Sofia, Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s National Assembly has defended the decision to abolish the golden visa passport scheme. The Assembly has approved amendments to the Law on Bulgarian Citizenship so as to negate the passport scheme, which helped an individual to get a country’s citizenship in return for economic investment. 

The lawmakers of the European country voted with 218 majorities to terminate the golden visa scheme as soon as possible. The voting took place on Thursday, February 17, 2022. This came after the European Union Commission demanded the Bulgarian Parliament along with the government’s of two other nations, asking them to immediately repeal the passport schemes. 

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Minister of Justice Nadezhda Yordanova, throughout the whole session of the Parliament, kept reminding the lawmakers to back the modifications, as per the regulations given by the EU.   

“It is about withdrawing the opportunity for individuals who do not have a persistent relationship with Bulgaria, people who do not even reside permanently in the European nation, to quickly become Bulgarian citizens, and in that way, citizens of the European Union”, the Justice Minister added. 

Bulgarian Assembly, in its press release statement, asserted, “The National Assembly assumed at first reading amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act, which provide for the elimination of the possibility of fetching Bulgarian citizenship via investments. Parliament considered at first reading three draft amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act“. 

The Commission also backlashed several other countries for their inadequate due-diligence procedure, providing dual citizenship of their country under the Citizenship by Investment Programme. 

The demand to abolish the scheme was made by the EU on February 15, 2022, noting, ‘it is objectionable ethically, legally as well as economically. The parliament members of the European Union called on the governments’ of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta to end their Citizenship-by-Investment programs as soon as possible.