How to become a Bulgarian resident by way of purchasing property for only € 310,000?

Bulgarian law creates the possibility for investors to obtain Bulgarian temporary residence by purchasing real estate which is becoming increasingly well-known internationally. The minimum amount of investment required is approximately € 310,000 (US$ 346,000). This gives you a quick and straightforward path residence in a country that is part of the EU.

Investors can make one of the following alternative investments:

Option 1

Buy a real estate property for a value of € 310,000 (US$ 346,000)(*1) or more. The property must be held directly by the person applying for a resident permit (applicant).  Because of restrictions on the ownership of land by non-European nationals, this option generally requires buying or otherwise owning an apartment, flat, house, or another building or structure.

Option 2

Qualifying requirements:

  1. The applicant becomes a shareholder of a Bulgarian company, holding 50% or more of the shares, and pays in the investment funds as capital of the company.
  2. Using this equity investment, the company acquires real estate of eligible value.

Financing

It is permissible to borrow in order to acquire the property. However, there are some restrictions on how financing must be structured as at the date of a residence application, which we are able to consult applicants on.

Notary involvement

Property can be conveyed only before a Notary. We can represent you at the transfer of property.

Validity

The Bulgarian residence permit issued to an applicant is valid for one year. It may be renewed indefinitely 1 year at a time, as long as the applicant continues to meet the qualifying investment requirements.

Having held the Bulgarian national residence permit for five consecutive years can lead to a long-term resident's EC Residence Permit (*2).

Individuals who have EU long-term resident status may reside freely within the entire EU, are entitled to access to education, recognition of their qualifications and other privileges. A long-term resident can also move freely to a second EU country permanently, subject to certain further requirements.

Family members

Spousеs and children under 18 are eligible for Bulgarian residence following the main applicant’s approval. Their permits are derivative on the investor’s. If an investor’s permit is withdrawn, the associated family members may in some cases stop being eligible residents. If the family has resided together in Bulgaria, family members are then generally able to join the main applicant as residents in a second EU country.

Application process

  1. Application for a Type D visa at a Bulgarian Consulate located in or accredited for one’s country of permanent residence at the time of application. Await visa processing of approx. 2.5 months.
  2. One then applies in person for a residence permit with the immigration authorities in Bulgaria. The authorities are required to issue a decision within 14 days of the date of application, unless they require further evidence.
  3. When the permit is issued, applicants pay a government fee and apply in person for an ID card.

Government Fees as at 20 May 2020

Visa type D - €100 (US$ 110)
Residence Permit valid for 1 year - €232 (US$ 260).
Issuance of ID card - the fee can vary depending on the service starting from €20 (US$ 26).

Please contact us for more information at sofia@newbalkanslawoffice.com

Authors: Kamen Shoylev and Nevena Bekyarova

 

(*1) The investment requirement is expressed in Bulgarian leva, and is set in the statute at BGN 600,000. The Bulgarian lev is pegged to the euro, at a rate of exchange of 1 euro equals 1.95583 Bulgarian leva. The lev has moved within a very narrow band around this rate since 1 July 1997, when a currency board was introduced. This is similar to the currency board established in Hong Kong by the HK Monetary Authority.  Bulgaria is committed to and expected to adopt the euro as its currency.

(*2) See EC Directive 2003/109/EC and in particular Chapter III.



Recent work:

€20m multi-jurisdiction litigation unwinding of foreign investors’ property investment

NBLO has been advising and representing a consortium of Danish and UK based investors on a €20m unwinding of their investment, involving multiple jurisdictions and a fairly complex piece of litigation.

© New Balkans Law Office 2020