Real Estate Investments

Investing in property in Bulgaria offers a streamlined and efficient path to obtaining a D visa and residency, typically within just a few months. This process provides a hassle-free opportunity for investors to establish residency in Bulgaria, leveraging the benefits of property ownership in the country.

312 000 EUR

Minimum
investment

6 months

to Permanent
residency

5 years

Retaining the
investment

Investing in property in Bulgaria offers a streamlined and efficient path to obtaining a D visa and residency, typically within just a few months. This process provides a hassle-free opportunity for investors to establish residency in Bulgaria, leveraging the benefits of property ownership in the country.

Investment requirements

Investing a minimum of 600,000 BGN (approximately 306,778.85 EUR) in purchasing real estate, or owning over 50 percent of the capital in a Bulgarian company and investing the same amount in the company’s capital, thereby enabling the company to purchase real estate, qualifies you for a 12-month residency card in Bulgaria. This card can subsequently be exchanged for permanent residency status. This investment pathway offers a significant advantage, as it bypasses the standard requirement of residing in Bulgaria for 30 months within a 5-year period typically necessary for converting to permanent residency. This option thus provides a more direct route to securing permanent residency in Bulgaria for investors.

Residential or Commercial property?

Under Bulgarian law, there is no distinction between residential and commercial property for the purposes of investment for residency. The property investment can take various forms, including regulated land or even a development construction project that does not qualify as a Priority investment status or any other investment class category recognized by the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

Applying for residency with a property under mortgage

You can apply for residency using a property purchased with a mortgage. However, for eligibility purposes, especially for acquiring a 12-month temporary residency card, it’s essential that the remaining mortgage balance at the time of your application does not surpass 25% of the property’s total value.

Steps to Invest in a Property in Bulgaria

  1. Property Selection and Due Diligence: Begin by selecting a property that meets your needs and investment criteria. Conduct thorough due diligence to assess the property’s legal status, encumbrances, and overall suitability.
  2. Purchase through a Notary: Once you’ve chosen a property, the purchase process is facilitated through a notary. This professional ensures that all legal aspects of the transaction are in order, providing an additional layer of security.
  3. D Visa Application: With the property purchased, the next step is to apply for a D visa with the embassy in your home country. This usually takes few months.
  4. Residency Application: Upon obtaining the D visa, you can then apply for residency. This step involves submitting the required documents and fulfilling the necessary criteria as a property investor. Applications are considered within 14 calendar days.
  5. Permanent Residency: After meeting the residency requirements, which typically involves a certain period of stay in Bulgaria, you can apply for permanent residency.
  6. Bulgarian Citizenship Application: Following a 5 years period of permanent residency, you are eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship, completing the journey from property investment to full citizenship.

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

 

No physical requirements to convert to Permanent residency

 

Minimal Investment Period of 5 years

 

Hassle-free residency renewal process

 

 

Are there limitations on investing in real-estate in Bulgaria?

Seventeen years after joining the EU, the court in Luxembourg lifted the restriction on foreigners acquiring agricultural land in Bulgaria. This change also facilitates easier investment in real estate in Bulgaria under the Bulgarian Golden Visa. Until now, foreigners had to buy a ready-made company to use for the purpose of purchasing property.

Is it advisable to pursue investment through a company?

Registering a VAT company is often recommended for investing in real estate under the Bulgarian Golden Visa program. This approach can be particularly beneficial if you purchase a property from a VAT-registered seller, as it allows for VAT recovery. For instance, if the purchase price of a property is 312,000 euros, inclusive of VAT, you could potentially reclaim 62,400 euros in VAT. This effectively reduces the actual investment requirement to 250,000 euros.

Effective Tax-Saving Strategies for Real Estate Investments

When investing in real estate, there are strategic methods that can lead to savings of over 10,000 EUR in municipal taxes on property purchases. In Bulgaria, the municipal tax typically stands at 3% across most districts. For a 312,000 EUR property investment, this equates to approximately 9,360 EUR in municipal taxes, along with roughly 1,000 EUR in notarial fees. Our specialized team of property conveyancing lawyers is well-equipped to guide you through the process, ensuring that your investment in property for the Bulgarian Golden Visa is optimized for tax efficiency.

How to Buy a Property in Bulgaria

The process involves a notary public who plays a crucial role in conducting due diligence on the property and overseeing the transaction. The notary ensures that all aspects of the property sale are legal, transparent, and compliant with Bulgarian property laws. The property can be purchased remotely by granting an embassy certified Power of Attorney or in person.

What are the costs associated to buying a property in Bulgaria?

Council Tax for Title Transfer:  The council tax varies depending on the location of the property and is calculated as a percentage of the sale value. It typically ranges between 2% and 3.5%.
Additional Fees: Beyond the council tax, there are other fees and costs associated with the property purchase. These may include notary fees, legal fees, administrative charges, and possibly real estate agent fees if you use the services of an agent.
For more details, you can check out the Bulgaria property fees calculator.

Family reunification

You can apply for family reunification for your non-EU family members, but this option becomes available only after you have been granted your residency card. The process for family reunification includes the following steps:

  1. Submission to the Migration Office: You start the process by submitting a family reunification application to your local Migration Office. This application is typically reviewed and considered within a two-month timeframe.
  2. Visa Application for Family Members: Following the approval of your application, the next step involves your family members applying for a Family D visa at the Bulgarian embassy in their home country.
  3. Residency Card Application Process: Once they have obtained a valid D visa, your family members must then apply for their residency cards. It’s crucial to note that this application should be completed no later than two weeks before the expiration of their D visa to ensure compliance with immigration procedures.

It’s important to differentiate this process from the one applicable to family members of Bulgaria Golden Visa applicants who already have permanent residency status.

The process for family members of Golden Visa holders with permanent residency involves different procedures and criteria, tailored to the unique status of the Golden Visa holder. It’s crucial to understand these differences to ensure that the correct pathway is followed for your specific situation.

If investing in real estate doesn’t align with your preferences or objectives, you might consider investing in a Bulgarian AIF as an alternative option.

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