Bulgaria: The latest Bill(s) and legal amendments of the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment program. Read more.
"Desire for freedom has no speed limit!" - Bulgarian-Citizenship.org
In theory, one can become Bulgarian citizen by investment in only 12 months from start to end. In reality however, because of processing times for the different procedures, the whole process can take up to 18 months. The usual timeline for the average application is outlined below:
|#Month||Description of the procedures|
|1st||Preliminary due diligence. Personal meeting with the client (in cases when the client requires in-depth legal consultation or when the preliminary due diligence can not be completed otherwise), either in our offices or visit to the client’s home country. Account opening with the selected Bulgarian bank. Selection and purchase of the initial investment of 512 000 EUR. Preparation of the legal citizenship file. Obtaining investment certificate.|
|2nd||Obtaining investor visa "type D" (legally required). We provide full support through the Bulgarian diplomatic missions so the visa is issued in the shortest time possible.|
|3rd||Application for permanent residency (personal presence of the applicant in Bulgaria may be required). Registration in the municipality and in the register. Obtaining permanent residency permission and Bulgarian ID card.|
|4th||Application for permanent residency for the main applicant’s family members (if applicable). As all our clients are registered in pre-approved regions of the capital Sofia, family members can obtain residency status almost instantly.|
|15th||Effecting the second investment tranche by the client in order that the total invested amount to reach 1 024 000 EUR. Certification procedures. Submitting the application for Bulgarian citizenship.|
|17th||Citizenship application approval and issuance of the citizenship decree.|
So how fast is in reality the fast-track Bulgarian citizenship program anyway?
We would say that it is as fast as driving at 140 km/h on a motorway with 140 km/h speed limit (as a matter of fact, this is the actual speed limit to drive on the Bulgarian motorways). Driving slower would be a waste of time, but driving faster is dangerous, fuel consuming and in fact illegal.
So why do we say that?
Simply, because the European Parliament and the European Commission are looking with suspicious eye on any programs that allow obtaining citizenship in less than one year, suggesting that these are "citizenship for sale schemes". In an official resolution, the European Parliament says that EU citizenship should not be for sale at any price, as it criticizes mainly the Cypriot program for its haste and Malta in particular.
The Bulgarian program however, with its reasonable, yet extremely short timeline is being welcomed by the officials, guaranteeing it ultimate perception and sustainability on the highest EU level.