BULGARIA

Name of country

  • BULGARIA

Region

  • Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

Population

  • 6,919,180 (July 2021 est.)

General Introduction

  • Bulgaria may be a small gem in Eastern Europe, but the Balkan country has a consistent (but quiet) reputation for granting non-Europeans a permanent residence permit and even an EU passport. Citizenship By Investment Bulgaria is an enticing scheme, to say the least. Applicants and their family members are immediately rewarded with EU residency and, later, European citizenship if they first make a qualifying investment in the country.

Wifi Speed

  • The average download speed in Bulgaria is 33.5 Mbps and the average upload speed is 22.8 Mbps.

Electrical outlet

  • In Bulgaria, the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Per Capita GDP 

Real GDP per capita

  • $22,400 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
  • $23,200 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)
  • $22,200 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

Climate

  • temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Citizenship-by-Investment

  • Bulgaria's citizenship program is a hybrid residence-to-citizenship scheme (also known as the golden visa), which allows foreign investors to obtain a permanent residence permit before becoming a Bulgarian citizen in just two years. You and your family members can live, work, and study in a European country, with visa-free access to the entire EU, provided you make an investment.

Investment

  • Bulgaria has a two-step procedure for obtaining citizenship and a Bulgarian passport. Applicants must first apply for the Permanent Residency Programme by investing €512,000 in one of several investment fund vehicles. The PR process takes about six months to complete. Shortly after their residency application has been approved, applicants can proceed to the citizenship stage by investing an additional €512,000. The total timeframe is approximately 18 months, making it one of the quickest ways to obtain citizenship in an EU country.

BULGARIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCY INVESTMENT

  • Bulgaria offers permanent residency through an investment of €512,000 (BGN 1 million) into a choice of investment funds that must be held for a period of five years. At the end of the five-year period, the funds can be withdrawn and returned to the investor. Bulgarian stocks, exchange-traded funds, private equity, venture capital or hedge funds, and/or REITs are all eligible investments for the programme.

BULGARIA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT

  • After 5 years, Bulgarian residency investors can apply for Bulgarian citizenship. It is also possible to expedite the citizenship option within 18 months by increasing the investment amount by €512,000.

Processing Time

  • Between 4 to 5 months.

Key Benefits

  • Bulgarian passport

With a Bulgaria passport, enjoy visa-free access to over 160 countries, including the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, the British Virgin Islands, Japan and the entire European Union. As a resident in Bulgaria, you can also apply for the USA E2 visa, which allows you to live and work in the US. 

  • Family members qualify for Bulgaria golden visa

Your spouse of at least five years and dependent children (unmarried and under the age of 18) qualify for the same permanent residence and citizenship benefits.

  • Unlimited access to the EU

Live, work, and study anywhere in the European Union with a Bulgaria passport.

  • Exciting investment projects on offer

As an investor, you can choose from six different types of investment projects that are all government-approved. 

  • Dynamic market in an EU country

With Bulgarian citizenship, you have instant access to the country’s leading science and technology scene, along with its strong logistics sector. 

Requirements

Thanks to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, the eligibility guidelines for obtaining the Bulgarian investor visa are quite straightforward.

  • You must be over 18 years old
  • Be a non-EEA citizen
  • Hold a clean criminal record and be a non-criminal offender
  • Pass medical tests
  • Have enough funds to make the necessary investment
  • Provide proof as to where the funds come from
  • The investment must be maintained for at least five years.

Procedures and Time Frame

Go through the pre-approval process

The Bulgarian Investment Agency will implement a due diligence check in March 2021 to ensure the source of funding for the investment is legitimate. A criminal background certificate, information on the applicant's professional background, proof of ID, and proof that the applicant has the funds to make the investment are all required documents.

  • Make the investment

Your investment must be made in Bulgarian Lev, and you have three options for financing. You can fund the capital yourself, through the Bulgarian government, or through an outside source. What is important is to demonstrate that the funds were obtained legally.

  • Get your certificate

Following that, you must obtain an official confirmation certificate from the Investment Agency. This is a document that allows you to apply for an investor visa.

  • Apply for an investor visa

To apply for citizenship through investment, you must first obtain an investment visa from your nearest Bulgarian embassy or consulate. With this visa, you can apply for a Bulgarian permanent residence card.

  • Become a permanent resident

Submit all required documentation and obtain your permanent resident card. You will also be given your TIN (Tax Identification Number, locally known as EGN).

  • Bulgarian citizenship

There are two options for applying for citizenship. You can take the Regular Track, which requires you to be a permanent resident for five years before applying for citizenship. You can also choose Fast Track, but you must first double your investment to €1,024,000 before you can apply for citizenship after only one year of being a permanent resident.

Natural Resources

  • bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land

Ethnic Groups

  • Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Romani 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)

note: Romani populations are usually underestimated in official statistics and may represent 9–11% of Bulgaria's population

Languages

  • Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Romani 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.)

Religion

  • Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim 7.8%, other (including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Jewish) 1.7%, none 3.7%, unspecified 27.4% (2011 est.)

Median Age

  • total: 43.7 years
  • male: 41.9 years
  • female: 45.6 years (2020 est.)

Urbanization

  • urban population: 76% of total population (2021)
  • rate of urbanization: -0.28% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Physician density

  • 4.03 physicians/1,000 population (2015)

Government type

  • parliamentary republic

 Unemployment Rate

  • 5.66% (2019 est.)
  • 6.18% (2018 est.)

Taxes

Headline Personal Income Tax Rate (highest marginal tax rate) 

  • 10% + 18% social security fund tax

Headline Corporate Income Tax Rate (excluding dividend taxes)

  • 10% (+ 5% on distribution of profit)

Tax rate for Bulgarians is 10% regardless of their income and whether they live and work in Bulgaria or abroad. Self-employment income is also charged with 10% tax. Non-resident individuals are taxed only on their income from sources in Bulgaria. The tax rate is 10%.

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