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Visa and Bulgarian citizenship by real estate options

Oded Germanov

Oded Germanov

Have you ever thought of investing or owning real estate abroad? Dreamt on a holiday home at a lovely sunny summer resort or maybe a beautiful ski hut at a winter resort? Bulgarian citizenship by real estate options allows you to receive a European passport via a safe investment.

For those who seek to live long term or even permanently in Bulgaria, buying real estate in Bulgaria is a highly recommended measure. No matter the legal ground for Bulgarian long-term/permanent residency application, owning a Bulgarian real estate asset will significantly improve the chances of the applicant being viewed favorably by the designated Bulgarian authorities.

Moreover, purchasing or investing in real estate assets in Bulgaria may grant an applicant the right for a speedy and straightforward procedure of obtaining the highly desired Bulgarian citizenship.

Bulgaria’s real estate market

Visa and Bulgarian citizenship by real estate optionsWhen we hear the term “real estate,” we immediately think of hefty tag prices, mortgages and using up life savings. In short, investing in real estate involves a lot of money, right?

Bulgaria, due to various reasons, offers terrific opportunities when it comes to real estate. Whether a lovely beach the property, a great ski resort property, a stunning country house with a big plot of land, or a modern apartment in a big developed city, Bulgaria has it all and most important- with highly affordable prices. It is not rare to find lovely houses, with significant land plots for just a few thousand euros!

In fact, low real estate prices are sometimes the initial reason for foreign nationals to move to Bulgaria. We will further disclose how investing in real estate can even grant a person the right to Bulgarian citizenship.

Type D Visa and real-estate in Bulgaria.

Owning a property in Bulgaria is not a legal requirement when applying for a Bulgarian visa-D. However, in many cases, especially when applying on the ground of retirement in Bulgaria, owning a property can really increase the chances for the residency application to be approved.

We strongly recommend you consider using the services of a well-experienced law firm when applying for residency/citizenship. Our law firm would be happy to walk you through in a professional manner no matter what path you choose.

When applying for a visa-d and right after a long-term/permanent residency, the applicant must prove means of sustaining themselves financially throughout the duration of their life in Bulgaria, no matter what the ground for the application might be.

Another step for applying is proof of address in Bulgaria. Whether it is a rental agreement, a declaration from a landlord permitting the applicant to live in his property, or proof of a purchased real estate property.

The respective Bulgarian authorities will always favor the last for the simple reason that a person who purchases a property in Bulgaria has already secured a living place for his stay, contributed to the local economy and the chances that this person would be a burden on Bulgaria’s institutions are very slim.

Obtaining citizenship by purchasing real estate in Bulgaria

Through the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program, the Bulgarian government offers investors the possibility to obtain long-term residence and eventually the right to apply for Bulgarian citizenship by purchasing real-estate.

There is a minimum of around 310,000 euros required investment in real-estate to meet the program’s requirements. Another requirement is that the designated government authority recognizes the real estate property for this purpose. There is a government database of properties an applicant can choose from.

We should point out that according to the Bulgarian law, specific real estate properties such as agricultural land, for instance, could be purchased only by a Bulgarian citizen, which generally means the applicant can buy an apartment, house, building, or another structure.

There are other alternatives for the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program, and these involve investment in government bonds and discretionary portfolio management in a Bulgarian bank. To learn more about these options, you can read about them here, or better, contact our law firm and get all the specific details.

Buying real estate property in Bulgaria

Having explained how owning a property in Bulgaria can benefit a foreigner who wants to live there permanently or even obtain Bulgarian citizenship, it is time to discuss the matter of buying a real estate property in Bulgaria.

Agricultural land can be purchased only by a Bulgarian citizen. EU and EEA( European economic area) nationals can purchase regulated land and property with adjacent land directly under their name.

Non-EU citizens can buy property in Bulgaria directly under their names, even with a standard tourist visa. Owning a property in Bulgaria doesn’t require the buyer to be a resident; it is possible to buy property in Bulgaria without even visiting Bulgaria, through power of attorney.

However, some limitations do exists. Non-EU citizens cannot buy land in Bulgaria directly under their name. Therefore, properties registered with parts of land cannot be purchased directly. These limitations leave mainly apartments, offices, stores, etc., available for direct purchase by non-EU citizens.

That said, buying regulated land or properties with adjacent land is possible by registering a Bulgarian limited company. For more information on how to set up your own Bulgarian limited company you can contact our law firm.

Essential steps recommended when buying a property in Bulgaria:

  • Verification of the actual owner of the property.
  • Ensuring the absence of legal impediments for transferring the property.
  • Checking the notary deed with a verified notary who is familiar with property issues.
  • Registering the notary deed with the right registry agency to ensure rights in the case of third party claims regarding the property.

We should state that there are many other related issues and things that should be considered regarding the subjects dealt with in this article. We tried to shed light and reveal to our readers the possibilities and options in the laws and regulations in the field of real estate in Bulgaria. If you would like to go deeper into the matter, please do not hesitate and contact our law firm.

Visa and Bulgarian citizenship by real estate options

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