Government Approves Bill on Statelessness Status Determination Procedure

Government Approves Bill on Statelessness Status Determination Procedure

Government Approves Bill on Statelessness Status Determination Procedure

Sofia, April 27 (BTA) - Bulgaria's Council of Ministers Wednesday approved draft amendments to the Aliens in the Republic of Bulgaria Act introducing the notion of 'stateless person' and a statelessness status determination procedure, the Government Information Service said. The bill has been moved to the National Assembly.

The amendments reckon with the UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which Bulgaria ratified in 2012.

"Stateless person" means a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. The amendments regulate the legal status of stateless persons and the terms and procedure for the issuance of a travel document to a person who has been granted statelessness status by Bulgaria or another State.

The amendments also provide for the taking of biometric data and the issuing of cards to staff members of a diplomatic mission or consular post or of a representation of an international organization in Bulgaria and to their family members. A special electronic register of the cards issued will be established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the ministries of interior and of finance and the State Agency for National Security will be notified of the registration.

The bill makes express provisions regarding the documents drafted abroad and certifying family links, which are presented to the aliens control services. Such documents are required to be recognized or admitted to enforcement under Bulgarian law.

Stricter requirements are introduced to persons applying for a long-stay visa in their capacity as representatives of foreign commercial corporations. They will be subject to preliminary verification as to the actual business of the company abroad, the existence of turnover and the origin of the capital.

The amendments to the Aliens Act bring Bulgarian legislation into conformity with a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union according to which third country nationals may enter the Union territory on a valid travel document and a valid visa affixed to a passport that has been declared invalid.

Source: Sofia