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Legislative amendments with regard to the right of residence after Brexit in a no deal scenario from the Ministry of Interior Bulgaria
On 12 April 2019 the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted the legislative amendments proposed by the government for the event of a no deal Brexit at the second reading.

The legislative amendments shall enter into force on the day following the date of withdrawal of the UK from the EU. After Brexit the United Kingdom will be considered as a third country and the entry and stay of the UK citizens in the Republic of Bulgaria will be regulated by the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria and the Rules on its Implementation.

The amendments provide an exception from this rule for the UK citizens and their family members who have settled in Bulgaria and have established close relations with our country.

The aim of the amendments is to retain the rights of residence of these citizens such as they are at the time of Brexit. To that end, the amendments envisage a procedure for re-registration of all citizens falling within the categories specified therein. After its completion, these citizens will obtain a special status, allowing for the application of the same conditions and requirements, which were applicable to them on the day of Brexit, namely the terms and conditions for the EU citizens.

The provision of this status will allow the UK citizens and their family members who have chosen to live and work in Bulgaria, to continue their lives in our country in the same way as they did before Brexit.

The adopted legislation provides for reciprocal conditions to those the British side offers to the EU citizens, including the Bulgarian citizens, who have settled and have been residing legally in the United Kingdom up to the date of withdrawal. In the scenario of a no-deal Brexit, there will be no transition period, as was envisaged if the Withdrawal Agreement had entered into force.

Still, the British Government have declared their determination to treat the EU citizens in a way that is no less favourable than the one provided for in the Agreement. In line with this, the new legislation provides reciprocity with respect to both the rights and the deadlines for exercising them.

The citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members, who have been residing legally in the Republic of Bulgaria up to the date of withdrawal, will have the right to apply for the new status.

They will have until the end of 2020 to make their re-registration. In order to do so, they will have to submit an application in person to the Migration Directorate or the respective Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior as per their address of residence, accompanied by the documents required under the legislation for the EU citizens for the respective type of residence.

Their new residence permit will be issued within a month after the submission of the application. The candidates will be given a temporary permit for that period.

The fee for issuing a residence permit will be the same as the fee for EU citizens for the same kind of service.

APPLYING FOR THE NATIONAL SCHEME: CONDITIONS AND DOCUMENTS UK nationals LONG-TERM RESIDENCE

If you hold a valid long-term residence permit, issued by the competent Bulgarian authorities, you have to submit to the relevant Migration Office as per your address of residence - the following documents:

A completed application form;
Valid national ID document (ID card or passport) + copy;
Proof of address of residence (document proving the ownership or use of property; in the case of a rental contract your landlord will have to sign a declaration certifying that he/she agrees to provide you with an address of residence; if the declaration is not submitted in person by the owner or a person authorized by the owner, it must contain a notary validation of signature; housing order in the cases of state or municipality-owned housing);
Application fee payment receipt In addition to the above listed documents, you have to submit the following documents, in accordance with your respective grounds for long-term residence:
Employment If you are an employed or self-employed person in Bulgaria, you have to submit: Copy of your employment contract; you might be asked to present a statement from your employer that you are currently employed; or a proof that you are self-employed, e.g. document for registration with a professional organisation or state authority, when applicable, or a patent for business activity, etc.
 
Education
If you are enrolled in an educational establishment, and have health insurance and sufficient financial resources to cover your expenses and those of your family for the duration of your stay, you need to present: Evidence of educational course/s statement from the educational establishment that you are currently enrolled on;
Copy of a medical insurance policy with full coverage for Bulgaria for the requested period of stay;
Proof of sufficient financial resources (a copy of a credit or debit bank card, etc.) Other purposes If you have health insurance and sufficient financial resources to cover your expenses and those of your family members during the duration of your stay in Bulgaria, then you need to present: Copy of a medical insurance policy with full coverage for Bulgaria for the requested period of stay;
Proof of sufficient financial resources (a copy of a credit or debit bank card, proof of pension contributions, etc.). Family members Within 3 months from their entry into Bulgaria family member/s need to present:
A completed application form;
Valid national ID document (ID card or passport;
if the family member is a third country national he/she might also need a visa, where applicable) + copy;
Documentary evidence that he/she is a family member (marriage certificate; birth certificate; evidence of living together, etc. Please note that the documents that are not in Bulgarian have to be translated and legalized)

PERMANENT RESIDENCE

If you have resided legally and continuously on the territory of Bulgaria for a period of five years on the basis of a long-term residence permit, you and your family members are entitled to a permanent residence permit. To that end, up to three days prior to the expiry of your current long-term residence permit and before the end of 2020, you can to apply for a permanent residence under the scheme. If you are a holder of a Bulgarian permanent residence permit up to three days prior to its expiry and before the end of 2020 you have to re-register in the Migration Directorate or your local Migration Office in the Regional Directorate of MoI as per address of residence.

You need to present the following documents:

A completed application form;
Valid national ID (ID card or passport) + copy;
 Proof of address of residence (document proving the ownership or use of property or - in the case of a rental contract and if you opt for a plastic card with a personal number - a declaration signed by your landlord certifying that he/she agrees to provide a registered address of residence; if the declaration is not submitted in person by the landlord or a person authorized by him/her, it must contain a notary validation of signature or a housing order - in the cases of state or municipality-owned housing);

Application fee payment receipt.

A residence permit in the form of a plastic card with a photo will be issued within one month of submitting the application.

A temporary certificate will be issued upon submission of documents.
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