Why asylum-seekers in Bulgaria could get punished for traveling

If you're a registered asylum-seeker in Bulgaria, you could get detained just for traveling too far from your center.

That's because in September 2017, Bulgaria restricted registered asylum-seekers' freedom of movement.

Bulgaria said it made the new rule to keep a closer eye on registered asylum-seekers and stop them from leaving the country without permission.

How it works

Under the new rule, every asylum-seeker is assigned to one of 4 geographical zones.

You can't leave your assigned zone without official permission from the State Agency for Refugees.

Are there exceptions? Yes: You don’t need permission to leave your zone if you're traveling to appear before a court or administrative authority or when you need specialized medical care.

Penalty

If you leave your zone without permission twice, the authorities will place you in a closed center that you cannot leave until your asylum procedure is over.

The 4 zones

Your zone is linked to the center where you are staying.

Sofia

If you are an asylum-seeker and accommodated in the registration and reception center in Voenna Rampa, Vrazhdebna or Ovcha Kupel, you can move only in the territory of the city of Sofia.

Note that the gray area is where you can move freely, and the white area is where you are not allowed to travel without permission.

screen_shot_2017_12__XGxQA Zones of free and restricted movement for asylum-seekers accommodated in Sofia.

Harmanli

If you are an asylum-seeker and accommodated in the registration and reception center in Harmanli, you can move only in the territory of Haskovo District, excluding the border area.

Note that the gray area is where you can move freely, and the white area is where you are not allowed to travel without permission.

screen_shot_2017_12__RDoH4-1 Zones of free and restricted movement for asylum-seekers accommodated in Harmanli and Pastrogor.

Pastrogor

If you are an asylum-seeker and accommodated in the transit center in Pastrogor, you can move only in the territory of Haskovo District and village of Pastrogor excluding the border area.

Banya

If you are an asylum-seeker and accommodated in the registration and reception center in Banya, you can move only in the territory of the Sliven district.

Note that the grey area is where you can move freely, and the white area is where you are not allowed to travel without permission.

Webp.net-compress-image--1- Zones of free and restricted movement for asylum-seekers accommodated in Banya.