As a member of the EU and soon to join the Schengen zone, Bulgaria is an attractive destination for a second citizenship or permanent residence visa programs. Low taxes, high quality healthcare and free access to European countries and markets are some of the most useful benefits Bulgaria offers to its citizens and permanent residence holders. After obtaining residency or citizenship there is no obligation to give up your current passport, speak the local language,
own property in Bulgaria or reside in the country.
The processing time of the application ranges from 6 to 9 months, and during this time you will have to make 2 visits to the Bulgarian consulate in your country and 2 trips to Bulgaria. After having prepared the necessary documents, the investment will be transferred and then you can request a type D visa with which to travel to Bulgaria and apply for a permanent visa. Finally, you will go back to the country to collect the Permanent Residence document.
Family members of the applicant will be able to apply once he has obtained the residence permit. They too will have to make two trips to Bulgaria.
To proceed with the permanent residence application it is necessary to deposit in a portfolio of government shares an amount of at least 1 million BGN, equivalent to approximately 512,000 EUR, and keep them for 5 years, after which the sum will be returned in full. This investment is guaranteed by the Bulgarian government and it is also possible to finance it through a European bank.
The process of acquiring Bulgarian citizenship is closely linked to that needed for the permanent residence. In fact, you can initiate the application process after one year of receiving the permanent residence, by making an additional investment of BGN 1 million (EUR 512,000) as a deposit in government bonds or investments in government approved assets.
The above investment will also cover any spouses or children. The time required to complete the procedure for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship (including the time required for residency) is less than 2 years.
To complete the entire procedure leading to the acquisition of citizenship after obtaining residency, 2 investments of the same amount (1 million BGN, 512,000 EUR must be made): one at the start of the procedures for residency, and one at the time of applying for citizenship.
While the first investment must be held for 5 years, the second must be held for 2 years and it can be made as a deposit in a government bond portfolio or as an investment in state-approved assets.
In addition to the required investment, the citizenship application also requires a fee of EUR 7,500 for the applicant, plus other additional charges for other family members.