Scholarship for Ukrainian talents – (Part II)

In the following paragraphs, Sofia Metropolitan College would like to provide up-to-date information on the rights and obligations of beneficiaries of “international protection” in Bulgaria, The “international protection” status is granted to Ukrainian refugees.
I. Types of international protection

According to the Law on Asylum and Refugees, Bulgaria provides two types of international protection:

1. Refugee Status

Upon receipt of refugee status, you receive:
A refugee card valid for 5 years.

You can also request a travel document abroad.

If you receive refugee status, you have the rights and obligations of a Bulgarian citizen, with the exception of:

Participation in national and municipal elections, as well as in national and regional referendums.

  • Participation in the establishment of political parties and membership in such parties.
  • Occupying positions for which Bulgarian citizenship is required by law.
  • Serve in the army.
  • Other restrictions expressly provided for by law.
2. Humanitarian status

Upon receiving humanitarian status, you have the rights and obligations of a foreigner with a permanent residence permit in Bulgaria. These include the right to:

  • Employment without special permission
  • Education in public schools and universities
  • Family reunification
  • Bulgarian citizenship after 5 years
  • Travelling abroad

Beneficiaries of refugee or humanitarian status have the right for family reunification.

II. Recognition of University Diplomas and Professional Qualifications

1. Recognition of university diplomas

The procedure for recognising university diplomas awarded in the country of origin depends on the purposes for which you will use it.

A) If you wish to continue your studies at a higher education institution, it is the Academic Council of the particular university that carries out the recognition of your diploma.

B) If you want to pursue an unregulated profession (these are all professions except those in the fields of architecture, engineering, medicine, security, law, public administration, transport and technology), you may not need recognition of the diploma. In the case of non-regulated professions, recognition of a diploma is not a condition for taking up employment, but could facilitate access to employment. It is necessary to ask your (potential) employer whether such recognition is necessary.

In the case of unregulated professions, recognition is carried out by the National Center for Information and Documentation. You must submit an original of your diploma along with a copy translated by a sworn translator. Legalization of persons with refugee or humanitarian status is not required.

If you do not have an original higher education diploma, you may be issued a Degree Information Card to facilitate access to the labor market. It is not legally binding in nature and cannot be used for continuing higher education, but it can be recognised by employers for employment purposes. The card is issued by the National Center for Information and Documentation.

Regulated professions

If you wish to pursue a regulated profession (in the fields of architecture, engineering, medicine, security, law, public administration, transport and technology), you should contact the National Center for Information and Documentation, which informs about the responsible institution for recognition of the diploma (depending on the profession). “Dr. G.M. Dimitrov” 52A, Sofia, and the website

2. Validation and recognition of professional qualifications

Validation of professional skills is a  procedure by which it is established whether the skills of a person in a particular profession meet the state educational requirements. The aim is to facilitate access to vocational training and to the labor market.

Validation is only possible for a certain range of occupations that are included in an official list of occupations adopted each year. The list includes many professions in various professional fields.

Validation can take place in vocational schools, high schools, art schools, sports schools, vocational colleges, vocational training centers, where training in the profession you are going to validate is provided.

Educational requirements have been introduced for applicants, and it is necessary for them to have a diploma for at least the fourth grade or a certificate of successfully completed literacy course. If you do not have such documents, you must first validate your educational level under the procedure.

Recognition of professional skills is recognition of the right to exercise a specific profession on the territory of Bulgaria. Required for regulated professions (in architecture, engineering, medicine, security, law, public administration, transport and technology). The National Information and Documentation Centre will inform you of the responsible institution on which recognition depends (according to the specific profession).