Last update 20 October 2023Diplomatic missions
Level 2: Increased attention (please be informed in detail about the current situation in the country)
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Kingdom of Belgium
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Brussels, Belgium
Address: Avenue Moscicki 7, 1180 Bruxelles
Telephone: +32 2 374 47 88; +32 2 374 08 66
Emergency out-of-hours hotline: + 32 473 981 042
E-mail: [email protected]
Working hours: Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 17:30
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 16:00
Consular Office with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Brussels
The Consular Office is located in a separate building from the Embassy:
Rue Copernic 4C, 1180 Bruxelles
Telephone: +32 2 375 86 50
Emergency out-of-hours hotline: + 32 473 981 042
E-mail: [email protected]
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 13:30, except the last working day of the month; Wednesday, from 14:00 to 17:00 (for receiving of issued documents only).
Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU in Brussels, Belgium
Address: 49, Square Marie-Louise, B-1000 Bruxelles
Headquarter: +32 2 2358 300
Reception: +32 2 2358 301
Emergency out-of-hours hotline:
+32 (0) 2 2358 300
+32 473 981 042
E-mail: [email protected]
Delegation of the Republic of Bulgaria to NATO in Brussels, Belgium
Address: NATO HQ, NG building, Blvd. Leopold III, Brussels – 1110
Е-mail: [email protected]
Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Kingdom of Belgium
Willy van Impe
Headquarters: city of Aalst and with consular district Flanders region
Address: Bredeweg 13, 9320 Niewuwerkeren-Aalst, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)473 94 33 28; +32 (0)53 83 83 73
E-mail: [email protected]
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Kingdom of Belgium
Headquarters in the city of Liège and with the consular district of the Wallonia region
Address: Avenue de l'Observatoire 215/83, 4000 Liège
Phone: +32 4 278 71 52
Mobile phone: +32 475 23 74 58
Email: [email protected]
Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Sofia, Republic of Bulgaria
St. "James Boucher" №103, 1407 Sofia
Phone: +359 2 988 72 90
Fax: +359 2 963 36 38
Hotline after hours: +359 888 631 931
E-mail: [email protected]
The level of crime rate in Belgium does not suggest special measures for personal safety. Demonstrations and protests are frequent in the capital Brussels, most often around transport hubs and EU institutions. Although most of the demonstrations are peaceful, there is a risk of isolated disturbances and violence. If you find yourself in areas where demonstrations are taking place, be vigilant and leave the area if there are signs of unrest or violence.
As in most large cities, pickpocketing and petty crime, including car break-ins and robberies, are a problem in crowded places in the capital Brussels and other larger cities. Be vigilant around major train stations and on public transport, especially at night. Pick pockets are also active on international high-speed trains (TGV and Thalys), never leave your luggage unattended. In case of theft, contact the nearest police station.
The likelihood of terrorist acts in Belgium is very low, but they are not completely ruled out. Terrorist attacks can happen anywhere, including in public transport and transport hubs and other places frequented by foreigners. Be vigilant and follow the instructions of the Belgian authorities in the event of an anti-terrorist operation.
If you need to contact the emergency services, call 112.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to emergency and urgent (medical and dental) care when you are in EU countries, including Belgium.
To schedule an appointment with a GP or specialist at any time, we recommend the most popular free online platform https://www.doctoranytime.be/ which allows you to choose the language of communication (English, French or Dutch). The platform currently works with more than 2,500 healthcare professionals and generates more than 900,000 visits per month. Its services can be used not only by permanent residents of Belgium, but also by tourists, Erasmus exchange students and other newly arrived foreign nationals.
The customs requirements for import/export/transit of goods within the EU can be found on the website of the Customs Agency at https://customs.bg/wps/portal/agency/home/info-citizens/info-traveling.
Useful information on customs requirements when travelling (in English) can be found in the brochure of the Belgian customs authorities, which can be downloaded at: https://finance.belgium.be/sites/default/files/Customs/Brochures/Reis/Brochure_Travel_Wisely_ENG_A5.pdf.
