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"Love risk when making money. Hate risk when investing money." - Robert Rolih
Probably the most unique virtue of the Bulgarian fast-track citizenship program is its absolute safety in terms of protection of the investment - both from purely speculative perspective, but even more importantly, from legal point of view.
While the required investment capital of 1 024 000 EUR (or 512 000 EUR for the semi fast-track option) is almost always referred to as "investment", in reality it is merely a "net worth requirement". By the most widely accepted definitions, "an investment is a monetary asset purchased with the idea that the asset will provide income in the future or will be sold at a higher price for a profit". It is also accepted that an investment correlates with risk - like the investment citizenship program of Cyprus for example that requires the "would be citizen" to invest in selected real estate properties on the island. So why is the Bulgarian program different and what makes it better in terms of capital protection?
Investment or net worth requirement? The Bulgarian fast-track citizenship program provides both options.
As explained in the main section describing the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment, the required capital can be invested in Bulgarian government bonds, Bulgarian shares, trust account with Bulgarian bank, etc. As the first two options are utilized most frequently, and for ease of explanation, we will be using them as example.
Bulgarian shares traded on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (investment)
This option fits precisely under the term "investment". It provides unlimited upward potential, but is also subject to volatility and even capital loss. It has the advantage of being 100% transparent, the value of the portfolio can be monitored in real time via the internet, attracts very low banking fees and no taxes. On top of all that, the investment in Bulgarian shares is 100% liquid as it is traded on regulated stock exchange. In stark contrast would be an investment in real estate (as is for example the case with the citizenship program in Cyprus), where the investor is subject to VAT, notary and other taxes, huge spread on buy-sell price offers, complete lack of transparency and is most importantly – extremely non-liquid (it can take many years before the right buyer is found).
Bulgarian government bonds (net-worth requirement)
Bulgarian government bonds (Eurobonds) are the safest way to store money and we therefore consider them to be a savings instrument rather than an investment one. The option of purchasing these bonds for the purposes of the Bulgarian fast-track citizenship program can be seen as a net-worth requirement of the Bulgarian government in order to ascertain that the citizenship candidate has the adequate resources to become EU citizen. It is in no way an investment in the pure meaning of the word as it doesn’t involve neither risk, nor an expectation for investment return that is greater than the return from bank deposits. At the same time, government bonds are much, much safer than bank deposits as they are unconditionally backed by the relevant EU government, rather than by a single commercial bank.
Legal protection of the investment capital - something you must know!
The Bulgarian fast-track citizenship program provides yet another unique financial protection for the citizenship candidate. The investment capital will never be taken out of the account of the applicant. All the money and investment products purchased (shares, bonds, etc.) will at all time remain under the full and exclusive control of the investor. At no time will the investment be transferred to any attorney, government agency, etc. If you are ever requested to move your investment capital to an account of someone else (an agent for example), we recommend you to immediately seek competent legal advice and report fraud. You can also read our section word of caution for more details on this and similar scams.