Bulgaria: Whether Bulgarian authorities issue passports to a third party who has power of attorney for the passport applicant, in particular, if the passport applicant is outside the country, had an existing valid passport and if the person with the power of attorney indicates that the passport has been lost, stolen or otherwise destroyed (1999 - April 2010)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||4 May 2010|
|Citation / Document Symbol||BGR103461.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Bulgaria: Whether Bulgarian authorities issue passports to a third party who has power of attorney for the passport applicant, in particular, if the passport applicant is outside the country, had an existing valid passport and if the person with the power of attorney indicates that the passport has been lost, stolen or otherwise destroyed (1999 - April 2010), 4 May 2010, BGR103461.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4dd116b62.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an official from the Embassy of Bulgaria in Ottawa stated that, according to the law governing identity documents, passport applications must be personally signed by a Bulgarian citizen in the presence of an authorized official (30 Apr. 2010). The Embassy Official provided an unofficial translation of the relevant legislation as follows:
Art. 17. (1) (Amended - SG. 82 of 2009) For issuing identity documents the citizens submit an application to the competent authorities.
2) (*) (Amended - SG. 105 of 2006) The application shall be signed personally by the citizen in the presence of an authorized official who collects biometric data in cases provided by law.
(3) (*) (New - SG. 105 of 2006) for the capture of biometric data provided in this Act, the person has to appear to apply personally.
(4) (New - SG. 82 2009) The biometric data - fingerprints are not collected from children under 12 years of age and persons with physical inability to provide fingerprints. The biometric data - fingerprints are not collected from children under 6 years of age and persons with physical inability to provide fingerprints when submitting applications for residence documents under Art. 59, para. 2 and 3.
(Bulgaria 30 Apr. 2010)
In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a lawyer from a United Kingdom (UK)-based firm that specializes in Bulgarian law, including laws related to power of attorney in Bulgaria, corroborated that an individual must provide the necessary documents for a passport application in person (16 Apr. 2010) but added that once the replaced or new passport is ready, it could be received by a person with power of attorney (20 April 2010).
The Embassy Official stated that the law governing Bulgaria identity documents was adopted in 1999, but added that recent amendments to the law entered into force on 22 December 2009 (Bulgaria 30 Apr. 2010). The Embassy Official wrote that the regulations pertaining to the law came into force as of 8 February 2010 (ibid.). Information on whether a person could apply for a passport using power of attorney prior to the coming into force of the above-mentioned amendments could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
According to the Embassy Official, the government of Bulgaria started to gather biometric data as of 29 March 2010 (ibid.). With respect to the process for replacing a passport that contains biometric information, the law states that a third party with power of attorney may be used if there has been
no change of name, personal identification number (personal number or personal number of foreigner), gender, nationality or no significant and lasting changes in the image of a person [and all]necessary biometric data was collected two years from the date of application. (ibid.)
In addition, the Embassy Official stated that a person with power of attorney may submit an application for a child's passport on behalf of the parents and the child (ibid.). Similarly, information on the website of the Bulgarian consulate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) states that power of attorney may be used to obtain a passport for children born in the UAE (Bulgaria n.d.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Bulgaria. 30 April 2010. Embassy of Bulgaria in Ottawa. Correspondence with an official.
_____. N.d. Bulgarian Consulate in Dubai. "Issuance of Bulgarian Identity Documents Abroad."
Lawyer, United Kingdom (UK). 20 April 2010. Correspondence.
_____. 16 April 2010. Correspondence.
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources, including: the government of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian embassy in in Washington, DC were unable to provide information.
Internet sites, including: Internet sites, including: the government of Bulgaria, Focus Information Agency, Novinite, the Reporting Project, Sophia Echo.