Upward Trend in Applications for Bulgarian Citizenship in Last 15 Years - Vice President Iotova
110 HOME AFFAIRS-BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP COMMISSION-VICE PRESIDENT
Upward Trend in Applications
for Bulgarian Citizenship in
Last 15 Years - Vice President Iotova
Sofia, January 21 (BTA) - Each year ever more people apply for Bulgarian citizenship and this upward trend has been particularly evident in the last 15 years, Vice President Iliana Iotova said at a meeting with journalists here on Monday. She explained this with Bulgaria's membership in NATO and the EU as well as the visa-free travel to ever more countries.
Most often the applications to the Commission on Bulgarian Citizenship with the Vice President are from people with Bulgarian roots, Iotova went on to say. According to her, knowledge of the Bulgarian language should become a requirement for applicants for Bulgarian citizenship by origin.
Iotova also thinks that many texts of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act need to be revised.
The State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad (SABA) should work actively on protecting the rights of Bulgarians abroad instead of just issue certificates of Bulgarian origin [needed for the obtainment of Bulgarian citizenship], the Vice President argued. She said that Bulgaria needs an entirely new policy on expatriates, and recalled the Education and Science Ministry's efforts towards schools for Bulgarian children abroad.
According to Iotova, a ministry for Bulgarians abroad should be created only if it does more than just issue certificates of Bulgarian origin. At present, there still is no mechanism for checking the certificates issued by the SABA and if no additional information is received upon demand, no decree for granting Bulgarian citizenship should be issued, she specified.
Lately there have been almost no applications for Bulgarian citizenship by investment, Iotova also said.
It is also unknown how many of those who have obtain citizenship remain in Bulgaria, she told journalists.