Bulgarian citizenship is hard to obtain (and it it’s getting harder by the day)
Let’s make no mistake about it – Bulgarian citizenship is hard to get. The Bulgarian passport became one of the mightiest passport in the world and suddenly, everyone wanted to become Bulgarian citizen. But as it is always the case, all good things come at a price.
Why are there so many citizenship applications being either rejected or put on a hold?
The percentage of rejected Bulgarian citizenship applications skyrocketed in recent years. Some applications, although not rejected, simply sank in the bureaucratic drawers of the Bulgarian authorities. Hundreds and thousands of applicants are still checking online their application status, only to find that nothing has changed and there seems to be no way forward.
So what happened and what is the best approach for these applicant to protect their rights. Lets first divide the citizenship applications under the following three main categories:
- Citizenship by origin;
- Investment citizenship (under the old program);
- Citizenship by naturalization (excluding citizenship by origin).
We will start with the most controversial issue – the citizenship by investment.
Rejected applications for Bulgarian investment citizenship
The investment citizenship became a hot potato within the EU politicians in the last couple of years. As result, the fast-track EU citizenship (that one could get in less than a year or so) was slaughtered by the EU member states. Both Cyprus and Bulgaria cancelled their programs and are now only offering the so called Golden Visa programs. The bad news for Bulgaria and Cyprus is that now they have to compete with the Golden Visa of Portugal program, which offers quite attractive conditions.
But what Bulgaria did was to also apply controversially the law with retroactive effect. This has caused real chaos among citizenship investors and possible withdrawal of multimillion investments.
The thing is that if the investors play their cards wisely, they should be still able to get what they want. By Constitution, Bulgaria is a country governed by the rule of law. Legal amendments with retroactive effects, in the way they were voted in 2022, are in our opinion non-Constitutional. This is of course yet to be decided by the Bulgarian courts.
For the legal options and how to move forward if your investment citizenship has been cancelled (or is still pending/stuck), we recommend you reading the article – Investment citizenship application terminated?
Rejected applications for Bulgarian citizenship by origin
The Bulgarian citizenship law was seriously amended in 2021. Now it is sufficient to have a great grand parent of Bulgarian origin to qualify for Bulgarian citizenship by origin. Still, this is extremely difficult to prove and there are also additional requirements in the law, albeit not imperative.
As result of the legal changes, many applicants who have applied under the old law are now being rejected. Others, who have applied under the new regulations, have submitted the declarations not strictly by the law. And most unfortunately, there is a big chunk of applications that are being put on hold or rejected, purely for subjective reasons. Luckily, our lawyer are well equipped with legal knowledge and experience and can provide professional assistance to solve these cases.
Attention: There is huge amount of scams on the internet, luring customers to apply for Bulgarian citizenship. The scammers are often promising to “find” a birth certificate, showing that the applicant can be naturalized as Bulgarian by origin. These scams are extremely dangerous as both the scammers and the victim are committing crime when engaging in such schemes!
Rejected applications for Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization
Many foreigners have been living in Bulgaria for ages. And logically they now want to apply for and obtain Bulgarian citizenship. Many of them have been also married to Bulgarian nationals and have Bulgarian children. Unfortunately many of their applications are being rejected or put on an “eternal” hold by the authorities.
There are many reasons why these applications are not being approved (ie failed language exam). But there are many, purely subjective rejections too. Whatever the case, if the foreigner has been permanently residing in Bulgaria for 3 or 5 years (the term depends on additional factors), we are confident that we will be able to assist him to successfully obtain Bulgarian citizenship.
How we can help
We will not take every customer with the promise that we will help him get Bulgarian citizenship. When there are problems with the application, it is very well possible that the applicant is not eligible to obtain Bulgarian citizenship. But if we verify, after careful due diligence, that the application is legally sustainable, we will do the job. While there may be no guarantees with regard to obtaining citizenship (it is all in the hands of the President at the end), we are confident that the chances of successful outcome will be close to 100%. You can contact us for any additional questions or request for assistance.