Bulgaria Citizenship by Investment FAQs
Bulgaria offers a Citizenship by Investment Program which allows the applicant and the immediate family to become EU citizens at a very low cost, and within a short period of time. There are no residency and language skill requirements to meet. When being provided with citizenship in only 18 months (fast track), or in 60 months (standard track), Bulgarian citizens have the right to live, work and study in any of the 27 EU countries, including Switzerland and Norway due to the bilateral agreements with the EU. We offer a solution for Bulgarian permanent residency holders, who want to live, work and study in a particular EU country, including Switzerland and Norway, before being provided with citizenship. Bulgarian citizens can also apply for a US E-2 Visa and settle in the US.
About the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program
What are some of the reasons the Bulgaria Citizenship by Investment Program is attracting so many international investors?
International business executives, investors, and important persons who are active worldwide, consider an alternative citizenship and passport a powerful tool for international tax planning, as well as a safety net, should the living conditions at home become unbearable.
Our applicants realize that the Bulgarian citizenship provides several benefits, including:
- Visa-free travel to 153 countries and the right to live, work, or study in 27 European countries, including Switzerland and Norway;
- Option to settle in the US due to Bulgaria’s E-2 reciprocity agreement with the United States;
- Access to the education systems of Bulgaria and the member states of the EU, including benefits such as paying home / EU rates and receiving financial assistance;
- Access to high-quality medical assistance in Bulgaria and throughout the EU;
- A better quality of life for the family in an unpolluted environment;
- Personal security and consular protection within the EU;
- Retirement in a safe country with a warm climate;
- Lowest tax rates of 10% and free trade environment within the EU;
- “No double tax“ agreements with more than 60 countries;
- The right to establish or own a business in Bulgaria, or any state of the European Economic Area (EEA);
- The right to acquire land or immovable property in Bulgaria and in a number of other EU countries;
Freedom associated with having multiple passports.
What rights do Bulgarian citizens have?
The treaty on the functioning of the European Union entails the right:
- To non-discrimination on the basis of nationality when the treaty applies;
- To move and reside freely within the EU;
- To vote for and stand as a candidate in European Parliament and municipal elections;
- To be protected by the diplomatic and consular authorities of any other EU country;
- To petition the European Parliament and complain to the European Ombudsman;
- To contact and receive a response from any EU institution in one of the EU’s official languages;
- To access European Parliament, European Commission and Council documents under certain conditions;
- EU citizens also have the right to equal access to the EU Civil Service.
Please find further details via the following link:
Why is Bulgaria a great country?
Bulgaria is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometers (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria is Europe’s 16th-largest country.
Bulgaria’s population of almost 7.3 million is predominantly urbanized and mainly concentrated in the administrative centers of its 27 provinces. Most commercial and cultural activities are centered on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering, and agriculture, all of which rely on local natural resources.
The country’s current political structure dates to the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative, and economic centralization. It is a member of the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Council of Europe; a founding state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and has taken a seat at the UN Security Council three times.
Lifestyles and cultures are what Bulgaria has developed over thousands of years. The country is located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, and the lands of Bulgaria have been populated since antiquity. The Slavs and proto-Bulgarians were greatly influenced by the cultures of the Thracians, Illyrians and Greeks, and all the people who resided on these lands – Thracians, Romans, Slavs, and Bulgarians – have contributed to the world’s cultural heritage. It is no accident that the earliest European civilization grew up in Bulgaria.
In 2016, Bulgaria was visited by approximately 13.6 million people from abroad. Tourists from five countries – Greece, Romania, Turkey, Germany, and Russia – account for approximately 50% of all visitors.
Bulgaria, with its Roman history, its good wine, truffles and food, the famous rose products, the mountains and the beautiful Black Sea Coast, is a very picturesque country and is worth spending time there.
Please find further information about Bulgaria under the following links:
- About Bulgaria
- Lifestyle and Culture
- State Structure and Economy
- Tourism in Bulgaria
- Learn more on Bulgaria Wikipedia Page
Will Bulgarian citizenship automatically grant me European citizenship?
