New citizenship plan for Bulgarian buyers

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Several countries in the EU have been offering residency perks for overseas property investors recently in an effort to stimulate stagnant domestic markets.

Now Bulgaria has also announced plans to offer citizenship to foreigners.

The proposed Investment Encouragement Act will issue citizenship to non-Bulgarians who invest 1 million units of the local currency in public companies or purchase a minimum of 600,000 (roughly equivalent to £264,800) of Bulgarian property investments.

The moves by the governing party GERB were announced by the Sofia News Agency Novinite.

Further details of the changes show that those who buy into a Bulgarian company involved in a "high-priority investment project in industry, infrastructure, transport or tourism" to the tune of BGN 500,000 (£220,333) would also secure permanent residency, and that the seed figure could be reduced by as much as fifty percent if the project involves poorer areas with high unemployment rates.

Spain and Ireland already have similar measures in place in order to target non-EU investors. The moves aim to interest wealthy ,Russian, Indian, Chinese and Gulf investors for whom EU citizenship is highly desirable as it allows free movement between all 27 member states.

In the case of Bulgaria, it has long been a favourite holiday home destination for Russians and more than 300,000 already own property in the country according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice.

Russian publication Ogonyok has ranked the country as the top destination for Russian foreign investments for the last two years.

The increasing economic strength of the Russian middle classes who has emerged as a powerful domestic voice since the great political changes of the 1990’s has also had effects on neighbouring counties and the economies of the entire region.

Bulgarian property prices have fallen more than 40 per cent since 2008 making deals extremely attractive to interested outsiders.

Foreign transactions in any currencies are affected by the rates charge on the FOREX markets and a specialist currency exchange company can find the best deals available.

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New citizenship plan for Bulgarian buyers

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