|First issued||29 March 2010 (current biometric version)|
A Bulgarian passport (Bulgarian: Български паспорт, romanized: Bŭlgarski pasport) is an international travel document issued to nationals of Bulgaria, and may also serve as proof of Bulgarian citizenship. Besides enabling the bearer to travel internationally and serving as indication of Bulgarian citizenship, the passport facilitates the process of securing assistance from Bulgarian consular officials abroad or other European Union member states in case a Bulgarian consular is absent, if needed.
As of 10 January 2023 Bulgarian citizens have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 174 countries and territories, ranking the Bulgarian passport 18th overall in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index. Bulgarian citizens can live and work in any country within the EU as a result of the right of free movement and residence granted in Article 21 of the EU Treaty.
Every Bulgarian citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card allows for free rights of movement and residence, establishment and employment in any of the states of the European Union and EFTA.
The Ministry of Interior is responsible for the issuing and renewing of Bulgarian passports.
For travel within the European Union, Schengen Area as well as to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, North Cyprus, Serbia and Turkey Bulgarian citizens are not required to carry a passport and only need a valid national identity cards.
A Bulgarian passport gives its bearer the right to assistance and protection by Bulgarian diplomatic missions and consular offices abroad (or to those of other EU member states when there is no Bulgarian diplomatic mission or consulate in the destination country or territory).
The passport remains the property of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Bulgarian passports are of the common EU design, burgundy in color, with the Bulgarian Coat of arms emblazoned in the center of the front cover. The text "Европейски съюз" (Bulgarian) / "European Union" (English), the country's official long name "Република България" (Bulgarian) and the English form "Republic of Bulgaria" are inscribed in capital letters above the coat of arms, with the word "паспорт" (Bulgarian) / "passport" (English) underneath. It is issued for a period of five or ten years, and contains 32 or 48 pages.
Security features include holographic images, micro printing, UV-visible features, watermarks, etc. In addition, the passport holder's photograph is digitally printed directly onto the paper, in standard ink as well as a holographic image. All passports are machine-readable.
Since 29 March 2010, all newly issued Bulgarian passports contain a chip with biometric data, and also feature the text "Европейски съюз" (Bulgarian) / "European Union" (English) above the country's official name, thus reflecting Bulgaria's EU membership. Additional design changes include the placement of pictures of famous Bulgarian landmarks and monuments on the inside pages of the passports. The new passport fees are €20 (40 BGN).
The passports contain a note from the issuing state that is addressed to the authorities of all other states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of that state and requesting that he or she be allowed to pass and be treated according to international norms. The note inside Bulgarian passports states:
The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria requests all Civil and Military Authorities to let through the holder of this passport without hindrance and, in case of need, to render him/her the necessary aid and assistance in accordance with the international law.
This passport is valid for all countries.
The data page/information page is printed in Bulgarian, English and French.
Main article: Visa requirements for Bulgarian citizens
As of 19 July 2022, Bulgarian citizens have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 173 countries and territories, ranking the Bulgarian passport 17th overall in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index.
According to the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, these were the top 10 destination countries for Bulgarians:
|1||Turkey||1 106 913||1 218 842|
|2||Greece||866 609||1 200 576|
|3||Romania||321 546||423 396|
|4||Serbia||316 146||404 975|
|5||North Macedonia||327 033||360 422|
|6||Germany||239 310||344 713|
|7||Italy||126 313||178 287|
|8||Austria||110 085||163 979|
|9||United Kingdom||101 737||141 941|
|10||Spain||102 417||139 418|