The application process for obtaining Bulgarian and EU permanent residency takes approximately 6 months,  and depends greatly on the cooperation of the investor.

Phase 1 - Main Applicant

 
  Step 1

Submission of file and application fees

Step 2

Appointment in a Bulgarian Consulate for signing documents

Month 1 Step 3

Investment transfer by the main applicant

Month 2-3 Step 4

Investment Certificate issued from the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance

Step 5

2nd appointment at a Bulgarian Consulate

- application for Visa D (administrative term after security check is up to 45 days after submission)

Month 4-5 Step 6

Visa D granted followed by a 1st trip to Bulgaria

- submission of application for Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC), the administrative term is 3 months after submission

Month 6-7 Step 7

Permanent residency approved followed by a 2nd trip to Bulgaria

- submission of application for Bulgarian ID card (takes 3 business days after application)


Phase 2 - Family Members

Month 7 Step 1

1st appointment at a Bulgarian Consulate

- application for Visa D (administrative term after security check is up to 45 days after submission)

Month 8-9 Step 2

Visa D granted followed by a 1st trip to Bulgaria: submission of application for Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC), the administrative term is 3 months after submission

Month 10 Step 3

Permanent residency approved followed by a 2nd trip to Bulgaria

- submission of application for Bulgarian ID card (takes 3 business days after application)


Please note that the above timeline is taken from Arton Capital Bulgaria and is accurate as of June 2015. We will update the timeline schedule in accordance with any changes that may affect the application process. 

Check the video about the Bulgarian Investor Program - Application Process

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Required Documents for the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program

Required documents for the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program are two types: personal and financial.

Personal Documents

  • Passport copy - each applicant must provide a clear color passport copy, showing passport number, photo, date and place of issuance/expiry date.

  • Birth certificate - each applicant must provide a certified copy of his/her birth certificate.

  • Passport photos - each applicant must submit 6 photographs with the application.

  • Health and travel insurance - is mandatory for each applicant in order to apply for Visa D, prior to travel to Bulgaria.

  • Proof of no criminal record - the main applicant, spouse, and children over 18 years old must provide proof that they have no criminal record. Police certificates are issued from the country of residence and must be no older than six months at the time when the application is submitted.

  • Marriage certificate - a certified marriage certificate is required if the main applicant is currently married and if the spouse is to be included in the application.

  • Education certificate - an education certificate is only required for the main applicant.

  • Curriculum vitae - a curriculum vitae or resume of the main applicant is required.


Financial Documents

The required financial documents will differ for each applicant, but they would typically need to provide:

  • Original bank statement - no older than one month, showing a minimum balance of EUR 50,000.

  • Combined supportive documents - for evidence of declared assets. The net worth can be proven using any of the following assets :

  • Bank statement

  • Original investment statement/portfolio

  • Title deeds, current valuation(s) with a valid license, and any outstanding mortgages or debts

  • Business documents, such as business valuations, audited financial statements, and a valid license of the auditor, corporate documents, trade licenses, certificates of incorporation, articles and memorandums of association, etc.

  • Sworn statement - validating the source of funds, allowing investigation. The sworn statement should list current assets for combined worth greater than EUR 1 million.

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Legal Background of the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program

The statutory provisions of the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program are stated by an amendment in the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act (FRBA) law and published by The Bulgarian State Gazette, issue 36 (May 15, 2009).

Announcements on Permanent Residency for Foreign Investors in Bulgaria can be found on the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry website.

The InvestBulgaria Agency, a division of the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Tourism, is endorsed to promote and support the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program. On their website, you can find a great deal of information regarding the investment climate in Bulgaria.

A note on EU Passport and EU Citizenship

Many people believe that a literal "EU Passport" is issued by the European Union. This is not the case. "EU Passport" is simply a term used to describe a passport issued by any one of its twenty-seven member countries. Each country's passport states on its cover that it is a European Union Passport.

The Treaty of Maastricht states the following about the EU Citizenship:

"Every person holding the nationality of a Member State of the European Union is, as a result, a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union supplements national citizenship without replacing it. It is made up of a set of fundamental rights and obligations enshrined in the EC Treaty among which it is worth underlining the right not to be discriminated on the basis of the nationality."