OECD issues consultation documentation regarding the investment schemes involving misuse of residence for circumventing the Common Reporting Standard

A growing number of jurisdictions are offering Citizenship by investment (CBI) or Residence by investment (RBI) schemes allowing foreign citizens to obtain local citizenship or permanent or temporary residence rights in order to take advantage of the local flat fees or in exchange for local investments. These individuals may be interested in these opportunities for a number of legitimate reasons such as taking advantage of visa free travelling, increased mobility or better job or educational opportunities, or the choice of living in an economically stable country. But at the same time the information which is released on the market and obtained by the OECD CRS public disclosure facility stresses on the various RBI and CBI misuse schemes which are aimed at circumventing the requirements for reporting under the Common Reporting Standards (CRS).

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Bulgarian Visa information guide

If you decide to travel to Bulgaria, kindly read our guide in order to acquire general information what is required.

At first, check whether a visa is required for your country.

Visa Regime for foreigners with ordinary passports for a short stay (until 90 days) – check the list.

Visa Regime for foreigners with diplomatic and service passports – check the list.

Visa types:

Visa A (for airport transit) – The airport transit visa entitles the foreigner to cross or to stay in the international transit zone of the airport in the case of a transit landing or of changing flights for the purpose of continuing travel to another state.

The following documents shall be submitted together with the application on applying for an airport transit visa:

  1. A regular foreign travel document;
  2. A photocopy of the pages the foreign travel document with the personal information and with the visas laid and/or a photocopy of the held permits for stay in the next states along the route;
  3. A recent colorful photograph (passport size);
  4. Flight booking

Before the airport transit visa is issued, the ticket and a copy thereof are presented.

Visa C (for a short stay for the purpose of transit or a planned stay) – A short-stay visa for the purposes of planned stay is issued to a foreigner who enters the country once, twice or multiple times for a total term of stay up to 90 days within each 6 months as of the date of the first entry.

The multiple short-stay visa may be with a validity term of up to twelve months or, as an exception – up to five years.

Conditions for issuance of multiple visa (any of the following):

  • business contacts with Bulgarian natural or legal persons;
  • family members of Bulgarian citizen or citizen of EU;
  • family members of foreigner residing permanently in Bulgaria;
  • driver of international road transport or a member of a crew of railway transport for passengers and goods;

Documents required:

  1. A regular foreign travel document;
  2. A photocopy of the pages of the foreign travel document with the personal information and the visas laid and/or a photocopy of the permits for stay possessed; 
  3. A recent colorful photograph – passport size;
  4. Documents substantiating the visa request as well as copies thereof;
  5. Proof of the possession of the required financial resources for subsistence amounting to a minimum of EUR 50 per day of the stay requested (at least EUR 500) or a document of prepaid tourist services;
  6. Documents certifying the possession of the required financial resources for accommodation or a document for prepaid accommodation in a tourist accommodation facility, or an invitation;
  7. Documents certifying the possession of the required financial resources to leave the country or a ticket;
  8. An insurance policy with a minimum amount of the cover EUR 30 000.

Invitation Declaration – by natural or legal person for private stay/ for business visit.

Substantiation of the purpose of the journey:

  • Private visit
  • Business visit
  • Cultural exchange
  • Sport
  • Medical treatment
  • Tourism

 

Visa D (for a long stay) – up to 6 months and a right to stay of up to 180 days.

Conditions for issuance of multiple visa (any of the following):

  • work
  • commercial activities
  • foreign specialists
  • parents of Bulgarian citizens
  • commercial representatives
  • medical treatment
  • mass-media correspondents/ journalists
  • pensioners/ retired persons
  • family members of Bulgarian residents
  • students
  • Settlement visa
  • Investment Incentive visa
  • dependants and family members of diplomatic, consulate officials or commercial representative
  • Trade visa
  • Non commercial activity visa
  • family members of the Bulgarian citizen

Visa D entitles the holder to multiple entries in the territory of Bulgaria within its validity term.

Visa application form – Download

Documents required:

  1. Visa application form
  2. A regular foreign travel document
  3. Copies of the pages of the foreign travel document with the personal information and the visas laid and/or copies of the permits for stay possessed
  4. Recent passport-size color photograph
  5. Original documents and two copies thereof substantiating the application for a long stay visa under the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act and the Regulation on its implementation, and of the financial resources possessed for subsistence and accommodation.

In order to obtain long-stay permission the person must comply with additional conditions. The procedure has its own specifics and a good knowledge of the legal base is necessary. For that reason Global Consult Europe advises you to contact our experts.

 

Acquiring BG citizenship of foreigner

I. Under Art. 13 of Bulgarian Citizenship Act

The person who is not Bulgarian citizen:

  • Must be an adult;
  • Has not been convicted of a crime by Bulgarian court or is not prosecuted for such a crime, unless rehabilitated;
  • Has an income or occupation that enables him to live in Bulgaria;
  • Is skillful at Bulgarian language;
  • Is released from present citizenship or will be released from it at the moment of acquiring Bulgarian citizenship – exception for spouses of BG citizens, citizens of EU-countries, other countries with which Bulgaria has a contract;

And  before no less than 3 years of the date of filing of naturalization application has been given permanent residence permit.

