Program overview – Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program (BIIP) was established in 2009 to attract funds for economy stimulation. it is based on investment in government bonds and grants residency within 6 – 9 months. Bulgarian government guarantees safe investment whereas after mandatory holding period is refunded in full, with no accrued interest.
Citizenship possibilities appear after 5 years of residency under regular program basis, however, government offers fast track process possibilities. Investors who maintained residence status for at least 1 year (physical residency not required) can accelerate citizenship application by doubling the initial investment. It entitles investors to receive citizenship within 2 years in total. Family members will qualify for citizenship by descent once the principal applicant is approved.
Program as well allows investors to leverage their capital by funding investment amount through European bank. Borrowing costs, terms and conditions are applied by specific case.
Residency card and passport validity for both adults and underaged dependants is 5 years. Bulgaria allows second citizenship, so new passport holders are not obliged withdrawing any other nationalities they hold.
Requirements – Residency by investment program requires main applicant to be 18 years old or over, have clean criminal record and good health. At least 1 year of resident status and residential address in Bulgaria is a must before citizenship application.
More about the program
Family – As part of residence program investors are entitled to include their spouse (if marriage period is not less than 5 years) and underaged children. Physically or mentally challenged children might be included regardless their age. Citizenship by descent is allowed for dependants regardless their age, marital status and despite former residence application.
Living, Working, Studying and Traveling – After obtaining resident status investors and their families are free to live, work and study in Bulgaria, though moving within Schengen area requires visas. Once received citizenship, applicants have rights of living, working and studying expanded to EU and Schengen zone, as well as visa-free travels to over 140 countries.
Financials and investment. Bonds.
Regular – Qualifying investment of 512 000 EUR is required in non-interest bearing government bonds. Full amount is refunded after 5 years of maintaining residence status, when citizenship is granted.
Fast-track – Double investment of total 1 024 000 EUR speeds citizenship application up and grants it in overall 2 years. 50% of total amount is initiated before residency application. Once residence status reaches 1 year, investors place the second half of investment amount. Both injections must be kept for 2 years after receiving citizenship.
Financed – Financing from European bank may be received on demand for qualifying investment of 512 000 EUR. Non-refundable costs of approximately 200 000 EUR (payment and finance costs may vary) occurs financing for a 5-year period.
Regardless selected option the upfront non-refundable application fee of 25 000 EUR for main applicant (spouse is included) and 2 500 per each dependant is required.
Programs Investment costs
*Government bonds must be held for minimum 4 years under fast-track citizenship and 5 years under regular investment option.
Taxes – Bulgaria offers favorable tax regime towards investors applying 0% rate on world wide income tax if they do not reside within country. Nevertheless, citizens of Bulgaria has one of the lowest taxes on income (10% only) and free trade environment with European Union.
Timescale and Payment Outline
Step 1 (3 – 5 days)
Pre-due diligence allows avoiding possible issues and assure eligibility. It also allows ineligible applicants saving unnecessary costs, time and effort.
In cases of questionable pre-due diligence outcomes, enhanced background checks may be required, including possible cooperation with the relevant authorities. Full agent fee applied.
Step 2 (1 month)
Collection and preparation of documentation usually takes approximately 1 month to prepare all documents which must be translated to English and certified if applicable.
Step 2 requires:
Step 3 (5 weeks)
Our legal representative opens bank account on behalf of investor. At this step full investment is required, after which the Investment Certificate is obtained. Financing may be arranged on demand. Investment and residential address must be maintained for 5 years under regular basis. Nevertheless, there is no physical residence requirement.
Step 4 (8 weeks)
Submit visa application at local Bulgarian embassy. Be sure that passport validity is not less than 12 month, otherwise national visa D may be denied. Application processing takes up to 45 days on average, though some separate cases might require longer period of time. Provide passport within 30 days to receive visa after approval is issued.
Step 5 (3 months)
Consult suitable first trip date to Bulgaria that falls within business week. Assistance booking hotels and airport transfer may be provided if requested. Our legal representative accompanies investor to submit residence application. Application processing takes up to 90 days.
Step 6 (4 days)
After the approval is issued schedule the second trip to Bulgaria and submit permanent residence card application. On the third business day of the application residency cards are ready and must be collected in person.
Step 7 (8 months)
Once investor receives residency card, family is allowed to apply for visa D, submit permanent residency and permanent residency card applications accordingly. All the same procedures are applied as for main applicant. Applicable fees will be required.
Step 8 (10 months)
Naturalization process might be started after 1 or 5 years of maintaining residence status by having official address and holding investment.
Fast-track to citizenship option is not mandatory and it is only executed on demand by investor. To receive citizenship and passport within 1 year after 1 year of sustaining resident status main applicant must double the investment and deposit 1 024 000 EUR in total.
On regular program basis naturalization process starts 5 years after receiving permanent residence. This step requires 3 separate trips to Bulgaria: application submission, interview for citizenship, application and collection of national passport and ID card.
Once investor completes naturalization process, family members may apply by descent. Application fess must be paid.