Yes. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and its citizens are automatically European citizens, which means you have the right to live, work and study in any of the 27 EU countries, including Switzerland and Norway, due to the bilateral agreements with the EU.
As a citizen, am I required to live in Bulgaria?
No. Bulgaria does not require you to be present or to reside in the country, before or after the approval of your citizenship application. During the whole application procedure, there is only one single and short visit to Bulgaria required.
How will new citizens be taxed?
Becoming a citizen of Bulgaria does not mean that you automatically become a Bulgarian tax resident. If you live outside of Bulgaria, you will be subject to the tax system at your place of residency, for example Ireland. However, becoming a tax resident in Bulgaria may be attractive to you because of the country’s low personal income and corporate tax rate which is only 10%; the lowest in the EU.
In case that you officially live in Bulgaria, but you do not spend more than 183 days per tax year in the country, you are exempt from paying tax on your worldwide income.
Does Bulgaria have inheritance tax?
No, Bulgaria does not have inheritance tax. This makes the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program even more attractive.
Does Bulgaria allow dual-citizenship?
Yes, Bulgaria allows dual-citizenship.
Will my Bulgarian citizenship expire?
No. When you acquire citizenship under the Bulgaria Citizenship by Investment Program, you and your immediate family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.
What is the risk in investing in Bulgaria?
The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program is with no doubt very attractive and more competitive than the programs of Cyprus and Malta considering the investment risk.
Bulgaria has with 28% the third lowest Debt-to-GDP ratio in the EU (only Estonia and Luxembourg have a lower ratio). Compared to Cyprus with a Debt-to-GDP ratio of 106%, Malta with a Debt-to-GDP ratio of 57%, or for example the UK with a Debt-to-GDP ratio of 88% (the target country of most Asian EU immigrants), Bulgaria’s Debt-to-GDP ratio as of July 2017 is much lower and therefore much safer and competitive.
Please find the current Debt-to-GDP ratios via the following links:
The Global Risk Briefing, by Bloomberg, confirms Bulgaria’s strong position compared to other EU target countries for immigrants very well.
How popular is the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program compared to other EU programs?
The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program has recently become very popular, since people understand and learn that none of the other EU programs can really compete with the Bulgarian program.
Bulgaria does not advertise its program as much as countries like Cyprus or Malta. Many people also do not know that Bulgaria is a member of the EU with an excellent Debt-to-GDP ratio and a low country risk, and that Bulgarian citizens can also apply for the US E-2 Visa and settle in the US.
Smart, price sensitive and risk aware applicants have always been choosing the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program. With our worldwide unique Life Insurance products, we give you even more reason to choose the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program.
How can I settle in the UK with my family after 18 months via the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program?
The standard way for you and your immediate family to live, work and study in the UK, is to receive Bulgarian citizenship via one of our fast track products in 18 months. Bulgarian citizenship provides you with the right to settle in the UK.
After living in the UK for one month, your immediate family can move to the UK as well, due to the family reunification directive. This move does not depend on whether your spouse and your children have already received their Bulgarian citizenship. The whole process for you to receive Bulgarian citizenship until your immediate family can settle in the UK usually takes about 19 months.
In case Brexit would change things in the meantime, we recommend a move to Ireland, which has a similar immigration policy and is close to the UK.
How can I settle in the UK with my family when receiving Bulgarian Permanent Residency after 6 months?
Many immigration service providers let you believe that you can live, work and study in any EU country when having permanent residency from one of the EU countries. Unfortunately, this is not possible by EU law.
Nevertheless, we have created a solution for you and your immediate family to settle in the UK, or in any other EU country. We can create a job role in a subsidiary of a Bulgarian listed company, which is located in the UK, or in your EU target country. This allows you to settle in the UK and to move your immediate family as well, due to the family reunification directive .
Why does the Schengen Agreement have nothing to do with immigration?
