Bulgaria

Residency & Citizenship by Investment

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.

WHY CHOOSE BULGARIA?

As one of the youngest EU member states, Bulgaria boasts a rich and diverse culture, temperate climate, and ideal location in Southeast Europe. The Investor Program for Residence and Citizenship in Bulgaria helps get you there faster with the following benefits:

  • Residency within six to nine months.
  • Fast-track option for citizenship within two years.
  • Special exemption from physical residence enforced with legislation.
  • Government-approved investments and available financing options from banks.
  • No language requirements.
  • 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 zone after Bulgaria becomes a member state.
  • Access to high-quality health care 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 any EU country.

Qualifications

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 residency or citizenship, applicants must fulfill one of the investment options below in addition to meeting the following criteria:

  • Be a non-EU citizen.
  • Possess a valid passport or another foreign travel document.
  • Provide documents supporting the source and origin of invested funds.
  • Hold no criminal record.
  • Attest the power of attorneys and the investment agreement.
  • Make the minimum statutory trips to Bulgaria.

INVESTMENT OPTIONS

The following investment options are now effective, where certain conditions may apply:

  • Investment of BGN 500,000 (€255,646) in the capital of a trade company under which tangible or intangible assets are acquired and 10 or more jobs for Bulgarians are created; the reason for maintaining the foreigner’s permit and the investment must be proven to the Ministry of Economy
  • BGN 1 million in collective investment schemes or alternative investment funds (minimum net asset value requirements apply in both cases) licensed and registered by the Financial Supervision Commission and whose investment strategy is targeted predominantly towards Bulgarian companies and which solely invest in assets and/or bonds of Bulgarian companies, including special purpose investment companies
  • BGN 1 million investment in rights under concession contracts on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • BGN 2 million investment in the share capital of a Bulgarian trade company implementing a priority investment project certified under the Investment Promotion Act and verified by the Ministry of Economy or in shares or bonds of Bulgarian companies, traded on a Bulgarian regulated market or multilateral trading facility in Bulgaria
  • BGN 6 million investment in the capital of a non-publicly traded Bulgarian company

The requirement to maintain the investment for a period of at least 5 years remains.

FAST-TRACK TO CITIZENSHIP

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 the original investment (€512,000) under the same conditions as the original investment; or
  • Invest at least BGN 1 million in the capital of a Bulgarian company implementing a priority investment project certified under the Investment Promotion Act and certified by the Ministry of Economy; or
  • Those who have opted to invest in a company and create jobs, to have increased their investment by at least BGN 1 million as a result of which at least 20 new jobs had been created.

 

FINANCING OPTION

With the cancellation of the bond investment option, financing of the new investment requirements is no longer allowed. While the bond option was a passive, guaranteed investment, the new requirements reflect a higher risk profile.

 

CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS

In accordance with the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, foreign investors who hold a permanent resident permit for at least five years are eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship. The requirements for those who opt for the regular program are as follows:

  • Be over 18 years old.
  • Must have maintained permanent resident status and a valid residential address for the past five years.
  • Must have never been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for a capital offence or accused in criminal proceedings for such a crime (unless he/she has been rehabilitated).

Investors will need to file a citizenship application and pass medical tests in their current country of residence.

FAQ 1: Can I study in another EU country as a Bulgaria PR holder?

Yes, you can but you will be classed as a foreign student and will need to pay additional student fees. However, the European Commission has launched many exchange programs between the EU Universities to enable students to have easier access to study abroad.

FAQ 2: How many trips do I have to make to Bulgaria?

There are two statutory trips for each applicant at different stages of the process.

FAQ 3: How long does it take to have my Bulgarian ID card?

Under the express procedure, the cards are ready on the third business day following the day of application.


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ARTON INDEX SCORE

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Updated yearly, the Arton Index is an overall assessment and comparative benchmark of the country and its investment program.


Bulgaria

7,144,653

Population Growth: -0.60%

20,100 USD

GDP (per capita)

GDP (purchasing power parity)

143.1 billion USD (2013)

129

Visa free countries


LOCATION

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

CAPITAL

Sofia

DIFFERENCE

UTC+2

TOTAL AREA

110,879 sq. km.

AGE DEMOGRAPHICS

0-14: 14.54%, 15-24: 9.73%, 25-54: 43.33%, 55-64: 13.38%, 65+: 19.03%

LANGUAGE

Bulgarian (official): 76.8%, Turkish: 8.2%, Roma: 3.8%, Other: 0.7%, Unspecified: 10.5%

RELIGIONS

Eastern Orthodox: 59.4%, Muslim: 7.8%, Other (includes Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox and Jewish): 1.7%, None: 3.7%, Unspecified: 27.4%

GOVERNMENT TYPE

Parliamentary republic

CURRENCY

Bulgarian lev (BGN), tied to the euro

EXCHANGE RATE

1 EUR = 1.95583 BGN

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