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Bulgaria Implements Updated Regulations for Golden Visa Program

Bulgaria has recently introduced new regulations for its Golden Visa program following the termination of its Citizenship by Investment program in 2021. The changes, approved by the Bulgarian government on April 25, outline the framework for foreign investors to obtain Bulgarian residency through investment. These updates primarily focus on the pre-clearance process for program applicants, with strict adherence to the new rules being necessary for successful applications.

Key elements of the new regulations require applicants to obtain a bank reference for an account opened in their name within Bulgaria or any other European Union country. Additionally, applicants must provide a declaration confirming the source of their funds, using a government-approved template. These measures aim to combat money laundering and ensure that funds originate from legitimate sources.

To enhance transparency, applicants are required to disclose their politically exposed person status and submit criminal record certificates. Documentation of professional and investment activities is also necessary, and in cases where applicants are unable to submit their applications in person, a notary-certified power of attorney is required.

Furthermore, applicants must promptly inform authorities of any changes to their investment. These new measures seek to regulate and streamline the Golden Visa process in Bulgaria. However, concerns remain due to ongoing political turmoil within the country.

Alexander Dobrinov from Vasilev-Dobrinov and Associates highlighted potential challenges stemming from the current political climate, as some government officials oppose investment citizenship and residence programs. Nevertheless, the new regulations are viewed as a step towards compliance and clarity within the legal framework, rather than introducing additional hurdles.

These recent changes position Bulgaria as a potential alternative for individuals seeking Golden Visa programs in the European Union. The Investor Visa program of Ireland was abruptly halted in February, while Portugal’s program is being phased out due to concerns over rising property prices. However, Bulgaria’s Golden Visa program may face competition from other countries offering more cost-effective investment options. Overall, Bulgaria’s updated regulations for the Golden Visa program aim to provide a streamlined and transparent process for foreign investors seeking residency in the country. While challenges exist within the political landscape, the new rules demonstrate Bulgaria’s commitment to maintaining a viable and attractive investment program for those seeking residency in the European Union.

Source : Schengen Visa


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