Bulgaria

The ideal gateway into the European economy and way of life, Bulgaria is diverse, culturally rich, and perfectly placed for working and travelling in and around the continent. As one of the youngest EU member states, Bulgaria boasts a rich and diverse culture, temperate climate, and ideal location in Southeast Europe — and the Investor Program for Residence and Citizenship in Bulgaria helps get you there faster.

Benefits of the program:

  • Fast process to 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 and available financing options from banks;
  • 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;
  • Conditional tax exemption on world income.

Benefits for citizens:

  • Unrestricted right to live, work and study in Europe;
  • Right to own land in an EU country.

Qualifications

Investment criteria: Offered in accordance with the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act, the Investor Program for Residence and Citizenship includes a fast-track citizenship option. It is also one of the fastest programs to lead to residence. To qualify for application, you will need to meet one of the requirements outlined in the “Investment Options” section.

Application criteria: In addition to making a financial investment, applicants must also meet the following requirements:

  • Non-EU citizen;
  • Valid passport or another substitute foreign travel document;
  • Personal net worth greater than €1 million is required by banks for the financed investment option. For the full investment option, the net worth requirement is €511,292;
  • Documents supporting the source and origin of the declared and invested funds;
  • Proof that the applicant has no criminal record;
  • Attest the Power of Attorneys and the Investment Agreement;
  • Payment of application fees;
  • Make the minimum statutory trips to Bulgaria.

Investment Options

Full Investment: Applicants choosing this option must deposit BGN 1 million (€511,292) in a Governmental Bond Portfolio for an investment period of five years, with no further payment required. At the end of the five-year period, the full amount of BGN 1 million (€511,292) will be returned to the investor without any accrued interest. The investment is fully guaranteed by the government bonds.

Financed Investment: For a set pre-paid fee, clients can leverage their capital by choosing the Financed Investment option. These individuals pay a reduced amount of €180,000* that will be used to finance a BGN 1 million (€511,292) closed 5.5-year loan from a Bulgarian bank. This loan is initiated and repaid at no further cost to the investor.

Applicants choosing the Financed Investment option will need to demonstrate net worldwide assets of no more than €1 million, a requirement of the Bulgarian bank.

* Note that the contribution for the Financed Investment Option might be subject to change on the discretion of the authorized Bulgarian bank. Such changes are announced in advance.

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;
  • Hold both investments for a period of at least two years after citizenship is granted.

Financing options are available to qualified applicants. Citizenship applications for participants in the fast-track citizenship program are examined under express procedure.

Citizenship Requirements

In accordance with the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, foreign investors who opt for the regular program are eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship if they have maintained their permanent resident status uninterruptedly for the past five years. In addition, they must have never been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for a capital offence or accused in criminal proceedings for such a crime (unless they had been rehabilitated). Such investors will need to file a citizenship application and pass medical tests in their current country of residence.