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14.02.2013 Bulgaria will offer permanent residency to foreigners who buy property worth at least EUR 307,000

www.novinite.com, February 13, 2013

Bulgaria has passed a law that will ease even further the process of granting citizenship to foreign investors in a bid to boost the country's ailing economy.

Bulgaria will be offering citizenship to foreigners, who come from non EU states, ready to invest at least BGN 500,000 (EUR 256,000) and create ten jobs for Bulgarians, under amendments to the Investment Encouragement Act adopted conclusively on Tuesday by parliament in response to the presidential veto at the end of last year.

Under the amendments, the candidates would have to invest in a Bulgarian company involved in a high-priority investment project in industry, infrastructure, transport or tourism. The investors will not be required to have had residence status in the country for at least one year.

Parliament backed the proposal by the right-wing Blue Coalition and lowered the investment amount thresholds for foreign investors in poorer regions. These will be granted permanent residency status and Bulgarian citizenship if they pour BGN 250 000 (EUR 128,000) and hire five Bulgarians in regions with high unemployment.

The purchase of real estate, worth at least BGN 600,000 (EUR 307,000), is another way to gain permanent residency status, according to the new law.

The draft legislation provided permanent residency status to a foreigner who has invested over BGN 1 M (EUR 512,820) in public companies or joint ventures or has deposited the money at a Bulgarian bank for a period of five years.

Bulgaria already is handing out passports to ethnic Bulgarians outside its borders, the main beneficiaries being citizens of Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey.

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