The Golden Visa in Bulgaria is more of a “residency-by-investment” program, under which you become a permanent resident after you make a financial contribution in Bulgaria. The program allows you to become a permanent resident in a matter of months, where in normal circumstances, it would take five years. Additionally, the scheme has the option for citizenship which you can apply for after having had the permanent residence card for a few years. 

See other countries that offer a similar Golden Visa program

How Can I Get a Golden Visa in Bulgaria?

You can get a Golden Visa in Bulgaria by investing at least € 512,000 (BGN 1 million) in pre-approved funds, including Bulgarian stocks, venture capital, private equity, exchange-traded funds, or real estate investment trust. You can liquidate your investment after five years. 

The investor scheme in Bulgaria allows you to apply for citizenship under a fast-tracked program if you can invest double the amount required, totaling your investment to € 1 million. 

To get the necessary guidance, you should get in touch with Golden visa advisors at La Vida.

Eligibility Requirements for Bulgaria Golden Visa

The eligibility criteria for an investor visa in Bulgaria are as follows: 

  • You must be over 18 years old. 
  • You must not be an EU citizen. 
  • You must have a clear criminal record. 
  • You must be in good health.
  • You must have enough financial resources to make your investment. 

How to Apply for a Bulgarian Golden Visa?

Here’s how you can apply for a Bulgarian investor visa:

  • Complete your investment. You firstly need to complete your investment to receive a certificate of investment from the Bulgarian government. You may purchase the bonds outside of Bulgaria as long the purchase comes from a legitimate source.
  • Apply for a D visa. Then, you can apply for your national D investor visa. This visa will allow you to enter the country so you can apply for your permanent residence card. The validity of the visa depends on your situation- it can be issued for six months or a year. Remember that you have to apply in your country of residence at a Bulgarian embassy or consulate for your D visa. 
  • Receive your permanent residence card. Once your D visa is issued, you can enter the country and apply for a permanent residence card. After you receive the card, you are an official resident in the country. 
  • Your family members apply for their residence cards. Three months after you receive your permanent residence card, your family members will be able to apply and obtain their cards as well. 

To help you apply successfully for the Bulgarian Golden Visa, you can contact the financial advisors at LaVids Golden Visa, who can assist you throughout the application process. 

Bulgarian Golden Visa Processing Times

Your Golden Visa is usually processed within six months. Processing times are dependent on the time it takes to issue several documents:

  • Certificate of investment: 14 days. 
  • Investor visa (national D visa): 35 days. 
  • Permanent residence card: 3 days.

Please keep in mind that the processing times can sometimes be delayed due to investment verification and due diligence checks. 

Documents Required for a Bulgarian Golden Visa Application

Here is a list of documents you need to prepare for your Bulgarian Golden Visa: 

Visa application formFill out and submit your application form for your type D visa. You can find the application form at a representative office of Bulgaria in your country.
Investment CertificateOnce your investment is verified, the Bulgarian Investment Agency will issue you a certificate of investment, which you must attach to the rest of your documents.
Passport Provide your passport (or a copy of your passport pages). Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months when you apply for the visa.
Paid feeYou have to prove that you have paid the required application fees, i.e., processing fees, due diligence fees, etc.
Photograph You need to prepare a recent passport photograph taken with a plain white background, no editing, and showing your face clearly. The number of pictures may vary from two to six- so make sure you contact the embassy/consulate to see their requirement. 
Evidence of legitimate fundsYou have to provide proof that the funds with which you purchased the bonds/funds are from a legitimate source. 
Health insuranceYou need to possess valid health insurance when you apply for your visa.
Civil documentsSubmit copies of your certificates that include your birth certificate, marriage or divorce paper (if applicable), adoption papers, or any other similar document required.
Police certificateYou must provide a police certificate proving your good character to show that you have no criminal record. The certificate must be recent (no older than 3/6 months), and you must receive it from your country of residence. 

Please note that the Bulgarian government has the power to ask for any additional documents.  

How Long Is the Investor Visa in Bulgaria Valid?

The investor visa in Bulgaria is valid indefinitely, but your permanent residence card has to be renewed every five years- unless you become a Bulgarian citizen.

Application Fees for Bulgaria Golden Visa

The application fees for single applicants can round up to € 2,500. This amount includes the following costs: 

  • Application fee
  • Due diligence fee
  • Residence and ID card
  • Translation and certification services (if required)

Applying With Family Members for a Bulgarian Golden Visa

The investor visa application allows you to bring your spouse and children with you to Bulgaria. But, you have to keep in mind that there are extra fees and documents required for each family member. 

Residency Requirements for Bulgarian Golden Visa

There is no residency requirement in terms of the Bulgarian investment program. You receive your permanent residence card as soon as your investment and visa are processed. 

How Can I Get Citizenship by Investment in Bulgaria?

There are two ways you can become a citizen in Bulgaria under the Golden Visa scheme: 

  • Regular route. Under the regular route, you can apply for Bulgarian citizenship after having had your permanent residence visa for five years.
  • Fast-tracked route. If you want to fast-track your citizenship application, you have to pay an additional amount of € 512,000, after which you can become a citizen of the country within 18 months.

Your spouse can apply for citizenship one year after you’ve become a citizen, while your children after six months. The LaVida team can provide you with more information about the fast-tracking option for Bulgarian citizenship.

Why Should You Apply for a Bulgarian Golden Visa?

If you have the funds to make your investment, you should apply for the Bulgarian Golden Visa so you can enjoy the following benefits: 

  • Visa-free or visa on arrival travel to 188 countries. 
  • Fastest citizenship program in Europe. 
  • The right to EU residency
  • No residency is required to qualify for the visa. 
  • The option to apply with family members.
  • The option to apply for the E2 visa in the US. 

Can I Make My Investment Outside of the Country?

Yes, as long as you provide evidence that the funds you use to make your investment are legitimate. 

Applying for an E2 Visa for the US

The Bulgarian Golden Visa offers you a pathway to citizenship- making you a Bulgarian national. As a result, you can apply for the E2 investor visa in the US. This visa is available to only a handful of countries worldwide, so if you are a citizen from a country that is not eligible to apply for the US investor visa, Bulgarian citizenship will also grant you access to the E2 visa treaty.