Bulgarian Citizenship-by-Investment Case Study

22 September 2020

A Russian citizen, Ms E. Independent professional in the restaurant sector living in central Europe. Married with four children.

Profile of Mrs E.

Age: 40-50
Work background: Hospitality entrepreneur Total net worth: > €1,000,000
Citizenship: Russia Residence: CEE/EU
Marital status: Married Children: 4
Prior connection to BG: none

Reasons for choosing a second passport in Bulgaria

  • Already resident in the EU
  • Bulgarian PR and citizenship would allow her and her nuclear family to settle down
    permanently in the EU
  • Long-term plans to enable children to study in EU or Switzerland
  • In parallel, wants to explore opportunities for set-up of a business in Bulgaria
  • Already has familiarity with CEE. No direct experience of Bulgaria.

Eligibility for Mrs E.

  • Does not currently hold another EU citizenship
  • Has a clean criminal background in both her country of origin (Russia) and country of residence (EU CEE country)
  • Is able to clearly identify the source of funds for the purchase of bonds – sale of property, monies from employment

Investment & Amount

  • Type: Government bonds
  • Amount: €1m+ (Fast Track)
  • Financial Institution: EEA bank – existing customer
  • Holding period: 3 years to date (total of 5 required)
  • Exit options: wait for bonds to mature, plans to sell to recover principal

Process Description

  1. Mrs E approached NBLO to enquire about the process. She signed with us a month later
  2. Mrs E used her own banking relationship to purchase investment, and NBLO provided her with the relevant documents required to certify the investment in due course
  3. Mrs E applied for a Bulgarian visa in the Consulate in Russia
  4. After 1 month her visa was granted and she flew into Bulgaria with her husband to make her PR status submission
  5. After her PR status was granted, NBLO procured the necessary documents and registered Mrs E with the local municipality
  6. Mrs E made her second trip to Bulgaria to apply for and pick up her PR ID card in person
  7. Mrs E’s husband applied for his Bulgarian visa and PR status and ID card on the basis of having married an investor

Hurdles during the application process

Documents from multiple jurisdictions Change of custody bank
  • Mrs E had to procure documents from both her country of origin (Russia) and country of residence (EU country)
  • Documents from different jurisdictions required different certification in order to be recognised by Bulgarian authorities
  • NBLO assisted Mrs E to procure and legalise the documents accordingly 
  • Midway throughout the process Mrs E decided to change the bank where her investment was kept.
  • This constitutes a change in the investment and the Bulgarian authorities had to be notified
  • NBLO assisted Mrs E to procure the necessary evidence and inform the Bulgarian Investment Agency about the change in order to maintain her eligibility for the programme

Dependants of Mrs E

  • After Mrs E obtained her PR status, her husband applied for his PR status on the basis of being married to an investor.
  • Mrs E’s eldest child is over 18 yo and he/she is not eligible to apply for PR status. He/She applied directly for citizenship once Mrs E’s Bulgarian citizenship was granted.
  • Mrs E’s three other children are under 18 yo and they did not plan to live or travel to Bulgaria thus avoiding the need to apply for PR status. They applied directly for citizenship once Mrs E’s Bulgarian citizenship was granted. 

Outcome

  • Mrs E has submitted her citizenship application.
  • She has obtained approval by the Ministry of Justice to be granted Bulgarian citizenship and the Minister of Justice has sent a formal recommendation to the Vice President’s office to issue a decree naturalising her.
  • After a review by the VP’s office, Mrs E’s citizenship application was approved and a decree issued.
  • She applied for her Bulgarian passport and ID card in a Buglaria consulate abroad

 

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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.

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