Minimum investment
€307,000 (in Real Estate)
Time to residency
72 days
Path to Bulgarian passport

Bulgarian residence permit (AKA Golden Visa) with a path to Bulgarian citizenship & passport

The Bulgarian Golden Visa is less known than its main EU competitor – the Portuguese Golden Visa. This is to be explained by the different approach of the Bulgarian authorities. Their policy is not to promote the program as actively as their EU counterparts. The government’s stance is to leave the program to be discovered only by those who are genuinely interested in it. This approach results in great savings on marketing costs indeed. The idea is that these savings are passed on to the Golden Visa Bulgaria applicants. The candidates get better conditions – lower investment requirements and easier path to full EU citizenship. And as an added bonus, the more passive marketing approach ensures that the Bulgarian Golden Visa will not be seen as “passport/residency for sale” by the EU Commission.

Enhanced Golden Visa program after Bulgaria’s Schengen accession on 31.03.2024

Prior to Bulgaria’s Schengen accession on 31.03.2024, the Bulgarian Golden Visa program had a serious disadvantage compared to other EU programs. The right of visa-free travel to the Schengen countries was not automatically granted.

After Bulgaria joined the Schengen area at the end of March 2024 however, things have changed dramatically. From then on, all Bulgarian Golden Visa holders have absolute freedom of movement within the EU and all Schengen countries.

For citizens of countries who are required to have visa for the EU, the Bulgarian Golden Visa is the ultimate freedom tool. Such citizens are for example passport holders of China, Vietnam, India, Russia and many ex-USSR countries, South Africa, etc.

The Bulgarian Golden Visa – explained

The Bulgarian Golden Visa is clearly defined in the Bulgarian foreigner’s law. There are two typed of Golden Visa option – the financial and the real estate option.

The financial Golden Visa

The financial option to obtain Bulgarian Golden Visa is at the core of the program. There are many investment options available. No donation is required! The investment is at all times under the sole control of the applicant. It is never transferred to any third party. This means that the Golden Visa holder can rest assured that the investment is safe and secure for 100%.

The investment requirement ranges from 256 000 EUR to 1 024 000 EUR. The most frequently utilised option is the investment in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. In this case, the investment requirement is 512 000 EUR. There are many administrative steps that need to be taken, which are our office’s responsibility. After the administrative work is done and the investment effected, the foreign applicant receives a 5-year permanent residence card. This card allows him unlimited living and working rights and visa-free travel in the EU/Schengen.

Additionally, the applicant is provided with shortened path to naturalisation in order to obtain Bulgarian citizenship and passport. You can read more about the financial Golden Visa option.

The real estate Golden Visa

For those with less faith in financial instruments (i.e. ETF’s) and more believe in brick and mortar, there is a Golden Visa option too. For an investment of only 307 000 EUR or more in real estate, the applicant is entitled for long-term residence permit / Golden Visa. The investment in real estate may be in more than one real estate properties. There are no restrictions, as in other countries, for the property to be in certain (less attractive) region. The foreigner can buy both new and old real estate of any type in any area in Bulgaria.

The real estate investment can be effected through a company as well, if the applicant requires enhanced privacy and capital protection. On top of all these advantages, the foreigner is allowed to take a mortgage for the purchase, for up-to 25% of the value of the real estate. If the mortgage option is chosen, the required investment goes down to only 230 000 EUR. Nothing comes even closer to these conditions from any other EU country.

Bulgarian passport in elephant's trunk

What is Golden Visa?

In the industry, by “Golden Visa” is understood a governmental program that allows a foreigner to obtain long-term residence permit through an investment or donation. In order for a “Golden Visa” to be considered as such, it is necessary that the country that is issuing it is a “desired” among the international community. If a poor and unsafe country is providing long-term residence permit for investment, this will be not considered as “Golden Visa”. The most desired “Golden Visa” programs are those of the EU member states and the US EB-5 visa.

The advantages of the Bulgarian Golden Visa

No other country in the EU offers 10% flat tax rate. Bulgarian residents pay many times less tax than the other EU residents. The Bulgarian Golden Visa is much more than full EU living rights and visa-free travel to 30+ European countries and overseas territories. It also gives a shortened path to full EU passport and the ultimate freedom of an EU citizenship.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if you want to start your Golden Visa application a.s.a.p.