Your rights

ARE YOU IN A DETENTION CENTER? 

 

SHORT-TERM DETENTION (30 DAYS)

Where am I?

• You are currently at one of two administrative detention centres in Bulgaria; either the Busmantsi facility located near Sofia or the Lyubimets facility located near the Turkish border.

• Short-term detainees should be in a separate facility from long-term detainees, and should have a different-coloured card.

Why am I here?

• You are here because you were apprehended by police for entering or staying in Bulgaria irregularly.

• You are in this facility because the Ministry of Interior is trying to establish your identity.

• This procedure can take up to a maximum of 30 days, but this is not always the case as it can end much sooner.

What are my options?

• You should have been served a paper which you signed, which is your short term detention order. This order can be appealed in court up to 14 days after you signed it.

• During your short-term detention, you should decide if you wish to apply for asylum in Bulgaria or declare other reasons for legalizing your status, if there are any.

• In order to apply for asylum, you need to write or orally express that you wish to do so to the officials in the camp or to representatives from the different organizations present there.

• By law, 6 days after you apply for asylum your application should be registered and should be transferred to an open camp (reception centre).

• However, if you choose not to apply for asylum or fail to do so for another reason, you may be transferred to pre-removal detention during or at the end of 30 days.

 

PRE-REMOVAL DETENTION (FIRST TIME)

Why am I here?

• You have entered or stayed in Bulgaria irregularly and for this reason have been issued a deportation order for your fast and immediate return. You should have a copy of both this deportation order and the accompanying detention order.

• You are not here for committing a crime. You are here so that the authorities are able to organize your deportation. The reason that you have been detained to secure your deportation could be that: 1. 1)There was a risk you would abscond (hide/escape) 2. 2) You were not cooperating with the police to carry out your deportation.

For how long will I be here?

• The initial detention order is for a maximum period of 6 months for adults and a maximum of 3 months for children and their accompanying adults.

• This can be extended two times, to a maximum total of 18 months of detention, at which point you will be released in all circumstances.

• On the extension of detention, please refer to the section Important things to remember.

What are my options?

• If you already have applied or wish to apply for asylum, you can do so at any point and should not

be detained for longer that 6 days after filing your claim. See “How to ask for asylum” section below.

• Otherwise, the Bulgarian authorities will be trying to obtain travel documents for you by contacting your embassy and asking you for information or voluntary consent for return, in order to return you to your country of origin or a safe third country or country of transit.

• You have 14 days to appeal your detention order from the date it was served to you, which you should do as soon as possible. The court will then consider if there are less harsh ways to ensure your deportation. Your deportation order is also appealable for 14 days after it has been served to you. See “Alternatives to detention” section below.

• You do not need to have a lawyer but one can be made available to you by the organizations present in the camp. If you have no income, you have the right to a state-appointed lawyer for your court case.

 

SECOND TIME IN PRE-REMOVAL DETENTION

Why am I here?

• You have already applied for asylum and have been unsuccessful with a final decision coming into force, or have been returned from another EU country under the Dublin Regulation, or you have lost any other legal right of stay that you had in Bulgaria.

For how long will I be here?

• The initial detention order is for a maximum period of 6 months and 3 months for a child and the accompanying adults.

• This can be extended two more times, for a maximum total of 18 months, at which point you will be released in all circumstances.

• For appealing the extension of detention, please refer to the section Important things to remember

What are my options?

• Another asylum application: If you have been refused already with final decision in force, you can make a new claim for asylum BUT you will need to present written evidence of new reasons or circumstances why you face persecution or danger to your life in your country. The application will be subject to preliminary (“admissibility”) review and it is possible that you remain in detention while it is reviewed or during the procedure, if it is deemed that you filed it only to avoid deportation, and you are not considered part of a vulnerable group (serious medical condition, pregnant, etc.)

• You have 14 days to appeal your detention order from the date it was served to you, which you should do as soon as possible. The court will then consider if there are less harsh ways to ensure your deportation. Your deportation order can also be appealed within 14 days after it was served to you. See “Alternatives to detention” section below.

• You do not need to have a lawyer but one can be available to you from the organizations present in the camp If you have no income, you have the right to a state-appointed lawyer for your court case.