Demographic collapse, but residence permits for foreigners become harder and harder to get (and Bulgarian citizenship – almost impossible1)

1 Nothing is impossible with our assistance of course. For more information about the different options to get Bulgarian citizenship, please visit

The 2021 census – shocking numbers

According to Darik News, the Bulgarian population as of September 7, 2021 amounts to 6,520,000 people. This has been stated by the director of the Demographic and Social Statistics Directorate Mrs Magdalena Kostova, Darik writes.

A reference on the NSI website shows that Bulgaria had the largest population at the 1985 census, namely 8,948,649 people. The new data from 2021 shows that Bulgarians have decreased by more than 27% since 1985 until now. It sounds scary, but Bulgarians are now as many as they have been during the WW2. Namely, 6,077,939 people in 1934 and 7,029,349 people in 1946.

In our opinion, neither the values nor the benefits, that Bulgaria undoubtedly accumulated after the political changes of 1989, can compensate for the “loss” of almost two and a half million Bulgarians since 1985 until now.

At the same time, we wonder, is there a government policy to actually tackle the demographic decline? With a shortage of labor in many industries in Bulgaria, why does the state create such problems for foreigners who want to work honestly and pay taxes in Bulgaria? Why does Bulgaria grant more difficult citizenship than almost all other EU countries? These are the questions, to which we have no answer yet.

Residence permits & Bulgarian citizenship – mission (almost) impossible

In 2021, the tendency for more and more administrative obstacles in issuing residence permits to foreigners in Bulgaria was preserved. To realize the seriousness of the problem, it is enough to read about the case of Gergana and her almost 5 years long fight with the “system”. A fight of one Bulgarian woman to live in Bulgaria with her husband and their sweet little boy.

To our great regret, visas and residence permits are also massively denied, even to family members of Bulgarian citizens. Sometimes things can get really bad, as is the case with the deportation of a Nigerian citizen – father of Bulgarian child and married to Bulgarian wife.

Obtaining of Bulgarian citizenship – difficult, close to impossible for many

Naturalization of foreigners is standard practice in many civilized countries. Qualified alien candidates, who have proven their good conduct in the country, often get the opportunity to obtain citizenship and a passport from their new homeland. These naturalized citizens often contribute to the country’s economy and social life. It is worth looking at the national football teams of countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland ant others, to realize that Bulgaria has a completely different “policy” on naturalization.

Comparing Bulgaria with other EU member states – very few naturalizations!

We are far from suggesting that Bulgaria should grant citizenship to anyone who asks for it. But the situation is abnormal at the moment. Contrary to popular belief, the procedures for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship are extremely complex and slow. At least for those who don’t employ professionals to do the job. Bulgaria grants much more rarely citizenship to foreigners than most other EU member states. Compared to other EU countries, the results look like a mathematical error. It turns out that Bulgaria grants 114 times fewer passports (calculated per capita) than, for example, Luxembourg. The comparison with France and Germany is 16 and 14 times fewer passports in Bulgaria, respectively. On average for the whole European Union, Bulgaria gives 15 times fewer passports to foreigners. This is not logical, especially given the horrible demographic decline of the population. For more information, we recommend the article – Bulgarian citizenship, quo vadis?

Bulgarian citizenship for investment – hated by the everybody, comprehended by nobody

There is a special procedure for granting citizenship by investment to foreigners from outside the EU. Although Bulgaria has seriously amended the relevant legislation in March 2021, criticism of the Bulgarian program does not seem to stop anytime soon. The strangest thing is that everything we read in the press shows complete legal ignorance and plain xenophobia. Dwarf countries such as Malta, have in recent years, managed to attract billions of investment through similar programs, while the Bulgarian authorities are in every way hindering foreign investors.

In Memoriam

prof. Bojidar Dimitrov

In conclusion, let us remember Professor Bozhidar Dimitrov (1945-2018). He was a true guardian of the Bulgarian Citizenship as such, also by investment. What would he be thinking if he could see the results of the last census and the attitude of the Bulgarian authorities towards granting Bulgarian citizenship.

Bulgaria needs more true patriots, such as Prof. Dimitrov was. We hope we will not have to wait too long, because the population counter is ticking relentlessly backwards…

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