Under the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, everyone has the right to freely choose their residence, to move within the territory of the country and to leave its borders. This right may be restricted only by law, in order to protect national security, public health and the rights and freedoms of other citizens.

A child may also travel abroad:

  • accompanied by both parents – in which case a valid identity document is required;
  • accompanied by one parent only – in which case a valid identity document, Birth certificate and the consent of the other parent is required;
  • accompanied by a third person /grandparent, etc./ – in which case it is necessary to have a valid identity document and consent from both parents.

The child’s right to freedom of movement is protected by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and cannot be restricted without good reason.

Matters related to a child’s travel abroad and the issue of the necessary identity documents for this shall be decided by mutual consent of the parents.

Complications arise in cases where one parent wishes to travel abroad with his/her child and the other is unwilling to allow it, for various reasons.

In these cases, where the parents do not reach an agreement, the parent wishing to travel abroad has the option of applying at the Court for the latter to allow the child to travel abroad for a specified period of time. The parent can also ask the court to give substitute consent to the other parent in order to be able to take out a travel document /passport/ for their child. In these proceedings, the Court shall hear the other parent before giving its decision, unless he or she fails to appear without a good reason. In certain cases, the Court may grant provisional execution of the judgment.

This article is informative and not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice or opinion.