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Bulgarian Parliament Finally Abolished the Possibility of Acquiring Citizenship for Investment
The Bulgarian state has finally abolished the possibility of acquiring citizenship for investment. This happened with the amendments to the Law on Bulgarian Citizenship adopted at the second reading. The adopted texts abolish the possibility of acquiring citizenship in exchange for an investment. The provisions regulated in the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, which give the opportunity to acquire Bulgarian citizenship to persons applying for acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship or received a permanent residence permit for investments made mainly in the purchase of government securities worth over one million levs, are repealed in addition to investments of over BGN 1 million in a licensed credit institution under a trust management agreement, which have accordingly increased the investment under the same conditions to BGN 2 million.
The deputies agreed within six months of the entry into force of this law to the State Agency “National Security” to check the existence of grounds for revocation of naturalization in all cases of acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship. The information on the results of the inspection shall be provided to the Minister of Justice, with a view to assessing the application of the powers provided for in the adopted texts.
The deputies also agreed to terminate the applications for acquisition of investment citizenship, in accordance with the provisions repealed by the adoption of this bill.
Petar Petrov (“Vazrazhdane” /Revival) commented that the applications submitted so far should be considered and resolved because in his words they were all submitted legally. He asked what necessitated the decision to terminate them and pointed out that legal uncertainty would be created for all future proceedings. Petrov added that it concerns more than 100 submitted applications. According to him, more than BGN 200 million has been invested in government securities. According to him, with the adoption of the provision in question, what we will do is simply return this money.
Krum Zarkov (“Bulgarian Socialist Party”) commented that with the adoption of the bill Bulgaria will no longer be on the black list of EU and EC countries.
Hamid Hamid (“Movement for Rights and Freedoms”) said that with the adoption of this law we have put an end to a difficult dispute over these years whether to have investment citizenship or not. He pointed out that the issue of residence on the basis of investments remains unresolved. Hamid added that the issue of so-called gold visas is also on the agenda.
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