Since its start in October 2021 the Bureau for Information and Services for Third Country Nationals has been open to every foreign citizen, who needs assistance with information or different kinds of services regarding their integration and way of living in Bulgaria. Almost a year and a half later, the center can proudly announce remarkable results in regard to its services towards third-country nationals who have sought help from the specialists there.
Since October 2021, the bureau has been visited nearly 1,500 times (1,150 in the first year alone) by refugees and migrants seeking information or various types of services. On average, more than 100 people cross the threshold of the center per month, seeking assistance. This is shown in a REPORT ON THE ASSESSMENT OF THE CENTER'S ACTIVITIES SINCE ITS START IN 2021. The most requested services during this period are related accompaniment to various institutions, legal assistance, referral to other organizations, as well as financial assistance.
The average assessment of the bureau's work by its users is excellent - they rate the service received with 4.5 on a 5-point system, and the attitude and competence of the staff receives an enviable rating of 4.7.
The Bureau's online platforms are also enjoying a large interest – with over 1,500 unique users and a total of over 2,200 visits in the first year, the service center's website is an online center for help and assistance to foreign nationals.
Visitors' recommendations for improving the work of the office are related to the presence of more employees in the center, more opportunities to accompany refugees and migrants to different institutions, health, school facilities and others, as well as more frequent offering of legal aid as traditionally the most requested service.
The Bureau of Information and Services for Third Country Nationals continues its activities in the new year, looking for new ways to help refugees and migrants with services and information to help with their integration and way of living.
The bureau’s program for January is accessible here.
The bureau and its activities are a part of the CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, that is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. It was established and has been operating since October last year with the joint efforts of the Sofia Municipality, Sofia Development Association, Bulgarian Red Cross, with the support of Pazari Vazrazhdane and UNHCR, co-financed by the EU through the AMIF.