Bulgarian Investment Program - the path to citizenship in 5 years
Due to the latest legislative changes in February 2013, foreign investors have received the opportunity to acquire residency in Bulgaria by investment in the capital of a Bulgarian company. This way of investing is more profitable comparing to the classic option of investing in Bulgarian government bonds.
The foreigner should invest at least €250,000 in a Bulgarian company and thus they will own 50% of the company’s capital. The investment must be devided between the tangible and intangible assets of the company. There are no restrictions on the scope of the company's activities. Also, this way of Bulgarian residency acquisition provides jobs for at least 10 Bulgarian citizens under an employment contract
The final package of documents required to submit a permanent residence permit application will depend on the company's field of activity and the founders. The required package of documents consists of:
- copy of the applicant's passport
- applicant’s CV
- a document confirming the amount and fact of investments made, which should also indicate which assets will be purchased with the investment funds
- document certifying the legitimacy of the source of funds of the applicant
- proof of employment of 10 Bulgarian citizens
Such option of residency acquisition allows a foreign investor to choose an investment project and type of business activity. The assets of the company, which are to be acquired with the invested funds, also remain at the discretion of the founder of the company, provided that they can be attributed to long-term assets. Acquisition of long-term assets minimizes investor risks and provides favorable conditions for further business development.
After 5 years in the status of permanent resident, a foreign citizen is entitled to apply for Bulgarian citizenship.
Bulgaria, Portugal and Latvia are the most notable examples of EU countries granting Golden Visas for investments, which lead to citizenship within six years and minimum investment amounts up to half a million Euro. At the same time, the Bulgarian program is available to foreign investors on more favorable terms. Compared to Portugal, an individual needs to invest €100,000 less, and Latvia, to obtain citizenship, requires a physical presence on its territory for at least four of the last five years, as well as passing the language test.
The right to apply for Bulgarian citizenship under this program does not directly apply to family members of the main applicant, but according to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act the child or a spouse of a Bulgarian citizen is entitled to apply for citizenship providing the requirements are met.