Does Bulgaria allow dual citizenship?

  •  
  •  
  •  
Australia nature

And more precisely, does Bulgaria allow dual (or multiple) citizenship in the case of citizenship by investment?

dice

While the answer is sound and resounding YES, we thought it may be interesting for the reader to find out more about the legal details. Today we will do something that we have never done before. We will show you, the future candidate for EU citizenship, the transcript of the conversation between our consultant and a perspective client. An extremely well educated customer who still had certain doubts about whether dual citizenship in Bulgaria is allowed (in the case of investment citizenship).

Some editing has been done, in order to preserve our client’s personal data. And of course, the transcript is published with the explicit consent of the client.

The email conversation between our representative and the Client


CLIENT:

(obviously worried that the Bulgarian CBI program doesn’t allow the candidate to retain his existing citizenship)

Sorry just got back to a computer, I picked website that were not selling anything or had anything to do with Citizenship Visa etc

Pretty much every article on the Internet says the same, that naturalised citizens (not born in the EU/EEA and Switzerland must give up their previous citizenship. Is it perhaps something specific to the Investment Visa Program that allows for it, perhaps you could send me a link to the Bulgarian Act’s and the specific articles that shows dual citizenship is possible ? As you see below, even Wikipedia quotes that dual citizenship is not generally allowed and quotes the BG law documents (which I can’t read 🙂

This is one of your website I believe https://posolstvo.eu/blog/declaring-truth-cbi-bulgaria/ :

“South African obtains Bulgarian Citizenship: John has obtained Bulgarian citizenship after 5 year of permanent residency in the country. He has not surrendered his South African citizenship, as is the legal requirement in his case. Somehow however, he has convinced the Bulgarian authorities that he has.”

——————————————————————————————

From Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_nationality_law

Bulgaria permits dual citizenship only for native-born citizens, citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland, as well as spouses of Bulgarian citizens. Naturalised citizens who do not belong to at least one of the aforementioned groups, are required to give up all other nationalities.[3] Those who previously renounced their Bulgarian citizenship are allowed to get it reinstated. Some countries do not permit multiple citizenship e.g. adults who have acquired Bulgarian and Japanese citizenship by birth must declare, to the latter’s Ministry of Justice, before turning 22, which citizenship they want to keep. 

Which links from http://lex.bg/bg/laws/ldoc/2134446592


CONSULTANT:

(explaining the particularities of the Law for the Bulgarian Citizenship)

Yes, this is our website the example about the south African – this is exactly the “naked” naturalization, which is obtained after 5 years long term residency + 5 term permanent residency (total 10 years).

About the Wikipedia link https://www.lex.bg/bg/laws/ldoc/2134446592, it refers to the correct law indeed. What they say is that in general it is not allowed, which is in their interpretation true, but the exceptions (such as citizenship by origin, investment, etc.) are much more than the remaining “naked” naturalization. So what is “in general”? In your case it is allowed (as explained in my previous email).

Let me be more clear, because I want you to be absolutely convinced. Here are the texts from the Wikipedia link (the correct law) https://www.lex.bg/bg/laws/ldoc/2134446592 Citizenship law:

Here is Art.12 of the law (translated one to one with Google translate):

Art. 12. (1) (Former text of Art. 12 – SG 108/2013) A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if, at the date of submission of the application for naturalization:

1. is of legal age;

2. (Supplemented, SG No. 21/2012) received, at least 5 years ago, a permit for permanent or long-term residence in the Republic of Bulgaria;

3. has not been convicted of a premeditated crime of general nature by a Bulgarian court and no criminal proceedings have been instituted against him for such a crime, unless rehabilitated;

4. (amend. – SG 41/01) has an income or occupation which enables him to support himself in the Republic of Bulgaria;

5. (amend. – SG 41/01; amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend. – SG 68/08) 2013, effective 02.08.2013) is fluent in Bulgarian language, which shall be established in accordance with the procedure established by an ordinance of the Minister of Education and Science, and

6. (new – SG 41/01) has been exempted from his previous citizenship or shall be exempted from it at the moment of acquiring Bulgarian citizenship.

(2) (New, SG No. 108/2013) No exemption shall be required from their previous citizenship for:

1. persons – spouses of Bulgarian citizens;

2. nationals of a Member State of the European Union, of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or of the Swiss Confederation;

3. nationals of countries with which the Republic of Bulgaria has concluded reciprocal agreements.

