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

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

In addition to the widely favoured government bonds option, the investment of approximately EUR 257,000 in a Bulgarian company may also be organised as a relatively low risk way of becoming an EU citizen.

Qualifying investment

The qualifications on such an investor are that they are a foreign national, who:

  1. has contributed to the capital of a Bulgarian company by investing the amount of EUR 257,000;
  2. is a shareholder with no less than 50% share of the capital.

As a result of the investment the Company:

  1. has acquired new long-term tangible and intangible assets of at least EUR 257,000;
  2. has created 10 jobs for Bulgarian citizens, and these have to be maintained for the residence permit to remain valid.

Issuance of a certificate by the Ministry of Economy

The investment is certified as qualifying by the Ministry of Economy (MoE) 30 days from submitting the application. The required documents vary depending on the exact structure of the investment, however the following are required in principle:

  1. A document certifying the value and type of the investment (generally in an approved by the MoE form. This must report the expenses for the acquisition of new long term tangible and intangible assets after the payment into capital, certified by an auditor);
  2. A document certifying the employment of 10 Bulgarian citizens;
  3. Declaration for source(s) of funds;
  4. A photocopy of the applicant’s passport;
  5. A CV of the applicant.

There is no charge associated with the procedure.

Pros and Cons of investment in the shares of a Bulgarian company combined with creation of employment

  • The investor can choose on such a project and such business form as best suits them. A single shareholder limited liability company may be registered in a week;
  • Generally, this investment is considered low risk as the selection of assets is entirely at the discretion of the investor (provided they satisfy the criterion of being long-term);
  • This is one of the options with the lowest threshold of investment that still leads to citizenship;
  • The investment takes five years of holding a Permanent residence Permit to lead to citizenship);
  • This provision in the Bulgarian Citizenship Act determining the eligibility of investors to qualify for Bulgarian citizenship under the privileged programme does not expressly include family members, however under the Bulgarian Citizenship Act a child of a Bulgarian citizen is eligible to apply for citizenship and generally spouses of Bulgarian citizens are eligible to apply provided that certain requirements are met.

What we can do

We can provide general assistance in the whole process, including by advising you on the steps and documents on each of the following stages:

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

Since 2014 more than 30 applicants  have qualified on this basis.

For more information, please contact us at

Authors: Nevena Bekyarova & Kamen Shoylev

Recent work:

Sale of licences for EMMIS Communication

NBLO provides a multitude of legal services to USA media company EMMIS Communications which has several operations in the radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and magazine publishing markets. Specifically in Bulgaria, the company currently runs one of the largest radio station networks which includes such popular stations as FM Plus, Fresh FM, and Star FM. NBLO has fostered a close relationship with the company. NBLO handled all legal matters arising from the sale of their various licences and continues to provide commercial advice in this area as well as general corporate law advice on their Bulgarian operations.

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