Immigrant Investor Program
Bulgaria offers immediate permanent residency for third country nationals who make significant economic contribution to the state under Immigrant investor program.
Bulgaria joined European Union in 1 January 2007. Its currency: Bulgarian lev BGN but committed to adopt the euro once it fulfills the necessary conditions. Bulgaria is not in Schengen, currently in the process of joining the Schengen area.
The Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Programme started in 2005 when article 25(1), § 6 of the Foreigners Act was amended to allow the granting of permanent residency in Bulgaria to foreigners who invested more than 1 million Bulgarian leva (BGN) (about US$561,000 in 2005) in the Bulgarian economy by purchasing Bulgarian government bonds or shares of a publicly traded company, or by investing in a government-owned company or in intellectual property. After holding the investment and permanent residency for a period of five years, the investor was eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship.
On March 5, 2021, the president of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, signed into law Decree No. 80 on Amendments to the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria and Decree No. 81 of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria on the Amendments and Additions to the Law on Citizenship. The laws entered into force on March 12, 2021.
The new rules altered the previous requirement that investors invest in bonds or shares in a listed company, diversified investors’ investment options, and increased the amount required for investment.
Under the amendments, it is compulsory for applicants to obtain a permanent residence permit before applying for citizenship. Also, investors are required to meet several conditions before applying for a permanent residence permit, such as owning the investment for a full five years as a resident, not having a criminal record or being under criminal investigation in Bulgaria, and proving sufficient income to support themselves and their family.
To obtain a permanent residence permit under the amended Foreigners Act, investors are required to
The investment amount must stay for 5 years
Bulgarian citizenship can be acquired under naturalization after legally living for 5 years with permanent resident status.