Residency and Citizenship program in Bulgaria is granted by the Investment Promotion Act of the Republic of Bulgaria:
Option One – Long Stay and Permanent Residency Permit:
The Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program (BGIIP) allows high net worth individuals and their families to obtain Bulgarian permanent resident status, by investing BGN 1 million (EUR 511 292), via one of the following investment methods:
- Aquisition of government bonds (in accordance with the art.25, para (1), item 6)
- Acquisition of Shares in Bulgarian commercial corporations traded in a regulated Bulgarian market (according to the art.25, para (1), item 6)
- Acquisition of intellectual property, which may include patents, copyrights, inventions, etc.
- For Long Stay permit only – Acquisition of real estate for an amount not less than 600 000 BGN (310 000 EUR)
The main applicant and his/her family members are granted physical exemption during the 5-year residency period. The only requirement to maintain their permanent resident status is to keep the investment in Bulgaria and to have a residential address. The most secure type of investment in our opinion is the investment in government bonds, as they are guaranteed and secured by the Bulgarian state.
The statutory term for issuance of a Permanent Residence Permit is approximately three months after submission of the documents.
A Permanent Residency Permit is issued by the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior. It entitles the holder to enter and exit Bulgaria freely and to reside in the country for an indefinite period of time. The holder also receives a Bulgarian Identity Card and Personal Identity Number, and must have a residential address. Please note that all applicants for the Investor Program are subject to thorough checks by Interpol, Europol and other anti-crime organizations. A pre-requisite of the Program is that all applicants must have a clean criminal record and must not be subject of ongoing criminal proceedings.
Option Two – Citizenship:
a) Normal Procedure:
In accordance with the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, foreign investors who hold a permanent residence permit for at least five years are eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship.
b) Fast Track Procedure:
A new fast track option that leads to Citizenship has been introduced for applicants who invest in government bonds.
The requirements for the Fast Track Option are:
- for the applicant to have had Permanent Resident permit for at least 1 year
- to double the investment by purchasing an additional EUR 511 292 of government bonds
- to hold the second additional investment until citizenship is granded.
By choosing the Fast Track procedure, the applicant can apply for Citizenship one year after receiving the Permanent Residency Permit. Doubling the investment in government bonds is a requirement.
See the Process timetable for reference.