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Getting citizenship of Montenegro by investment

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Montenegrin citizenship
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In 2019, the government of Montenegro launched a citizenship by investment programme in order to increase the economic activity of foreign investors. The programme was intended to last 3 years and already closes this year. Foreigners have time to apply until December 31 but we advise you to do it as soon as you can.

Foreigners get Montenegrin citizenship if they purchase real estate from a pool of state-approved projects and make a capital contribution to the government-designated fund.

If you are interested in Montenegrin citizenship, contact our lawyers. We will assess whether the programme is suitable for your family and consult you about the taxes for your specific case.

This consultation is free and you are not required to use our services. After consulting us, some people do everything themselves, others ask us for help.

Contact a lawyer

About the Montenegro citizenship by investment programme

The Montenegro citizenship programme will last for three years and has a quota of 2,000 applications. It ends on the 31 of December 2021.

The applicant is obliged to invest only in projects approved by the state in order to obtain the citizenship of Montenegro. 

The entire refundable investment amount remains in a secure escrow account. After five years, it is possible to sell the property.

It is not necessary to live in Montenegro or speak the local language. 

The spouse of the investor, children younger than 18 years old and adult children who are financially dependent on the applicant will also receive Montenegrin citizenship. The citizenship of Montenegro is inherited.

Advantages of Montenegrin citizenship

Possible EU citizenship in the future 

Montenegro is a candidate for EU membership. According to the latest communication from the European Commission, the country "could potentially be ready for EU membership by 2025".

Simple access to 122 destinations

A Montenegrin visa provides visa-free or facilitated access to 122 countries. Its holders can travel across the entire Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Israel, Russia, Turkey and the UAE.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa to the US

Montenegrin citizens are eligible for the Е-2 business visa to the USA which allows its holders to live and work in the country. 

Dual citizenship

Montenegro recognises dual nationalities and a Montenegrin passport does not require renouncing the current citizenship.

There is no CFC legislation

The foreign companies of Montenegrin citizens are not subject to coercive registration in Montenegro, which guarantees maximum confidentiality of international business ownership.

Low tax rates

Personal income tax — 9–11%.

Capital gains tax and income tax — 9%.

VAT — 7–17%.

Montenegro does not impose a tax on the profits obtained outside the country. No tax is levied on inheritance, gifts, life or property insurance proceeds.

Budva
red roofs of Budva in Montenegro Surowa / Shutterstock

How to get a citizenship of Montenegro

To participate in the Montenegro citizenship by investment programme, one must invest in state-approved properties and make a contribution to a special government-designated fund. 

The investor has two options: 

  1. Invest a minimum of €250,000 in real estate or development projects in the northern part of Montenegro and make a charitable contribution of €100,000 to a government fund.
  2. Invest a minimum of €450,000 in real estate or development projects located in well-developed parts of the country and make a charitable contribution of €100,000 to a government fund. The well-developed areas of Montenegro include its capital Podgorica, the coastal regions and southern resorts.

In any case, in addition to investing in real estate, the applicant must make a charitable contribution of €100,000 to the state fund dedicated to the development of regional areas of Montenegro. This contribution is non-refundable. 

The investor also has to pay for the due diligence procedure: the costs for the due diligence of the individual applicant are €7,000. If the investor applies with a family of no more than 4 people, he must pay €10,000. If the family consists of more than 4 persons, the fee for each additional family member is €1,500.

Additionally, The investor pays for the services of an intermediary agent, notary's fees and state fees. Usually, the amount of these costs for the main applicant is €15,000. For each member of the family, an investor needs to pay an additional €10,000, if the family consists of no more than 4 people. If the family is larger, one has to pay €50,000 for each additional family member.

The most popular locations for foreign investors are Budva, the most popular resort in Montenegro; Podgorica, the country's capital, which is easily accessible to other countries on the Balkan Peninsula; and the port city of Kotor with rich history. The northern regions of Montenegro are less popular with tourists: therefore, the prices there are lower. Nevertheless, there is a national park Durmitor, mountain lakes and scenic canyons that attract visitors too.

Applicant requirements

In order to qualify for the Montenegro citizenship by investment programme, the applicant has to meet the following requirements:

  • The main applicant has to be at least 18 years old. 
  • Investors should not hold EU citizenship.
  • The investment funds must have a legal origin. The reliability of the investor is verified through due diligence, which costs from €7,000.
  • No personal sanctions or bans on entry to the EU, USA, UK or Canada are imposed on the applicant.
  • The applicant must prove a clean criminal record in addition to an impeccable reputation and clean credit history.
  • The medical report of the applicant must confirm their good health.

Montenegrin passport issuance procedure

1. Signing the agreement and passing the due diligence check.

2. Paying state and company fees.

3. Choosing an investment project and signing the documents.

How to choose a project

The Montenegro government has several projects to choose from, but not all of them are profitable investments. Contact our advisor to learn more.

If you're interested in this program, our lawyers can help you prepare the documents to participate in the project and get Montenegrin citizenship.

Contact an expert

4. Transferring the investment and contribution amounts to the public escrow account.

5. Submitting the necessary documents and applications for citizenship.

6. Getting a positive decision and a certificate of naturalization.

7. Submitting biometric data at a diplomatic mission of Montenegro.

8. Receiving the Montenegro passport.

Popular citizenship-by-investment programmes compared


Montenegro

Cyprus

Malta

Non-refundable (national fund) contribution

€100,000

€150,000

€650,000

Real estate investment

€250,000 — the north of the country

€450,000 — the south of the country

€2M — residential property

€2M in commercial real estate and €500,000 in residential property

€350,000 – purchase

€16,000 per year renting


Investment terms

5 years

5 years

5 years

The necessity to own anchor property after the investment exit

It’s possible to sell the property after five years.

Real estate priced below €500,000 must remain as a permanent residence

It’s possible to sell the property after five years

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    Property buying guide for Montenegro
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