European Union citizenship is the ultimate life changing goal for many individuals from around the world. The advantages of having EU passport are immense. At the same time, the European authorities have set strong rules on how can one become citizen of the EU.
In general, a period of 10 years of permanent residency is required in order to apply for European citizenship. Luckily however, the EU authorities have left the door open for investors with proven track record, and with adequate resources, to obtain EU citizenship under a fast-track procedure.
The envisaged investment citizenship program is available exclusively to residents of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. In order to be considered for fast-track EU citizenship, the applicant has to conform with the following conditions:
Citizenship of the European Union (EU) was introduced by the Maastricht treaty in 1993. It is automatically applied to all citizens of the EU countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Historically, the main benefit of the EU citizenship is that of free movement. The free movement principle applies to all EU citizens as well as to the nationals of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. In short, all EU citizens have the unconditional right of free movement and residency as well as unrestricted working rights in any of the listed countries above. The EU citizens, while abroad (outside of Europe) have right of consular protection of any EU diplomatic mission (when there is no national consular office available). But the rights of all EU citizens don’t stop at free movement; Political rights, voting in European elections, voting in municipal elections, access to European government documents are only part of a whole Universe of rights of the EU citizen.
EU citizenship means choice of living, studying, working and retiring in any European country, without any restrictions whatsoever. As citizen of EU, you can chose to live in any city to your liking, being it Paris, Rome, London, Zurich, Geneva, Oslo, Milan, Berlin, etc. Or, if you prefer so, you can settle down in the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur), in a village in the slopes of the Swiss Alps or the picturesque German countryside. No other citizenship than the European will ever give you the freedom of residency in more than 30 countries!
EU citizenship means also freedom to invest in areas which are reserved for Europeans only. Having your EU passport under the belt, you can buy luxury real estate properties EU-wide, without the restrictions that are being imposed to buyers from outside of the EU. You can invest in a nice chateau in France, high-tech apartment building in Frankfurt or even a castle in Scotland. Your investments, as well as those of your family, will be also protected by the ultimate political and economic stability that the EU member states enjoy.
EU citizenship provides the opportunity to travel visa-free to almost any country worldwide. And the list of visa-free countries (for visitors who are citizens of the EU) is expanding all the time. The European Union is applying a special directive, requiring from third countries (non-EU) to apply a harmonized visa regime to all citizens of the EU, meaning that more and more countries worldwide are opening their borders for EU citizens. Travelling with EU passport abroad guarantees you EU consular protection, prestige and easy border crossing.
I always wanted to have legal residency in Europe, just in case something goes wrong at my side of the world. Never thought it would be so easy, when holding EU citizenship, to chose any country in Europe to live in. Now spending most of the time in the UK and will eventually retire there in few years.
My initial idea was to buy property in Europe (France), but the hurdles were just too many. With the fast-track citizenship by investment program, things are looking much brighter now. Instead of fighting the bureaucracy, now I have enough time to concentrate on the best dream home in Europe.
My son graduated in the Netherlands and wanted to stay there. This didn’t seem possible until I found out that the EU investment citizenship program existed. After arranging his EU passport through the program, I and wife are considering obtaining EU citizenship as well. It just makes life easy.
I was working hard my whole life and was making good money in the clinic. Travelling abroad, mostly for conferences, was nightmare with all that visa stuff. Now as EU citizen it is hard to hide my smile when crossing borders at the "EU only" gates. This is the best investment I have ever made.
Besides unconditional right of settlement anywhere within Europe as well as visa-free travel worldwide, probably the next most important advantage of the EU citizenship is the stability and the peace of mind it provides. The European Union is the most stable political union that has ever existed and it guarantees its citizens comprehensive human rights, social and political freedoms, legal protection and access to all of the EU institutions, benefits and values.
For people from around the world, especially for those who have already accumulated some personal wealth, safety should be paramount. Security of one’s life and assets are as important as ever. Europe (EU) can provide the best investment climate and personal safety hub for anyone who seeks ultimate safety. Access to European banking and financing, protection by the European Courts, right to send appeals to the European Court of Human Rights, these are just a few of the values that EU citizenship comes with.
But European Union citizenship is not only about safety and security. It is also a well of opportunities, especially for the young ones. If you want a brighter life and future for your heirs and you possess the adequate resources, the best investment you could make is in their future – investing in their EU citizenship and securing their safety and much more prosperous life opportunities. EU citizenship doesn’t mean you have to relocate or change your every day habits. You can keep on living where you are living now, but securing your plan "B", just in case things go really wrong in your corner of the world, would be really a smart move.
The process of becoming citizen of the European Union differs from country to country. One of the fastest ways of becoming citizen of EU is to apply for Bulgarian citizenship under the fast-track investment option.
Bulgaria is mid sized country in the south-eastern part of Europe, situated north of Greece and bordering the black sea. The country enjoys mild climate, cold snowy winter and warm summer. Bulgaria has booming economy and ultimate political and economic stability. The area of the country is 111000 sq.km, about the combined area of the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait together. The population of Bulgaria is 7 million people, roughly 25% less than the population of UAE alone, which classifies Bulgaria as rather sparsely populated country within the EU. This is obviously the main factor behind the decision of the Bulgarian Parliament to pass and approve the citizenship by investment program. The main religion in Bulgaria is Christian Orthodox, but with around 15% of the population being Muslim, the Bulgarian society is considered to be extremely religious friendly and multi ethnic.
Most importantly, the fast-track citizenship by investment program is not a "citizenship for sale scheme", it doesn’t require any significant contribution from the investor to the government and all investments remain always on the name of the applicant and are kept in his personal bank account (first class international bank). It is very important to comprehend that the investment is not a payment for the citizenship, but is a real investment for the applicant and the capital remains always his property and is always under his full control.
