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U.S. Citizen Services

Welcome to the American Citizen Services Unit!

As part of our plan to modernize and upgrade our consular systems, the Bureau of Consular Affairs will upgrade servers and software.  The maintenance is scheduled to begin late afternoon on Friday, August 7 and end Sunday evening, August 9 (EDT).

During the scheduled maintenance, certain databases will be offline for an estimated 48–hour period.  
 
We will not provide routine visa services or routine American Citizen Services (ACS) while the databases are offline.  Visa and ACS appointments for August 10 have been rescheduled.  Emergency services will be available.

This is a vital step towards fully retiring our old Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) infrastructure and moving to a larger, faster, and more modern infrastructure.

The Department of State is experiencing technical difficulties processing passport applications at this time. This issue is worldwide and every possible step is being taken to resolve the issue as soon as possible.  If you need to travel in the next three weeks, the U.S. Embassy may be able to issue a limited-validity temporary passport. If you are traveling within three weeks or if you have any questions, please contact us at acs_sofia@state.gov or tel.: 02 937 5100 (9:00 am to noon, Monday through Friday). We recognize and regret any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

Due to a systems issue affecting global passport operations, there is currently a delay in the printing of U.S. passports that were approved at overseas passport facilities.  Applications accepted at U.S. Embassies or Consulates, including the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, on or after May 26, 2015 are affected by this delay.  If you applied for a U.S. passport during this time frame and have travel plans within the next 10 business days, please consider requesting an emergency passport at the embassy at which you originally applied.  Information about how to apply for an emergency passport is available at the following: http://bulgaria.usembassy.gov/pass2.html

The Department of State published some amendments to the Schedule of Fees for Consular services, effective on 12 Sep 2014.

For more information and comments, please see the Department's website.

For emergency assistance after hours

If you are an American citizen in Bulgaria with an after-hours emergency, please call (359) 2 937 5101. No documentary or passport services are available evenings, weekends or holidays.

If you are concerned about a relative or friend in Bulgaria and are calling from the United States, please call overseas citizen services at: 1-888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444).

What We Can Do

We provide a wide range of services to American citizens visiting or residing in Bulgaria, including:

  • Passport applications
  • Notarial services
  • Documenting births and deaths of U.S. citizens in Bulgaria
  • Assistance with Federal Benefits
  • Information on voting, taxes, public records, legalization of documents, and more.
  • Assisting travelers in distress (emergency passports, arranging medical care, assisting victims of crime or arrested/detained U.S. citizens, death of a U.S. citizen)

What We Can’t Do

American citizens are subject to Bulgarian law when in Bulgaria.  Please note that we cannot provide the following services – please contact us at acs_sofia@state.gov if you have questions:

  • Bulgarian visa or registration.
  • Legal Advice. Please see our list of lawyers. We do not endorse any firm or lawyer.
  • Payment of services or bills.
  • Endorsement or influence in private business matters.

 What to Expect When You Visit the Embassy

We suggest arriving 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow time for security checks at the Embassy entrance.

When you arrive, let the guards know that you have an appointment with the American Citizen Services Unit.  You will be asked to show photo ID. If you are a U.S. citizen, please bring your U.S. passport.

Our guards will check your belongings and you will pass through a metal detector.  

To help speed up the security process and save time you should ensure that you are not carrying any prohibited items.
 
Backpacks and large bags are not permitted in the Embassy and may cause you to be denied entrance into the Embassy.
 
Bags and all other prohibited items from the list cannot be kept by the security guards.
 
Additional prohibited items include:
 

  • electronic equipment
  • dangerous items
  • bottles
  • food
  • sealed envelopes
  • sealed packages
  • sprays, perfumes and other liquids

Once you enter, you will find the American Citizen Services Unit to the right at window 10.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions section to find information about: Customs, Driving in Bulgaria, Legalization of Documents, Obtaining Vital Records, Traveling with Pets, Reporting Internet Scams, Criminal Background Checks, and more.

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