30 km/h zones and low emission zones - As of 1 January 2021, the maximum speed limit for vehicles on Brussels streets is 30 km/h, except on a few major thoroughfares where the maximum speed limit is 50 or 70 km/h. Restrictions do not apply only to trams, which run in their own lane, as well as vehicles with special traffic regime (ambulances, fire and police cars).
In Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp, low emission zones have been introduced, banning certain categories of diesel vehicles. For Euro 4 diesel vehicles, exemptions from the ban are still available for a one-day pass. There are no restrictions for Euro 5 and above.
In Belgium, drivers must give absolute priority to vehicles joining the road from the right, even when they are stopped at a junction. Exceptions to this rule include motorways, roundabouts and roads marked with a priority sign.
Trams have priority over other vehicles. You must stop, if a tram or bus stops in a lane in the middle of the road to allow passengers to get on or off.
Traffic on roads across the country is controlled by speed traps, fixed and mobile cameras and radar.
Fines have increased dramatically: up to EUR 2,750 for speeding by 40 km/h and possibly appearing in court for exceeding the limit by more than 40 km/h. If you cannot pay the fine on the spot, the vehicle may be impounded.
Alcohol checks are frequently carried out. The permitted blood alcohol content is up to 0.05%. If you refuse an alcohol test, a blood sample will be taken. Fines are heavy and range from EUR 1,100 to EUR 11,000. Driving licences shall be immediately withdrawn in certain cases.
The use of a mobile phone while driving is not permitted; the use of hands-free equipment is permitted.
When travelling abroad, we strongly recommend that you register your stay outside Bulgaria to receive up-to-date information related to your stay in the country concerned, as well as to be able to receive the necessary assistance in the event of possible natural disasters, accidents, acts of terrorism or other unforeseen circumstances.
When abroad, you should comply with local laws and norms, as you will fall under their jurisdiction during your stay. We recommend that you inform yourself about them in advance.
If for any reason you are detained by local authorities in Belgium or Luxembourg, require to get in touch with the Consular Office with the Embassy in Brussels. The Honorary Consuls of the Republic of Bulgaria in the two countries do not have consular powers and are not part of the Embassy, do not rely on them for full consular assistance and services.
In the event of arrest, the Consular Office may, through the competent Bulgarian institutions, notify your relatives and, if you expressly request it, a consular officer may visit you at the place of detention or assist your relatives to visit you. The Consular Office can insist on the appointment of a lawyer and an interpreter for you, as well as on respect for your fundamental human rights and ensuring that you are treated in the same way as nationals of the host country.
The Consular Office cannot release you from a detention order or seek special treatment for you during detention; give you legal advice or pay your legal costs; or represent you in legal proceedings.
If you fall victim to a crime or get into trouble during your stay, call the local 112 number for help, which will automatically detect where you are calling from and send the appropriate service to help you.
In the event of theft, loss or destruction of your identity documents, cash, travel tickets, etc., immediately notify the nearest police office in person and ask for a copy of the record establishing the event. Contact the Consular Office with the Embassy to declare a stolen or lost Bulgarian identity document and to apply for the necessary documents (Emergency Travel Document) to continue your journey or to return to Bulgaria.
When travelling abroad, we recommend that you always carry a photocopy of your Bulgarian identity documents and/or birth certificate with you, separately from your original identity documents, which will help to issue a new Bulgarian identity document quickly and smoothly.
You need to have sufficient funds for your planned stay abroad. In case of theft or loss of these funds, you can seek financial assistance from the Consular Office only if your relatives or close persons deposit the amount you need with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Property Management Directorate. The Embassy cannot provide you with loans or undertake to pay your food, transportation, hotel, legal or hospital bills unless the necessary funds have been deposited with the MFA.
Travel papers and visas
Citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria, as citizens of the European Union, have the right to reside on the territory of another Member State, including the Kingdom of Belgium, for up to 90 days, without any conditions or formalities, except the requirement to hold a valid identity card or passport. Their family members have the same right, even if they are not nationals of Bulgaria or another EU country. If they hold a valid passport and a residence card issued by Bulgaria to a family member of an EU citizen. Those who do not have such a card must certify that they are family members of an EU national and then receive a free visa.
