Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment
The Bulgarian Citizenship Investor Program is attractive opportunity for foreign investors and wealthy individuals to enjoy visa-free access or visa-on-arrival access to 157 countries and territories, Bulgarian citizenship for the family members and many other benefits.
Our law firm specialises in assisting EU and non-EU nationals to obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport by investment. The foreign investor can invest in a certified government project (projects in tourism, industry and local development are available), government bonds or shares of Bulgarian companies traded on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. The investment in government bonds is fully guaranteed and secured by the Bulgarian Government. The Bulgarian legislation allows EU and non-EU nationals to get Bulgarian passport within two years and the investment to be fully refunded at the end of this period with the accrued interest.
Advantages of our law firm to obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport:
We will assist your family members to obtain permanent residence and Bulgarian citizenship at no extra cost. The fee to process dependents is included in our fee for the main applicant.
The law office of Advocate Markov is partnering with DSK Bank, the second largest bank in Bulgaria and a member of the Hungarian OTP Group. DSK Bank has been awarded Bank of the Year for 2017 in Bulgaria for excellent customer service and proven efficiency. DSK Bank is a trustful partner of the Bulgarian fast-track citizenship program offering immediate purchase of Bulgarian government bonds and variety of other investment products.
The law office of Advocate Markov was recognised for second consequent year Citizenship Law Firm of the Year in Bulgaria by the prestigious legal guide, Global Law Experts.
Our experienced citizenship lawyers have assisted more than 150 individuals to obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport by investment since 2013. We have assisted more foreign investors to obtain Bulgarian passport than any other law firm or consultancy.
Our law firm is collaborating with MultiTravel Consultants Inc., trustful and experienced consultants in obtaining Comoros and St. Lucia citizenship and passport. Our colleagues are fully authorized and approved by the Comoros government to handle Comoros and Saint-Lucia citizenship cases.
We don’t pass anything to agents or subcontractors.
Our fees are 5 to 20 times lower than the fees charged by “international agents” from their offices in Hong Kong, London, Dubai, etc.
Our success rate is much higher than the success rate of the “international agents”, who are often “lost in the translation”, before they eventual reach us.
Fast Track Bulgarian Citizenship and Passport by Investment
In exchange for a safe, state-guaranteed and fully refundable investment of 1,024,000 EUR, applicants from all nationalities can obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport. The investor needs to invest 511 292 EUR in Year 1 and double the investment to 1,024,000 EUR in Year 2.
Benefits of the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program
- You are not required to open a private account with a Bulgarian bank or buy the government bonds from the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. Bulgarian government bonds are traded on the Berlin Stock Exchange, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Stuttgart Stock Exchange and Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
- The legal & state fees can be paid by the acquired interest rate;
- You are not required to live and work in Bulgaria to apply for Bulgarian citizenship;
- You are not required to be fluent in Bulgarian as required by the general naturalization rules;
- You are not required to revoke your current citizenship;
- You might be sentenced in your home country and it will not count if you are rehabilitated;
- The investment in government bonds is fully refundable at the end of the second year;
- EU citizens may also apply for Bulgarian citizenship by investment if they hold a passport of a non-EU member country. Excellent choice is the citizenship of Dominica or St. Lucia.
Other benefits of obtaining Bulgarian passport by investment
- Becoming a Bulgarian citizen, you will easily qualify as a Bulgaria tax resident;
- Liquid investment in money market instruments (shares, bonds, etc.). You can sell your Bulgarian government bonds at any time;
- No restrictions to buy agricultural land in Bulgaria;
- Free movement, education and healthcare in EU;
- The Bulgarian passport is European Union passport;
- You can vote in Bulgaria;
- You can buy properties in the entire EU and Schengen zone without any restrictions;
- You can open bank accounts in any EU & Schengen countries.
Common misconceptions about the Bulgarian citizenship by investment
The investor can withdraw the investment in government bonds only after five years – THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO THE FAST TRACK CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM. The investor may sell the government bonds after the citizenship is granted without any restrictions. The investor is required to maintain the investment for five years only if he/ she opts for the ordinary citizenship by investment.
Investors who have been sentenced cannot apply for Bulgarian citizenship by investment. This does not apply if the applicant has been rehabilitated.
Spouses get Bulgarian citizenship immediately after the Investor was granted Bulgarian citizenship. Unfortunately, spouses can obtain Bulgarian citizenship after holding permanent residence for five years according to Art. 12a of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act (not required to be fluent in Bulgarian language) or after three years according to Art. 13, para. 1 of the Citizenship Act (fluency in Bulgarian language is required).
Children above 18 years old get Bulgarian citizenship immediately after the Investor was granted Bulgarian citizenship. Unfortunately, children above 18 years old may apply for Bulgarian citizenship by origin.
Why you should not go for the aggressively advertised financed bank option
You may find on the internet different consultancy firms offering the so-called “financed bank option” where the “Investor” pays a Bulgarian or foreign bank institution interest rate of 100,000 € to 250,000 € (non-refundable) to be granted a loan against the Bulgarian government bonds. Once the government bonds mature the “Investor” repays the bank loan.
Unfortunately, the financed bank option is not supported by the Bulgarian legislation neither by Bulgarian authorities and it is considered a gap hole allowing non-Investors to exploit the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program. This may result in your citizenship application being refused.
