Rights and obligations of asylum-seekers

All asylum-seekers in Bulgaria have rights and obligations. It is very important that you know and understand and comply with them. Your rights and obligations are first communicated to you, in writing, during the registration of your asylum application.

Asylum procedure and legal counselling

Among others, you have the right to:

  1. Be provided with an interpreter, free of charge. You can request that the interpreter, as well as the interviewer, be of the same sex as you
  2. Access your personal asylum file, upon request
  3. Contact UNHCR
  4. Access non-governmental organizations providing assistance and services to asylum-seekers, including legal assistance.
  5. Access free legal assistance to appeal a negative international protection decision

Among others, you have the obligation to:

  • Accept being photographed and finger-printed
  • Cooperate with the authorities and provide truthful and complete information regarding your identity and the reasons why you need protection or cannot return to your country
  • Provide immediately to the authorities documents regarding your identity (including passport) if available
  • Inform the authorities immediately about changes to your address
  • Hand over any other documents relevant to your asylum claim
  • Attend the asylum interview
  • Comply with Bulgarian laws

Accommodation and financial assistance

You have the right to:

  1. Remain on the territory and move freely within it or within an allocated zone
  2. Be accommodated in one of the registration-reception centers of the State Agency for Refugees
  3. Receive food three times per day
  4. Receive assistance and services adapted to your needs if you have specific needs (if you are below 18, pregnant, chronic disease, survivor of torture, trauma, physical, psychological or sexual violence)
  5. Receive registration card
  6. Receive psychological support
  7. Receive monthly financial allowance
  8. Receive assistance from NGOs
  9. Attend language classes and any other social and cultural activities at the RRC

You may be allowed to reside at an external address if you have sufficient financial resources. However, you will not be entitled to food and a monthly financial allowance.

You are obliged to:

  • Not leave the country irregularly
  • Not leave the zone assigned to you, if accommodated at the registration-reception center, without the necessary permission. The second violation of this obligation results in placement in a closed center (detention). Permission is not necessary if you need to appear before a court or administrative body or receive medical treatment
  • Follow the rules of the registration-reception center where you are accommodated

Medical assistance and care

You have the right to:

  1. Health insurance, paid for by the State Agency for Refugees during the asylum procedure, and free medical assistance within its coverage.
  2. Partial or full reimbursement of certain medicines, subject to prescription and possession of prescription booklet
  3. Register with a general practitioner – you can ask the NGOs at the Registration-Reception Centre to help
  4. Access the medical cabinets at each registration-reception center

You are obliged to:

  • Undergo a medical examination and tests after the registration of your application for international protection
  • Obtain a referral from your general practitioner to access specialized medical care free of charge


You have the right to work in Bulgaria three months after applying for international protection if you have not received a decision on your application.

You can request the State Agency for Refugees to issue a document certifying you are allowed to work.


Children have access to state/municipal kindergarten and school, free of charge. Bulgarian language classes are also provided at the registration-reception centers and at the school.

School attendance in Bulgaria is mandatory until the age of 16. It is essential that children start attending as soon as possible. You can ask the social experts or NGOs at the Registration-Reception Centre for help with school enrolment.