Bulgarian FinMin Proposes Fast Naturalization for Large Investors

Bulgaria in EU | June 22, 2012, Friday // 19:02|  views

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has proposed amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act introducing EU-wide practices. Photo by dariknews.bg

Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Djankov has suggested a fast-track procedure for granting Bulgarian citizenship to foreign businessmen who have invested over BGN 200 000 in the country.

The proposal was approved during Wednesday's sitting of the Council of Ministers, as the official minutes of the meeting show.

"This opportunity can be created through a joint ordinance of the Economy Minister and the Finance Minister which sets out the meaning of "investment" and the appropriate amount of the investment. The initial proposal of the Finance Ministry is for BGN 200 000. We have taken into account other EU countries' practices," Djankov is quoted as saying.

The amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act will allow people from EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland to obtain Bulgarian passports without relinquishing their current citizenship.

Another key change provides for a mandatory Bulgarian language exam for people applying for Bulgarian citizenship on the basis of origin.

According to Djankov, the exam is necessary to convince the authorities that the new Bulgarian citizens will be "full-fledged members of society."

The amendments also introduce a simplified procedure for obtaining and restoring Bulgarian citizenship for spouses of Bulgarian citizens, which, in Djankov's words exists in nearly all EU countries.

Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva is quoted as saying that the legal changes will allow the creation of electronic registers of citizenship-related procedures.

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Tags: investment, Bulgarian citizenship, Bulgarian Citizenship Act, Simeon Djankov, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, finance minister, naturalization, citizenship


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