BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP AND PASSPORT OF BULGARIA
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 CITIZENSHIP OF BULGARIA:
- 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 zone, after Bulgaria becomes a member state;
- 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.
OBTAINING THE CITIZENSHIP OF BULGARIA:
Full investment package:
A candidate must invest €511,292 (1 million BGN) in government bonds for 5 years. At the end, the money will be returned without interest. Investments are guaranteed by government bonds.
A candidate can use a loan on the security of purchased bonds. For detailed advice on this issue, call our office.
ACCELERATED PROGRAM OF OBTAINING BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP:
If the candidate invests in Bulgarian bonds twice as much money than it is necessary, he will qualify for accelerated obtaining of citizenship.
To obtain citizenship under the accelerated program, it is necessary that the candidate meets certain requirements:
- Permanent residence in Bulgaria for at least a year;
- Double investment in government bonds or business;
- The second part of the investment portfolio must be in circulation for 2 years.
COST CITIZENSHIP OF BULGARIA:
- From €60 thousand depends on the number of family members.
ADVANTAGES CITIZENSHIP OF BULGARIA:
- Country participation in the Schengen Agreement. This gives the holder of a Bulgarian passport the right to enter the EU territory without a visa or to receive permission to visit European countries under a simplified procedure;
- Pretty low prices for real estate. It will be easy for you to rent a house here or even purchase it, if necessary;
- Modest tax on personal income. The tax rate is only 10%, so if you are an ordinary citizen, the state will not take most of your earnings;
- Higher education diplomas issued by Bulgarian universities are recognized in the EU without the need for additional qualifications;
- Beautiful nature, temperate continental climate with pronounced seasons. From the east, the country is washed by the Black Sea;
- Bulgarian language is quite similar to Russian, so you quickly learn it at the household level. In addition, the mentality of the Bulgarians is close to the Russians and representatives of other post-communist countries: it will be easy for you to establish friendly relations with the local population;
- Low crime rate. Life here is calm.
DISADVANTAGES CITIZENSHIP OF BULGARIA:
There is one tangible disadvantage: too strict migration legislation. The procedure for obtaining citizenship may be delayed for 10 months. All applicants for Bulgarian citizenship are extremely thoroughly checked.
THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING A CITIZENSHIP OF BULGARIA:
The availability of capital is not always a guarantee that you can obtain citizenship in an EU country by investing in the development of the economy. Bulgaria is a pleasant exception in this regard: since 2013, there are amendments to the Aliens Act, which have significantly simplified the procedure for obtaining a residence permit and citizenship for residents of other countries. Today, a foreigner can get a Bulgarian passport in just two years, without renouncing his country's citizenship and not passing the state language test.
Citizenship for investment: what conditions must be met?
The process of obtaining Bulgarian citizenship through investments in government bonds consists of two stages. The first of them takes 1 year and involves obtaining permanent residence. To do this, it is not necessary to live in the country, it is enough just to invest in government bonds at least 1 million BGN, which is about 500 thousand euros. This money, as practice shows, will be returned to the owners, but the term of investing them in bonds will be at least 5 years.
The implementation of the second stage can be started in a year. Having the status of a person permanently residing in Bulgaria, it is necessary to invest in government bonds another 1 million BGN for a period of three years, after which you can apply for citizenship.
Thus, in two years, anyone who is willing to invest a little more than 1 million euros in the Bulgarian economy has the opportunity to obtain the status of a citizen of one of the EU countries with all the attendant advantages, including free movement in the Schengen zone. At the same time, it is not necessary to remain on the territory of Bulgaria for two years while the procedure of status is being naturalized. But the address of residence will have to specify, so you should take care in advance about renting or buying property in this country.
What privileges do family members receive?
The status of a person who has permanent residence or citizenship in Bulgaria automatically entitles his family members spouses and children to apply for permanent residence or citizenship. For children under the age of 18, this happens automatically, after 18 years in the prescribed manner, with the provision of a package of necessary documents to the migration service. The decision to grant permanent residence or citizenship is taken up to 6 months an absolute record among EU countries that practice the naturalization of the status of foreigners in exchange for investments.
What are government bonds?
The process of obtaining Bulgarian citizenship through investments in government bonds, in essence, is the usual procedure for buying securities. Unlike other countries' government bonds that are offered to foreigners, Bulgaria’s state treasury bills have free circulation in the domestic securities market. That is, they do not contain any marks that were sold to foreigners, and can be implemented in almost any bank in the country at the market rate.
For allowing the state to use the loan, the owner of the bond receives interest in the form of special coupons, which can also be cashed. Plus, under favorable circumstances, market players can earn on bonds if their value increases over two years.
Those who want to obtain Bulgarian citizenship through investments in bonds, but do not have the necessary amount, have a chance to receive a bank loan to buy securities, provided that the investor pays 10% of their value on their own.
Legislative base of the Program for obtaining permanent residence and Bulgarian citizenship:
Most Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
We are interested in obtaining Bulgarian citizenship as quickly as possible. Is it possible?