These are indeed the general requirements. Now we have Art.14a (again plain google translate):

Art. 14a. (New, SG No. 16/2013) (1) (Amended, SG No. 108/2013) A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen and meets the conditions of Art. 12, para. 1, items 1 and 3, may acquire Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization if:

1. (amend. – SG 108/2013, amend. – SG 22/2015, in force from 24.03.2015) received not less than one year permit for permanent residence in the Republic of Bulgaria on the grounds of Art. 25, para. 1, item 6 or 7 of the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria and:

a) increased its investment under the same terms of the law to at least BGN 2 million

You see, the only conditions that need to be met are these in para 1 items 1 and 3 (in yellow), and of course the investment requirement (Art. 25, para. 1, item 6 or 7 of the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria) is met.

For your dependents it’s the same (another article, but I hope you will trust me here already 🙂


CLIENT:

Thanks for your attention to this, apologies for keep coming back to you on these points.

I think I understand this …. Art 14a allows for a person who is not a Bulgarian citizen, who meets Art. 12 para. 1 & 3 (which you highlighted) to acquire citizenship. Art 14 is effectively the article that relates to the Investment Program,  – Art. 14a 1 if they have been permanent residence for more than 1 year and a) increase the investment to at least 2m BGN. This is what we know about the Investment Program … which is exactly as expected. Art14a supports the Investment program 100% but doesn’t specifically mention dual citizenship etc.

Is the way you read this, that, Art14a allows for citizenship on the basis on meeting Art14a (1 year & 2m BGN) and only Art12 1 & 3 …. i.e. because it only mentions 1 & 3 in therefore implies that Art14a does not require the meeting of 2,4,5 & 6 of Art12 ? Do I have that straight (and apologies I’m not lawyer! 🙂


CONSULTANT:

(explaining the details about the spouse and the children of the Client)

Just want you to be really 10000% assured. Here is for your spouse (google translate, you can do it yourself, should get the same output in English):

And most importantly, we are doing that for ages, even the Wikipedia article is with our input 🙂

For your wife Art.12a (conditions are p.1,2,3,4 – meaning 5 years of total permanent residency permission, as previously explained):

Art. 12a. (New, SG No. 16/2013, amended, SG No. 108/2013) A person who has received a permanent residence permit on the grounds of Art. 25, para. 1, item 6, 7 or 8 or as a family member of such person, or Art. 25, para. 1, item 13 – in connection with Art. 25c, para. 2, item 2 or 3, or Art. 25, para. 1, item 16 of the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria, may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if it fulfills the conditions under Art. 12, para. 1, Vol. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Art. 12. (1) (Former text of Art. 12 – SG 108/2013) A person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship if, at the date of submission of the application for naturalization:

1. is of legal age;

2. (Supplemented, SG No. 21/2012) received, at least 5 years ago, a permit for permanent or long-term residence in the Republic of Bulgaria;

3. has not been convicted of a premeditated crime of general nature by a Bulgarian court and no criminal proceedings have been instituted against him for such a crime, unless rehabilitated;

4. (amend. – SG 41/01) has an income or occupation which enables him to support himself in the Republic of Bulgaria;

5. (amend. – SG 41/01; amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend. – SG 68/08) 2013, effective 02.08.2013) is fluent in Bulgarian language, which shall be established in accordance with the procedure established by an ordinance of the Minister of Education and Science, and

6. (new – SG 41/01) has been exempted from his previous citizenship or shall be exempted from it at the moment of acquiring Bulgarian citizenship.

(2) (New, SG No. 108/2013) No exemption shall be required from their previous citizenship for:

1. persons – spouses of Bulgarian citizens;

2. nationals of a Member State of the European Union, of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or of the Swiss Confederation;

3. nationals of countries with which the Republic of Bulgaria has concluded reciprocal agreements.

