Bulgaria's Govt Enables Granting of Statelessness Status
The Bulgarian government has approved draft amendments introducing a status of statelessness in the legislation.
Procedures regulating the legal status and the issuance of travel documents to stateless people who have been granted such status either by Bulgaria or another state have been clarified, with the government submitting the draft to Parliament for consideration.
In the amendments to the legislation on foreign national, the French term "apatride" is used to describe a stateless person.
The step is aimed at adapting national legislation to be in line with two UN documents, namely the UNHCR Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
It is also in line with a ruling of the European Court of Justice under which third country nationals can enter the EU with a valid travel document and a valid visa even if the latter is placed in a passport in a nullified passport.
Draft provisions also include specific regulations on taking biometric data and the issuance of documents to diplomatic staff or to the representatives of an international organization working in Bulgaria as well as to their family members. An e-register will be set up with cards issued.
Additionally, tougher rules are introduced with regard to applicants for a long-term visa as representatives of foreign companies. Further inspection of the respective company's activity, turnover and origin of capitals will be conducted before a decision is taken.
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