Permanent Residence in Bulgaria
Bulgaria (officially the Republic of Bulgaria) is a country in Southern Europe. Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romania to the north, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea defines the extent of the country to the east. Bulgaria’s capital city and largest settlement is Sofia, with a permanent population of 1,378,000 people. In 1945, after World War II, Bulgaria became a communist state and was a part of the Eastern Bloc until the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989/1990, when the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections and Bulgaria undertook a transition to parliamentary democracy and free-market capitalism with mixed results. Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and a founding state of the OSCE, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.743, ranking 58th in the world in 2010.
Permanent Residence by Investment Program
The investor deposits BGN 1,000,000 (approximately EUR 512,000) in the Guaranteed Governmental Bond Portfolio for a period of 5 years. No further payment is required. At the end of the five-year period, the amount BGN 1,000,000 is returned to the investor with no accrued interest. The Investment is fully guaranteed by the government bonds.
Benefits and Advantages on the Permanent Residence Scheme:
- Investor and all his family members (wife and minor children) get Permanent Residence in Bulgaria directly and immediately. Permanent residence gives the same rights as BG citizens, except voting. We would like to remind our readers that normally (without investment) foreigner must first obtain temporary residence permit in Bulgaria, then renew it annually, and only after 5 years or residence is entitled to apply for permanent residency.
- Government guaranteed investment. Loan options of investment are available.
- Five years after maintaining the residency entitled you to apply for citizenship of Bulgaria.
- No physical residence required for Main Applicant and dependents. Physical residency is waived for qualified investors.
- Relatively fast (from two to three months) application process.
- Opportunity to become resident of the European Union. Easy access to EU countries – no visa requirement.
- Holding a residence visa also enable the applicants to enter and leave the country as many times as they wish without visas.
- Free education and medical system throughout EU.
- Lowest taxation in EU and special exemption for immigration through investment applicants.
Legislative Summary of Amendments
On February 23, 2013, new important amendments in the Investment Promotion Act and resulting changes in the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act and the Bulgarian Citizenship Act came in force. The Bulgarian language competence requirement and the relinquishment of the current nationality requirement for applicants who invest in government bonds are waived. These changes make the Bulgarian Residency and Citizenship Program even more attractive.
Fast Track Way to EU-Citizenship by Investment
Moreover, new option is introduced for those applicants who invest additional BGN 1,000,000 (EUR 512,000) into government bonds. These investors will have the privilege of being able to apply for Bulgarian citizenship after 1 year with permanent residency status (instead of normal 5 years). After citizenship is granted the applicant will be expected to maintain the investments for a period of two more years. Government Bond investment is a conservative one (very secure). Therefore, we consider Bulgarian Residency and Citizenship Program to be the best passport scheme in EU (because it is more than twice cheaper than Malta or Cyprus with comparable passport quality). More information about the Bulgarian procedure can be found here: Bulgarian (EU) citizenship by investment
Questions and Answers on Permanent Residence in Bulgaria:
Question: When visa D is issued how many days the applicant can spend in Bulgaria? Suppose if I want to visit Bulgaria, apply for PR and wait for the decision in Bulgaria. Is it possible?
Answer: Visa D has 180 days (6 months) validity and the holder of the visa could stay in Bulgaria during this period. The law requires PR application to be loaded within the first 3 months of the validity of the visa. The approval term is 3 months, so the applicant has enough time to reside and wait for the approval.
Question: Suppose, I use my Barclays bank account to remit the monies to the Bulgarian Government for the initial investment of EUR 512,000 and I also use the same account for the upcoming investment for application through the fast-track program. I want to ask you if there would a problem in receiving my monies back after the 2-year period from the date of the citizenship if I was to close this account in the future. How are the investment monies refunded to me? Can I provide any account in my name or does it have to be the same account?
Answer: The money will be refunded to any personal bank account you indicate when the moment comes.
Question: We are Russian family interested in Bulgarian residence-by-investment program. We are married in church and have two children. But officially we are in common-law relationship. We have no state marriage certificate, only a church one. Will it be sufficient to participate in the program as a family or we need to be married officially?
Answer: We would recommend obtaining a legal state marriage license/certificate. A church marriage, unless legally recognized, will not be accepted in Bulgaria.
Question: Can we invest form offshore in order to apply for PR in Bulgaria?
Answer: No. You must transfer the investment amount to Bulgaria from a personal bank account.
Question: I have some questions about obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by investment. How many times should the Investor visit Bulgaria for this program before getting the permanent residency and citizenship? Are there any restrictions for Middle Eastern countries people such as Iran?
Answer: The investor is expected to visit Bulgaria twice to get permanent residency and twice to get citizenship. All the family members will be expected to visit Bulgaria. There are no restrictions for Iran in Bulgaria (sanctions are imposed by the USA and some other countries).
If you have any questions or wish to use our legal assistance in obtaining permanent residence or citizenship of Bulgaria, contact us today