Camps in Bulgaria (detention and "reception"):

last update: January 2014

The situation in Bulgaria is changing in the moment very often, so these are the camps existing in January 2014.


3 “open” camps for asylum-seekers (Vrajdebna, Voenna Rampa, Ovcha Kupel)

1 detention camp (Busmantsi)

Border (Turkey-Greece-Bulgaria) area:

1 closed camp (Harmanli)

1 Transit Center (Pastrogor)

1 detention camp (Lyubimets)

Border Police headquarters (Svilengrad)

Country site:

1 “open” camp (Banya)

Bulgaria > Detention and Reception

last update: October 2012

Under the current regulation the State Agency for Refugees, a ministerial body, is in charge of the functioning “reception centers” in Bulgaria. One of them is situated on the outskirts of Sofia and has a capacity for 500 people. A second one is situated in the Eastern part of Bulgaria, on the outskirts of the village of Banya, and has a capacity for 80 people. A new, called transitional, center has been planned in Pastrogor, in the vicinity of the Bulgarian-Turkish border, for some years. It is supposed to accommodate migrants deemed suitable for the so called fast procedure (see bellow) and has a capacity for 350 people. The opening of the transitional center has been delaited  because of corruption allegations. The opening finally happened in 3th of amy 2012. .
The detention centers on the other hand, are being managed by the Ministry of Interior. In addition to the detention center in Busmantzi, very close to Sofia, which has a capacity for 400 people, a new detention center has been opened last summer (2011) in Lyubimetz, close to the Bulgarian-Turkish border. 350 people are supposed to be accommodated there at most. It is a common case for the asylum seekers in Bulgaria to be directly sent to the detention centers instead of being accommodated in the reception facilities and to spend there many months. 

Beyond that, a Black Sea border coordination and information center has been established in 2004 at the seaside of Burgas with active Romanian participation. Germany is one of the main donors of this centers in the context of Bulgaria joining the Schengen agreement. Respective measures are being taken at the seaside of Varna too.

Unauthorized crossing the border for the second time:

last update: February 2013

If during your application procedure in Bulgaria, you decide to cross the border again to try to reach another EU or your home country and they catch you at the border, you will be sent to the regular prison as a „convicted criminal”.
According to Article 279(2) of the criminal law you could be held inside for up to six years. This time, also the first probationary sentence comes into force in addition with the second sentence. Usually you will serve between 8 months and 1.5 years.

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