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U.S. Citizen Services
 

Welcome to the American Citizen Services Unit!

If you are an American citizen in Bulgaria with an after-hours emergency, please call (359) 2 937 5101.

Please note: There will be no personal pick-up on Thursday, April 17, Friday, April 18, and Monday, April 21 due to Embassy closure for the holidays.

If you are concerned about a relative or friend in Bulgaria and are calling from the United States, please call overseas citizen services:

Call 1-888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444) for answers related to questions concerning the:

We provide a wide range of services to American citizens visiting or residing in Bulgaria.  We process passport applications, provide notarial services and information on legalization of U.S. and Bulgarian documents, assist with information on voting, taxes, public records in the U.S., provide information and assistance with federal benefits, document births and deaths of Americans in Bulgaria, etc. We also assist travelers in distress; issue emergency passports, arrange for medical care, assist victims of crime or arrested/incarcerated U.S. citizens in Bulgaria.  For general information about traveling to Bulgaria, please see http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/bulgaria.html

The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit is located at:
American Embassy
16, Kozyak
1408 Sofia
Telephone: (359) 02 937 5100
Email: ACS_Sofia@state.gov

You must make an appointment online to be allowed entry into the consular section for routine (non-emergency) services - Passports, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Notarial Services. If you can conduct your business by mail or on-line, please do so.

For emergency assistance after hours

American citizens may call (359) 2 937-5200 and ask to speak to the duty officer.  No documentary or passport services are available evenings, weekends or holidays. You may also contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State for assistance at 888-407-4747 (U.S. toll free number) or at 317-472-2328 (from overseas).

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.
  • Entrance to the Embassy will not be permitted more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • 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.  Hand lotion, perfumes, cameras, mobile phones and other electronic devices are not allowed inside the Embassy. 
  • You will be asked to pass through a metal detector.
  • Once you enter, you will find the American Citizen Services Unit at window 10.

Security

Recent world-wide terrorism events have created the necessity for restricting luggage, back packs, or carry bags being brought into the Embassy Consular Section. Please DO NOT attempt to bring these items inside. The guard has been instructed to prevent access of any luggage or carry bags or packs unless there is a clearly demonstrated emergency or medical need that is authorized by the Consular Officer or the Regional Security Officer.

In addition, due to the large number of individuals seeking assistance in the Consular Section, only those individuals with appointments are normally granted entry into the Consular Section. Please ask accompanying family or friends to wait for you in a nearby location or arrange to meet them later in the day. We appreciate your cooperation and regret any inconvenience this may cause.

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. We may provide loans in cases of destitution but all loans must be repaid. Contact us for more information.
  • Endorsement or influence in private business matters.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

We strongly encourage all U.S. citizens to enroll in STEP.  When you sign up, you will receive notices of issues that could affect your safety while traveling, as well as reminders about overseas voting and other issues pertinent to U.S. citizens living abroad.  Enrollment in STEP also allows any embassy or consulate to more quickly locate you and provide help in the case of an emergency.

Sign up now at https://step.state.gov/step/

Serve Your Community:  Become a Warden!

Wardens serve a vital role in the American citizen community by maintaining the lines of communication with local Americans and providing critical support for non-routine consular issues.  The Embassy thanks its current wardens for their continued good work and welcomes interested U.S. citizens resident in Bulgaria to volunteer to become a warden.

For more information on warden duties please contact the U.S. Embassy in Sofia at +359 2 937-5100 or ACS_Sofia@state.gov

To receive regular updates on citizens issues in Bulgaria please sign up at https://step.state.gov/step/

  • How do I apply for Retirement, Spouses, Children's and Disability benefits?
     

    You can apply for Social Security retirement, spouse, Medicare only or disability on the internet at https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib.  It is secure, fast and easy.  Once you submit the application online, print the receipt, and wait.  SSA will contact you in about 6-8 weeks to review your claim and to request needed documents, if needed.

    The online hours of operation are:

    • Weekdays 5 AM - 1 AM Eastern Time (ET)
    • Saturday 5 AM - 11 PM ET
    • Sunday 8 AM - 11:30 PM ET
    • Holidays 5 AM - 1 AM ET
  • How do I enroll in direct deposit?
     

    Direct Deposit (DD) to a Financial Institution in the United States:

    A beneficiary can have his/her benefits deposited into a bank in the United States.  For U.S. direct deposit, the payee must provide:

    • The full name and address of the financial institution;
    • The full bank routing number;
    • The full account number, including type (savings/checking) and the name(s) on the bank account.

    You can enroll by following the information provided at http://go.usa.gov/ByXV.

    Or

    Comerica Bank Direct Express Debit Card:

    This program allows recipients to access their benefits by using the Direct Express Debit Card at over 1 million ATMs around the world, wherever the MasterCard® acceptance mark is displayed.  In addition, recipients can make purchases at debit card locations, e.g., markets, drug stores, etc. that accept Debit MasterCards at no cost.  Surcharge fees may apply when using Direct Express outside the United States.

    Please go to https://www.usdirectexpress.com/edcfdtclient/index.html# or contact us.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Direct Express cards are blocked for international transactions until the card holder contacts the bank to remove the block.

  • How do I request Non-receipt of payment?
     

    Please contact the American Citizen Services unit at tel. (02) 937 5100 from 9:00am to 12:00pm

    (M-F). You may also send an e-mail to acs_sofia@state.gov.

     You will need to provide your full name and claim number when you contact us.

  • How do I report Change of Address?
     

    Please contact the American Citizen Services unit at tel. (02) 937 5100 from 9:00am to 12:00pm

    (M-F). You may also send an e-mail to acs_sofia@state.gov.

    You will need to provide your full name and claim number when you contact us.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are moving from the United States to an Overseas location i.e. Bulgaria, you must also sign form SSA-21

  • How do I report the Death of Beneficiary?
     

    Please contact the American Citizen Services unit at tel. (02) 937 5100 from 9:00am to 12:00pm

    (M-F). You may also send an e-mail to acs_sofia@state.gov.

    You will need to provide full name and claim number of the deceased when you contact us.

  • How do I apply for an original/replacement Social Security card at the Embassy?
     

    You may schedule an appointment to apply for a Social Security card.  It takes about 5-6 months to be assigned a SSN and receive an original Social Security card and 3-4 months to get a replacement card when you apply overseas.

    Please fill out an SS-5-FS.

    (Information on the requested documents.)

    You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you may not need to get a replacement card. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. 

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