All EU nationals have the right to stay in another EU country for more than 90 days, provided they:
- are workers or self-employed in the host Member State, or;
- are enrolled in a private or public educational establishment accredited or financed by the host Member State, on the basis of its legislation or administrative practice, for the primary purpose of undergoing a course of study, including vocational training, and;
- have full health insurance coverage in the host Member State and satisfy the relevant national authorities, by means of a declaration or other equivalent means chosen by them, that they have sufficient funds for themselves and their family members in order not to become a burden for the social assistance system of the host Member State during their time of residence or are family members accompanying or joining a Union citizen who meets the above conditions.
In very rare cases, an EU country may refuse access to you or your family members on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. In such a case, the authorities must prove that you or your family members are a real, present and sufficiently serious danger. You have the right to receive this decision in writing, stating all the grounds and how and within what time limits you can appeal.
The Consular Office is located in a separate building at: Rue Copernic 4C, 1180 Brussels, which is different from the Embassy. Opening hours of the Brussels Consular Office for consular services are from 10:00 to 13:30 every working day, except on non-working days and on the last working day of the month, with additional reception hours every Wednesday from 14:30 to 17:00 for receiving of issued documents. The days off of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Brussels in 2023 are published at: https://www.mfa.bg/embassies/belgium/messages/36057 .
Application for a new Bulgarian identity document (an identity card, a passport, an Emergency Travel Document):
To apply for a new Bulgarian identity document (a passport, an identity card or an Emergency Travel Document), you need to schedule an appointment with the Consular Office in advance. Scheduling an appointment can be made ONLY online at www.consulatebg.eu .
Filling in the application and scheduling an appointment is done on a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, mandatory in CYRILLIC letters.
Before proceeding with the application form filling and scheduling an appointment, you should carefully familiarise yourself with the general information on Bulgarian identity documents and the requirements and documents needed to apply https://www.consulatebg.eu/home .
The first step is to complete your online application here https://www.consulatebg.eu/apply.
When completing the application, you may only select a REGULAR service. If you would like a fast service (up to 30 days for an identity card or passport), you must pay an additional fee of EUR 45.33 when you submit your application to the Consular Office, for the delivery by DHL of the Bulgarian identity documents to the Consular Office in Brussels, which makes the service fast. Express services are not available abroad.
Once you have filled in all the details, click on the green button labelled: I FILLED IN THE APPLICATION CORRECTLY. GENERATE BARCODE AND UIN.
If you have filled in the application correctly and it has been accepted, the next step is to print it out to submit to the Consular Office.
You will then need to schedule an appointment with the Consular Office. To do this, copy the unique identification number UIN, which you will find under the QR code generated in the application, and go to the next module ‘Online record for BDS’ (https://www.consulatebg.eu/book) . If you did not copy the UIN, you can fill it in from the printed application.
Select Belgium, Brussels from the drop-down menu. In the calendar, choose a day and time to appear at the Consular Office in order to submit your Bulgarian identity documents and to have your biometric data taken.
Dates in the calendar that are crossed out are non-working days. When you select and click on your chosen date, the available hours are marked in green and the already booked hours — in red. Choose a time that suits you, coloured in green.
If you are scheduling an appointment to submit multiple applications for more than one person, you must reserve a separate appointment for each application, possibly consecutive times/slots.
Once you have successfully selected a date and time, you will immediately receive a link to the email you have provided in order to confirm your booking within 24 hours. If you do not confirm your booking via the link provided, it will be automatically cancelled and your name will not appear on the list of those who have requested a time for that date.
After confirmation, you will receive a receipt, coloured green, with your name, day and time of your visit to the Consular Office.
IMPORTANT: The system does not allow changing or cancelling the reserved date and time. You can only schedule a new appointment once your original booked date and time has passed.
If you don't receive an email, there could be several reasons:
• You have entered the wrong email address for contact. (Try another email)
• The email has been sent to ‘Junk mail’ (Spam).
