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(DF) Foreign Ministry Wants to Limit Issue of Passports with Privileges

January 16 (BTA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated revisions to the Bulgarian Personal Documents Act limiting the issue of diplomatic and official passports that give their owners rights to easier and visa-free travel abroad. The proposed changes have been published on the public consultations portal,, the Foreign Ministry said. The proposed amendments are aimed at bringing to a minimum the opportunities for misuse, because the current regulatory framework practically allows each Bulgarian national of full active legal capacity to obtain an official passport by registering a non-profit legal entity – an association, a federation or a branch organization – and being elected in its leadership, the Foreign Ministry said. Under the proposed changes, entitled to official passports are only the members of the leaderships of: licenced sports federations on the register under the Physical Education and Sport Act; nationally representative organizations of employees; and nationally representative organizations of employers. The revisions come following the Foreign Minister’s order to carry out a check and a review of the statutory and interdepartmental instruments regulating the order of issuing diplomatic and official passports. The check, which was conducted in 2020, resulted in the invalidation of five diplomatic passports. It established that there are 2,959 valid official passports, the biggest share of which (2,121) belong to officials at the Foreign Ministry and their family members, followed by the Defence Ministry (204), Air Detachment 28 (75), the Interior Ministry (74), the Economy Ministry (53), and the President’s administration (33). Official passports have also been issued to members of sports, scientific and trade organizations, as well as to representatives of the Judiciary. LN/DS