Location: Southeastern Europe; Capital: Sofia; Time difference: GMT+2; Total Area: 110,879 km2; Population: 7,204,687; Age Demographics: 0-14: 13.8%, 15-64: 68.5%, 65+: 17.7%; Population growth: -0.79%; Languages: Bulgarian: 84.5%, Turkish: 9.6%, Roma: 4.1%, other: 1.8%; Religions: Bulgarian Orthodox: 82.6%, Muslim: 12.2%, other Christian: 1.2%, other: 4%; Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy; Currency: Lev (BGN); Exchange rate: 1.95583 lev = 1 euro; GDP (per capita): BGN 8,735; GDP (purchasing power parity): BGN 68.5 million.


Founded in 2009, the Investor Program for Residence and Citizenship in Bulgaria was implemented following the decisive legislation actions of the Bulgarian government to attract foreign investment and interest in the country. In return, investors and their families obtain a Permanent Residence Permit and become eligible for Bulgarian Citizenship. Bulgaria, one of the newest members of the European Union, offers great advantages for investors who want to gain access to the European way of life.

One of the unique characteristics of this program is the exemption of physical residence required to qualify after 5 years for Bulgarian citizenship.


The statutory procedures for investors in the Residence and Citizenship Program are provided by the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act (FRBA), as well as the regulations for its implementation and the ordinance for the conditions and procedure for issuance of Visa D and of Permanent Residence Permit. The law outlines the framework for entering, residing and exiting from the Republic of Bulgaria for the citizens of non-EU member states.The criteria for candidate’s enrolling in the program are:

  • Non-European Union citizen
  • Valid passport or another substitute foreign-travel document
  • Combined net- worth greater than € 1,000,000, required for the financed investment option by the banks
  • Investment Certificate issued by the Ministry of Finance confirming a direct foreign investment of BGN 1,000,000 (€ 511,292), as per the statutory procedures: in guaranteed governmental bond portfolio under and Investment Agreement for a period of 5 years
  • Certificate to prove the source and origin of the declared and invested funds
  • Proof that the applicant has no criminal record
  • Notarized power of attorneys and Investment Agreement signed in the appropriate Bulgarian Consular service
  • Payment of application fees


Every Investor Immigration Program has its own terms and benefits. Being one of the fastest programs to lead to residence, the Investor Program for Residence and Citizenship in Bulgaria has a number of unique benefits, such as:

  • By investing in Bulgaria, you become a resident of an EU member country
  • Fast track process, 6 to 9 months within legislative framework
  • Special exemption from physical residence enforced with legislation
  • Government approved investment and available financing options from banks
  • Unique benefits towards European citizenship for investors and their families
  • Lowest tax rates and free trade environment within the EU
  • Free movement within Schengen countries after 2011
  • Access to free education in Bulgaria
  • Access to free healthcare in Bulgaria and EU
  • Conditional tax exemption on world income
  • Easier access to visas for non-EU countries
  • Unrestricted right to live, work, study in Europe
  • Access to free education within EU
  • Possibility of visa-free travel to US & Canada
  • Right to own land in any EU country


The statutory procedure for accepted direct foreign investment in the Program includes the purchase of a BGN 1,000,000 (€ 511,292) Guaranteed Governmental Bond Portfolio under an Investment Agreement for a period of 5 years.For a set fee of pre-paid interest, our clients can choose to leverage their capital by choosing the Financed Investment Option allowing delivery of the same Investment Certificate from the Ministry of Finance. In order to comply to the set procedures by the law, CBIS offer the following options for the qualified investors in the program:


The investor deposits the full amount of BGN 1,000,000 (€ 511,292) in the Guaranteed Governmental Bond Portfolio for a period of 5 years. No further payment is required. At the end of the five-year period, the amount BGN 1,000,000 (€ 511,292) is returned to the investor without accrued interest. The Investment is fully guaranteed by the government bonds.


The investor pays the reduced amount of €170,000*. The reduced amount is used to finance a BGN 1,000,000 (€ 511,292) closed five-year term loan from a Bulgarian chartered bank. This loan is initiated and repaid at no further cost to the Investor.

*Applicants who select the Financed Investment Option will have to demonstrate net assets worldwide of more than €1,000,000. This is a requirement from the Bulgarian chartered bank.


The application process for the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program is one of the simplest and fastest compared to other similar programs. The following is an outline of the general steps, which an applicant will follow to obtain Bulgarian permanent residence.

MONTH 1 STEP 1 Submission of file and application fees
STEP 2 Appointment in a Bulgarian Consulate for signing documents
STEP 3 Investment transfer by the main applicant
MONTH 3 STEP 4 Investment Certificate issued from the Bulgarian
Ministry of Finance
STEP 5 Applicant and family will be required to submit to
biometrics at the UK Border Agency, where visa was lodged.
MONTH 5 STEP 6 Visa D granted followed by a 1st trip to
Bulgaria:submission of Application for
Permanent Residence Certificate
MONTH 6-7 STEP 7 Permanent residence approved followed by a
2nd trip to Bulgaria: submission of Application for Bulgarian PR card
STEP 8 Receipt of the Bulgarian PR card
(after 2 weeks from application)

MONTH 6-7 STEP 1 1st appointment at a Bulgarian consulate: Application for Visa D;
MONTH 8-10 STEP 2 Visa D granted followed by a 1st trip to Bulgaria:
submission of Application for Permanent Residence Certificate
MONTH 11-12 STEP 3 Permanent residence approved followed by a 2nd trip to
Bulgaria: submission of Application for Bulgarian PR card
STEP 4 Receipt of the Bulgarian PR card (after 2 weeks from application).

The above timeline is accurate as of January 2011 and is provided for information purposes only. Any changes that may affect applicants’ processing times will not be the legal responsibility of CBIS, as governments can experience large volumes of applications, local authorities can modify required documentation and/or processes, and other factors which are not controlled by CBIS.



According to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, foreign investors who hold a Permanent Residence permit for at least 5 years may apply for Bulgarian Citizenship. To that effect the foreign investor has to, as of the date of filing the application for naturalization and as per Article 12 of the Act:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Has maintained his status of Permanent Resident in the past 5 years
  • Never have been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for a capital offense and has not been accused in criminal proceedings for such a crime unless he has been rehabilitated