Bulgarian ETF

Investing in a Bulgarian ETF presents an excellent opportunity for non-EU citizens to acquire a Bulgarian Golden Visa with ease.

512 000 EUR


6 months

to Permanent

5 years

Retaining the

The Bulgarian Golden Visa program presents an attractive pathway for non-EU citizens to gain residency and potentially citizenship in Bulgaria. With the evolving landscape of investment options for this program, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have emerged as a compelling choice for investors. This article delves into the role of ETFs in the Bulgarian Golden Visa scheme, highlighting their benefits, risks, and the process involved in leveraging this investment vehicle for residency purposes.

Understanding ETFs in the Context of the Bulgarian Golden Visa

An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a type of investment fund that holds assets such as stocks, commodities, or bonds and is traded on stock exchanges. ETFs offer diversification across various sectors and are known for their liquidity and lower fee structures compared to traditional mutual funds. In the context of the Bulgarian Golden Visa, investing in an ETF can be a more dynamic and diversified approach to fulfilling the program’s investment requirements.

ETF Selection for the Bulgaria Golden Visa

Your journey towards obtaining a Bulgaria Golden Visa requires a strategic approach, especially when it comes to selecting the right Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) that aligns with your risk tolerance. Unlike Bulgarian AIFs, which offer some degree of flexibility, ETFs are  managed by professional teams, a factor that significantly influences investment decisions and outcomes.

To qualify for the Bulgaria Golden visa by investment in an ETF, the Fund must meet certain criteria:

  • Manage assets totalling no less than BGN 3,000,000.
  • Be licensed or registered by the Financial Supervision Commission.
  • Have an investment strategy entirely focused on Bulgarian assets, investing solely in shares, stocks, and bonds of Bulgarian companies, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

Several funds currently satisfy the above requirements.

Choosing the Right Fund

You are not restricted to investing in just one Fund. Diversification of your investment across multiple Funds that meet the above criteria is possible.

The primary constraint lies in the type of Fund you choose. You need to determine whether to invest in Bulgarian AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds) or Bulgarian ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds). However, it’s important to note that you cannot split the required 512,000 EUR investment between AIFs and ETFs; it must be allocated entirely to one type.

Benefits of the Bulgaria Golden Visa


Visa-free travel to over 140 countries


High-Return Investment Opportunities


The Bulgaria Golden Visa is a Schengen visa


Your entire family can join you


You are eligible to become a tax resident of Bulgaria


Permanent residency status is indefinite


Minimal Investment Period of 5 years


Minimum Stay Requirements of a single day annually


Understanding ETF Management

ETFs, similar to AIFs, are managed by professional managers, except in cases where AIFs are self-managed. When you invest in an ETF, you entrust your funds to the management team, relying on their expertise to make investment decisions based on the fund’s investment strategy. This delegation of control is a key differentiator between ETFs and certain types of AIFs. This underscores the importance of selecting an ETF that not only meets your risk profile but also has a management style you can trust.

The Role of Professional Management in ETF Investment

Expert Decision-Making: Professional managers use their expertise to navigate market trends and opportunities, potentially enhancing the performance of the ETF.

Lack of Direct Control: As an investor, you have no direct control over the individual investment decisions within the ETF.

Statute-Guided Investments: The investment decisions are guided by the statutes of the ETF, ensuring adherence to a predefined investment strategy.

Engaging with Management in AIF Investments

In contrast to ETFs, some AIFs provide an opportunity for investors to discuss potential investment options with the fund management, offering a more tailored investment experience. However, it’s important to note that while investor input may be considered, it’s not always heeded. The fund management ultimately makes decisions based on what they believe is best for the overall fund performance.

Risks of Investor-Led Requests in AIFs

Allowing investor requests to drive investment decisions in AIFs can be risky. If these requests do not align with the fund’s strategic direction or market realities, they could potentially compromise the fund’s performance and statistics. This underscores the critical balance between investor input and professional management expertise.

Due Diligence

Prior to investment in Bulgarian AIF, applicants are required to successfully pass a pre-approval stage with the Bulgarian Investment Agency. Applicants have to provide the following documents and information:

  1. Copy of ID document.
  2. Evidence of sufficient funds meeting or exceeding the minimum investment threshold.
  3. Declaration of Anti-Money Laundering Compliance
  4. Declaration Regarding Politically Exposed Person Status
  5. Detailed information pertaining to employment, professional, and investment activities.
  6. Criminal record certificate issued from the home country and country of permanent residence.

The Applicant is obliged to provide any additional documents or information as may be required by the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

How long is the duration of the Pre-Approval Stage

The pre-approval stage spans a period of 2 to 2.5 months. After this stage is successfully completed, you can proceed with your investment for the Bulgarian Golden Visa.

Should you find that the ETF doesn’t align with your investment goals, you may explore the option of investing in real estate in Bulgaria. Opportunities for obtaining the Bulgaria Golden Visa through real estate investment start at 250,000 EUR.



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