In a groundbreaking development, Bulgaria and Romania have been welcomed into the Schengen zone, marking a significant step towards seamless travel within Europe. The recent Council Decision, dated 30.12.2023, ratified by the EU Council, has paved the way for these nations to complete their integration into the Schengen area.

Get ready to explore more of Europe with greater ease, even if Lebanon is your home base!

Streamlined Travel Experiences

Effective March 31, 2024, Bulgaria and Romania, alongside existing Schengen members and other associated countries, will bid farewell to the routine ID checks at internal air and sea borders. This monumental decision promises to streamline travel experiences remotely, stimulate tourism, and catalyze business opportunities across the region.

Unlocking Convenience & Boundless Opportunities

For travelers, the elimination of routine border checks signifies a paradigm shift in the travel landscape, promising enhanced convenience and efficiency. This move not only simplifies travel logistics but also enhances the overall journey within the Schengen zone regardless of whether you're coming from your Lebanon office or anywhere else.

Furthermore, the recognition of Bulgarian and Romanian visas as Schengen visas adds significant value, offering travelers unrestricted access to the diverse landscapes and cultures of all 27 European countries within the Schengen area. This development opens doors to unparalleled exploration and business prospects.

Visa-Free Travel Privileges

The Council Decision also extends its reach to those holding residence permits in Bulgaria and Romania, granting them visa-free travel within the Schengen Area for up to three months. This provision, under Article 21 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985, applies to individuals holding valid residence permits in Bulgaria or Romania, alongside appropriate travel documents.

Attractive Residency Pathways

Bulgaria emerges as an attractive destination for non-EU nationals like Lebanon seeking permanent residence. With an investment of BGN 1,000,000.00 (~€512,000.00) in approved Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), individuals can secure residency in Bulgaria. These investment vehicles, with a minimum net asset value (NAV) of BGN 5 million, must primarily focus on investments within Bulgaria, presenting a unique opportunity for long-term residency in a culturally rich European nation.

As Bulgaria and Romania embrace their new status within the Schengen area, a world of opportunities unfolds remotely for travelers and investors alike. With visa-free travel privileges and attractive residency pathways, these nations stand ready to captivate adventurers and entrepreneurs seeking new frontiers in Europe. Embrace the journey, seize the moment, and embark on a voyage of discovery like never before from your Lebanon office. 

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