In fact, did the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program (Bulgarian CIP) ever existed? No matter how stupid this question may sound to the ones in the knowing, its being asked more and more in the recent months.

Citizenship of Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus

Since the end of 2018, news are being spread around the world that the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment program has been cancelled, or that it will be cancelled anytime soon. So is this true?

The short answer is… NO

The long answer is again a sound and resounding: NO – the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program has NOT been cancelled

We have written many articles on the topic in the course of 2019 already. We recommend you checking the latest on the draft amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program carefully (video).

Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment – the thorn in the flesh of the international citizenship agents

thorn

The Bulgarian CIP has long been the program that all international immigration and citizenship agents simply hate! Because it is affordable, both with regard to the required investment amount and also the very low fees. The Bulgarian CIP is nowhere to be compared to the other EU alternatives – those of Malta and Cyprus (there are no other EU options, lets be very clear about that). We urge you to read the comparison of the Bulgarian vs Maltese and the Bulgarian vs Cypriot investment citizenship programs. Please bear in mind however that the Cypriot comparison doesn’t even take into account the recent increase of the cost of the Cypriot CIP.

The Bulgarian CIP is so affordable that there is very little money to be made from it – the real problem for the Bulgarian CIP marketing

The Bulgarian CIP is so affordable that even large agents, such as Henley and Partners (who otherwise offer everything you can think of) have been avoiding the Bulgarian CIP and are keeping it off their books. They prefer selling their Cypriot and Maltese programs, alongside with the many Caribbean and ocean islands immigration options. Our clients have reported that virtually all international citizenship agents deny to provide services for the Bulgarian CIP. The most common “reason” that is given is that “the Bulgarian program doesn’t work“. Simple and indeed discouraging. And don’t get us wrong – this didn’t start after the rumors for the “end of the Bulgarian CIP” from 2018. This has been always the case.

The Bulgarian CIP is so easy and so affordable. If the world knew more about it, all other European CIP’s would have simply ceased to exist.

Mr Wong, China – applicant for Bulgarian citizenship by investment

The international citizenship agents strike again – through FAKE NEWS!

fake news Bulgarian citizenship

So the rumors start flowing at full speed now – the Bulgarian program (that never worked before) has been now suddenly put to a hold. Pure fake news! But it is effective, quite effective.

No wonder that the international citizenship agents are as furious as they can be against the Bulgarian CIP. The Maltese CIP is virtually put to a hold – the amount of rejections tends to reach 98% now, and the cost of the Maltese program is already one million Euro. And now when the conditions of the Cypriot CIP have been tightened enormously, the Bulgarian CIP seems to be the only feasible choice. But the Bulgarian citizenship program is cheap – meaning not much money can be made from it. So what remains for the international agents? To discredit the Bulgarian CIP and keep on pushing Malta and Cyprus (no matter how expensive) and their other tiny islands solutions.

And to be honest, the international agents are doing “good job”.

Virtually all of our clients, especially those who are soon to become Bulgarian citizens, have been at one point advised not to trust the Bulgarian CIP….. because it doesn’t work. So they have been told. But the Bulgarian CIP works like a charm! And while Russian oligarchs are being rejected in Malta, no matter how much they are willing to pay, those who have started the Bulgarian application are already enjoying the freedom of living with EU passport!

The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program – obviously the best (if not already the only) choice within the EU

But why are there (much) more clients who apply for citizenship of Malta and Cyprus than there are for Bulgarian citizenship?

Lack of marketing and publicity for the Bulgarian CIP

The first and most obvious reason is that the CIP’s of Malta and Cyprus, being so expensive, allow for the citizenship agents to market them very aggressively. Not only the agents, but also the governments of Malta and Cyprus have invested heavily in the marketing of their citizenship programs. Bulgaria unfortunately has chosen to provide much better conditions, but the trade-off is that there is no marketing for the Bulgarian CIP.

Misinformation from the citizenship agents

The international citizenship agents have been actively trying to “convince” their clients that citizenship of certain EU country (ie Malta) implies living (spending ones future) in this particular country. So the more “attractive” this country is perceived, the more value for its citizenship.

All EU passports provide equal living rights in all EU member states

No matter what EU citizenship one has, he is allowed to reside unrestricted in any EU country. Bulgarian passport holder has the very same rights in Malta as the locals – no strings attached. This is the founding principle of the European Union.

Malta and Cyprus are better place to live in than is Bulgaria (not that it matters, bearing in mind the equal citizens’ rights EU-wide, as explained above)

It doesn’t really matter at all which EU passport one holds as the EU living rights in all member states are unlimited and unconditional. Still, many Maltese citizenship applicants (dreamers) envisage Malta as a country of the rich and noble….

Malta rich society
Malta (The Knights of Malta), as imagined by most citizenship candidates

…while the country is really more like (not that it matters at all)…..

Malta poverty
The reality in most of the places in Malta (common view, street of Sliema)

And what about the reality in Bulgaria?

Not that it matters of course (EU living rights everywhere), but Bulgaria is often being imagined as a poor eastern European country, hidden somewhere between Turkey and Romania. The country’s communist past doesn’t add much to its prestige. Mainly the Russian are those who just kinda can’t accept that the Bulgarian passport is of the same quality as those of Malta and Cyprus. In fact, in terms of visa-free travel worldwide, the Bulgarian passport outranks the Cypriot one.

The Bulgarian passport is already scoring higher than the Cypriot passport in terms of visa-free travel worldwide!

Still, Bulgaria is often being depicted in the minds of many (what a delusion indeed) like …..

Bulgaria in the past - Tsarevo
Tsarevo – Bulgarian seaside village at the beginning of the XX century

while the reality today is very, very different….

Bulgarian restaurant
Tsarevo, Bulgaria – today

Epilogue

No matter what you will decide (in terms of citizenship by investment choice), we will never try to bring down the quality of the Cypriot and the Maltese passport. What we would really appreciate from our colleagues though is not spreading rumors about the Bulgarian CIP. Such rumors are most of all directed against the customers, who we believe, should have the right to take informed decision.

Citizenship by investment is a complex process that will ultimately lead to the client’s life being changed forever (for the better). We do our utmost in doing this process as hassle-free as possible.

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