Policy Updates

Bulgaria Adopts New Regulations for CBI Pre-Clearance Process


Following amendments to the Aliens in the Republic of Bulgaria Act in March 2021, which overhauled the CBI investment classes in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian government has now adopted new Regulations implementing the Act, which clarify the so-called pre-clearance administered by the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

These Regulations are a belated but necessary element to the 2021 legislation and permit applications for permanent residence to be made efficiently.

Pre-clearance documents

Under the new Regulations, applicants who wish to obtain pre-clearance for investment activities so that they can obtain permanent residence in Bulgaria under Section 25 (1), item 6 of the Act have to apply to the Bulgarian Investment Agency, along with the following documents in the original or as a notarized copy, translated into Bulgarian where applicable:

  1. Certified copy of the details page of the applicant’s passport;
  2. Bank reference for a BGN/EUR account opened in the name of the applicant in a credit institution in the Republic of Bulgaria, another EU member state, or a state-party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation, or a third country under Section 27(3) of the Preventions against Money Laundering Act, containing information on the available funds in an amount not less than the minimum threshold for the relevant investment;
  3. Declaration for the source of the funds in the template approved by the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency, signed personally by the foreigner;
  4. Declaration about the applicant’s PEP status in the template approved by the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency, signed personally by the foreigner;
  5. Documents related to the person’s employment, professional and investment activities, submitted at their discretion;
  6. Criminal record certificate from the country of origin or the country of permanent residence;
  7. Notary-certified power of attorney if the application is not submitted personally.

By clarifying the process, the new regulations also aim to attract more foreign investment to Bulgaria, which can help to stimulate economic growth and create new job opportunities.

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Bulgarian R/CBI InvestmentClasses

Bulgaria closed its residence-to-citizenship program in 2021, following pressure both from within the country and from the EU. The country still has an attractive residence-by-investment program, however, which allows foreign investors to obtain a Bulgarian residency permit by investing in one of several qualifying investment options, such as listed companies, UCITS (mutual funds and ETFs), and Alternative Investment Funds (e.g., venture, hedge, and private equity funds or family offices) from as little as EUR 513,000.

Investors open to staying most of the year in Bulgaria are still able to obtain citizenship following a five-year period of residence through this program.

Ivan Petrov AuthorSubscriber

Having studied, lived, and worked in China for almost 8 years, Ivan has strong intercultural skills and extensive knowledge of China and East Asia. Prior to joining NBLO, Ivan was a lecturer in the Chinese department at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. His personal interests include current affairs and social media. He is fluent in English and has professional knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.