For a document issued by a foreign state to a Bulgarian citizen to be recognized by Bulgarian institutions, it shall be arranged in a way which depends on whether the respective state is a party to the Hague Convention, whether between the two states there is a Legal Aid Agreement that is still in force or whether this state does not fall in any of the first two groups.
All documents issued in a foreign state which is party to the Hague Convention shall have an apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Documents with apostille need to be translated in Bulgarian in one of the two ways below:
The translation of the document shall be certified by “Legalizations and Certifications” Sector of the “Administrative Service of Bulgarian and foreign citizens” Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The same procedure applies to Bulgarian documents meant to trigger actions in the territory of any of the states – parties to the convention.
For states with which the Republic of Bulgaria has bilateral legal aid agreements with provisions for exempting the documents from legalization with apostille, documents issued by the foreign state must bear the stamp of the respective authorized institution as per the bilateral agreement. The thus issued document is recognized by the Bulgarian institutions and it only needs its Bulgarian translation which shall be certified.
In case the documents have no or cannot have any apostille, in order to trigger actions on the territory of Bulgaria, they need to be certified (legalized) in line with the generally accepted practice:
In case there is no Bulgarian embassy/consulate in the issuing state:
The stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing state shall be certified/legalized by the embassy of that state in a third state’s capital which is accredited for Bulgaria. Then the signature and the certifications of the consular service with that embassy shall be certified by the consular service of the Bulgarian embassy in that state.