• You have not filled in a correct UIN.
In this case, your appointment booking is unsuccessful and you will have to repeat the whole procedure again, being more careful.
Please note that the information system is automated, i.e. the emails with the confirmation link and the receipt are sent automatically by the system and not by the Consular Office in Brussels. It is therefore unnecessary to contact the Consular Office with questions about why you have not received a reply because the Consular Office does not manage the system and cannot control the sending of the automated emails.
When you visit the Consular Office, you must bring with you the printed electronic application with the barcode and unique identification number (UIN) that you used to schedule online your appointment at the Consular Office.
If for any reason you were unable to print the completed electronic application that you scheduled the appointment with, complete and print a new electronic application, but do not schedule an appointment with it again.
If you do not bring the printed application with you, you will have to fill it in at the Consular Office, which will delay your service and that of other citizens.
In addition to a completed application, you must present a Bulgarian identity document (passport, identity card, driving licence) - valid or expired - to the Consular Office. In the absence of such a document, a birth certificate shall be presented.
In case you do not have any personal or other identification documents, it is allowed to establish your identity with two witnesses, Bulgarian citizens, with valid identity documents, who fill in declarations at the Consular Office to verify the identity of the applicant. The signatures of the witnesses shall be authenticated for which a fee shall be payable.
To apply for a PASSPORT FOR A MINOR OR UNDER-AGED PERSON, including an EMERGENCY TRAVEL DOCUMENT, the following is required:
• Personal appearance of both parents and the child at the Consular Office.
In the absence of one parent, a notarized power of attorney from the absent parent or a final court order for the application and receipt of the child’s Bulgarian identity documents by the parent who appears alone or a death certificate for a deceased parent shall be presented.
• The child's birth certificate issued in Bulgaria and the child's previous identity document, if any.
• A valid identity document for each parent.
It is possible to apply for an Emergency Travel Document for a child born in Belgium or Luxembourg with a multilingual extract of the birth certificate issued by the local authorities in Belgium or Luxembourg (Form A).
For the issuance of an IDENTITY CARD to a under-aged or minor person, it is sufficient that ONLY one parent is present.
Detailed information on the documents and requirements for applying for a Bulgarian identity document can be found at: https://www.consulatebg.eu/home.
For very urgent and pressing cases to apply for personal documents (e.g., the need to travel related to the illness or death of a loved one), an appointment can be made in advance by email [email protected] or by phone +32 2 375 86 50 (every working day except Wednesday, from 14:00 to 17:00 only). The consul will assess whether the case is really urgent and if and when you can be booked in for an appointment.
Information on the deadlines and fees for issuing the Bulgarian identity documents and obtaining the completed identity documents can be found in other consular notices.
Issuing of criminal record certificates and other supporting documents.
Criminal record certificate:
You can apply to the Ministry of Justice for a criminal record certificate through the Consular Office of the Embassy. No appointment is made in advance; the application may be submitted on any day of attendance, except the last working day of the month, during the reception hours from 10:00 to 13:30. A list of non-attendance days can be found in another consular announcement.
The application must be submitted in person, with the following documents:
• Completed application form;
• Bulgarian identity document (identity card, passport, Emergency Travel Document);
• Declaration of Identity of Names (in case there is a change of names).
When submitting the application, the person shall pay a fee of EUR 13.The criminal record certificate is issued by the Ministry of Justice in Bulgarian and is received at the Embassy electronically within 7 days.
If you wish to obtain a criminal record certificate with an Apostille, the fee is EUR 16. In this case, however, obtaining it at the Embassy takes several months as it must be received in the original.
The validity period of the criminal record certificate is 6 months.
OTHER COMMONLY ISSUED CERTIFICATION DOCUMENTS
1. Duplicate of a birth, marriage or death certificate issued in Bulgaria. The Consular Office may issue a duplicate of a Bulgarian birth, civil marriage or death certificate only for persons born after 01 January 2000. For those born before this date, only a Multilingual Extract from the Birth Certificate (Form A under the Convention on the Issuance of Multilingual Extracts from Civil Status Certificates) or from the Civil Marriage Certificate (Form B) may be issued.