Yes, it is possible to use the accelerated program to obtain citizenship. In this case, the amount of investments increases (the applicant makes investments in doubled size). You can invest in a business or in government bonds. Among the requirements for participants in the accelerated program is the possession of permanent residence for at least a year and the presence of the second part of the investment portfolio in circulation for two years.
We have two small children in our family. Obtaining permanent residence in Bulgaria gives the right to attend preschool institutions and receive education on a free basis?
Yes, with this status, children are given the right to attend kindergartens and educational institutions free of charge. It is also possible to obtain free education in higher educational institutions.
We are planning to obtain Bulgarian citizenship and move to the country. How are things going with real estate?
The country has fairly affordable real estate prices. The residential real estate market allows you to easily find a suitable option for both rental and purchase.
How long does it take to obtain Bulgarian citizenship? Is this a long process?
Typically, a standard procedure can take up to ten months. This period is due to the rather strict migration legislation of the country and the passage of a thorough comprehensive check by all applicants.
I would like to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, but at the moment it is not possible to live in this country. Is it possible to somehow avoid moving at the initial stage?
The condition for granting citizenship by investment is the presence of permanent residence (for its issuance, it is enough to invest funds). It is possible to start applying for citizenship at least one year after receiving permanent residence. The naturalization procedure takes two years, and during this period it is not necessary to reside in the country.
There is a desire to invest in the purchase of government bonds to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, but the available amount is not enough. Are there any options?
In such a situation, the use of borrowed funds is allowed: the investor can apply for a loan to the bank (the purpose of the loan is the purchase of securities). The loan is issued if the applicant can pay 10% on his own.
Is it necessary to come to the country to buy real estate in Bulgaria? Or can it be entrusted to professionals?
Personal presence is not required to purchase real estate. To complete the transaction, you will need to confirm the transfer of authority to an authorized person (for example, an agency employee) at a notary.
After obtaining a Bulgarian passport, will you have to give up your existing citizenship?
No, there is no need to renounce the existing citizenship.
Did you find information on the Internet that in order to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, you need to have a good command of the Bulgarian language? Is it really so?
No, applicants for citizenship by investment are not required to know the state language of the country
The mechanism for granting Bulgarian citizenship based on the acquisition of a complete investment portfolio is not entirely clear. How long does it take to get my funds back?
This method of obtaining a Bulgarian passport involves replenishing the bond portfolio in the amount of approximately 500 thousand euros. Refunds are made after the five-year period. Funds are returned to the same volume as the investments were made.
We are interested in the issue of taxation after obtaining Bulgarian citizenship. Are there high taxes in Bulgaria?
No, the Bulgarian taxation system is one of the most profitable among the EU countries (the lowest tax rates apply to Bulgarian citizens). The personal income tax rate is set at 10%. In addition, global income is not taxed.
After obtaining Bulgarian citizenship through the investment program, will I be able to freely visit the countries of the Schengen Union? Or do I still need to apply for visas?
Holders of a Bulgarian passport are granted the right to move freely within the countries of the Schengen zone, i.e. there is no need to apply for visas.
I am planning to apply for a Bulgarian permanent residence for investments. Are the wife and child (10 years old) eligible for this status? Do they need to reside permanently in the country?
Family members of the holder of permanent residence can receive this status automatically. To do this, you will need to submit an appropriate application. There are no requirements for permanent residence of the investor's family members.
We heard that after obtaining Bulgarian citizenship, there is an opportunity to enter a university on a free basis. Are diplomas of Bulgarian higher education institutions recognized in other European countries?
Yes, diplomas of graduation from higher educational institutions in Bulgaria are recognized in the countries of the European Union. If you want to be employed in another EU country, you will not need to confirm your qualifications
We are planning to move to the country after obtaining Bulgarian citizenship with the whole family. Is this country suitable for permanent residence?
Yes, Bulgaria is almost ideal for moving to Europe. The country has a favorable climate, low crime rate, calm atmosphere and affordable prices for both rental and purchase of residential real estate. An additional advantage is the proximity of the Bulgarian language to Russian, therefore, as a rule, there are no problems in learning Bulgarian for everyday communication. The country provides ample opportunities for recreation: several famous resorts are located on the Black Sea coast. In addition, both holders of permanent residence and citizens of the country are entitled to free medical care.
Can an adult child receive permanent residence in Bulgaria after this status is granted to parents?
At the stage of permanent residence, the status is automatically granted only to minor children. Children who have reached the age of majority must submit documents in the prescribed manner. It should be noted that the decision takes about six months: compared to other European countries, this is the fastest option.
In the process of obtaining Bulgarian citizenship, I do not plan to live on the territory of the country, but when submitting documents you need to have a permanent residence in the country. What to do in such a situation?
Indeed, when applying for citizenship, the applicant must indicate his permanent place of residence in the country. Therefore, before submitting documents, you must either rent a home or buy your own property.