Citizens of which countries will be placed under the x-ray by the authorities during their application for Bulgarian citizenship in 2020? Why is having legal and suitable residential address so vital in 2020? What is considered to be a “bond” with the country? For the answers of all these questions, scroll down and read carefully.

Bulgarian Passport 2020

Bond (connection) with the country – the thing that will matter most in 2020

A lot has been said about the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment program. Many rumors have been spread, mainly by the agents who are marketing the Cypriot and the Maltese CBI. Luckily, the Bulgarian program is up and running full speed and if any legal changes are to be made, they should not impact neither the investment amount required (1 024 000 EUR) nor the time-frame of the application process (about 18 months).

the Bulgarian program is up and running full speed…

Legal compliance flag raised to its maximum in 2020

Since 2019, all EU citizenship by investment programs are being put under enormous pressure by the European Commission. Malta has decided to simply reject the vast majority of all applications by raising the due diligence requirements to unprecedented levels. Cyprus has introduced hefty donation requirements, enhanced due diligence and even quotas for its CBI program. Bulgaria in turn has tightened enormously its regulations in terms of AML (anti money laundering) regulations and KYC (know your customer) requirements.

Bulgaria is doing its very best to convince the EU regulators that the Bulgarian CBI is NOT a passport for sale scheme.

Therefore, it is essential for each and every Bulgarian CBI applicant to show real bond with the country, not merely its desire to get hold of an EU passport

Things to watch for and comply for 100% in 2020

So what are the most important conditions in 2020, that the applicant has to take special care of during the citizenship procedure?

Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations

Bulgaria has introduced new AML legislation with enhanced procedures and tightened requirements. Candidates for Bulgarian citizenship by investment are now being screened much more carefully. Our company’s reputation and legal expertise can guarantee the successful outcome for all qualifying candidates.

Due diligence and background checks

Citizens under the loupe

The due diligence procedures that need to be carried out from 2020 onward are much more complicated and far reaching than they were in 2019. The background checks of the applicants are more throughout and the authorities need to be convinced for 100% in the clean background of all applicants. We have dedicated a special department unit that is now assisting with the due diligence procedures in order to ensure positive results for all our clients.

For many HNW and UHNW clients, it is often necessary for our lawyers to travel and visit the clients “on-site” in order to prepare assuring due diligence report and assist the authorities to process the application without any delays.

Citizens of the following countries are considered to pose “higher than average risk” in 2020, so legal compliance with their applications should be ultra high:

  • Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya;
  • All citizens who have previously obtained second citizenship of countries like Vanuatu, St. Kitts, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia, Dominica, Anguilla.

Bond with the country – the most important in 2020

Bulgarian citizenship is not for sale. This is the position of the Bulgarian government and all applicants are expected to demonstrate certain bond with Bulgaria. Yet, nobody is required to make any donation to charities or social funds, as is the case in Malta and Cyprus. However, certain engagement with the country’s society and social life should be ensured, such as:

  • Having acceptable and suitable residential address in the country. This is probably the most important prerequisites of all. The best way forward is of course investing in acquiring real estate in Bulgaria, however an adequate rental arrangement will also be acceptable. Please read more about the expectations of the government and the legal requirements when arranging your residency premises in Bulgaria – Bear in mind also that since the day of posting of the referenced article (June 2019), the requirements have become much stricter so observing them is vital;
  • Registering a company or, even better, an NGO in Bulgaria. This option is not as important as the residential address requirement, however it may be a nice add-on. Showing social or even business engagement in Bulgaria will definitely play a positive role on the citizenship application;
  • Applying for permanent residency of the dependents of the main applicant, even before they are eligible for citizenship. This will show to the authorities that the candidate’s children are intending to spend some time in the country rather than get the Bulgarian passport and head to another EU member state.

Expediting the citizenship application

Can your application be expedited (legally) in order to obtain your citizenship faster than the average applicant?

Alongside with the increased requirements for legal compliance, it is now possible to legally achieve faster processing of ones application. The authorities may be bureaucratic, but certain legal pressure can be applied and as a result, your application will not get stuck in the pile of documents to be processed “tomorrow”. We are in position, exclusively for our Gold Members, to provide this service and to outperform 99% of all regular applications. This can be especially important for customers who have set certain goals and need to have EU citizenship by certain date. Please contact us or email us directly at


  1. Very interesting facts about Bulgaria Residency and citizenship programs. I am keen to talk with someone on a personal level

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