The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program Overview

Introduction to Montenegro

Long regarded as the pearl of the Balkans, Montenegro has one of the fastest-growing economies on the Balkan Peninsula. Moreover, Montenegro is fast becoming a key destination for investors looking for mobility, security, and better quality of life. The country’s natural beauty and sophisticated culture, its independence and strategic geographical location in Europe, with direct access to the Adriatic Sea, make it an ideal choice for many industries.

Montenegro now offers a very efficient and productive environment for investors, including a flat corporate tax rate of 9%. The main strength of Montenegro’s economy is tourism, but other sectors have also contributed to a 4.8% increase in GDP last year.

Citizens of Montenegro can enter visa-free in 122 destinations, among them the Member States of the Schengen area, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, and Turkey.  There is no requirement to reside physically in Montenegro, and dual citizenship is also allowed. It is good to know that non-resident citizens in Montenegro pay tax only after the locally sourced income and there are no inheritance and gift taxes. Under the Montenegro citizenship by investment program, the minimum amount of investment in exchange for the citizenship of Montenegro is different in the southern and northern parts of the country. Third country nationals must invest €450,000 in the southern, seaside part of the country and Podgorica, the capital. However, in the northern regions, the investment threshold is significantly lower; the qualifying amount is €250,000. The applicants must donate €100,000 for the development of poor local communities. 

What are the major advantages of Montenegrin citizenship? 

  • EU citizenship in the near future. Both Montenegro and the EU aims to have full EU membership in 2025. 
  • No requirement to live in the country. Unlike most citizenship programs in Europe, applicants are not obliged to live in Montenegro on a continual basis, not even for one day.
  • The fastest way to get citizenship in Europe. The application timeframe is only 3 months.
  • Different investment options. Applicants can choose between investing €250,000 in a government-approved property project in the less developed parts of the country, or €450,000 in the developed southern region (the seaside) or in the capital city of Podgorica. The investments can be liquidated after five years.
  • No requirement to speak the Montenegrin language.
  • No requirement to renounce your current citizenship.
  • A favourable taxation regime. Montenegro offers one of the lowest personal income tax rates in Europe starting at 9% and one the best conditions for freely doing business in the EU – the corporate tax rate is only 9%.
  • Ability to visit visa-free the Schengen zone countries as well as  Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore and Turkey (122 destinations).
  • Valid for life and can be passed to future generations
  • After the EU accession, the full freedom to live, work and study anywhere in the 28 EU member states.

Legal background

The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Programme has been launched on the basis of the Decision on criteria, method and procedure for selection of persons who may acquire Montenegrin citizenship by admission for the purpose of implementation of special investment programme of particular importance for the business and economic interest of Montenegro”, adopted by the Government at its 99th session held on November 22, 2018.

Procedure 

From the moment of application is submitted, a passport can be obtained after 3 months.

  • Signing the agreement and Discus Holdings preliminary check
  • Investment project selection and signing investment documentation
  • Full payment of investment,  government fees and donation
  • Submission of the necessary documents and application for citizenship
  • Getting a positive decision and a certificate of naturalisation
  • Taking of biometric data in Montenegro
  • Citizenship oath
  • Receiving the passport.