The Schengen Area was created with the aim to ease travelling between different countries in the EU. It is essentially a Tourist Visa Treaty, which allows tourists to travel in the Schengen Area between countries, without the need to have a Visa issued by each country. Thus, the Schengen Agreement has nothing to do with immigrating to any of the EU countries, and is not to be compared with EU residency rights. Despite of that, and by mistake, most immigration service providers do falsely advertise Schengen member countries for residency.
About our Bulgarian Citizenship Products
I would like to migrate to a European country with my wife and my children. Why is Bulgaria the most affordable and most competitive option?
The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program is affordable and very competitive compared to similar programs of other countries. It allows the applicant and the immediate family to become EU citizens at a very low cost, and within a short period of time. There are no residency and language skill requirements to meet. When being provided with citizenship in only 18 months (fast track), or in 66 months (standard track), Bulgarian citizens have the right to live, work and study in any of the 27 EU countries, including Switzerland and Norway, due to the bilateral agreements with the EU.
Learn more about our products and its refundable and non-refundable prices in the table below.
|Product Name||Product Summary||Time to Permanent Residency||Time to Bulgarian Citizenship||Investment in EUR (Refundable)||All-in Handling Fee in EUR(Non-refundable)||Total in EUR|
|Equity Financing I||We finance Equity worth EUR 512,000 using the all-in handling fee. The applicant holds it for 60 months.||6 months||60 months||0||185,000||185,000|
|Equity Financing II||We finance Equity worth EUR 1,024,000 using the all-in handling fee. The applicant holds it for 60 months.||6 months||18 months||0||270,000||270,000|
|Government Bond I||Applicant invests in 1 Bulgarian Government Bond, and holds it for 60 months.||6 months||60 months||512,000||88,000||600,000|
|Bond Financing I||We finance the purchase of 1 Bulgarian Government Bond using the all-in handling fee. The applicant holds it for 60 months.||6 months||60 months||0||210,000||210,000|
|Government Bond II||Applicant invests in 2 Bulgarian Government Bonds, and holds them for 60 months.||6 months||18 months||1,024,000||88,000||1,112,000|
|Bond Financing II||We finance the purchase of 2 Bulgarian Government Bonds using the all-in handling fee. The applicant holds them for 60 months.||6 months||18 months||0||330,000||330,000|
|Property I||Applicant invests in 1 Golf Course Villa and 1 Condominium, and holds them for 84 months.||6 months||18 months||412,000||88,000||500,000|
|Property II||Applicant invests in 2 Condominiums, and holds them for 84 months.||6 months||18 months||412,000||88,000||500,000|
|Life Insurance Financing Starter||Applicant invests only EUR 250,000 in a Unit Linked Life Insurance with an Insurance Premium of EUR 750,000, with no annual return, and holds it for 5 years. The remaining EUR 500,000 is financed through us.
2) At any time, applicant can opt for the fast track(18 months) by investing a further EUR 250,000, making the total investment EUR 500,000. We further finance EUR 500,000, leading to the new Insurance Premium of EUR 1,500,000.
|6 months||60 months
2) 18 months
|Life Insurance Financing I||Applicant invests only EUR 500,000 in a Unit Linked Life Insurance with an Insurance Premium of EUR 1,500,000, with no annual return, and holds it for 5 years. The remaining EUR 1,000,000 is financed through us.||6 months||18 months||500,000||500,000|
1) This Bulgarian immigration product is worldwide unique. Please note that we work directly with the inventor.
What is the difference between the standard track and the fast track citizenship application procedure?
The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program differentiates between the standard track and the fast track citizenship application procedures. Government Bond I and our Bond Financing I products are standard track citizenship application procedures which take 60 months for the applicant to receive Bulgarian citizenship and passport. All other products are called fast track citizenship application procedures, which take only 18 months for the applicant to receive Bulgarian citizenship and passport.
Why are Life Insurance products worldwide unique?
Life Insurance products, offered by our associates are worldwide unique because we offer EU citizenship, St. Lucia citizenship, a Visa of either US, Canada, or Australia which can lead to permanent residency, and a Global Health Insurance, for an investment into a Life Insurance. These products are supported and run by major insurance and insurance brokerage companies, approved by the involved immigration departments.
