Bulgaria’s Parliament abolishes ‘golden passports’

Bulgaria’s Parliament approved on March 24 the second and final reading of amendments to the Citizenship Act that abolish “golden passports” – citizenship in return for investment.

Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta have been the target of concern by the European Commission because of “golden passport” schemes, given that those who receive citizenship in this way acquire all the rights – including freedom of movement – that go with being a citizen of an EU country.

The amendments shut down all pending proceedings under the scheme.

Within six months of the amendments becoming law, the State Agency for National Security must check whether there are grounds to revoke any citizenships that were granted on the basis of the scheme.

The granting of residence on the basis of investments remains in place.

Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Hamid Hamid said that the party would table amendments to deal with the issue of residence on the basis of investments “whether to cancel that or introduce more serious regulations, will become clear,” he said.

Hamid said that these amendments would be tabled “in coming months”.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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