Financing Govt bonds
Bulgaria has an investor program which came into force in 2009, for foreign investors who invest significant amount of money in the economy of Bulgaria.
Bulgaria offers fast track citizenship by investment scheme to foreign investors. This scheme is strictly a residence scheme for which permanent residence is issued first which then later converted to citizenship after two years.
- Capital: Sofia
- Official EU language(s): Bulgarian
- EU member country: since 1 January 2007
- Currency: Bulgarian lev BGN. Bulgaria has committed to adopt the euro once it fulfils the necessary conditions.
- Schengen: Bulgaria is currently in the process of joining the Schengen area.
- EU member country (non-schengen)
- Low tax rates.
- Real estate investment option
- No restrictions on dual nationality
- Affordable cost of living and low business costs.
- Full EU citizenship and establishment rights
Bulgaria Citizenship by Investment
- BGN 2 million (EUR 1 million) citizenship after one year
- BGN 1 million (EUR 512,000) citizenship after five years.
Under this program, minimum investment of of BGN 2 million BGN (approx EUR 1 million) which is to be invested in in a Bulgaria Government bonds portfolio or in a business venture. The govt bonds portfolio is a secure investment and is guaranteed by the Bulgarian govt and is returned without any interest after 5 years. In return a permanent residence permit is issued to investors which allows stay in Bulgaria for an indefinite period of time.
You can finance the Govt bonds paying one time fee EUR 180,000 (instead of 1 million euro investment). Additional costs include lawyer fee (EUR 20,000) and other service costs.
After one year of legally living in Bulgaria, it is possible to register for citizenship through investment. In 2018 Bulgaria has amended and tightened citizenship rules (see below)
The program exempts investors from physical residence and is free to leave the country anytime. The whole processing time is 2-3 months.
The investor has to demonstrate that he/she has made a significant contribution to Bulgaria such as business activities creating jobs, sports, culture or bringing new science and technology to the country. Bulgaria allows dual nationality
The minimum eligibility criteria and documents needed are..
- Applicant should be a Non-EU citizen.
- Application should have no criminal record
- Minimum investment of 1 million BGN (approx EUR 500’000 or more)
- Proof for source of funds.
- Proof of investment agreements and power of attorneys certified by Apostille.
The Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria has announced new changes for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship through investment. The new changes effective from Jan 1, 2019. Bulgaria’s citizenship by investment programme was introduced with amended rules in late 2013.
- Certificate of No criminal record: Foreign investors must present no criminal record certificate from competent authorities at the time of applying for citizenship. The criminal record certificate shall state that it has been issued for the procedures related to the Bulgarian citizenship.
- Mix of investments: Government will not allow mix of investments. In some cases increase in investments not possible
- Buying of Bonds: Foreigners due to bank restrictions will be required to buy bonds through their local bank outside Bulgaria.
- Financing: Financing of bonds will be difficult and will be more expensive for foreigners. Bulgarian banks wont be able to provide financing to foreigners.
- Interview: Citizenship acquisition through investment procedure have been tightened and applicants have to appear for interview at the Ministry in Bulgarian language.
- Bank account: Due to bank regulations, foreigners must declare tax residence and citizenship when opening a bank account with bulgarian banks for investment.
In 2019, the Bulgarian passport ranked 16th powerful passport in the world with visa free travel to 169 countries. In 2017, Bulgaria along with Romania received electronic visa waiver with Canada. Bulgaria is not a part of US visa waiver program (VWP).