Investment Visa Overview

Bulgaria Residency & Citizenship options

Bulgaria's investor program is one of the most popular in Europe. The country offers a number of benefits to investors, including a fast-track citizenship process and a favorable tax regime. If you're looking for Bulgaria residency options, there are a few different ways to go about it. One option is to invest in real estate. This can qualify you for a residency permit if you make a minimum investment. Another option is to apply for an entrepreneur visa. This requires that you have a business plan and meet certain financial criteria. However, it can be a great way to live and work in Bulgaria if you're able to meet the requirements.

Program 1
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Description

    The Bulgarian entrepreneur visa allows individuals to reside in Bulgaria for the purpose of setting up and running a business. The visa is issued for a period of one year and can be renewed for an additional year.

  • Requirements

    Invest in a Bulgarian company in which the Foreigner has invested the amount as capital, resulting in the acquisition of fixed tangible and intangible assets totaling BGN 500,000 and the employment of at least 10 Bulgarian nationals for the duration of the Foreigner's residence in Bulgaria.

  • Validity
    5 years
  • Investment Type
    Active
  • Avg. Processing Time
    2 months (4 if complex application + 2 additional months for dependents)
  • Investment Amount
    500,000BGN
  • Avg. Agent Fee
    N/A
  • Physical Presence Requirement
    None
  • Can family be included?
    No
Program 2
  • Name
    Entrepreneur (Temporary)
  • Description

    The Bulgarian entrepreneur visa allows individuals to reside in Bulgaria for the purpose of setting up and running a business. The visa is issued for a period of one year and can be renewed for an additional year.

  • Requirements

    Invest in economically disadvantaged areas through a Bulgarian company in which the Foreigner has invested BGN 250,000 as capital, and which has acquired fixed tangible and intangible assets totaling BGN 250,000 and employed at least five Bulgarian nationals for the duration of the Foreigner's stay in Bulgaria.

  • Validity
    1y-1y-1y-1y-1y-PR
  • Investment Type
    Active
  • Processing Time
    2 months (4 if complex application + 2 additional months for dependents)
  • Investment Amount
    250,000BGN
  • Avg. Agent Fee
    N/A
  • Physical Presence Requirement
    None, but for permanent residency the applicant should not been absent for more than 30 months.
  • Can family be included?
    Yes
Program 3
  • Name
    Investor program
  • Description

    This is a passive investor program, with a minimum investment amount of 1,000,000BGN.

  • Requirements

    The investor must purchase shares in Bulgarian commercial companies, traded on a regulated Bulgarian market; OR shares and treasury bonds and derivative instruments issued by the State or by municipalities, with a residual maturity of at least six months; OR ownership rights over an isolated part of the property of a Bulgarian commercial company with more than 50 percent state or municipal participation in the capital under the Act on Privatization and Post-privatization Control; OR shares or stoichiometric bonds issued by the State or by municipalities.

  • Validity
    5 years
  • Investment Type
    Passive
  • Processing Time
    2 months (4 if complex application + 2 additional months for dependents)
  • Investment Amount
    1,000,000 BGN
  • Avg. Agent fee
    1,000,000 BGN
  • Physical Presence Requirement
    None
  • Can family be included?
    Yes
Program 4
  • Name
    Investor program-fast track option
  • Description

    This is basically the same as the regular program, except there are additional 1000000BGN required and it allows for a fast-track to citizenship, after only 1 year.

  • Requirements

    The investor must purchase shares in Bulgarian commercial companies, traded on a regulated Bulgarian market; OR shares and treasury bonds and derivative instruments issued by the State or by municipalities, with a residual maturity of at least six months; OR ownership rights over an isolated part of the property of a Bulgarian commercial company with more than 50 percent state or municipal participation in the capital under the Act on Privatization and Post-privatization Control; OR shares or stoichiometric bonds issued by the State or by municipalities.

  • Validity
    1 year
  • Investment Type
    Passive
  • Processing Time
    2 months (4 if complex application + 2 additional months for dependents)
  • Investment Amount
    1000000BGN+1000000BGN
  • Avg. Agent Fee
    N/A
  • Physical Presence Requirement
    None
  • Can Family be included?
    Yes
Program 5
  • Name
    Investor program-Private Shares
  • Description

    Invest in the capital of a Bulgarian firm that is not listed on the Bulgarian stock exchange.

