Bulgaria has made important modifications to the investor citizenship scheme in 2021. The Amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act was approved on 16th of February 2021 and now published in the gazette.

We have good news and bad news for you. Let’s start with Good news.

The Good news is Bulgaria investor citizenship scheme will not be cancelled and will remain open for investments. It will still remain as official EU citizenship program running along with Malta.

The bad news is government bond option will be cancelled.

What has changed?

Here are the most important changes to the Fast track citizenship in Bulgaria

  • Government bonds will be removed and financing option will be no longer possible for new applications.
  • Processing of applications will be much faster
  • New investment options are introduced such as Business capital, Stocks, Real estate investment trusts (Reit), Alternative investment funds, Exchange traded fund (ETF) etc..
  • Investments must be maintained for 5 years in total (this is increased from 3 years)
  • Spouses can now become Bulgarian citizen after 3 years of investor’s approval (previously 5 years).

The list of investment projects is published by the Bulgaria investment agency. For some investment options, a preapproval is required from the government. The Ministry of Justice will ask for required documentation.

What has not changed?

  • No changes to the minimum investment of EUR 1 million (500K in first year adding  500K euro in the second year) under fast track option.
  • Investors must hold permanent residence for  atleast 1 year before applying for citizenship.
  • Citizenship only possible after 2 years (or latest after 18 months)
  • The Bank deposit option is open

In 2018, The European commission has published indepth analysis of the Bulgarian investor citizenship scheme.

The Government bonds/securities remained the most popular route as the entire investment is fully guaranteed by government after 3 years.

Less than 100 investors have secured Bulgarian citizenship for investments so far. According to data from Euractiv, 78 out of these 98 foreigners have bought government securities, received Bulgarian citizenship. Many of them received dividends and also were able to sell the securities.

With Bulgaria going of out of picture, only St Lucia and Turkey are the only two nations, currently offer citizenship for Government treasury bonds or securities.