Investors lodged 193 applications for citizenship by investment in Bulgaria as of last month, according to an article on the website of New Balkans Law Office.
Bulgaria – which does not have a formal CIP promoted by the government but which nonetheless offers what now appears to be a viable route to EU citizenship – offers foreign investors two avenues by which to obtain a residence permit and, subsequently, citizenship:
- A BGN 1 million (about 511,000 EUR) investment held for five years, upon which investors are eligible to apply for naturalization (Standard Track).
- A BGN 2 million investment held for two years, upon which investors are eligible to apply for naturalization (Fast Track).
Bulgaria saw a cumulative total of 95 Standard Track and 98 Fast Track applications for citizenship by investment between 2013 and September 2018, according to the article which, it should be noted, did not include any sources. Investment Migration Insider has contacted the publisher with a request for official documents.
The article further states that:
- An average of 18 citizenship applications
weresubmitted under the Fast Track route between 2013 and 2017, but that this figure had nearly doubled to 35 (annualized) in 2018.
- More than
three quartersof Fast Track applicants came from nationals of former Soviet republics or the Middle East, with the preponderance hailing from Russia.
- About two-thirds of all Fast Track applications since 2013 have received approval but, as the bulk of these
werelodged only this year, a great deal ofapplications have yet to be reviewed.
- So far in 2018, the Vice President’s Office has granted more citizenships by investment than in the preceding four years combined.
Data on citizenship applications through the standard track will become apparent as the first applicants reach their five-year mark this year.