2. Certificate of identity of a person with different names. The certificate serves as proof that two or more first and/or patronymic and/or surnames are of the same person. It is published in French.
3. Certificate of formation of names according to Bulgarian legislation. It is issued to serve the Belgian authorities when issuing a birth certificate to a child who is a Bulgarian citizen.
For the above and other certification documents, you can go to the Consular Office during reception hours on the days of your presence without making an appointment.
A fee of EUR 10 is payable for their issue.
Acceptance of documents in connection with the Bulgarian citizenship procedure:
An application to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria for acquisition, release or restoration of Bulgarian citizenship, together with the necessary documents, can be submitted through the Consular Office with the Embassy.
We recommend that you make an appointment in advance to submit your application and documents by emailing the Consular Office at [email protected] .
A list of the documents required for the Bulgarian citizenship procedures and samples of applications and declarations can be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria at: https://justice.government.bg/home/index/21b782d0-ff10-4b33-81cb-1fef6118448d .
Documents issued by local authorities must be translated into Bulgarian by a sworn translator with the Embassy. The signature of the translator shall be notarized by a consular official.
Photocopies of the documents must also be submitted to the Consular Office upon submission.
The fees for the various services for procedures related to Bulgarian citizenship can be found in the relevant consular notice on https://www.mfa.bg/embassies/belgium/messages/33432.
NOTARIZATION OF THE POWER OF ATTORNEY, DECLARATION OR SIGNATURE OF THE INTERPRETER/TRANSLATOR
NO TIME IN ADVANCE SHALL BE SET FOR NOTARIZATION BY A CONSULAR OFFICIAL OF A SIGNATURE, DATE OR CONTENT OF A DOCUMENT. You can report to the Consular Office on any attendance day, except the last working day of the month, during reception hours from 10:00 to 13:30. A list of non-attendance days can be found in another consular announcement.
NOTARIZATION OF A POWER OF ATTORNEY OR DECLARATION
Notarized powers of attorney and declarations, which are drawn up in Bulgarian and are intended to produce their effect on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, may be lodged at the Consular Office with the Embassy.
The notarization shall be carried out by the consul in the presence of the person authorising or making the declaration. A valid Bulgarian identity document (passport, identity card or Emergency Travel Document) of the person is required. It is not allowed to present an identity document issued by a foreign country when the person is a Bulgarian citizen. No personal document (or photocopy) of the person being authorised is required.
The person must present a pre-drafted document (power of attorney or declaration) for certification, and the signature must be affixed on the spot before the consular officer. Consular staff do not draw up or complete these documents, and can only help you with their preparation. Samples of powers of attorney and declarations can be found on the websites of notaries and consulting firms on the Internet.
Powers of attorney for the purchase and sale of immovable property require, in addition to the certification of the signature, the certification of the contents. They shall also be submitted in advance (for recommendation by a lawyer or notary), together with the declarations required to accompany them. The power of attorney must be submitted in duplicate.
The Consular Office CANNOT draw up notarial deeds or certify other private documents subject to registration, such as deeds of transfer of title, contracts for the transfer of inheritance, deeds of renunciation of real property rights, etc. The documents ‘subject to registration’ are listed in the Rules on Registration, Section II ‘Registration of Deeds concerning immovable property’, Article 4. Consular officers do not have the power to certify such documents, but they do have the power to certify powers of attorney authorising other persons to perform the acts which will subsequently create ‘registrable documents’.
CERTIFICATION OF THE SIGNATURE OF A TRANSLATOR
At the Consular Office with the Embassy, only the signature of a sworn translator, i.e. a translator with the necessary qualifications who has obtained prior consent from the Embassy to be such, is notarized. A list of their names, addresses and telephone numbers is published on the Embassy's website at https://www.mfa.bg/embassies/belgium/532 .
TERMS AND FEES FOR NOTARIAL CERTIFICATES (IN EUROS)
IMPORTANT: When requesting notarization, you have a choice as to the time limits for its execution and, accordingly, the amount of the fee to be paid. Notarizations performed as an ‘express service’ (immediately or within the same day) are paid at double the state fee.