For your kids Art.15 (only p.3 from Art 12 needs to be met and to have one Bulgarian parent(you)):

Art. 15. (1) (Am. – SG, iss. 41 in 2001, previous text of art. 15 – SG, iss. 33 in 2010, is amended – SG, iss. 108 in 2013) , who is not a Bulgarian citizen, may acquire Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization without the conditions under Art. 12, para. 1, items 2, 4, 5 and 6 if it meets one of the following requirements:

1. is of Bulgarian origin;

2. (Amended and supplemented, SG No. 41/2001) Adopted by a Bulgarian citizen under the conditions of full adoption;

3. (new – SG 41/01) one of his parents is a Bulgarian citizen or has died as a Bulgarian citizen.


CLIENT:

(now convinced, but rightfully criticizing the way the Bulgarian law is written and finding another interesting “point” about his children)

Yes, that is clear now, thank you.

Not to comment on the Bulgarian law writing 🙂 but it would be a better written, If they called out which conditions were not required rather than leaving it implied much like with the part on the dependents Art 15 which is clearly written ….

“who is not a Bulgarian citizen, may acquire Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization without the conditions under Art. 12, para. 1, items 2, 4, 5 and 6” … Ignoring my comments on the writing of Bulgarian law 🙂

I am now 100000% comfortable on the dual citizenship. I might have a go at updating the Wikipedia article so you don’t have to have this conversation with another client.

Lastly, one very simple question, on my children:

Art. 15. (1) (Am. – SG, iss. 41 in 2001, previous text of art. 15 – SG, iss. 33 in 2010, is amended – SG, iss. 108 in 2013) , who is not a Bulgarian citizen, may acquire Bulgarian citizenship by naturalization without the conditions under Art. 12, para. 1, items 2, 4, 5 and 6 if it meets one of the following requirements: 1. is of Bulgarian origin; 2. (Amended and supplemented, SG No. 41/2001) Adopted by a Bulgarian citizen under the conditions of full adoption; 3. (new – SG 41/01) one of his parents is a Bulgarian citizen or has died as a Bulgarian citizen.

The above (Art15) leaves in item 1 (not excluded in red) of Art 12 para 1 – item 1. is of legal age; I would have thought that it should also exclude article item 1 ‘is of legal age’. I’m sure I’ve missed something (again I’m not a lawyer) but by stating ‘without the condition and leaving therefore “is of legal age” doesn’t that mean my children have to be legal age to get citizenship ?

I also just read the relevant sections ЗАКОН ЗА ЧУЖДЕНЦИТЕ В РЕПУБЛИКА БЪЛГАРИЯ. It is so 1000000% clear on the requirement for investment and very clear, it is amazing that in a few hours I can understand this but SO MANY website have so much incorrect information. Both laws are not too complicated and it is all written there in pretty simple language.


CONSULTANT:

(obviously impressed by the Client’s erudition)

Laws in Bulgaria are most of the time written like that. The members of the Parliament change every 4 years and (especially if they are from different parties), they have very different “writing styles”. Art.15 is from 2001 originally and art 14a is from 2013….  Twelve years didn’t make us more literate 🙂 Hence the texts end up like that.

Now, about Art.15 about your kids. Are you sure that you are not a lawyer? Because you stunned me! You are 100% correct in your remark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you ever need a job, you can already join our team J

Luckily however we have Art.18 of the same law, which states:

Art. 18. (1) Children up to the age of 14 years, of which only one of the parents is a Bulgarian citizen, if they do not have Bulgarian citizenship, may become Bulgarian citizens without the conditions under Art. 12, if both parents or their survivor give their written consent. The consent of a parent who is deprived of parental rights is not required. Under the same conditions, children of 14 to 18 years of age can acquire Bulgarian citizenship if they so request.


CLIENT:

(the finale)

Well you know, one day soon I’ll be a Bulgarian citizen, so I might be looking for a job in Sofia 😉

On that article, I wasn’t worried because it (clearly) wasn’t the intent that dependant children can be citizens but only if legal age, I just thought I might have found something incorrect in your law … which if it was true, should give me automatic citizenship for finding it 🙂

It makes sense that they have that clause Art15 for dependant children above 18 years with criminal check and then Art18 for non legal age. But Art18 is most likely what people applying for this program are interested in.

I’m thinking I should write a simple website about the program and how it works and the relevant law and that it is real, it would be so useful from someone who has/is applying, has checked it all out, read the laws and doesn’t have any interest in selling anything or ripping people off. When I get around to it, I’ll be sure to mention you in the post as the right people to use at the end of the article.

One Reply to “Does Bulgaria allow dual citizenship?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *