Last month, in response to the unfortunate and complicated situation in Hong Kong, Bulgaria’s Immigrant Investor Programme (BGIIP) unit announced that it is offering complementary real estate to Hong Kong citizens who wish to acquire Bulgarian economic citizenship.
With demand for second citizenship by Hong Kongers skyrocketing worldwide, the Bulgarian government has responded with an offer of free real estate as part of the economic citizenship of Bulgaria programme.
“In 2018, almost 100% of our Hong Kong clients were using their local Hong Kong banks to make the required investment, in the second half of 2019, 92% are demanding to open bank accounts abroad,” explains the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Programme unit.
To qualify, applicants must have received an invitation or promotional offer from the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment unit and must be in possession of either an HKSAR passport or a BN(O) passport. To find out more, contact the unit by clicking here.
Bulgaria’s Citizenship by Investment Programme
Established in 2009, Bulgaria’s Immigrant Investor Programme (BGIIP) involves a two-step process that requires short-term residency before citizenship is issued. Though physical presence is not necessary during the process, full citizenship does take some three to five years, depending on the investment option chosen by the investor.
While no local language or knowledge is needed, applicants must undertake an interview upon submitting their application. Applicants must also make two formal trips to Bulgaria, to file for permanent residence, and to register permanent residence and receive the relevant identity documents.
Citizenship of Bulgaria will give foreigners visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 150 countries, including Australia, Japan, South America and Canada, and to the EU member states, though not to the US, which is a key business hub.
As with other European countries, Bulgaria boasts a high number of countries and territories to which citizens can travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival. It gives access to 150 countries, including Australia, Japan, South America and Canada, as well as the EU countries, though not the US.
Bulgaria offers two routes to citizenship. The first option leads to citizenship in five years. Applicants must make a refundable donation of $560,000 into a government bond portfolio for five years, after which your investment is returned without interest. This entitles applicants to permanent residency and following one year of residency, in which applicants do not need to spend time on Bulgarian soil, applicants can undertake the fast-track citizenship path, which involves investing a further $560,000 into government bonds or a Bulgarian company.
The second option, titled Fast Track, leads to citizenship in three years. Applicants make a refundable donation of $560,000 in either government bonds or in a Bulgarian company for the first year and then double the investment in the second year. This entitles applicants to permanent residency and following two years, applicants receive citizenship. The applicant must keep the bonds for two years after citizenship is granted.
Bulgaria offers a good standard of living with an established history of good education and it is affordable to live within. Bulgaria has an open, upper middle-income range market economy where the private sector accounts for more than 70% of GDP.
Following huge delays in applicant interviews for Bulgarian citizenship by investment due to the pandemic, Bulgaria’s Justice Ministry has announced an increase in the number of time slots available in the online scheduling system of its citizenship by investment directorate during October 2020.
To find out more about the Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment programme, read our country profile by clicking here