Bulgaria is a EU and NATO member country in southeast of Europe, surrounded by Romania, Turkey, Serbia and Greece. Bulgaria has an investor citizenship program which came into force in 2009, for foreign investors who invest significant amount of money in the economy of Bulgaria. In return a permanent residence permit issued and the person can live in Bulgaria for an indefinite period of time. Bulgaria is not a member of schengen area expected to join the `schengen` in the near future.
Bulgaria is one of the few countries in the EU that has legislation that offers citizenship for foreign investors. It is officially known as “Fast track’ investor citizenship scheme, administered by the Investment promotion agency
Note: This scheme is now closed by government in 2022. Read the update
Bulgaria were first introduced in the Bulgarian legislation in 2005. Since then, the investors’ schemes have been further developed by introducing amendments to the relevant legislation in 2009, 2013 and 2015. The Bulgarian scheme offers two types of investment routes: ordinary investors’ citizenship scheme (Article 12a BCA) and a fast-track investors’ citizenship scheme (Article 14a BCA).
- EU member country (non-schengen)
- Low corporate tax rates.
- Real estate investment option
- No restrictions on dual nationality
- Affordable cost of living and low business costs.
Bulgaria Investor Program
- Fast track: BGN 2 million (EUR 1 million) in bonds or bank deposits and citizenship after two years
- Ordinary: 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 or bank deposit portfolio or in a business venture.
Update: Government bonds or securities is removed for CBI effective from March 2021. Refer to new changes
Fast Track Citizenship
The following investments qualify for fast track routes..
The Govt bonds portfolio is a secure investment and is guaranteed by the Bulgarian govt and is returned without any interest after 2 years. In return a permanent residence permit is issued to investors which allows stay in Bulgaria for an indefinite period of time.
You can start with EUR 500,000 purchase of Govt bonds and after the first year, increase the investment to EUR 1 million to qualify for fast track. If you cant afford EUR 1 million, Financing is also possible (see below)
The only condition is Bonds and treasury bills as well as derivative instruments issued by the State or by municipalities with a residual maturity of no less than six months (Article 25, paragraph 1, item 6b FNA);
There is no requirement to open a bank account for the purpose of investing in government bonds. You can invest the sum through any trading firms or investment companies from abroad. You can do the sell out of your bonds after holding for 2 years (fast track) and 5 years (ordinary track).
There is also a possibility of Investment of EUR 500,000 in a licensed credit institution in Bulgaria under a trustee agreement with a term of no less than five years. This investment must be doubled to EUR 1 million after one year to apply for fast track citizenship.
Investment of EUR 1 million in Shares owned by the State or municipalities
Investment of EUR 1 million Shares of Bulgarian commercial companies traded on a Bulgarian stock exchange or licensed institution
Priority Investment Project
Investment of EUR 1 million in a Bulgarian commercial company, which has been awarded a Class A, Class B,19 or a priority investment project
Investments in Bulgarian Intellectual Property for EUR 1 million – objects of copyright and related rights, patent-protected inventions, utility models, trademarks, service marks and industrial design;
Bond Financing option
It is possible to finance EUR 1m Government bonds for a total of EUR 200,000 ( includes loan interest of EUR 180,000 spread over 5 years plus 20,000 EUR legal costs). It is one time cost you bear will not be returned back.
Banks charge about 3.5% for loans and Bond yields are usually 0.8%. The Bond certificate must be issued in the name of the applicant else citizenship is refused.
Please note we do not currently offer financing option for the Bulgarian citizenship by investment scheme.
After one year of legally living in Bulgaria, it is possible to register for citizenship through investment. The Citizenship offices takes 9-12 months process applications
The program exempts investors from physical residence and is free to leave the country anytime. No language test and exempted from genuine link criteria..
The investor has to demonstrate that he/she has made a significant contribution to Bulgaria such as business activities such as 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 certifed by Apostille.
More information about this investor program, can be found in Bulgaria government official website: http://www.investbg.government.bg
The personal income tax in Bulgaria is 10% and corporate income tax is 10% of the taxable profit. The VAT (value added tax) is 20%.
Bulgaria passport offers full EU citizenship and free movement in schengen area. In 2018 Bulgaria received visa free travel to Canada. Bulgaria passport has visa free travel to 169 countries in the world including United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland etc. The passport ranks 18th best in the world.