Bulgarian Parliament approves new Foreigners Act amendments after presidential veto

Members of Bulgaria’s Parliament have approved altered amendments to the Foreigners Act on granting permanent residence in return for investment, after President Rossen Plevneliev vetoed previous amendments that provided for investment to open the way to citizenship.

The ruling axis in Parliament earlier failed to rally enough votes to overturn Plevneliev’s veto.

Plevneliev based his veto on concerns that allowing citizenship solely on the basis of financial investment could be subject to manipulation and raised national security concerns.

The amendments now adopted will allow people who have invested a sum of a million leva (about 500 000 euro) in a Bulgarian licensed credit institution for no less than five years to apply for permanent residence.

The amendments create the condition that the sum deposited may not be used to secure other cash loans from a credit institution in the country.

In 2012, at the time of the previous government, Plevneliev also turned down amendments providing citizenship for investment, after Bulgaria’s national security agencies expressed concern that such a system could allow undesirable people to obtain Bulgarian passports.

The new amendments give the Invest Bulgaria Agency a role in monitoring whether investments used as a basis for applying for permanent residence are transferred or terminated.

Bulgarian Socialist Party MPs said that they believed that the new amendments met the President’s concerns and would not attract a new veto.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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