The demand by American citizens to obtain Bulgarian passports went parabolic in June 2021. We have seen some waves of strong interests by Americans before, but nothing like the craze from this summer.
How are Americans applying for Bulgarian citizenship
From the different options to obtain Bulgarian passport, the US citizens have basically the following two choices:
Bulgarian citizenship by origin
The citizenship by origin is ideal for those who have Bulgarian roots. Many Bulgarians have immigrated to the USA in the course of the 20th century. Now, with the amendments of the Bulgarian citizenship law of March 2021, people who can trace their Bulgarian origin up to their great-grandparents (three generations) can qualify for Bulgarian citizenship.
It isn’t hard to by imagine how many US citizens can find Bulgarian blood in their family trees. And now they may all become eligible for Bulgarian citizenship by origin under the new legal amendments.
Bulgarian citizenship by investment
Investment citizenship in the EU was shattered in 2020, when the Cypriot citizenship by investment program was cancelled. The Maltese program, the only other option beside the Bulgarian program, was also shaken seriously after the Malta leaks scandal. At the same time, unexpectedly for many, the Bulgarian parliament revamped the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program in March 2021. All this has left the Americans, pretty much like everyone else, with only one option to get fast-track EU passport – the Bulgarian investment citizenship program.
Other routes to obtain Bulgarian citizenship
Of course, the above two options to obtain EU passport are far from being the only ones. There are Americans who are working long time in Bulgaria or are married to Bulgarian spouses. But the timeline to obtain citizenship through standard naturalization is quite long and too bumpy for many (ie Bulgarian language test is required,).
Why do Americans need EU citizenship
There are many reasons why foreign nationals, including Americans, may need EU passports. From our experience though, there are basically two main reasons why American citizens line up to apply for Bulgarian citizenship.
Freedom to settle anywhere in the EU
This is definitely the greatest historical achievement of the EU. The ultimate freedom to settle down, work and live in more than 30 countries worldwide is only available to EU citizens. And indeed, with Bulgarian passport, one can live permanently not only in the 27 EU member states, but also in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, as well as in some EU overseas territories. So we can’t blame the Americans for willing to have access to such treasure of freedom. If they want to live in France or Germany for example, they don’t even need French or German citizenship – the Bulgarian passport is as good as the local passports.
Taxation in the USA is notorious. America is the country that introduced the idea of worldwide taxation, irrespectively of the taxpayer’s residence. And many Americans are being bothered by this concept. We are in no way suggesting that getting EU citizenship will liberate the Americans from their tax burden in their home country. On the contrary, we advocate that US citizens, much alike all other citizens, should be ultra compliant when it comes to paying taxes, in both their home countries and abroad. Still, Americans get much more options to legally optimize their taxes when they hold EU passport too.
Representative office in California, USA
As the demand from the USA for Bulgarian citizenship has been constantly rising in recent years, we are working on the possibility of opening a representative office in CA. Unfortunately, the covid lockdown delayed our plans somewhat. We hope though that by the end of this year, the representative office will be fully set up and running. This will enable our valued US customers, with emphasis on the VD&A Gold Club members, to be serviced better from within the USA.