Has anyone looked into Bulgaria Citizenship by investment program?

Has anyone looked into Bulgaria Citizenship by investment program? Why is it not as popular as Portugal? Is it because it is not in Schengen or something else?

Hi stpqls

I believe its due to a few reasons. One of them is Bulgaria’s corruption levels. A 2018 Report by Transparency International indicate that Bulgaria is considered the most corrupt member state of the European Union(it barely joined the EU in 2014), ranking 77 out of 180. Portugal, like many other Western European nations, has considerably minimal corruption.

The other reason is the higher cost. These 2 factors alone are enough to make investors think twice about the Bulgarian CBI. Imagine paying 500k odd Euros and being at the mercy of a corrupt Bulgarian administrative bureaucracy. You are essentially putting your money at high risk with low returns. Not worth it in my opinion.

Below is a report on why bulgaria’s CBI Program isnt successful

I understand the corruption part. But I don’t understand the higher amount. You can buy these bonds in the foreign exchange and Bulgaria has a BBB rating. How is this not better than overpriced Portuguese real estate? Even the lowest 280K Euro Golden Visa in Portugal costs about ~50-60K more due to various fees. Bulgaria is much more straight forward it seems.

I did a bit of research and turns out it can be better than Portugal’s Golden visa IF you compare it with buying overpriced real estate in the big cities eg. Lisbon, Porto, Algarve etc…

However, Portugal give’s a better bang for buck for those who do not wish to top up their initial investment just to shorten the time. There are, however, some changes made to the Bulgarian Citizenhip by investment and it has an additional option of opening a company with 10 staff and using 250k euros.

However, the same rules of top up for an accelerated citizenship path still remains. I personally would not recommend this CBI unless you have 500k Euros or more and are willing to hire 20 people to your company in 2 years.

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I’ll say this with all respect. Mr Paul The Free, the info and ideas you put out are something I firmly disagree with.

  1. Bulgaria did NOT join EU in 2014, I’m not sure where you read that. It joined in 2007.
  2. The Transparency International you mention should perhaps study how transparent the European Central Bank and the City of London are, as organisations, before putting out assertive statements as to how much various countries are corrupt. To give one out of many examples - the Danish bank DanskeBank was caught laundering money with offshore schemes in its Estonian branch. Should we sweep this under the rug? There’s a whole plethora of examples that can be given on how corrupt many western european countries are so I would not look into reports such as the one you cite.
  3. The “corrupt Bulgarian administrative bureaucracy” that you mention is found just as much in any other European country … be it east or west so there’s not so much to say about that … Just imagine being at the mercy of ECB and so on.
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Hi Enbilei

Sorry if I have sounded offensive/ignorant. I didnt mean to put down Bulgaria. I was just trying to put forward an argument as to why I think Bulgarian Citizenship by investment is not such a good deal as compared to Portugal, Greece or even recently Italian Golden Visas. If you want to compare apples with apples, we can also compare it to nearby Montenegro and its Citizenship by Investment.

  1. My apologies for that
    2 & 3) I understood that there is also corruption going on in Western (European) countries. I am equally as appalled by the scale of the Panama Papers, Cambridge Analytica and many other scandals. I also know that the EU, ECB etc. are not as transparent or democratic as they perceive they are

I dont want to run the risk of assuming but if you are Bulgarian, could you enlighten us the details of your countries’ citizenship by investment program(costs, investment methods etc…)?

Much Appreciated


Not sure though if comparing it to Montenegro would be comparing apples to apples, as ME is not in EU.