In brief, the citizenship program requires investment by the candidate of at least 1'167'000 US Dollars (the amount can differ slightly depending on the exchange rate between the USD and the EUR at the moment of submitting the application) in Bulgarian Government Eurobonds, which are held in the candidate’s personal bank account. The Eurobonds are one of the most secure investments in the world, which guarantees complete peace of mind for the applicant. The investment must be held by the candidate for a period of 5 years and can be liquidated at nominal value once the term has passed. The repayment of the Eurobonds is unconditionally guaranteed by the Government at the maturity. There are very little legal and state charges that need to be paid for the participation in the citizenship program, which, compared to the investment itself are negligible. All this makes the Bulgarian fast-track citizenship by investment program, a really unique incentive within the EU, that doesn’t require any donation by the applicant nor does it require any purchase of real estate or other non-liquid assets.
SIGNING THE LEGAL AGREEMENT
The first step of the application, providing all eligibility conditions are met, is signing the legal agreement and empowering our licensed immigration lawyer to act on your behalf in front of all state and other bodies and organizations. We are legally obliged to perform due diligence procedures in order to ensure that only eligible candidates will pass through the initial stage. The agreement can be signed either in Bulgaria or in your country of residence. Upon request, our representatives can fly to meet you at any place in the world in order to provide additional consultations and facilitate the preparation of the legal documents.
OPENING YOUR PRIVATE BANK ACCOUNT
The next step is opening of your bank account in Bulgaria. We will introduce you to the Private Banking personal manager who, together with our representative, will assist you for the opening of your account in the comfort of the bank’s prestige premises, reserved only for customers of the Private Banking division. In case you don’t have time to visit Bulgaria at that point, we can eventually arrange the opening procedure by means of Power of Attorney (POA). Alternatively, we can arrange our representative to visit you in your country of residence (or in a country you are currently staying) to arrange all formalities.
PURCHASING THE EUROBONDS
Once your bank account has been opened, you need to transfer to it, in your own name, an amount of at least $1'167'000. Once that amount is credited to your account in Bulgaria (usually takes 1-2 days only), you will need to select, in conjunction with our financial advisor, the suitable investment for the program. You will be presented the choice of buying first class sovereign Eurobonds, guaranteed for 100% by the state. Once acquired, these bonds will be held in your name in the bank, ensuring your ultimate security. The bank will be also providing you additional services, such as prestigious credit cards, etc.
EU PERMANENT RESIDENCY STATUS
After the Eurobonds have been purchased, you will obtain EU permanent residency status. To receive your permanent residency card, a visit to Sofia (Bulgaria) may be required. The permanent residency status doesn’t require living or staying in Bulgaria, however you are free to do so, should you decide to. With this status, under the conditions of the program, you will have to wait 12 months, after which period, you will be eligible for full EU citizenship – the ultimate goal of the program. During the 12 months waiting period, you can live wherever you want and you will continue with your usual business and family activities.
OBTAINING YOUR FULL EU CITIZENSHIP
Once the 12 months period under permanent resident status has passed, you will be eligible for full Bulgarian (EU) citizenship. We will submit your application and you will shortly thereafter receive your citizenship certificate, international travel passport and national identity card. From that moment on, you will enjoy all the benefits that are being provided to each EU citizen. Under the fast-track citizenship program, you will be not required to surrender your current citizenship; you will be not required to pass language tests, etc. Once you get your EU passport in your hands, you will immediately start a whole new life of ultimate freedom!
YOUR NEW LIFE AS EU CITIZEN
The moment you get hold of your EU citizenship certificate, you will realize the benefits it comes with. Living anywhere in Europe without any restrictions. Travelling visa-free to almost all countries worldwide. Crossing borders without any hassle. Buying real estate in Europe. Ultimate asset protection for your and your family wealth under the EU’s legal framework. Banking and business acceptance worldwide as EU citizen. Consular protection by all EU embassies worldwide. And last, but not least, a safe haven for you and your family in Europe, should anything wrong happens in your home country. You will start a whole new lifestyle!
Yes. The program is available to people from all nationalities, providing they are legal residents of UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar or Bahrain. If you are Syrian citizen, but are residing in one of the listed above countries, you do qualify for the EU citizenship by investment program.
No. The investment will be held on your personal bank account, it will not be blocked and you will be the only person who will have access to it (unless you decide to give POA to someone). The condition of the program is to keep it for 5 years, but it will be not blocked and can be withdrawn.
Yes. Under the laws of Bulgaria, everyone who’s one parent at least is Bulgarian citizen, is considered Bulgarian citizen as well. That means that your family members can obtain EU citizenship immediately when you obtain your citizenship. The same applies to the dependants of your children and so on.
Absolutely yes! Once you obtain your Bulgarian citizenship, you will be free to reside in Frankfurt (as well as in any other European country) without any formalities. You will have the same rights (work, study, live, retire, etc.) as the local citizens there. This is one of the fundamental rights of all EU citizens.
So what is your next step if you want to apply for the fast-track EU citizenship by investment program? You will need to make sure that you are eligible under the residency terms (namely to be legal resident in UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar or Bahrain) and you possess the adequate financial means. You must also make sure that the funds, subject of the investment, have clear origin as the EU anti money laundering laws are quite strict and need to be complied with. Lastly, you must ensure that you have no criminal convictions and can produce clean criminal record. If you think that you qualify, please contact us for further information on how to proceed. You can also read more about the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program by following this link. Here you can also read more about Vasilev · Dobrinov & Associates.
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