The Bulgarian legislation provides significant advantages for foreign investors in Bulgaria concerning investors’ business activities in the country and their personal status as individuals with foreign citizenship.
The Statutory Procedures for Investors in the Residency and Citizenship Program are provided by the Act for Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria (AFRB), as well the Regulations for its implementation and the Ordinance for the conditions and procedure for issuance of visas. This law gives the framework for entering, residing and exiting in and from the Republic of Bulgaria to the citizens of non – EU Members.
The application for the Bulgaria EU Investor Program must include the following legalized documents in English, alongside with a Bulgarian translation.
- Application for Permanent Residency and Visa D;
- Passport with applicable visa;
- Proof of paid application fees;
- Curriculum vitae of Main Applicant;
- Two photographs of the Main applicant;
- Investment Certificate issued by the Ministry of Finance for the amount of 511 292 €;
- Proof of personal net worth of over 1 000 000 €, if Main Applicant chooses financing option for the Investment (this is a requirement of the chartered Bulgarian Bank financing the investment of 511 292 €);
- Statement of the Source of Funds;
- Power of Attorneys and Investment Agreements have to be notarized in the appropriate Bulgarian Consulate or Embassy or to be certified by a Notary;
- Proof that the applicant has no criminal record.
The statutory term for issuance of a Permanent Residence Permit is two months after submission of the documents.
Permanent Residence Permit is issued by the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior. It entitles its holder to enter and exit Bulgaria freely and to reside in the country for indefinite period of time. The holder also receives a Bulgarian Identity Card, Personal Identity Number and address of residence.
Please note that all applicants for the Investor Program are subject to thorough checks by Interpol, Europol and other anti-crime organizations. A pre-requisite of the Program is that all applicants must have a crime free record and must not be subject of ongoing criminal proceedings.
Once the Permanent Residence Permit is obtained trough the foreign investment of 511 292 € as per the Bulgarian law and legislation, the foreign investor can benefit from a special exemption for physical residency requirement from the statutory 180 days per year over 5 years as per the Art 40. par.5 of the Act for Foreigners in Republic of Bulgaria (AFRB).
The foreign investor who holds a Permanent Residence permit for at least 5 years may apply for Bulgarian Citizenship according to the Act on Bulgarian Citizenship. To that effect the Foreign Investor has to, as of the date of filing the application for naturalization and as per Article 12 of the Act: be major; maintain his status of Permanent Residence, not been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for a capital offense and has not been accused in criminal proceedings for such a crime unless he has been rehabilitated.
Foreign citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship not subject to the provisions of Article 12 if the Republic of Bulgaria has an interest in his/her naturalization or if the person concerned has made a special contribution to the Republic of Bulgaria in social and economic spheres, or in the field of science, technology, culture or sports. Bulgarian Citizenship is granted personally by the President of the Republic by virtue of a President Decree issued on the grounds of a special well-founded proposal of the Minister of Justice after the completion of a statutory procedure.
The below step-by-step process and associated timeline are based on the legal framework that needs to be followed for permanent residence for a foreign investor. Below the outlined timeline by combining current processing times of local government institutions with the ones experienced by our previous clients.
PHASE I – MAIN APPLICANT
||File Preparation and Submission, Application Fees payment
||Appointment in a Bulgarian Consulate for document signing
||Investment transfer by the Main Applicant
||Investment Certificate is issued
||2nd appointment at a Bulgarian Consulate:
– Application for Visa D
||Visa D granted, followed by a 1st trip to Bulgaria:
– Submission of Application for Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC)
||Permanent residence approved, followed by a 2nd trip to Bulgaria:
– Submission of Application for Bulgarian PR card
||Receipt of Bulgarian PR Card (3 days after application)
PHASE II – FAMILY MEMBERS
|Once the main applicant is issued the Bulgarian ID document, the procedure for the qualifying family members is launched.The process may take up to 2.5 months in total, and includes two mandatory trips to Bulgaria of each qualifying family member. After the 2.5 months, the family members are issued Bulgarian ID documents as well.
The above timeline is an estimate based on our experience with previous clients and is provided for information purposes only. Any changes that may occur, which may or may not affect an applicant’s processing, will not be the responsibility of us. Governments can experience large volumes of applications, local authorities can modify required documents and/or processing delays, are some of the factors that may affect timings. Processing times will vary depending on where the application has been filed.
We can provide a specific timeline on an individual basis, depending on the visa office they will be applying through. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what the timeline will be for You.