Rasheed Alkhanji QICMS
Published 09:36 PM 13 January 2022
Updated 10:40 AM 16 January 2022
BULGARIA OFFICIALLY MOVES TO SUSPEND CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM (CIP)
Bulgaria has now officially moved to suspend its Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), which granted Bulgarian citizenship to wealthy investors.
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria is proposing that the purchase of Bulgarian citizenship (golden passport program) by foreign investors in exchange for investments (Bulgarian citizenship by investment program) be discontinued, the government press service announced after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday January 12, 2022.
The amendment will be affected by revoking two articles of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act. The government will submit the bill that is supported by a large part of the political class to parliament. The bill has yet to be approved by parliament.
The justice ministry has officially announced that foreign investors (Citizens of non-EU countries) have received a permanent residence permits in Bulgaria (gold visas) on the basis of investments, mainly in purchasing government securities or bank deposits in the country, but by the time they applied for Bulgarian citizenship through Bulgarian CIP or at a later stage in proceedings, were found to have sold or otherwise disposed of these securities.
This path to citizenship through the Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program (BGIIP) should be shut down because it did not mean real investment in the Bulgarian economy, as it did not create jobs, the statement said.
According to Bulgarian citizenship and passport by investment program, the value of the Bulgarian golden visa is an investment of one million leva (EUR 512,000), while the value of the Bulgarian golden passport is double – EUR 1,024,000.
Aside from Bulgaria, several other emerging Europe states have launched similar programs, including Montenegro. Montenegro recently announced it was being extended by twelve months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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