Bulgaria Immigrant Investor Programme
Bulgaria’s Immigrant Investor Programme was launched in 2009 as a means for foreign nationals to obtain citizenship of Bulgaria following a period of nominal permanent residence in the country.
Benefits of Bulgarian Citizenship
Citizenship of Bulgaria comes with a wide range of benefits, including:
- Global mobility
- Citizenship for life, with the right to live, work, study, and travel in Bulgaria and the rest of the EU
- Citizenship can be passed down to future generations
- Economic citizens have the right to hold dual citizenship
- Opportunity to apply for an E-2 visa to the United States
After amendments passed in February 2021, applicants to the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Programme can choose between several investment options.
The investments shown below allow an applicant to receive citizenship after five years of nominal residence in Bulgaria.
Note: for options 1 to 3 and option 4a, higher investment thresholds or additional investments are required if the applicant wants to fast-track his or her way to citizenship (with only three years of nominal residence). Under option 4b, applicants wishing to fast-track must double their investment and hire at least 20 Bulgarian nationals.
Stocks Traded in Bulgaria
Investment option Amount Stocks traded in Bulgaria €1,024,000
Investment option Amount UCITs (EU-regulated fund vehicles), including exchange-traded funds with a focus on Bulgaria €512,000
Alternative Investment Funds
Investment option Amount Alternative investment funds (including private equity, venture, and hedge funds), a part of whose focus is on Bulgaria €512,000
Participation in a Bulgarian Company
Investment option Amount a. Participation in a Bulgarian company carrying on a Certified Priority Investment Project (CPIP) €1,024,000 b. Participation in a Bulgarian company employing 10 or more Bulgarian nationals €257,000 c. Participation in a Bulgarian private company, invested in any sector or geography €3,075,000
Investment in a CIP
Investment option Amount Investment in a Certified Investment Project (CIP) Project-dependent
The application process in Bulgaria can be broken down into 8 steps:
- Step 1: Choose one of the investment options and make the qualifying investment
- Step 2: Submit type D visa application at Bulgarian Consulate
- Step 3: Bulgarian Consulate issues a visa for entry into Bulgaria
- Step 4: Once in Bulgaria, applicants can then apply for permanent residence
- Step 5: Successful applicants can expect to obtain permanent residence within 6 to 9 months from application submission
- Step 6: Applicants must make a second trip to Bulgaria to give biometrics for the issuance of the residence card
- Step 7: Investors can apply for citizenship after either 5 years of residence or, if fast-tracked, 12 months of residence. If choosing the fast-track route, investors must make a second investment before applying for citizenship
- Step 8: Successful applicants can expect to receive their citizenship certificate within 6 to 12 months from application submission
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply?
The Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Programme is only open to non-EU nationals. Main applicants must be over the age of 18, possess sufficient funds to make an investment, and have a clean criminal record.
Which family members can I include in my application?
Unlike other citizenship by investment programmes, a main applicant cannot include family members in an application under the Programme. Eligible family members can only apply for citizenship after the main applicant has obtained citizenship.
However, under the fast-track option, the main applicant’s spouse is eligible to apply for citizenship one year after the main applicant, while children of the main applicant or of the spouse can apply for citizenship as soon as the main applicant obtains citizenship.
Are citizens from certain countries barred from applying?
Bulgaria does not implement bans based on an applicant’s country of citizenship.
Is this programme for me?
The following persons may be a good fit for the programme:
- Sophisticated investors seeking diverse investment options
- Individuals seeking wide global mobility
- Nuclear families seeking access to greater education opportunities