In the contemporary globalisation-oriented world, political borders make less and less sense every day. Just because someone was born elsewhere, they can be seen as somewhat less worthy of being a part of, say, the European society.
Reality, of course, is substantially more complicated and political borders are often an unwelcome necessity. It doesn’t make the situation less frustrating for truly internationally-minded ambitious people from, say, Russia or China, who want to live and do business in Europe.
In search of a solution, many people are obtaining European passports. And the benefits of doing this are plentiful! Residents and citizens of the EU-member countries, first and foremost, get to be a part of the incredibly diverse and vibrant European community. They are entitled to live, work, study and do business throughout the continent. In addition, travelling can also become much easier and more enjoyable with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries.
With several paths to obtain the right to permanently live and work in Europe, citizenship by investment has proven to be one of the quickest ways to do so. Various countries across the continent offer programmes and schemes to do this; but among all of them one clearly stands out...
Residency and Citizenship in Bulgaria
Of all the places, this low-profile Eastern European country may just be an answer for those seeking access to the EU community, for business and otherwise. The Bulgarian government openly acknowledges the positive impact of attracting international talent and capital, and, as a result, runs one of the most straightforward and quickest Citizenship by Investment programmes in Europe. As straightforward as the complex procedure of naturalisation can be, that is. In fact, the end-to-end process of acquiring the Bulgarian residency can be as short as 7 months.
Given the business-oriented mindset of many people seeking to move abroad, Bulgaria is likely to prove an attractive destination with its 10% corporate tax rate. The income tax is also capped at 10%. These are the lowest rates in the EU.
In addition, access to financing from Bulgarian banks is a definitive advantage for those facing cash flow challenges. And above all, free education and affordable healthcare make Bulgaria a great country to live in!
Investing in Bulgaria
The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program involves the applicant acquiring the Guaranteed Governmental Portfolio Bonds in the amount of BGN 1,000,000, which equates to approximately EUR 511,000, for a period of 5 years. Alternatively, one may choose to invest directly in a Bulgarian business.
Applicants can do this in two different ways, either through full or financed investment. The former involves a one-off payment of BGN 1,000,000, which is returned after 5 years and is protected by the state. The latter is in effect a five-year loan of BGN 1,000,000 from a chartered bank in Bulgaria. The first payment is EUR 195,000.
Acquiring Bulgarian Residency and Citizenship
The process of acquiring the residency is a relatively straightforward and quick one. Having submitted the application and transferred the specified investment, the candidate would be required to travel to Bulgaria twice before obtaining the Permanent Residency Certificate. This would then make them eligible to apply for the Bulgarian ID card.
Residency is a step towards the full naturalisation. Having been a resident for 2 years, the candidate then can apply for citizenship. This involves standard criminal checks, medical tests and application procedures. Family members of successful candidates will subsequently also be able to apply for naturalisation.
The Fast-Track Citizenship option enables applicants to obtain citizenship in as few as seven months! In order to apply in this way one needs to make an additional investment into the Bulgarian economy.
Window into Europe
The Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Program is an effective solution for people looking to expand their business dealings into the European market, as well as for those who simply want to live in Bulgaria and be a part of the diverse European community.
Here at Companate we’re helping businesses and individuals establish themselves and operate in Bulgaria. If you’ve set your mind on becoming a citizen, a team of experienced advisers, accountants and lawyers will take care of everything, from filing the application to helping you establish a Bulgarian business and pay taxes. Contact us here and let’s open up the borders together!