Investment in a limited liability company as a way to Bulgarian citizenship

3 April 2024

Private Clients, Citizenship and Immigration, Citizenship by Investment

In 2013 several investment-related routes were introduced in Bulgarian nationality law. These allow an investor to obtain permanent residence and subsequently apply for Bulgarian citizenship in a privileged manner.

Тhe investment of approximately EUR 257,000 in a Bulgarian company may be a relatively low-risk way of becoming an EU citizen.

Between 2014 and 2019 approx. 50 applicants have qualified on this basis.

Qualifying investment

To qualify, an investor must:

  1. Pay into the capital of a Bulgarian company EUR 257,000 or more;
  2. Be a shareholder with no less than 50% share of the capital.

As a result, the company must:

  1. acquire new long-term tangible and intangible assets with a value of EUR 257,000 or more;
  2. create 10 jobs for Bulgarian citizens.

Issuance of a certificate by the Ministry of Economy

The Ministry of Economy (MoE) certifies the investment for the purpose of residence. The Company is required to present justification of the investor’s need of residence, to complete and maintain the investment.

The investment certification process may take 30 days from application. The required documents vary depending on the investment, however the following are required in principle:

  1. A document certifying the value and type of the investment. This must report the expenses for the acquisition of new long term tangible or intangible assets by the company, that follow in time the share subscription and must be certified by an auditor;
  2. A document certifying the employment of 10 Bulgarian citizens;
  3. Declaration for the source(s) of funds;
  4. A photocopy of the applicant’s passport;
  5. A CV of the applicant.

There is no government fee associated with the procedure. 

Pros of this form of investment

  • The investor is able to choose the project and business form that best suits;
  • A single shareholder limited liability company may be registered in a week;
  • The selection of assets is entirely at the discretion of the investor (provided they are long-term);
  • A low threshold of investment that still leads to citizenship;

Cons of this form of investment

  • Citizenship takes five years of holding a permanent residence;
  • Family members are not expressly included, however other legal provisions assist spouses and under the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, a child of a Bulgarian citizen is eligible to naturalise.

Citizenship stage

Investors may apply for citizenship in 5 years after grant of permanent residence. 

Both the investment and employment must be maintained throughout the process and until grant of citizenship.

How we can help

NBLO can assist with the whole process, including by advising you on the steps and documents for:

  1. Procuring a Certificate for the investment
  2. Applying for visa type D
  3. Applying for a Permanent Residence Permit and obtaining a Bulgarian ID card
  4. Applying for Bulgarian citizenship and obtaining a Bulgarian passport. 

For more information, please contact us via our contact form or at [email protected].

© New Balkans Law Office 2024

The Bulgarian and dual-qualified lawyers of New Balkans Law Office are regulated by the respective Bar of their registration. New Balkans Law Office is a brand name of Legal Services EOOD, a company registered under Bulgarian law. Reg’d No. 202331677. Further details are available here.

© New Balkans Law Office 2024