Located in the Balkans, Bulgaria was a member of the Eastern Bloc and a socialist republic until 1990. It joined the European Union in 2007, but its application to become a member of the Schengen Area was rejected following concerns regarding corruption. Neither is it a member of the Eurozone, although the nation’s currency – the lev – is pegged to the Euro. Bulgaria is the EU country with the lowest personal income tax rate and one of the lowest corporate tax rates. Even though average wages are the lowest in the EU, the economic outlook for Bulgaria is relatively optimistic, particularly as IT services, tourism, and manufacturing continue to grow and provide employment.
The Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Programme