How does product Life Insurance Financing Starter combine the best of everything?
Life Insurance Financing Starter requires a minimal and refundable investment of only EUR 250,000. To reach an insurance premium of EUR 750,000, our associates finance the remaining EUR 500,000.
This standard track product involves a waiting period of 60 months after Bulgarian permanent residency has been granted, until the applicant can submit the application for citizenship. The applicant can opt to shorten the waiting period by investing another EUR 250,000, which alters the standard track product to a fast track product. It is possible to further finance the applicant with EUR 500,000, which raises the total insurance premium from EUR 750,000 to EUR 1,500,000. The applicant can immediately submit the application for Bulgarian citizenship, unless permanent residency status has been granted less than 12 months ago.
This worldwide unique product allows the applicant to enter the application procedure with a refundable payment of only EUR 250,000 into a Unit Linked Life Insurance. This also provides the applicant with an option to shorten the time period, and to switch to a fast track product at any time, by investing another refundable amount of EUR 250,000.
What are the details of the unique EU citizenship product Life Insurance I?
This investment provides the applicant with Bulgarian permanent residency within 6 months and with citizenship in 18 months. The same citizenship application also includes further applications of the applicant’s immediate family (husband, spouse and children of any age).
The applicant has the option to buy back the Life Insurance at any time after the minimum holding period of five years.
The investment is not lost.
In case the applicant wants to increase the death benefit, the loan, as well as further cash can be invested with leverage into a Universal Life Insurance with a second insurance company. Many applicants choose this option due to security reasons.
The lease for this service costs EUR 1,900 for a period of two years and is already included in the price of the product and not additionally charged.
The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program does not provide the option to invest in Bulgarian property. How is it possible that you offer two Property products which provide Bulgarian citizenship?
It is correct that the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program does not offer a Property option. Applicants must invest into Government Bonds to meet the investment requirements of the program. We have created two worldwide unique Property products, which have an underlying financing of two Government Bonds, for our applicants to receive their Bulgarian permanent residency within 6 months and their citizenship in 18 months.
Can you tell me more about your Property products?
We offer two Property products for the investment amount of EUR 412,000. In addition, we charge our applicants a handling fee of EUR 88,000. The total price of EUR 500,000 provides our applicants and their immediate family with Bulgarian permanent residency within 6 months and with citizenship in 18 months. It also includes all legal and handling fees regarding the purchase of the golf course villa and the condominium.
Product Property I:
- 1 Golf Course Villa in the Luxury Lighthouse Golf and Spa Resort (Varna) at the beautiful Black Sea Coast.
- 1 Condominium in Sofia (detailed information on request).
Product Property II:
- 2 Condominiums in Sofia (detailed information on request).
Our golf course villas and our condominiums are not government approved. Please note that we must collect the returns for the first seven years, for us to co-finance the underlying Shares or Government Bonds.
Can you explain your Equity Financing products?
Our non-refundable products Equity Financing I and Equity Financing II are newly developed and only available since September 2017. The products are similar to the well-known products Bond Financing I and Bond Financing II. These two products categories only differ regarding the underlying investment, which is either into Bulgarian Stock Exchange listed Shares, or into Bulgarian Government Bonds.
Whether the underlying investment is into Shares or Government Bonds, this does not make any difference for the applicant, as these products are financed either way. There is also no pricing, or no currency risk for the applicant involved.
In the view that both product categories are the same from the applicant’s perspective, the Equity Financing products are most attractive due to its affordable price. The product Equity Financing I is the cheapest product worldwide that leads to Bulgarian citizenship and passport.
What are associate firm’s fees for a Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship application?
Apart from the investment amount, the applicant is charged with an all-in handling fee which covers all our services, such as:
- All legal fees by our law firm (includes all applications of the immediate family);
- Opening a bank account with a Bulgarian bank in the applicant’s name to handle the investment;
- All activities regarding the investment option chosen by the applicant;
- Accompanying our applicant in Bulgaria when applying for permanent residency status;
- Providing our main applicant with a Bulgarian address.
