Bulgaria is culturally rich, diverse, has a perfect location and is a very business friendly country.
This Balkan nation has diverse terrain encompassing Black Sea coastline, a mountainous interior and rivers, including the Danube.
A cultural melting pot with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences, it has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and crafts.
At the foot of domed Vitosha mountain is its capital city, Sofia, dating to the 5th century B.C. Bulgaria has a population of 7.4 million people and the official currency is the lev (BGN), which is pegged to the euro at the fixed rate of EUR 1 for BGN 1,95583.
Citizenship by Investment Program Overview
Bulgaria officially offers a residency program that could lead to citizenship. It may, technically, not be right to call it a citizenship by investment program.
The Bulgarian program is a two-stage procedure.
Program Stage One (Permanent residency)
The first stage is a permanent residency card application, subject to an investment amount of minimum 512 000 EUR in Government bonds. This is called the Standard track and if you are looking only for the permanent residency permit you can stop here. In this case, your investment will be on hold for 5 years, after that you will have it back. The amount that you invested will be fully guaranteed, however you will not get the accrued interest on your investment. It’s important to note that family members of the investor will also become permanent residents.
Program Stage Two (Obtain Bulgarian Citizenship)
The second stage is the citizenship application. This is called the Fast track.
The investor is eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship if he has held a permanent residency card which can be obtained in 4-6 months, for 12 months and has doubled the initial investment. This means that on the Fast Track, the applicant can make an additional investment of 1,000,000 BGN (approximately 511 000 EUR) one year after the initial investment and he/she is immediately eligible to apply for citizenship.
So, in total in about 24 months you could get your Bulgarian passport.
Applicants under the program are not required to prove proficiency of Bulgarian language to apply for citizenship and there is no requirement to reside in Bulgaria. As Bulgaria allows dual citizenship investors do not need to renounce their original citizenship.
There are no minimum educational requirements and an investor is not required to create jobs in Bulgaria.
Even though you will not make any interest of the invested money, you will recover your money completely after two or five years. This is in our opinion a great opportunity, because many other countries require that you simply donate money to the government.
The Bulgarian passport allows visa-free travel or visa on arrival to 169 countries and territories, including Canada.
Advantages of Bulgarian Citizenship By Investment Program
Advantages of having Bulgarian citizenship are big.
Acquiring Bulgarian citizenship gives the foreign investor full EU citizenship and entitles the investor to access to the European market and freedom of movement (i.e. the right to travel, work, study and settle/retire in any country of the European Union).
You will also have the right to set and do business in any EU / EEA country or in Switzerland.
Holders of a Bulgarian passport can travel visa-free or get visa on arrival in 163 countries and territories including Canada and Australia, which ranks this passport as 16th in the world.
EU Tax Advantages
We already mentioned that Bulgaria is very business friendly country. Corporate tax is only 10%, which might be great opportunity to lower your taxes. If you reside in Bulgaria you will have this as an option. Something that we personally use, as well as many of our clients. Bulgaria is practically an EU tax haven. Makes sense why many entrepreneurs decide to get tax residency here in Bulgaria.
What sets Bulgaria apart from many other EU countries that also offer low corporate tax is the fact that personal tax is low as well. Here Bulgaria is definitely the winner since it offers both low corporate and personal tax rates. This is very exceptional from EU perspective.
If you want to set up business in Bulgaria it can possibly save you lots of money. Besides low tax, other expenses are also lower than in most other EU countries. Salaries are lower, you’re obligated to pay way less in social security for your employees, it’s cheaper to rent an office/apartment, overall cost of living is not high.
Bulgaria is progressing in all levels, so it opens great opportunities for business people from all around the world. Modern EU country with developing economy, yet very competitive prices might be one of the best options for a progressive thinking entrepreneur.
Possible changes in the program
In 2019. Bulgarian authorities are claiming that Ctizienship by investment in this country might come to an end. Even though, there are no official data regarding the issue, this might happen in the near future. However, there are some speculations that this program will not completely shut down but that there will be some changes. We will have to wait and see.
|Dual citizenship allowed||YES|
|Minimum Investment Required||512 000 EUR per residency, additional 511 000 EUR per fast track citizenship|
|Time||24 months for citizenship|
|Visa free access||169 countries and territories|
|Who doesn’t qualify||EU citizens|