Residence and citizenship in Bulgaria BY INVESTMENT(2021 – Updates and new possibilities)

Bulgaria offers one of the best investment programs for foreigners in Europe

In this article we will look in details the most preffered grounds for residence and citizesnhip in Bulgarian, based on investment for non-EU citizens. If you need some information for the other opportinities, please contact our specialists.

Bulgarian passport holders have a wide range of opportunities as travelling, studying for free, and work in the EU. Family members can also receive Bulgarian citizenship, as well as many other privileges.
Our immigration lawyers from Respect Consult have extensive experience guiding the process and providing quality and secure services to their clients for obtaining residence and citizenship. They can also offer the most suitable investment instruments.
In February 2021, a number of amendments were made to the Foreigners Act and the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, but although they repealed the Bulgarian bonds investment, the Citizenship by investment program is expanded with many new investment opportunities, such as ETFs or AIFs – which we will discuss in detail below.

Benefits for permanent residents and citizens 

But first let's look again at the benefits that permanent residents in Bulgaria receive:
- 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 your world income.

What are the benefits for citizens:
- Unrestricted right to live, work and study in Europe.
- Right to own land in any EU country.
- Can sell their investment after a 5-year period

The most significant recent change in the Citizenship by investment program is that there is no longer the possibility to invest in government bonds to obtain permanent residence/citizenship.

Investment options (2021)

Currently, the following investment opportunities are active, which provide permanent residence. We will introduce you to the most popular among those, which can give you the opportunity to obtain a permanent residence with minimal risk.
   - Investment Stocks or bonds of Bulgarian companies traded on the Bulgarian Stock 
     Exchange for at least BGN 2 000 000 ;
   - Investment in ETFs, AIFs or REITs for at least BGN 1 000 000. The investment focus of
     these financial instruments need to be on Bulgaria.
   - Bulgarian concession contracts and rights, for BGN 1 000 000
   - Investment in Bulgarian company carrying on a Certified Priority Investment Project
      for BGN 2 000 000
   - 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!
It is very important to remember that this is a real investment which remains ownership of the investor. There are no donations or other contributions here, as it is the practice in other countries.

The way to permanent residence and citizesnhip 

Our experienced consultants are ready to assist you from the moment of your inquiry to its successful accomplishment. They will advise you to choose the most suitable investment option. They also take care of preparing all documentation, obtaining Certificates, permits, filling in applications, declarations, etc., the provision of health insurance, assistance for BG address, opening a bank account, etc. Keep in mind from the outset that people with criminal background shall not be approved even at an earlier stage of the process. The new amendments to the Foreigners Act require a number of investigations to establish the identity of the applicant, as well as whether he is not associated with criminal organizations or fraudulent schemes. It is also very important to keep in mind that it is necessary for the applicant to be able to state details and provide documents of the origin of his funds accurately and clearly. Just a brief description such as "Personal Savings" is not enough to pass the preliminary inspection at the Investment Agency.

Fast track 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 residence status.
Double the original investment  under the same conditions as the original investment; or 
Invest at least BGN 1 million of capital in 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, or have increased their investment by at least BGN 1 million as a result of which at least 20 new jobs had been created.

Family reunification. Bulgarian citizenship by investment for family members

The second major change surrounds the process for the main applicant’s spouse. Previously, a spouse could only apply for citizenship once the main applicant had held Bulgarian citizenship for three years. This time frame has been reduced to one year, enhancing the overall speed at which the whole family will become Bulgarian citizens. Children will continue to be eligible to apply for citizenship six months after the approval of the main applicant, as the previous law allowed.

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.

The list of available investment projects can be found on the website of the Invest Bulgaria Agency.

Why choose us for your Bulgarian citizenship application?

Present globally, working locally
Our lawyers are based in Bulgaria and know all the right processes for obtaining residence and citizenship.

Lower fees

No agents and subcontractors

We do not subcontract our legal operation to external specialists, like other foreign intermediaries do who just accept the job and transfer their work to others. When it comes to investments for which a licensed investment agent is required by law – shares, obligations, ETFs, AIFs, we use the services of the best ones in the country with a proven track record and a well-established reputation.

Work by licensed lawyers

All our specialists are licensed lawyers not merely specialising in immigration but also have an extensive experience in providing services and consultations for a variety of investment types.

Data protection and full privacy

We handle client data with extreme confidentiality and in compliance with the current legislation in the country.

We would be happy to assist you in the path you have chosen to receive a Bulgarian residence and citizenship.
Contact us with your inquiry. We shall respond within 24 hours. All the data that you provide us with shall be protected under the General Data Protection Regulation.