Type of service
(up to 3 working days)
Certification of signature on a private document (power of attorney, declaration, invitation, etc.)
Authentication of copies and extracts of documents or papers:
- for front page
— for each subsequent page
Certification of the date, content and signature of a private document that is not subject to registration (power of attorney for the sale of immovable property:
- for the first page
— for each subsequent page
Certification of the translator's signature on translations of documents and other documents
Deadlines for issuing and obtaining of Bulgarian identity documents:
The time limit for the Consular Office to issue an identity card or passport is up to 45 days for ordinary service and up to 30 days for fast service.
When completing the application, you may only select a regular service. If you would like a fast service (up to 30 days for an identity card or passport), you must pay an additional fee of EUR 45.33 when you submit your application to the Consular Office, for the delivery by DHL of the Bulgarian identity documents to the Consular Office in Brussels, which makes the service fast. Express services are not available abroad.
Emergency Travel Documents (‘pasavans’) are issued by the Consular Office after receiving a statement from the Ministry of Interior in Bulgaria. The deadline for issuing an Emergency Travel Document is up to 3 working days. Exceptionally, in a humanitarian case and after permission from the Ministry of Interior, an Emergency Travel Document can be issued within the day.
Emergency Travel Documents are issued with a validity period of up to 12 months. The period of validity shall be determined by the Consul depending on the circumstances necessitating its issue. The validity period is usually set at 3 to 6 months.
How do you know if the Bulgarian identity documents you requested has arrived at the Consular Office in Brussels and is ready for collection?
If you submitted your application online through the Automated Electronic Services Information System, you can track the status of your application by entering the code you received on the home page under the ‘View Application by Code’ menu. When this status is ‘Received at the Consular Office’, you can report to receive the requested document on the appointed day.
When you have applied for a Bulgarian identity document at the Consular Office, you can find out whether the finished Bulgarian identity document has already arrived at the Consular Office by using the ‘ Bulgarian identity documents received at the Consular Office' module of the online platform for completing an online application and booking an appointment https://www.consulatebg.eu/status. Simply fill in your PIN and the system will inform you if your Bulgarian identity document has already arrived at the Consular Office.
The newly issued Bulgarian identity document can be picked up at the Consular Office every Wednesday from 14:30 to 17:00., WITHOUT making an appointment.
The new documents must be obtained in PERSON at the Consular Office or from a person whose details you have entered when submitting your application, or, exceptionally, from an authorised person with an explicit notarized power of attorney.
According to the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria, the new identity document CANNOT be obtained by mail or courier service.
Identity cards and passports for children up to the age of 18 are obtained in person by one parent, who must be a Bulgarian citizen, certifying their identity with a passport or identity card. The child's original birth certificate shall also be produced.
Upon receipt of the new Bulgarian identity document issued, the previous Bulgarian identity document of the same type must be returned to the Consular Office for destruction. Old documents are declared invalid and cannot be used by persons.
If you need to show any visas or border stamps that were affixed to your old passport, you can keep it after presenting it to the Consular Office and submitting a request form. You are obliged to return your passport within 3 months after the stated need has ceased.
Bulgarian identity documents are the property of the Bulgarian state, therefore a fine is imposed if the identity document is lost, damaged or destroyed. The amount of fines (in euro) for violations of the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act, which are imposed at the Consular Office with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Brussels, can be found in a separate consular notice.
The fines for violations of the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act, which are imposed at the Consular Office with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Brussels, are published at: https://www.mfa.bg/embassies/belgium/messages/33433.
The Bulgarian Embassy is fully prepared to provide the necessary assistance to Bulgarian citizens who are victims of criminal offences on the territory of Belgium and Luxembourg, who are in distress as a result of natural disasters, acts of terrorism or other unforeseen circumstances, as well as to respect their fundamental human rights and ensure the same treatment as the citizens of the host country in cases of detention.
Hotline for emergencies and urgent calls during out-of-hours only: +32 473 981042.