After January 1st 2021, the amount of enquiries from UK citizens to apply for Bulgarian citizenship has increased tenfold. The Brits have realized by now that their, once so powerful UK passport, is not so good anymore. Actually, it is not any better than the Ukrainian or Moldavian passports, when it comes to the rights it provides within the EU. It is still slightly ahead of the Pakistani passport, as the UK passport is good for visa-free EU entry. As for living and working in the EU however, its on par with the Indian and Bangladeshi passports.
Hard to come into terms with the reality
It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.John Steinbeck
Light has never shone for Indians and Pakistani, nor for Russians and Chinese. But the Britons have never lacked options to travel visa-free and to reside almost anywhere they wanted to.
The light for the British passport holders has certainly went out in 2021 however. And the Brits are now bouncing between the hard stone walls in the darkness, more than any other nation that has never had the privilege to be really free. Many Brits who have bought properties in France, Spain, Bulgaria, etc. are now faced with the bureaucracy of the EU system for the privilege to live in their own homes. And it hurts to realize that this bureaucracy was once created, by them too, to keep others out.
Not prepared for the cost of freedom
Freedom doesn’t come for free. Freedom doesn’t come for all. And freedom doesn’t last forever. Now that the UK passport holds no more value in the EU than a Venezuelan one, the Brits have realized how good would be to get second, truly EU citizenship. Not many though are fortunate enough to have such opportunity. Boris Johnson’s father got his French passport already, so much for the British pride of his son. There are many elderly UK citizens living long-term in Bulgaria, who finally realized that they better start learning Bulgarian, for the sake of getting Bulgarian passport(1).
(1) Bulgarian language proficiency is prerequisite for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by standard naturalization.
Fighting for Bulgarian (EU) citizenship on par with the Russians and the Chinese
Not all Britons have the “options” of Boris Johnson’s father. So they now have to compete with all other nationals to get hold of the golden EU passport. And this is not an easy task for them. Many Russians paid almost a million Euros on fees for Maltese passports, while this was still possible. Now they are ready to pay even more.
When Cyprus introduced 150 000 EUR irrevocable donation for the “privilege” to spend another 2 million for real estate on the island, we thought this was the end of the game. But the Chinese took the challenge and were still lining up for Cypriot citizenship. After the demise of the Cypriot program, the Russians kept on paying hundreds of thousands for Portuguese golden visa(2). The smartest non-EU citizens of course found out about the Bulgarian CIP and hit the jackpot in the last few years.
(2) “Golden visa” is a term used to describe a long term (or permanent) residence permit. It is not citizenship and doesn’t provide any citizenship rights.
But while all other (non-EU) nations got used to the idea that EU second citizenship comes at a price, the Britons were still living in their world of “report, complain and be rewarded“. EU passports however don’t come in return for reporting your local restaurant’s slippery floor.
Now that the party is over, to get EU citizenship, Brits need to compete with the other non-EU nations. Something that they have kind of forgotten how to do.
EU citizenship – harder and more expensive than ever
From what we have experienced after Brexit, Brits don’t really stand any realistic chance to obtain fast-track EU citizenship. At least, not on a massive scale. Those who will succeed, will not be many. And they will be certainly not those with the typical British mentality. The problem is that, unlike the other non-EU citizens, Brits are simply not prepared to bear the cost and hassle that come with obtaining second citizenship. Can’t really blame them.
Those who can fly, won’t spend much on a parachute. The problem is, what happens when they have their wings clipped?
And logically, the reputable service providers in the citizenship industry will always give preference to the more “dedicated” Russians, Chinese, etc. It is very unfortunate in our opinion, as Brits are much “more Europeans” than any other nation in Asia, Africa or elsewhere. But freedom comes at a price. A price, Britons don’t seem to be ready to pay… yet.
Our assistance may be vital
Notwithstanding the above, we have set up dedicated unit that deals exclusively with British residence and citizenship applications. For more information, please contact the unit at http://blog.bulgarian-citizenship.org/contact-us/.