Note that there is no handling fee charged on our Life Insurance products.
What is the minimum amount to receive Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship?
The minimum amount to receive Bulgarian permanent residency via our standard track product Bond Financing I is EUR 210,000. Permanent residency is provided within 6 months. Bulgarian citizenship, which allows the applicant to live, work and study in any of the 27 EU countries, including Switzerland and Norway, is included and is provided in 66 months.
Permanent residency within 6 months and Bulgarian citizenship in 18 months is provided via our fast track product Bond Financing II for the amount of EUR 330,000.
Is my investment lost when buying Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship?
There is clear differentiate between the investment amount and the all-in handling fee. The applicant invests into Government Bonds, Properties, or Life Insurances, to meet the requirements to apply for Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship. Only for some products, we charge the applicant a handling fee on top of the investment amount to cover our services. After Bulgarian citizenship has been received, the applicant has the option to sell the investment as it is no longer required to be held. Thus, the investment is refundable, whilst the all-in handling fee is non-refundable.
Please note that there is no investment required for our products Bond Financing I and Bond Financing II. We only charge the applicant an all-in handling fee and finance the Government Bonds ourselves. In these cases, the all-in handling fee is non-refundable as well.
Can I pay the total amount for investment and all-in handling fee in installments?
The total amount for a particular Bulgarian citizenship product has to be a one-off payment. To meet the investment requirements of the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program, the applicant must buy the chosen investment, such as Government Bonds, Properties, or Life Insurances in advance before the application procedure can start. We also charge the full all-in handling fee for our Bond Financing products in advance, to be able to finance the Government Bonds for the applicant.
I have a spouse, a son, and a daughter. For how many applications do I need to pay?
Our applicants are charged for only one Bulgarian citizenship application, which is usually in the husband’s name. This one-off payment also covers any additional Bulgarian citizenship applications of your immediate family, such as spouse, and children of any age. There are no additional fees.
Do you reimburse the handling fee if my application for a Bulgarian Visa D or for permanent residency is denied?
There is reimbursement 90% of the all-in handling fee in case the application for your Visa D or permanent residency is unsuccessful. Be aware that there is No refund in the following cases:
- You do not pass character / personality checks;
- You do not pass an interview due to inadequate / inappropriate conduct;
- You give false, incomplete, wrong or misleading information / documents;
- You fail to provide any necessary information / documents within required timeframe;
- You decide not to migrate or decide to discontinue any procedure;
- You are unable to migrate or continue any procedure due to changes in migration requirements, laws or regulations occurring, after our agreement was signed;
- You are unable to comply with changes of the migration regulations, laws or renewed policies during the Visa D, permanent residence or citizenship applications, and you are unable to continue an application due to ineligibility;
- An application is unsuccessful due to other reasons of your doing.
What is the procedure to apply for Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship, and how long does it take?
Under the standard track option, the applicant may file for Bulgarian citizenship after five years in permanent residency status. Under the fast track option, the entire process from application filing to receiving Bulgarian citizenship takes only 18 months. This makes the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program the most affordable and one of the fastest options for international investors looking to receive EU citizenship.
Step 1 – Contact us:
Please use our contact form to receive a detailed quote for you and your immediate family. This initial consultation is free of charge.
Step 2 – Document preparation:
Should you wish to proceed with an application, you would sign a service agreement to allow our associated immigration law firm in Bulgaria to commence the application procedure. The firm will gather all required application documents from you and will open a bank account in Bulgaria in your name.
Step 3 – Investment funding and / or payment of all-in handling fee:
You will be asked to transfer the investment amount and / or the all-in handling fee to your bank account in Bulgaria, or pay the insurance premium if you choose any of our Life Insurance products.
Step 4 – Visa D application:
You have to apply for a Visa D at any Bulgarian embassy / consulate in your country of residence, which will be issued for you within three to four weeks.
