Also, I need to add here the huge number of Bulgarian immigrants who migrated abroad in the western countries for the last century and especially during the last 25 years. Nowadays more than 2 million Bulgarians live and work abroad – mostly in England, the USA, Germany, Italy, Greece, etc. In addition, many Bulgarian citizens have migrated (voluntary or were forced to do so by the Authorities) in Turkey on several migrant waves - in the early 1950’s and in the late 1980’s. This circumstances led to many people living abroad, who have Bulgarian ancestors. For example, while I used to reside in Illinois, USA, I met a local person whose grandfather was a Bulgarian, immigrated in America during the 1940’s, searching for a better life and running from the WWII knocking on his door back then.
One very important thing that I realize during my practice on the matter – obtaining the accurate official documents for the Bulgarian identity of the ancestor (to support applying for Certificate for Bulgarian origin) is very important. Often these won’t be obtained at the Authorities in the foreign country, where they reside (d), but mostly at the Bulgarian Authorities. For example, last month I had a request by a Turkish national who claimed he has Bulgarian origins and was interested in obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by origin. Although he kept asking me for a list of concrete documents to obtain from Turkey about his Bulgarian ancestor, I couldn’t provide such. Because the reality is that such personal documents, related to Bulgarian citizenship and identity of the ancestor, should be obtained from the Bulgarian authorities here in Bulgaria.
Unfortunately, when related to old civil registrations back in history, technical troubles may occur – destroyed or missing civil registers, lack of personal information in the present electronic registers about people who lived a long time ago in Bulgaria, etc. Usually these problems are caused by two events – decedents of the Bulgarian ancestor didn’t keep or presented ever the up-to-date information towards the local Authorities; in addition, when there have been reforms in the civil registers during the years, the missing information had nowhere to appear from; so now there are examples of foreigners who wish to claim they have Bulgarian origins, but hold no documents to prove it; neither obtain such documentation at the Bulgarian authorities. Simply because they reside abroad, and they have nowhere to start from due to lack of any personal details for their Bulgarian ancestors and lack of knowledge about these specific investigations and procedures.