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10 January, 2022

Montenegro Extended Citizenship by Investment Program for a Year

The government of Montenegro has extended the citizenship program until December 31st, 2022. The non-refundable investment in a state fund has doubled. Learn why the government did not close the program and how much it costs to get a Montenegrin passport by investment.

How to get Montenegrin citizenship by investment
Photo: Adobe Stock

The citizenship by investment program has been operating in Montenegro since 2019 and was designed for three years. On December 30th, 2021, during an online meeting the government announced that it had extended the citizenship program for another year.

Why Montenegro didn’t close the program

The government of Montenegro noted two main reasons why it decided to extend the opportunity to obtain the country’s citizenship by investment.

Growth of demand. In the first two years, Montenegro received 131 applications from investors. In March 2021, a passport was issued to only 37 investors, 12 applications were rejected, the rest were still being considered by the country's Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The government noted that the number of citizenship applications increased in the second half of 2021. The government also predicted an increase in demand for the program in 2022.

Foreign investment will help the country's economy recover after the crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The low demand at the beginning of the program is explained by the fact that Montenegro is not a member of the European Union. Now the country is in the process of liberalizing the visa regime: a Montenegrin passport makes it possible to visit the Schengen zone without a visa.

Montenegro is one of the candidates to join the European Union in 2025. Now the country’s passport allows its holders to travel freely to 123 states.

The European Commission regrets Montenegro's decision to extend the citizenship program for another year. The closure of the program is one of the preconditions, which is set out in the European Commission's 2021 report on Montenegro.

The Commission has continuously advised Montenegro and indicated in its annual report that it should revise its citizenship program. Spokeswoman Ana Pisonero He andez noted that the commission will continue to closely monitor the implementation of the program until Montenegro closes it.

Creation of new jobs. Under the terms of the citizenship program, investors need to buy real estate from a list of projects approved by the government. Most of the properties are under construction. To complete the construction, the developers will attract about 2,200 residents of Montenegro to work on the facilities.

2,200 Montenegrins
will get jobs at sites under the citizenship program

How to get Montenegrin citizenship by investment in 2022

Montenegro will continue to accept investor applications until December 31st, 2022. Participation in the program takes about six months. An investor fulfills two conditions to become a citizen of Montenegro: makes a non-refundable contribution to a state fund and buys a share or an apartment in a tourist property.

The contribution to the state fund doubled on January 1st, 2022. The real estate investment sum and fees remain as they were.

The conditions of the Montenegrin citizenship program remain the same, only the amount of non-refundable contribution has changed. Now the applicant pays €200,000 to the state fund instead of the initial €100,000. Montenegro allowed same-sex couples to apply for citizenship. Also, the list of required documents for filing an application has been changed towards relaxation of requirements. We’ll clarify the details and share the changes later.

Евгения Морозова — Руководитель юридического отдела в Иммигрант Инвест
Evgeniya Morozova,
head of the Legal Department at Immigrant Invest

Montenegro citizenship program expenses

InvestmentUntil December 31st, 2021From January 1st, 2022
Non-refundable contribution€100,000€200,000
Purchase of real estate€250,000+€250,000+
Administrative fee€15,000+
depending on a number of applicants
€15,000+
depending on a number of applicants
Due Diligence€7,000+
depending on a number of applicants
€7,000+
depending on a number of applicants
Total€372,000+€472,000

All investment options for the Montenegrin citizenship program are mandatory. But only real estate investments can be returned.

Real estate projects are four-star and five-star hotels and resorts. The minimum transaction amount under the program depends on which region of the country the object is located in:

  • €250,000+ if the object is located in the northern or central part of Montenegro, except for the capital Podgorica;
  • €450,000+ if the object is located in Podgorica or in the coastal zone of Montenegro.

Examples of real estate under the Montenegrin citizenship program

Montenegro citizenship by investment in real estate in 2022: apartments in a ski resort in Kolašin

Apartments in a five-star hotel in the Montis ski resort in Kolašin. Price is €250,000

Montenegro citizenship by investment in real estate in 2022: apartments in a resort in Tivat

Apartments in the Boka Place resort in Tivat. Price starts from €295,000

Montenegro citizenship by investment in real estate in 2022: apartments in a hotel in Budva

Apartments in the new Cruiser hotel complex in Budva. Price starts from €450,000

Benefits of Montenegrin citizenship

Passport of the candidate country for accession to the European Union. The Montenegrin citizenship program is suitable for investors who want to move to live in a European country with a warm climate and good ecology.

Montenegro is one of the main contenders for joining the European Union in 2025. If the country joins the agreement, then investors will receive all the rights of citizens of the EU countries: they will be able to freely move around the region and live, work and study in any state.

Visa-free travel to the Schengen states. Montenegro is not yet a member of the European Union or the Schengen zone. But the Montenegrin passport allows its holders to freely visit the Schengen countries.

From January 1st, 2023, Montenegrins will need a special permit to enter the Schengen states. The online ETIAS system will start operating in the EU countries. Tourists will have to fill out an application on the system's website at least 96 hours before the trip.

Additional income from renting out real estate. Before the pandemic, Montenegro was visited by about 2.6 million tourists annually. Therefore, the demand for rental real estate is high. And rental income varies from 2 to 6% per annum.

The yield on real estate items that can be bought under the citizenship program starts at 3% per annum. Also, investors have the right to live in a hotel for several weeks a year. For example, the Montis Mountain Resort offers the investor a month of free accommodation.

Wealthy people prefer to obtain citizenship of the EU countries immediately. In January 2022, only Malta offers citizenship to investors: they can obtain a passport by naturalization for special services based on direct investment.

The E-2 business visa in the United States. The E-2 visa is issued to citizens of countries with which the United States has entered into an agreement on trade and navigation. Montenegro is included in the list of these countries. The E-2 visa allows its holders to come to the United States, live, do business and study in the country without restrictions.

An applicant invests in American businesses and creates new jobs to obtain an E-2 visa. There is no minimum investment threshold. Usually, the applicant needs to invest $200,000 and take over the management of the company.

The Russians cannot get an American E-2 visa, they can only get an EB-5 visa. Therefore, investors first obtain Grenada citizenship by investment.

An investor from Russia who participates in the Grenada citizenship program will spend 30% less money on an E-2 business visa than an EB-5 visa recipient: $350,000 instead of $500,000.

Immigrant Invest is the official representative of the Montenegrin citizenship by investment program. If you want to get a Montenegrin passport to move and travel within the Schengen area, seek advice from investment programs experts.

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Montenegro Extended Citizenship by Investment Program for a Year