Step 5 – Permanent residency application:
Using the Visa D, you travel to Bulgaria to apply for permanent residency status, which is completed in one day. This is the only time where travelling to Bulgaria is required.
Step 6 – Approval letter for permanent residency status:
After four to six weeks, the Bulgarian government issues and sends an approval letter, granting you with permanent residency status. In case you would like to receive a plastic permanent residency card after being provided with the status, you have to travel to Bulgaria for a second time to pick it up. Note that most of our applicants do not pick up their plastic permanent residency card, as the permanent residency status is granted via the approval letter issued by the government.
Step 7 – Citizenship application and passport:
After 12 months in permanent residency status, if using the fast track option, you may file for Bulgarian (EU) citizenship. There is no requirement to live in Bulgaria during this 12 months’ period.
Step 8 – Approval letter for citizenship status:
Up to 6 months later, the Bulgarian government sends you the approval letter which confirms your Bulgarian citizenship. You can travel to Bulgaria to pick up your Bulgarian (EU) passport, or you can opt to visit the Bulgarian embassy / consulate in the country of your residence for pick up.
At which point during the application procedure do I have to visit Bulgaria to receive Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship?
You have to travel to Bulgaria during the application procedure to apply for permanent residency status after obtaining your Visa D.
In case you would like to receive a plastic permanent residency card after being provided with the status, you have to travel to Bulgaria for a second time to pick it up.
How can I receive Bulgarian citizenship for myself, my spouse, my two children, and my parents?
Your application provides you with Bulgarian citizenship and passport for yourself, your spouse and your children. Unfortunately, your parents cannot be included. Instead of your father submitting a second application, which includes his and the application of his spouse (your mother), we recommend the following:
- Your father applies as the main applicant for EU citizenship via one of our fast track products. He receives his Bulgarian passport in 18 months.
- After your father received his Bulgarian passport, his spouse (your mother) applies for EU citizenship. She receives her Bulgarian passport in 18 months. At the same time as your mother, your application is submitted as well. In 18 months (a total of 36 months) your mother and yourself receive their Bulgarian passports, at no additional cost.
- You can then apply for Bulgarian citizenship for your spouse and two children. Instead of investing the full amount into a second product for the applications of the third generation, we only charge EUR 10,000 per additional application, which leads to Bulgarian passports in 18 months (a total of 54 months).
To sum it up, after 54 months yourself, your spouse and your two children, as well as your parents, have got Bulgarian citizenship for a total amount of EUR 360,000 (Bond Financing II: EUR 330,000 + EUR 30,000 filing of three applications [your spouse and two children]).
Under the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program, can I include my immediate family in my application?
Yes. All investment options to citizenship allow for one application to cover the husband, the spouse and all children of any age. There is also a way for your parents to receive Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship within the same application, for a very small surplus.
Please contact us via the contact form to learn more about how your whole family, including your parents, can receive Bulgarian permanent residency and citizenship with only one application.
About our Immigration Business
What are your qualifications in providing EU and other immigration products?
We are a team of highly skilled immigration specialists. All applications are handled through a Swiss Family Office, and by our law firm based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Our trusted law partner is one of the biggest and most reputable law firms in Bulgaria. Being a member of an exclusive international lawyer network, and of a business alliance, provides our law firm with high recognition.
Our Unit Linked Life Insurance business is handled by our well-known, and with an excellent A+ S&P rating awarded Insurance company, which belongs to a reputable Insurance Group. This Insurance Group is well established in all lines of business with around 50 Group companies and more than 24,000 employees in 25 countries. Our Universal Life Insurance business is carried out by a trusted international brand which exists already for more than 150 years.
In addition to working with strong partners, we are also an acknowledged partner of the Hong Kong Bulgarian Association of Commerce with offices in Hong Kong, Macau, and China.
Even if you seek more information about immigrating to Bulgaria you can write an email on email@example.com and one of the most experience immigration consultants will get in touch with you to help you out with your questions and concerns or you can also choose to call us on +91-8595338595 or directly interact with the expert through our Live Chat window.