How to obtain citizenship for merits in Bulgaria in 2022
Bulgarian citizenship for special merits becomes the hot ticket in 2022
This is largely due to the uncertain future of the investment citizenship in Bulgaria and the EU. It also appeared that Bulgaria has lately issued more passports for merits than for investment. This definitely shows that the special merit citizenship is becoming more and more popular. It is also much more sustainable, as most countries in the EU have similar programs and it is extremely unlikely they will ever become “toxic”, as is the case with the investment citizenship.
EU investment citizenship under fire
The EU investment citizenship scene was seriously shaken in 2021-2022. The EU Commission has made clear that “EU citizenship is not for sale“. With that motto, the EU national authorities have taken steps to seriously limit the possibilities for obtaining of investment citizenship. Bulgaria remained virtually the last EU member state to provide this option. But with the change in power in Bulgaria, after new parliament was elected in late 2021, the future of the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program looks uncertain.
Before continuing, please be sure to read our article that explains almost everything about the special merits citizenship.
How realistic are your chances to obtain Bulgarian passport for special merits
This is the one million dollar question. It all depends on who you are and what you do. It also depends, although in our opinion it shouldn’t, what your nationality is and how it fits in the current political and social climate.
The Bulgarian Minister(s) – the most important figure in the whole process
The procedure entails, most importantly, that one of the Bulgarian ministers makes an official proposal that you become Bulgarian citizen. The relevant minister must back up his proposal, explaining why Bulgaria will benefit if you become citizen. Alternatively, the minister may justify his proposal if he shows that you have already done something that is of value for Bulgaria.
What can we do for you if you want to qualify for citizenship for merits
First of all, we will immediately tell you if you have realistic chances to obtain Bulgarian citizenship by merits. We will of course need to thoroughly study your situation and your potential. Based on our findings, in case we agree to assist you for a realistic application, we will offer you two basically different approaches:
Fixed advance fee
If this is the case, we will offer you full assistance for a fixed fee, payable upfront. We will prepare your application and will do all the work, so that your merits become known to the most relevant to your field of expertise minister. Once the formal proposal is made, we will guide you through the whole process until you obtain your Bulgarian citizenship and passport.
In such case, you will need pay nothing in advance2. You will pay significantly higher fee than with option #1, but only after your citizenship decree is issued by the vice-president3. For you this means virtually zero risk. We will do all the work and will only get paid when you put the Bulgarian passport in your pocket.
1 the percentage (currently set at 80%) may vary, based on different factors; 2 in some cases, a very small advance fee may be charged to cover administrative costs and comply with the minimal lawyers remuneration ordinance; 3 we may legally require certain guarantees from the client that he will meet his financial obligation after citizenship is obtained (ie bank guarantee).
Some frequently asked questions
What is the percentage of clients who qualify under option #1 and #2?
At the moment, 22% of those who have been seriously interested to obtain citizenship by merits have qualified under option#1. Only about 0,4% of the applicants have qualified under option #2.
Does the applicant need to make an investment in Bulgaria?
This is not required by the law. However, in some cases, an investment may supplement the client’s portfolio of merits and increase his chances significantly. Any investment should at all times remain on the account of the applicant and be never transferred to any third party.
Can an applicant who qualifies under option #2, apply under option #1?
Yes, in such case the applicant will pay lower fee, but this will be charged upfront.
If an applicant is extremely wealthy, will that increase his chances?
Not necessarily. In some cases, wealth may have negative impact on the eligibility under the special merits route.
Does a client’s membership of the VD&A Gold Club provide certain advantages?
The members of the VD&A Gold Club will be serviced under preferential conditions. Membership in the club doesn’t necessarily mean that the applicant is more likely to be eligible under the special merits route.
For further assistance
If you have any questions about the Bulgarian special merits citizenship, please contact our offices for further details.