Macedonian friend get her Bulgarian passport simply for work and travel throughout the world, not just Europe. She was going to work in South America, and the Bulgarian passport was much easier to travel and work with. But, anyone want to take a 10 leva wager on what percentage of Macedonians will get rid of their BG passports when FYROM is in the EU? I would wager 90 percent. :)

hoosier
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Other than entry into the EU, what are the benefits of Bulgarian citizenship?

neutral
#5 09, 44, Sat, Apr 24 2010

mezak
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neutral
#4 00, 22, Sat, Apr 24 2010

Macedonian passport holders can travel to the schengen zone for up to three months only, Bulgarian passports and ID cards can be enter Schengen and Britain and Ireland and stay indefintely...There is an incentive.

Valeri
Rating:

neutral
#3 23, 31, Fri, Apr 23 2010

"would be interesting to see how many of these macedonian-bulgarians drop their bulgarian citizenship once macedonia is part of the eu. " Makedinians can travel freely even now, since couple of months a go, so there's no point of getting a BG passport for that, but realistically, they can shove it up some seriously uncomfortable places if they like, the idea is to have a say with that made up country, and numbers count...

ivaylo chatov
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what a welcome sight. one may hope bulgaria is enriched by this new citizenry.

neutral
#2 18, 50, Fri, Apr 23 2010

rene
Rating:

neutral
#1 18, 06, Fri, Apr 23 2010

would be interesting to see how many of these macedonian-bulgarians drop their bulgarian citizenship once macedonia is part of the eu. but i'm afraid that dimitrov is never going to tell us...

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