Schengen Visa News

Bulgaria to Put an End to Its Golden Visa Scheme

Bulgaria’s golden visa program may not be available to foreigners after the country’s Prime Minister Kirill Petkov pledged on Friday to scrap the scheme that attracts a large number of foreigners.

This is not the first time that the Bulgarian authorities have tried to do this. Last month, the country’s government announced that the program would be scrapped following the same plans to submit the bill to Parliament, TheSchengen.com reports.

However, the bill, which has won the support of a large number of politicians in Bulgaria, needs the approval of the country’s government.

Last month, the prime minister also stressed that the state was planning to put an end to such a program due to “the absence of real investments in the economy, which is likely to lead to job creation”.

Although the Golden Visa, which is operated in many European countries, contributes significantly to the economies of these countries, it is often criticized for its involvement in many illegal affairs such as corruption and money laundering.

Last month, the Ministry of Justice announced that the citizenship-by-investment program had not led to a real investment in Bulgaria, EURACTIV reported.

In addition, the Ministry itself stressed that the expiration of the golden visa for passports is coming soon.

“This is one of the main obstacles to (joining) Schengen, in my opinion, and visa-free travel with the United States. The Prime Minister noted in this regard, Bulgarian national television reported.

The Golden Visa scheme in Bulgaria allows foreigners to obtain the country’s passport if they have invested at least BGN 1,000,000 or $568,000.

Based on the report previously published by Euractiv, 96 foreigners hold Bulgarian golden visas. According to the report, many of them are Russians, followed by citizens of Middle Eastern countries.

In June last year, the European Union sent a letter to the Bulgarian authorities calling on them to put an end to the citizenship-by-investment programme.

The EU Commission has consistently called on authorities in European countries running such schemes to cancel such schemes amid growing concerns about money laundering, corruption, tax evasion and other illicit matters.

Earlier, a report published by the Associated Press confirmed that the golden visa programs in Greece and Portugal have systemic problems with their programs, while such schemes are used for nefarious purposes due to a lack of background checks.

In addition, the authorities in Cyprus also announced that they would cancel the golden visa scheme, after an investigative report from Al Jazeera, called the “Cyprus Papers”, which claimed that more than 1,000 foreigners bought citizenship in Cyprus for a period from 2017 to 2019.

Schengen Visa

Schengen Countries

Schengen Agreement

Schengen News

Source: schengenvisainfo.com

Enable Notifications    OK No