Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment

The Bulgarian Citizenship Investor Program is an 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 latest amendments of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act voted on 26th of February 2021 cancel the Bulgarian bond investment. The investors can now invest in priority government projects (projects in tourism, industry, and local development are available), Bulgarian ETFs and AIFs, or stocks of Bulgarian companies traded on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. The required investment amount remains the same as it was for the bonds. Investors in ETFs and AIFs have to invest 512,000 EUR for the ordinary or 1,024,000 EUR for the fast-track. 

What’s new about the Bulgarian citizenship by Investment in 2021?

  • Bond investment cancelled – Citizenship applications submitted on the bond investment will not be affected. Applicants who already hold a permanent residency status will be still allowed to enjoy the ordinary track. The fast-track on bonds is no longer supported.  
  • New investment options ETFs and AIFs – Exchange Traded Funds and Alternative Investment Funds are the new options to invest towards the Bulgarian citizenship by investment. 
  • Shorter way for spouse to get Bulgarian citizenship – Spouse can apply for Bulgarian citizenship 3 years after the investor was granted Bulgarian citizenship. This is 2 years shorter compared to the old Citizenship Act.
  • Faster Processing – The legislators have also mandated expedited timelines for processing. Whether these will be closely kept will be a matter of practice and as such to be seen.

More articles about obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by investment in ETF:

Advantages of our law firm to obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport:

  • Advocate Markov is a member of the Investment Migration Council, the worldwide association for investor migration and citizenship by investment, a premier organization that guarantees services of the highest standard.

  • The law office of Advocate Markov was recognised for the third consequent year as Citizenship Law Firm of the Year in Bulgaria by the prestigious legal guide, Global Law Experts.

  • Our experienced citizenship lawyers have assisted more than 250 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.

  • We don’t pass anything to agents or subcontractors.

  • Our fees are 5 to 20 times lower than the fees charged by the “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 eventually reach us.

Fast Track Bulgarian citizenship and passport by Investment

In exchange for a safe and liquid investment of 1,024,000 EUR, applicants of all nationalities can obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport. The investor needs to invest 512,000 EUR in the first year and double the investment to 1,024,000 EUR in the second year. 

Ordinary Track

  • The client purchases ETFs and AIFs of 512,000 EUR
  • Time to Permanent Residency  – 6 months
  • Time to Bulgarian Citizenship  – 66 months 
  • Investment in EUR (Refundable)  – 512,000 EUR
  • Time to maintain the Investment 78 months
  • All-in Handling Fee in EUR (Non-refundable)  – please ask for a quote
  • Handling Fee in EUR Dependents – please ask for a quote

Fast Track

  • The client purchases ETFs and AIFs of 512,000 EUR and increases the investment to 1,024.000 using savings or own finances. 
  • Time to Permanent Residency  – 6 months
  • Time to Bulgarian Citizenship  – 24 months
  • Investment in EUR (Fully refundable)  – 1,024,000 EUR
  • Time to maintain the Investment 48 months
  • All-in Handling Fee in EUR (Non-refundable)  – please ask for a quote
  • Handling Fee in EUR Dependents – please ask for a quote

Benefits of the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program

  • You are not required to open an account with a Bulgarian bank or brokerage firm to buy Bulgarian ETFs and AIFs. You can buy ETFs ad AIFs fully remotely and paperless with most international licensed brokerage firms.  
  • 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;
  • 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

  • You will easily qualify as a Bulgarian tax resident;
  • You can sell the ETFs & AIFs and avail liquid investment in money market instruments (stocks, bonds, etc.) at any time; 
  • You have no restrictions on buying agricultural land in Bulgaria;
  • You will get free movement, education and healthcare in EU;
  • You will possess the Bulgarian passport which is an EU 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

    • 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 has been granted Bulgarian citizenship. Unfortunately, spouses can obtain Bulgarian citizenship after holding permanent residence for three years according to the latest amendments of Art. 12a of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act .

    • Children below 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

Read more Common Misconceptions about the Bulgarian CIP

Bulgarian citizenship by investment for family members

According to Art. 18 of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, children under 14 years of age, of whom only one of the parents is a Bulgarian citizen, can become Bulgarian citizens without the presence of the conditions, under Art. 12 if both the parents or a living parent gives written consent for this. Consent by a parent who has lost his parental rights is not required. Children from 14 to 18 years of age can apply personally for Bulgarian citizenship. 

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 three years before they can apply for Bulgarian citizenship.

Citizenship applications of spouses are considered within six months. 

There are no requirements of physical residence in Bulgaria or fluency in the Bulgarian language for the family members. 

Schedule of obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by investment 

Month 1 – The investor purchases Bulgarian ETFs & AIFs and the financial intermediary issues a purchase order and settlement certificate. This step includes the preparation of the set of Investor D visa application documents, and investment certificate issued from the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

The investor may purchase ETFs and AIFs from his/ her local financial intermediary abroad. The settlement confirmations should be legalized before forwarded to us.

Month 2 – The investor applies for an Investor D-type visa in the nearest Bulgarian embassy or general consulate. The Bulgarian Investor visa is usually granted within 30 business days. 

Month 3 – The investor receives a TIN (Tax Identification Number – also known as EGN) and applies 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 receive a certificate of permanent residence. The applicant may travel to Bulgaria to obtain a permanent residence plastic card. The permanent residency card is not mandatory, and the investor can use the certificate of permanent residence to enter Bulgaria visa-free instead.

The family reunification process can be started at this stage. Family members will obtain permanent residence in 3 months. 

Month 16  18 – Increasing the invested amount to approximately 1,024,000 EUR by purchasing new ETFs and AIFs for 512,000 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. 

Month 24 – Your Bulgarian citizenship by investment application is approved and your family members can apply now. 

We may file the citizenship applications for the family members once the investor’s application is approved and Bulgarian citizenship and passport granted. 

Useful

The list of available investment projects can be found on the website of the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

Reserve a date for applying for Bulgarian citizenship by investment.

Check the status of your citizenship application.

  • 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 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.

    http://www.loc.gov/law/help/investor-visas/bulgaria.php

  • 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 Bulgarian citizenship by investment, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Go to 通過投資獲得保加利亞公民身份

Bulgarian citizenship for EU nationals, Bulgarian citizenship by investment for EU citizens, Bulgarian Citizenship By Investment 2021

Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment

 

Bulgarian Passport by investment

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