The Bulgaria Immigrant Investor program was created in 2009 to offer foreign investors permanent residence in Bulgaria. Due to its success, the government added a few more programs to complement it, including a fast track to citizenship, a real estate option, and an entrepreneur option.
The programs were put under review in early 2019 to assess the performance and economic benefits. The programs remain open for now. The Bulgarian citizenship by investment option, which is actually a fast track towards naturalization, came under scrutiny as naturalization was not easily obtained by some participants.
Permanent residents do not get freedom of movement in Europe, contrary to Bulgarian citizenship. The naturalization process is possible after 4 years.
A permanent residence permit can be granted to foreigners that have invested more than BGN1,000,000 or that have increased their investment by that amount through the acquisition of:
а) Shares in Bulgarian business companies traded on the Bulgarian regulated market;
A permanent residence permit can be granted to foreigners that have invested in the capital of a Bulgarian business company whose shares are not traded on a regulated market an amount not less than BGN6,000,000.
Applicants that have permanent residence in Bulgaria can qualify for fast-track naturalization after 1 year. They are required to invest an additional BGN1,000,000 in a priority investment project as defined by art. 22f of the Encouragement of Investments Act. After a 6-month application process, Bulgarian citizenship is received.
A permanent residence permit can be granted to foreigners that have made an investment in the country by paying into the capital of a Bulgarian business company an amount not less than BGN500,000, and the foreign citizen is a partner or shareholder with registered shares and holds at least 50% of the capital of the company, and as a result of the investment new long-term and intangible assets for the amount of BGN500,000 have been acquired, and at least 10 workplaces have been opened for Bulgarian citizens, and the investment is maintained for the duration of residence, which is certified by the Ministry of Economy.
Foreigners that have made an investment in economically disadvantaged regions in the sense of the Investment Promotion Act through payment into the capital of a Bulgarian business company not less than BGN250 000 where the foreigner is a partner or shareholder and owns at least 50% of the company capital and as a result of the investment new long-term tangible and intangible assets amounting to at least BGN250 000 have been acquired and at least 5 workplaces for Bulgarian citizens have been opened and maintained during the residence period, and that has been certified by the Ministry of Economy.
Temporary residence can be granted to foreigners that have invested an amount not less than BGN600 000 for each foreigner, for acquiring of title of real properties in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria or where the foreigner is the owner of more than 50% of the capital of a Bulgarian business company, and has paid such amount into the capital of the company and as a result of that the company has acquired the title of real properties in the country amounting to that same amount; as of the date of submission of the application for granting of prolonged residence permit the foreigner or the legal entity must have paid that amount in full and it must have been received in a bank account opened with a Bulgarian licensed credit institution, and where the properties have been acquired by loaned funds the outstanding unpaid portion of the loan must not exceed 25%.
You can read more in the investment guide of Bulgaria.
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