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Immigration Central: Montenegro Citizenship by Investment will close in December 2022

Montenegro is expected to join the European Union by 2025. With less than six months remaining to apply for Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Program, here's what you need to know

June 17, 2022 / 11:42 AM IST
Kotor, Montenegro. The World Bank has classified Montenegro as one of the fastest-growing Balkan economies. (Photo: Dragisa Braunovic via Unsplash)

Kotor, Montenegro. The World Bank has classified Montenegro as one of the fastest-growing Balkan economies. (Photo: Dragisa Braunovic via Unsplash)

Launched in 2019, Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Program will officially close in December 2022. Those applying before December 2022 can secure European citizenship within 8-10 months, and future European Union (EU) membership since Montenegro is an official candidate country and is expected to join the EU by 2025.

The World Bank classifies Montenegro as one of the fastest-growing Balkan economies and the Montenegrin passport ranks 45th on the Henley Passport Index, providing its holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 123 destinations worldwide.

BASIC FACTS

• To qualify for the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program, the main applicant must be over 18 years of age.

• There is no official golden visa scheme, only golden passport scheme. There is a possibility to obtain residence permit against investments.

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• You need to visit Montenegro once to receive residence permit, finalise investments, sign and complete biometric data process.

• There is no requirement to visit Montenegro after getting the passport.

• Applications are processed within eight to ten months.

• All Montenegro passports issued to investors are valid for 10 years.

• Benefits include visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 123 destinations including Europe’s Schengen Area, Russia, and Türkiye.

• Dual citizenship is allowed.

CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM (CIP) MODEL

The Montenegro Special Citizenship by Investment Program (MSCIP) will require investments in economic activity (business) that will contribute to the economic development of Montenegro and/or investment in real estate and/or payment of funds into a special account of the budget of Montenegro.

For this model, applicants must donate a grant of EUR 200,000 to government and also invest at least EUR 250,000 in development projects (hotels, resorts, IT parks, commercial real estate) that create jobs and contribute to the development of Montenegro.

(When the program was launched, the government grant was EUR 100,000, which was recently increased to EUR 200,000.)

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT CONDITIONS

- Total investment requires an investment of EUR 350,000 or more: Invest EUR 250,000 in some of the development projects previously approved by the government in an undeveloped areas of Montenegro (North), or

- Invest EUR 450,000 in some of the development projects previously approved by the government in the developed area of Montenegro (South). Additional donation of EUR 100,000 in the form of government fee is needed.

- You can invest in 5-star hotels and resorts: Either you can fully develop a hotel yourself for EUR 5 million or you can buy a limited share equity in other hotels starting from 250,000 Euros. Some hotels also have an option to buy individual hotel rooms.

- Make an investment of EUR 450,000 in an approved development project in the capital, Podgorica, or in Montenegro’s popular coastal region, if preferred.

 

- Application fee: The applicant must deposit EUR 15,000 for an application for themselves, EUR 10,000 for up to four family members, and EUR 50,000 for each family member beyond the first four.

Estimated cost with investment for a family of 4:

EUR 545,000: If invested in undeveloped north region

EUR 745,000: If invested in developed sea-side south region

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR APPLICATION

• Nomination form

• Valid passport (certified copy)

• Identity card (certified copy)

• Police certificate from the state of origin (certified copy)

• Montenegrin Citizenship Commission Due Diligence Check

• Personal profile (include education and employment history) (certified copy)

• Medical certificate HIV (nonreadable and communicable diseases) (certified copy)

• Color photos in JPG Format (40mm x 50mm)

• Birth certificate (certified)

• Proof of assets (Minimum 450,000 US$)

• Employment letter/Company registration (to prove the applicant is self- employed and is the Director or Shareholder of a company and prove the source of his/her income) (certified)

• Health Insurance policies valid in Montenegro

FEES

In addition to the government application fee of EUR 15,000 for applicant, EUR 10,000 for up to four family members of the applicant, and EUR 50,000 for each next family member:

Government due diligence fees

Main applicant: EUR 7,000

Dependent (up to 4): EUR 10,000

Dependent (after the fourth): EUR 1,500-plus

Adviser and Lawyer Fee

EUR 75,000 adviser and lawyer fees (notary fee is separate). The full investment is to be transferred to GCI UNIT

Paid after pre-approval: If the application is not approved, the investment will be paid back to the applicant.

Who is eligible to apply as a family member? Family members shall be considered to be:

• a married spouse

• applicant’s children who turned 18 years of age, who are dependent on the applicant

• applicant’s children under 18 years of age, who can acquire Montenegrin citizenship on coming of age

MONTENEGRO CBI VERSUS OTHER CBIs IN EUROPE

Current prevailing prices for CBI schemes in Europe:

Montenegro: EUR 250,000

Malta: EUR 900,000

Cyprus: EUR 2,150,000

Bulgaria: EUR 1,000,000 (closed)

Moldova: EUR 100,000 (suspended/closed)

INVESTOR/TAX BENEFITS

An investor can easily start business in Montenegro. Foreign investors are subject to the same conditions as domestic investors when it comes to establishing a company and making an investment.

Montenegro’s tax system is one of the most competitive in Europe. With a 9 percent personal income tax rate, companies operating in Montenegro have a low tax burden, thus maximising their operational profit.
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.
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