Permanent Residence in Bulgaria

Bulgaria (officially the Republic of Bulgaria) is a country in Southern Europe. Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romania to the north, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea defines the extent of the country to the east. Bulgaria’s capital city and largest settlement is Sofia, with a permanent population of 1,378,000 people. In 1945, after World War II, Bulgaria became a communist state and was a part of the Eastern Bloc until the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989/1990, when the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections and Bulgaria undertook a transition to parliamentary democracy and free-market capitalism with mixed results. Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and a founding state of the OSCE, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.743, ranking 58th in the world in 2010.

Permanent Residence for Investment Program

Full Cash Option. The investor deposits BGN 1,000,000 (approximately EUR 512,000) 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 is returned to the investor with no accrued interest. The Investment fully guaranteed by the government bonds.

Loan Option. The investor pays a reduced amount of EUR 180,000. The reduced amount is used to finance a 1,000,000 BGN loan from a Bulgarian chartered bank. This loan is initiated and repaid at no further cost to the Investor. So, the amount of EUR 180,000 is not returned to the investor at the end of the five year period as it is so called walk-away route of investment.

Benefits and Advantages on the Permanent Residence Scheme:

Investor and all his family members (wife and minor children) get Permanent Residence in Bulgaria. Permanent residence gives the same rights as BG citizens, except voting. We would like to remind our readers that normally (without investment of BGN 1,000,000) foreigner must obtain temporary residence permit in Bulgaria, renew it annually, and only after 5 years or residence is entitled to apply for permanent residency.

Government guaranteed investment. Loan options of investment are available.

Five years after maintaining the residency entitled you to apply for citizenship of Bulgaria.

No physical residence required for Main Applicant and dependents. Physical residency is waived for qualified investors.

Relatively fast (from two to three months) application process.

Opportunity to become resident of the European Union. Easy access to EU countries – novisa requirement.

Holding a residence visa also enable the applicants to enter and leave the country as many times as they wish without visas.

Free education and medical system throughout EU.

Lowest taxation in EU and special exemption for immigration through investment applicants.

Special Note:

 Permanent Residence is issued within a few months of application submission. In order to maintain permanent residence, the Investor must be present 180 days per year over 5 years. Once status is obtained, however, the Investor can request a special exemption for physical residency requirement. After the 5 years, everyone is eligible to apply for citizenship. Moreover, for serious investors and philanthropists it is possible to obtain Bulgarian citizenship for special services rendered to Bulgaria or for special contribution, and without preliminary acquiring Permanent Residence.


Immigration to Bulgaria. Duration of stay. Permanent stay. Citizenship.

Today Bulgaria is a country of great attraction for foreigners who choose a new place to live. The mild climate, rich history and culture, easily-comprehended local language – especially for the Russians, together with the stable economic situation – all this attracts to Bulgaria not only compatriots but many Europeans. 

Immigration to Bulgaria has lately become very popular.  On the 1-st of January 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union and the people who have been issued a permanent stay permit in Bulgaria have also all possible perspectives to live and make business the way they exist in the civilized European societies. 

The rules for entering and the conditions for stay in Bulgaria that apply to foreigners are settled by the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria. By virtue of its provisions foreigners shall have the right to stay in the Republic of Bulgaria either for a short or long term. 

Short-term stay is defined to have duration of 90 days as from the date of entering the country. It applies to tourist travels, visits related to personal or business invitations, transit, or the administrative travel defined by the law.  Short-term stay is allowed on the grounds of a visa that is issued by the relevant Bulgarian Consular Department. Tourist vouchers, personal or business invitations, duly certified by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, serve as a ground for visa issuance. Visas needed to enter Bulgaria are issued by the Bulgarian Embassy in Moscow and by the General Consular Departments in Novosibirsk and Ekaterininburg. 

Long-term stay is defined to have duration for more than 90 days. It may be continuous (referred to as CLS) – with stay that is permitted for up to a whole year and permanent (referred to as PLS) – where the stay that is permitted is not defined in terms of duration.  Long-term stay may be permitted on the grounds of any of the provisions given in art.24 and art.25 of the Law on Foreigners. 

Issuance of visas for long-term stays shall be always complied with the Department for administrative control on foreigners. 

CLS status in Bulgaria entitles you with the following rights:

Visa-free entry and stay in the country within the term of validity of the status;
Conducting business through your own company;
University and High school education;
Obtaining PLS status after full 5 years have expired  and grant of a local citizenship (due to naturalization – in case of stay with the statute of a permanent long-term stay foreigner for more than 5 years);
Getting visas for all countries members of the Schengen agreement.
The holder of CLS statute gets a personal number of a foreigner (PNF). Each year CLS may be extended if you confirm the grounds upon which it was initially granted.

PLS status in Bulgaria entitles you with the following rights:

Visa-gree entry and unrestricted in terms of duration stay in the country;
Conducting business through your own company or being hired;
Finishing your education and getting the relevant degree the way local Bulgarians do;
Receiving  Bulgarian citizenship after the expiry of 5 full years of stay with PLS statute;
Getting visas for all countries members of the Schengen agreement without needing to provide invitations and tourist vouchers for 1 day.
The holder of PLS statute gets a personal identity number (PIN).

The rights of long-term stay of a foreigner will not be granted or will be suspended in the following events: 

1. For the past calendar year the person stayed within the territory of Bulgaria less than 6 months and 1 day. 
2. Has married a Bulgarian citizen or a foreigner who has already been granted with a long-stay permit, and this has happened with the only goal to avoid the applicable legislation that regulates the regime of the stay of foreigners in Bulgaria. The decision in such case shall be taken by the Department for administrative control on foreigners. 

The following circumstances will be considered: 

The fact that the members of the family live separated;
No contribution to the obligations imposed by matrimony;
The fact that the members of the family did not know each other before the marriage;
Provision of controversial personal data for the other member of the family (name, address, citizenship, occupation), regarding the circumstances related to the meeting when they first met each other or any other important personal information;
The fact that the members of the family speak different languages which are not fluent to both of them;
Payment of additional money before solemnizing the marriage which may not be referred to the generally-accepted gifts and traditions;
If, it has become evident that the person got married before with the sole purpose to avoid the applicable legislation that regulates the regime of the stay of foreigners in Bulgaria.

The data given above may be obtained (proved) on the basis of an application filed by third parties whose interests have been affected or after an investigation made by the relevant investigating authorities. The Department for administrative control on foreigners will carefully listen to the explanation of all parties upon such conflict. 

Foreigners who have entered the territory of Bulgaria on certain ground may not be extended the term of their stay on any other ground that differs from the initial, except in urgency or a marriage with a Bulgarian citizen has been solemnized.