How to make sure your Bulgarian citizenship is approved

In this article we will outline the main reasons for failures of Bulgarian citizenship applications. These are the main pitfalls when the applicant acts without our assistance, either alone or with an agent without the adequate professional experience.

citizenship agents sharks

The advantages of second passport

We all realize that a second citizenship provides huge advantages for your business, personal and social goals. Bulgarian citizenship by investment can be obtained in roughly 18 months, which is by today’s standards considered ultra-fast. Bulgarian citizenship for special merits can be granted even faster. Obtaining Bulgarian citizenship and passport by origin can be done really fast, but can also take ages, if things are not done right from the very beginning.

The importance of the due diligence

The applications for citizenship by investments are the most comprehensive ones. These applications are not automatically approved by the government – they must first undergo a comprehensive process of due diligence. Our company has huge experience in the field and can successfully assist you to facilitate the process until the final approval.

The most common 18 reason for having your Bulgarian citizenship application rejected

Below, we will list the most frequent mistakes that people do when applying for Bulgarian citizenship (on whatever ground, not only CBI). More precisely, we will outline the top 18 reasons for rejecting your Bulgarian citizenship application.

These are (more details follow below the list, so please keep on reading):

  1. False information or concealed details;
  2. General (preliminary) due diligence problems;
  3. If the candidate poses a threat to the national security;
  4. If the applicant may deteriorate the image and the perception of Bulgaria;
  5. Lack of clear evidence of the legality and the source of funds;
  6. If the candidate appears to be connected with terrorist groups;
  7. If there are evidences that the candidate has been involved in money laundering activities or illegal spending of public funds;
  8. Involvement in bankruptcy cases (either personal or corporate);
  9. Failure to successfully apply for citizenship (by investment) in another country;
  10. The presence of a criminal record of the candidate;
  11. The presence of a criminal record of family members;
  12. Participation in fraud related to cryptocurrencies or other financial fraud;
  13. Involvement in civil claims with persons from Bulgaria or the EU;
  14. History of extraditions from other EU countries;
  15. History of visa or immigration law violations worldwide;
  16. Certain serious health issues;
  17. Tax compliance issues in Bulgaria;
  18. Documentary irregularities.

Let’s dive below into the details of the particular problems

hiding citizenship details

1. False information or concealed details

This is one of the most common problems. Many times, the candidates don’t realize how serious the application process is and they either forget some “minor” details or misrepresent others. For instance, candidates from Hong Kong, sometimes “forget” to declare that they hold BN(O) passports and use only their HKSAR passports for the application. Such “omissions” may have dire consequences. It is not only that the entire citizenship application will be most likely ruined. It is that even if the authorities fail to spot the problem during the application, if the “omission” is serious, it may result in revocation of the the already granted citizenship later. To make things worse, the candidate may be even criminally prosecuted under art.313 from the Bulgarian penal code. We recommend you reading our article – The importance of TRUTH.

2. General due diligence problems

This is what we call “the most innocent problem”. No matter how innocent however, it may also result in the citizenship application being denied. The preliminary due diligence is most important for applications for “citizenship for special merits” and “citizenship by investment”. During the process, the lawyer/agent of the applicant should make sure that the institutions are well informed about the background of the applicant. Painting an over-positive image is as bad as presenting a “raw” background. As an example for presenting a “raw” background of the applicant would be to describe him as “businessman” without giving any details about the particular business. The authorities tend to deem oversimplified statements or descriptions as “suspicious”, which by itself may be a valid reason for refusal of granting citizenship (by investment or for special merits).

3. Threat to the national security

This is a very subjective problem indeed. Speaking broadly, if any of the Bulgarian state security services have any information, objective or subjective, that the citizenship candidate may be a threat to the national security – the application is set to fail. In such cases, we recommend pro-actively informing the security services about the candidate’s past and making effort to explain any irregularities, no matter how small these may be. If you have any problems in this respect, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

4. Deterioration of the image and the perception of Bulgaria

This is another very subjective hurdle. Candidates with bad public image for example may be considered to fit in this category and as result, to be denied Bulgarian citizenship. The best approach into solving this is to take all possible actions to “clean” all negatives from the applicant’s background.

5. Lack of clear evidence of the legality and the source of funds

This is what we call “the plague of the new era“. Money is not what it used to be 20 years ago. Nowadays, capitals need to be backed by waterproof proof of their origin. This problem effects primarily the applications for Bulgarian citizenship by investment. It is often the “game over” for many, who have underestimated the issue.

6. Connections with terrorist groups

It may seem obvious that no country will accept anyone as citizen, if he is connected with any terrorist groups. The problem is that even the slightest indication of any such connections or activities may be a reason for rejection. It is not necessary to prove anything, the slightest suspicion suffice.

7. Money laundering activities or illegal spending of public funds

Any signs that the citizenship applicant has been involved in money laundering activities is a big fat NO stamped on his application. Illegal spending of public funds (especially EU funds) is another “deal breaker”.

8. Bankruptcies – either personal or corporate

People and companies go bankrupt sometimes. Not a big deal we hear you saying. But when it comes to obtaining citizenship, especially by investment, this is considered as “unacceptable”. If you have been declared bankrupt, be sure to declare it at the very start. Then we can talk together and see how can you legally overcome this obstacle.

9. Failure to successfully apply for citizenship (by investment) in another country

This may become another no-go if you are applying for Bulgarian citizenship by investment. If you have been rejected for CBI in Malta or in Cyprus for example, be sure to communicate this with us immediately. There may be ways to overcome this problem, but it has to be tackled professionally from the very start.

10. Bad criminal record of the candidate

If the main candidate has been convicted for crimes, the application will fail. Please note however that there are many crimes that expire legally with time and may not show on the criminal record.

11. Bad criminal record of family members

Usually, the criminal past of the family members is not a reason to deny citizenship to the main candidate. The nature of the crimes however may indicate that the main candidate may be also involved in these activities and as result, denied Bulgarian citizenship.

12. Participation in fraud related to cryptocurrencies or other financial fraud

Bitcon is a big thing now. So are the countless number of altcoins. The state authorities however are extremely picky on any candidates that make living out of cryptocurrencies. Crypto is definitely not banned in Bulgaria, but if this is your only source of income, be prepared that you will need to answer many questions.

13. Involvement in civil claims with persons from Bulgaria or the EU

This is a big issue. If you are being sued or if you are suing someone in Bulgaria (even if you are 100% right), then your citizenship application may be set to fail. This is especially true if you are applying for Bulgarian citizenship by investment. The authorities expect to approve investors, rather than someone who is fighting with the locals even before he has become Bulgarian citizen. For more information, please read – How to change your citizenship agent (the risks involved).

14. Extraditions from other EU countries

If you have been extradited from any EU country, you must declare this clearly with your application. This may be a “no go”, but with the right approach, this obstacle can be taken care of successfully.

15. History of visa or immigration law violations worldwide

Visa rejections or immigration law violations are things that may ruin your application. If dealt with professionally from the start, these will be not taken into serious consideration (under certain circumstances).

16. Health issues

Certain serious health issues are by law, an obstacle for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization. Please contact us for more details.

17. Tax compliance issues in Bulgaria

But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes

Benjamin Franklin

If you have been doing already some business in Bulgaria and you are not certain about how your accountant has tackled the taxation – please get in touch with us. Better bring everything in order before even thinking of applying for Bulgarian citizenship.

18. Documentary irregularities

Legal compliance in Bulgaria became notorious during the last few years. Any document, not drawn completely by the law may be fatal for the successful outcome of your application.

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