The “gods” have gone crazy

More and more applicants for Bulgarian investment citizenship are receiving the following message:

Отказ на Вицепрезидента на Република България. Съгласно писмо № XX-XX-XX от xx.xx.2022 г. от Администрацията на Президента сме уведомени, че на основание § 7 от ПЗР на ЗИ ЗБГ производството по придобиване на българско гражданство следва да се счита за прекратено.

Refusal of the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria. According to letter No. XX-XX-XX dated xx.xx.2022 from the President’s Administration, we have been informed that, on the basis of § 7 of the Transitional and Final Provisions TO THE LAW AMENDING THE LAW ON BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP, the procedure for acquiring Bulgarian citizenship should be considered terminated.

The § 7 of the transitional and final provisions to the law amending the law on Bulgarian citizenship

The controversial § 7 states that the unfinished before the entry into force of this law proceedings for citizenship by investment are terminated.

Unfortunately, this seems to be contradicting basic legal principles. Under the Constitution, Bulgaria is a country ruled by the law. But can the law be applied retroactively and can the rights of the investment citizenship applicants be violated so abruptly? We think not.

The Constitution and the Law on state and municipal liability for damages

Luckily, the Bulgarian Constitution and the relevant legislation allow the applicant to sue the State for damages if the State has acted illegally. And we believe this is clearly the case in this ridiculous situation.

Proving damages is usually difficult. In this case however, the actions of the State are so absurd that the damages of the applicants are more than obvious. We believe, the victims would be able to claim the following:

  1. Interest of 10% p.a. (the legal interest for delays in Bulgaria) for the time the investment has been existing. If an investment has been done in bonds, the coupon of the bonds should be deducted from the 10% interest, as it has (or will be) received by the applicant;
  2. All fees paid for travel costs that is related to the investment citizenship application;
  3. All other fees paid to professionals for the assistance with the citizenship application.

We believe p.1 above should be quite easy to prove in the Court, while p.2 and p.3 will be questioned in the lawsuit as whether these costs have been absolutely necessary for the purposes of the application. Therefore, the citizenship applicants should consider claiming only the interest rates to speed up the procedure.

The Constitutional Court

Constitutional Court Bulgaria
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria (image – https://www.constcourt.bg/bg/Home/Home)

As we expect the amount of lawsuits against the state for damages to increase dramatically, it may be possible that the Constitutional Court be involved at certain stage. We will be doing everything in our competency to work towards declaring the relevant legal texts as non-Constitutional. This should result in the applications of the concerned being re-activated and hopefully approved by the President.

For further assistance if your Bulgarian citizenship application has been terminated under the new law

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with your Bulgarian citizenship application. We will help you file the lawsuit against the state for damages. On average, the damages amount to 200 000 to 300 000 EUR. Hopefully, if the Constitutional Court gets involved, we will have your application re-activated and you will be able to obtain Bulgarian citizenship.

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