Bulgarian Government has moved to scrap its citizenship by investment program granting golden passports to international investors amidst EU pressure to ban golden passports and to further pursue its schengen and US visa waiver ambitions.
Bulgaria’s National Assembly has unanimously abolished at first reading the so called “golden passports” (citizenship by investment). 218 MPs voted in favor. None voted against and none abstained (according to Radio Bulgaria).
The amendments will be made to citizenship act removing the investment clause.
The Bulgaria CBI remains one of the last few EU citizenship by investment programs granting citizenship to foreigners investing 1 million euro investment to secure citizenship after one year residency.
MEPs called for a ban on golden passport programs running in the EU due to high security risks, corruption, tax evasion and money laundering concerns undermining the essence of Union citizenship as Citizenship is a right, not a commodity to be bought and sold.
The Bulgarian CBI program never became popular although it was running since 2009, only few hundred investors (mainly russians) were granted citizenship for investments. Last year the government removed government bonds option for acquiring citizenship.
Bulgaria now joins list of countries such as Cyprus, Moldova who have already scrapped their golden passport programs due to corruption and security concerns.
The Bulgarian Golden visa program will remain operational granting residency for 250,000 euro investments