Legal Fees to obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport
Our fee to assist with obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by investment for the main applicant, spouse and dependents is 10,000 EUR including all state & legal fees, payable in two installments at each accomplished step – 5,000 EUR to start your case and 5,000 EUR on obtaining permanent residence. We do not charge a fee for filling the citizenship application.
Our service fee does not include the bank’s commission for the purchase of the government bonds which is approx. 1,500 € for the first purchase and another 1,500 € for the second purchase payable at the time of the transactions.
Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment for family members
We will assist your spouse and dependents to obtain permanent residence and Bulgarian citizenship at no extra cost. The fee to process your family members is included in our fee for the main applicant.
According to Art. 18 of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, children under 14 years of age, of whom only one of the parents is Bulgarian citizen, can become Bulgarian citizens without the presence of the conditions under Art. 12 if the two parents or the living parent give written consent for this. Consent by a parent who has lost his parental rights shall not be required. Children from 14 to 18 years of age apply personally for Bulgarian citizenship. Consent by a parent who has lost his parental rights shall not be required.
Citizenship applications of children under 18 years of age are considered within twelve months.
According to Art. 12a of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, the spouse of the main applicant can acquire Bulgarian citizenship if she/ he meets the requirements of Art. 12, para 1, items 1, 2, 3 and 4 . In other words, spouses need to hold permanent residence for five years before they can apply for Bulgarian citizenship.
Citizenship applications of spouses are considered within six months.
There is no requirements of physical residence in Bulgaria or fluency in Bulgarian language for the family members.
Schedule of obtaining Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment
Month 1 – Application for the opening of a private bank account with the serving Bank and buying government bonds for approx. 511 292 EUR. This step includes the preparation of the set of Investor D visa application documents, confirmation certificate of investment in government bonds issued from the Bank and Investment certificate issued from the Bulgarian Investment Agency.
Month 2 – The Investor applies for a D visa in the nearest Bulgarian embassy or general consulate. The Bulgarian Investor visa is usually granted within 30 business days;
Month 3 – Receiving a TIN (Tax Identification Number – also knows as EGN) and applying for a permanent residence by investment. The applicant needs to visit Bulgaria to apply for permanent residence with the local Migration Office. Usually, permanent residence applications are reviewed within 30 working days;
Month 4 – 6 – Once the residence application is approved, the applicant will be photographed and the permanent residence card is issued within 3 business days. Family reunification process can be started. Family members will obtain permanent residence in 3 months.
Month 16 – 18 – Increasing the invested amount to approx. 1,024,000 EUR by purchasing new government bonds for 511 292 EUR followed by application for a Bulgarian citizenship and passport with the Ministry of Justice. The investor may apply for Bulgarian citizenship & passport at the nearest Bulgarian embassy or general consulate.
We may file citizenship applications for the family members once the investor’s application is approved and Bulgarian citizenship and passport granted. The investor is not required to keep the government bonds and he/ she may sell them.
The list of available investment projects can be found on the website of the Bulgarian Investment Agency.
- FAST-TRACK CITIZENSHIP OPTION
The fast-track option allows investors to apply for citizenship faster by doubling their investment. The requirements for this option are as follows:
• Have at least one year of permanent residency status;
• Double your investment in bonds in Year 2.
- Issuance of a Bulgarian passport
You may apply for the issuance of a Bulgarian passport at the local branches of the Ministry of Interior in Bulgaria or at the nearest Bulgarian embassy or general consulate.
Issuance time at Ministry of Interior:
- Normal – 30 calendar days
- Fast – 3 working days
- Express – 8 hours
Issuance time at Bulgarian embassy:
- Normal – 90 calendar days
- Fast – 60 calendar days
- Visa Free Countries
LIST OF VISA FREE TRAVEL COUNTRIES FOR BULGARIA PASSPORT HOLDERS
Visa-free access or visa-on-arrival access to 157 countries and territories.
AFRICA: Botswana, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mayotte, Morocco, Mozambique, Reunion, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Somalia, Somaliland, Burundi, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mali
AMERICAS: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, , Cayman Islands, Columbia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Chile, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, French West Indies, Greenland, Grenada, , Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Margarita Island, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Martin, St Pierre & Miquelon, St Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Uruguay, Venezuela
ASIA: Armenia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Georgia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, South Korea, Timor Leste, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kish Islands, Phú Quốc
EUROPE: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City
OCEANIA: Cook Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna
• Please note that this list is subject to change and so kindly confirm the information before planning any trip.
- Benefits of Bulgarian Citizenship
• Fast process to permanent residency (six to nine months);
• Fast-track option allowing for citizenship within two years;
• Special exemption from physical residence enforced with legislation;
• Government-approved investment;
• No language requirements for residence or citizenship;
• No obligation to relinquish current nationality;
• Lowest tax rates and free trade environment within the EU.
BENEFITS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENTS:
• Free movement within the Schengen countries after acceptance;
• Access to high quality healthcare in Bulgaria and the EU;
• Free state education to family members;
BENEFITS FOR CITIZENS:
• Unrestricted right to live, work and study in Europe;
• Right to own land in a EU country;
• Becoming a Bulgarian tax resident and pay only 10% flat tax rate on your worldwide income.
If you have any queries regarding investment and Bulgarian citizenship, please do not hesitate to contact us.