  • Requirements

    Invest a minimum of 6,000,000BGN in a private Bulgarian company.

  • Validity
    5 years
  • Investment Type
    Passive
  • Processing Time
    2 months (4 if complex application + 2 additional months for dependents)
  • Investment Amount
    6,000,000BGN
  • Avg. Agent Fee
    N/A
  • Physical Presence Requirements
    Yes
  • Can family be included?
    Yes
Program 6
  • Name
    Real Estate option
  • Description

    By purchasing internationally renowned real estate, investors can acquire temporary Bulgarian residency under Bulgarian law. The required minimum investment amount is 600,000BGN (approximately 350k USD at the time of writing). This expedites and simplifies the process of obtaining citizenship in an EU member state.

  • Requirements

    For this option, you will have to purchase a property directly by a company.

  • Validity
    1 year. Pattern for PR is 1y-1y-1y-1y-1y-PR. For Permanent Residency, you must not been absent for more than 30 months in this period.
  • Investment Type
    Real Estate
  • Processing Time
    2 months (4 if complex application + 2 additional months for dependents)
  • Avg. Agent Fee
    N/A
  • Physical Presence Requirement
    None
  • Can family be included?
    Yes
Official Government Website
Passport Overview

According to the SovSpot Passport Ranking Index, the Bulgarian passport is presently ranked 18th. It allows entrance to 175 countries without requiring a visa. It is one of the best-ranked passports in the world, with a high mobility score. Bulgarian passport holders can travel to nations including the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and the European Union without a visa. This enables for almost instantaneous travel opportunities all around the world. Bulgarian passport holders, on the other hand, need a visa to visit 54 countries around the world. China, India, and the United States are among the countries that require a visa.

Passport Rank

18

Visa Free Countries

175

Mobility Stats
  • Dual Citizenship Allowed?
    Yes
  • Visa Free Destinations
    134
  • Visa on Arrival
    38
  • Visa Online
    3
  • Visa Required
    13
  • Visa Free Access
    Schengen, UK, Canada, Japan
  • World Surface Area Reachable
    51%
  • Unesco Heritage Sites Access
    41%
Passport Ranking Factors

Bulgaria Passport Visa Free Countries

The number of countries Bulgaria passport holders can enter without a visa (i.e. visa-free countries) and those Bulgaria passport holders can enter by obtaining a visa on arrival (i.e. visa-on-arrival countries) or an electronic travel authorization is added up to determine the Bulgaria passport ranking relative to other global passports (eTA). There are now 134 Bulgaria passport visa-free countries, 38 Bulgaria visa-on-arrival countries, and three eTA destinations. In total, Bulgaria passport holders can visit 175 countries without a visa, via visa on arrival, or using an eTA. As a result, Bulgaria's passport is currently ranked number 18 in the world. Apart from these Bulgaria visa-free and visa-on-arrival countries, there are 54 more countries where Bulgaria passport holders will require a physical visa or an eVisa (i.e. visa required countries).

Citizenship by Descent

Bulgarian Citizenship by Descent

Recent revisions to Bulgaria's citizenship law now permit applications for citizenship by descent up to the third generation. Therefore, you can become a citizen of Bulgaria if your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were citizens.

In addition, the process for applying for Bulgarian citizenship by descent is now more accessible and clear. You must present proof that your forefathers were Bulgarian nationals along with your application. It may take up to two years to obtain a response.

Citizenship by Descent - Details
  • CBD Available?
    Yes
  • Generations
    3
  • Avg. Processing Time (mo.)
    24
  • Avg. Cost
    3500
Citizenship by Descent - Footnotes

Note: Keep in mind that the costs for citizenship by descent applications can vary and depend on many factors, such as:

  • The availability of official documents in different countries (if past family members migrated);
  • The availability of historic documents;
  • Sworn translation costs;
  • Price only includes main applicant, in case of adding children or spouses, this can incur additional costs);
  • Whether or not a genealogist is needed to prove ancestry;
  • Other unforeseen costs.

* In the case of first generation citizenship by descent, we assumed ONLY administration costs, which will be around $100 or less (usually free if application is done in the same country versus foreign embassy or consulate)

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