The person must also meet one of the following requirements:

  • Legally married to BG citizen – not less than 3 years;
  • Born in Bulgaria;
  • Permanent residence permit is obtained before adulthood;

II. Under Art. 13a of Bulgarian Citizenship Act

1) The person who is granted refugee status or asylum before no less than 3 years of the date of filing of naturalization application:

  • Must be an adult;
  • Has not been convicted of a crime by Bulgarian court or is not prosecuted for such a crime, unless rehabilitated;
  • Has an income or occupation that enables him to live in Bulgaria;
  • Is skillful at Bulgarian language;

2) The person who is granted humanitarian status before no less than 5 years of the date of filing of naturalization application:

  • Must be an adult;
  • Has not been convicted of a crime by Bulgarian court or is not prosecuted for such a crime, unless rehabilitated;
  • Has an income or occupation that enables him to live in Bulgaria;
  • Is skillful at Bulgarian language;

Necessary documents:

  • Application form;
  • Copy of the birth certificate;
  • Certificate from the Ministry of Interior for a permanent residence permit;
  • Certificate of marital status and presence of civil marriage with BG citizen;
  • Certificate from the State Agency for Refugees for granted refugee status/ asylum/ humanitarian status;
  • Certificate of conviction;
  • Document from the prosecution that the person is not prosecuted for a crime of general nature;
  • Certificate from the employer for employment/service relationship;
  • Document proving command of Bulgarian language;
  • Medical document proving that the person doesn’t suffer from diseases;
  • Declaration form;
  • Official document certifying the change of name if exists;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Actual photo – passport size;
  • Photocopy of the ID document;
  • Receipt for paid state fee;
  • Document from the relevant foreign authorities that the person has been released from present citizenship – if it is necessary;

The documents provided must be certified, translated and legalized according the requirement of Bulgarian legislation.

The application along with the necessary documents shall be submitted personally.

If you have any questions regarding the acquiring of Bulgarian citizenship, do not hesitate to contact us.

Permanent residence in Bulgaria

Permission for a permanent residence may receive aliens:

– of Bulgarian descent;

– who have resided legally and continuously on the territory of the country for a period of five years, five years after contracting a marriage with a foreigner permanent resident in Bulgaria;

– minor or underage children of a foreigner permanent resident in Bulgaria, who have not married;

– parents of a Bulgarian citizen, where they provide the said citizen with the child support due under the law and resided legally and constantly for a period of 3 years in the territory of the state;

– who have resided legally and without interruption on the territory of the country for a period of 5 years and for this period they have not been absent for more than 30 months;

– who has invested more than 1 000 000 BGN or increased their investment with this size through the acquisition of:
а) shares in Bulgarian commercial companies, traded on a regulated Bulgarian market;
b) shares and treasury bonds and derivative instruments issued by the State or by municipalities, with a residual maturity not less than 6 months;
c) ownership rights over an isolated part of the property of a Bulgarian commercial company with more than 50 percent state or municipal participation in the capital;
d) shares or stocks owned by the state or municipalities in a Bulgarian commercial company;
e) Bulgarian intellectual property – objects of copyright and related to it rights, patent-protected inventions, utility models, trademarks, service marks and industrial design;
f) rights under concession contracts on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;

– who have invested more than 1 000 000 BGN in a licensed credit institution in Bulgaria under a trust agreement for a period of at least five year, and the deposit is not used, with reference to for the same period, for securing of other cash credits from a credit institution in Bulgaria;

– who has invested in the capital of a Bulgarian commercial company, which shares are not traded on a regulated market, an amount not less than 6 000 000 BGN;

– who are not persons of Bulgarian descent born within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, have lost the Bulgarian citizenship thereof under emigration agreements or at their own will, and wish to settle lastingly within the territory of Bulgaria;

– who entered, resided, or were born within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria prior to the 27th day of December 1998, and whose parent has contracted a civil marriage with a Bulgarian citizen;

– members of the family of a Bulgarian citizen if they have resided without interruption on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria in the last five years;

– who have entered before 27 December 1989, resided and have not left the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, or have been born on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and have not been recognized as citizens of the former Soviet Republics; for this category of persons Visa D does not apply;

– who carry out activities and are certified under the Investment Promotion Act,;

– who are children under 18 years of age, born and abandoned by their parents – foreign citizens – on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, and who are placed in institution or another alternative social service of residential type as a protection measure;

– who are children under 18 years of age, abandoned by their parents – foreign citizens – on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, and who are placed in institution or another alternative social service of residential type as a protection measure.

– have made an investment in the country by contribution to the capital of a Bulgarian trade company of not less than BGN 500 000, where the foreign citizen is an associate or shareholder with registered shares and owns not less than 50 percent of the company’s capital, and as a result of the investment new long-term tangible and intangible assets have been acquired to the amount of not less than BGN 500 000 and at least 10 job positions for Bulgarian citizens have been opened and maintained during the residence period;

– who were granted permission for long stay under art. 24, (1), item 19 and 20 and who maintained the investment over five years.