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Bulgarian citizenship by investment: benefits, conditions and requirements

Kristina Kurkuliak
10 February 2021


Obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by investment became possible in 2014. Due to this, Bulgaria attracts assets and improves the economy.

The main advantage of the Bulgarian program is that the status of a citizen can be obtained in two years. Participation does not require mandatory government donations, all investments can ultimately be returned and even made a profit.

Bulgarian citizenship: conditions and requirements

Болгария - столица София Normally, the process takes up to 2 years. Investors must meet the following criteria:

Passport of Bulgaria can also be obtained by:


Investment options to apply for Bulgarian passport

Bulgarian passport by investment can be obtained by choosing one of the four options.

Advantages of a Citizenship of Bulgaria

Паспорт Болгарии

Steps of Bulgarian citizenship application process

Answers to frequently asked questions and information about Bulgaria

Курорты Болгарии

An applicant shall provide the documents confirming financial dependence: for children – a certificate from an educational institution, for dependent parents – a birth certificate.

There is no requirement to reside in the country and speak Bulgarian.

It’s possible to obtain Bulgarian citizenship by choosing one of the following investment options:
• Invest in government bonds;
• Invest in securities of Bulgarian enterprises or financial support of priority financing projects;
• Combine several options;
• Donate a certain amount of money to a state fund.
All these options are acceptable if you intend to become a citizen of Bulgaria. This investor program where you get citizenship through investment is regulated by Bulgarian laws, so it’s more than official.

To apply for Bulgarian Investment Immigration Program (BIIP) a foreigner needs to submit the following documents:
– certificate of investment in Bulgaria;
– D-type visa;
– certificate of no criminal record in the country of residence;
– confirmation of the legality of the invested funds.

The investor must fulfill 2 basic requirements:

  1. Have the status of permanent residence under the Bulgarian Investment Immigration Program (BIIP) for at least 1 year, having invested 1,000,000 leva (511,292 euros);
  2. Increase the amount of investments in the Bulgarian economy to 2,000,000 Lev (1,022,584 euros).

When these conditions are met, the investor can expect to receive a Bulgarian passport after 18 months.

The Schengen zone: visa-free entry, you can stay for 365 days per year;
The UK: visa-free entry, you can stay for 365 days per year.

Funds should be invested in bonds for a period of 5 years. Under the terms of the transaction, the investor does not receive any interest. Return of the amount after 5 years is guaranteed by the Government of Bulgaria.

In practice obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by investment takes from 2 to 5 years since the program does not work properly (obtaining permanent residency takes 6 months; after that an applicant has to wait for one year to apply for citizenship; then it takes another 3-6 months for an application to be examined). Residing in Bulgaria is not required neither during the permanent residency or citizenship application process, nor after obtaining the status.

Yes, Bulgaria’s passport gives the right to employment and the right to live in any country of the EU, run one’s business there, study in European universities, use healthcare services.

No. By acquiring a business or real estate worth not less than 300,000 euros, an investor may apply for a temporary residence permit in Bulgaria, which does not lead to permanent residence or citizenship. A residence permit for real estate investment may be extended until the property is sold. A residence permit for an investment in business can be obtained for 1 year, then renewed annually, while permanent residency may be renewed only in five years. To obtain Bulgarian citizenship in the usual way (through naturalization), it is required to reside in the country for at least 8 years.

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