The small Balkan state of Montenegro began its citizenship by investment program in 2019, and since then it has gained great popularity. In exchange for a minimum combined EUR 350,000 government donation (EUR 100,000) and real estate investment (minimum EUR 250,000), wealthy investors can easily earn themselves a Montenegro passport in approximately three months.
Although Montenegro is not yet an EU member state, it is an official candidate, and the odds are quite high that it will be admitted into the EU by 2025 (no guarantees!). This creates a unique opportunity to potentially gain access to EU citizenship at a discount, by taking your chances on Montenegro while it is not yet a member state.
Irrespective of whether Montenegro becomes part of the EU, it is a worthwhile option to consider. Since it gained its independence in 2006, its economy has continued to grow and strengthen at a rapid rate, offering solid investment opportunities. It is often described as the “pearl of the Balkans” for its immense natural beauty along with modern and comfortable living conditions.
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Benefits of Montenegro Citizenship by Investment
Some of the many benefits of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment program include:
The opportunity to acquire citizenship in an official EU candidate country (expected to qualify by the year 2025). Currently, options for economic citizenship in Europe are limited, with Malta now being the only active program.
Montenegro offers the most affordable CBI program in Europe at a total of EUR 350,000, and comes at about half the price of the other main European contender, Malta.
Fast processing times. Residency is granted within three weeks of making your application, and full citizenship takes an average of 3 months, maximum 6 months.
Strong passport with visa-free travel to over 120 countries, including Russia, Turkey, and the whole of the European Schengen area. The range of visa-free travel opportunities will likely expand if Montenegro is admitted as an EU member state.
Montenegro offers citizenship in a scenically beautiful nation with a high quality, yet affordable lifestyle. It has long been a favourite Mediterranean holiday destination for nearby Eastern European nations.
Montenegro has an E-2 treaty agreement with the United States, which allows its citizens to easily work and live in the US with an E-2 Investor Visa.
No physical presence or language requirements to qualify.
Offers citizenship to the whole family, including the main applicant, spouse, and dependents.
Montenegro is a politically and economically stable country, with attractive business and investment opportunities.
Successful applicants are exempt from Montenegro’s restrictions on dual citizenship, meaning you do not have to renounce your former citizenship in order to qualify.
Downsides of Montenegro Citizenship by Investment
The Montenegro CBI program ticks most of the right boxes, but here are a few downsides compared to other programs worldwide:
While the Montenegro CBI program is the most affordable in Europe, it is still significantly more expensive than cheaper options in the Caribbean, where citizenship can be acquired for as little as USD 100,000.
There are no guarantees that Montenegro will be admitted into the EU, which means you are taking a risk if this is your ultimate goal.
It doesn’t offer a wide range of qualifying investment options like some other programs. The standard is a combination of a government donation and investment in real estate, and there is not much flexibility around this.
Processing times are generally quite fast at approximately 3 months, but can take as long as 6 months, which is more than many other CBI programs.
How to get a Montenegro Citizenship by Investment?
In order to qualify for citizenship by investment in Montenegro, you must first meet the following basic criteria:
Be over the age of 18,
Have a clean criminal record,
Possess a valid passport or travel document,
Must not be an EU citizen,
Have an excellent personal reputation and be of outstanding character,
Be in good health,
Provide documents and proof of the legal source of the investment funds for the qualifying investment.
If you meet the above criteria, you can obtain citizenship in Montenegro by making the following qualifying investments:
1. Government Fund Donation
All applicants must donate EUR 100,000 to the national development fund. The fund is aimed at helping underdeveloped areas which would otherwise not receive foreign investment.
2. Real Estate Investment
Along with the donation, applicants must make one of two qualifying real estate investments:
An investment of at least EUR 250,000 in an undeveloped region (Northern part of Montenegro)
An investment of at least EUR 450,000 in a developed region (Adriatic Coast in the Southern part of Montenegro)
In both cases, the property can be resold after five years, and the initial investment recouped.
In addition, the following government fees must be paid for processing your application:
EUR 15,000 for a single applicant
EUR 25,000 for a couple
EUR 45,000 for a family of four
EUR 50,000 per additional dependent (parents, grandparents, etc.)
Once you have confirmed that you meet the above basic criteria and are willing and able to make one of the qualifying investments, you can proceed with the application process in full. The steps are as follows:
Undergo a preliminary meeting and check with your agent to ensure that you are eligible and that Montenegro is indeed the right CBI program for you.
Collect all the required documentation and decide upon the real estate that you would like to invest in.
Make the EUR 100,000 government donation, pay for the real estate investment in full, and pay all the application fees.
Once the investments have been made, you can submit your application and wait for an outcome. This usually takes around 3 months, but can be as long as 6 months.
If your application is successful, you will receive a valid certificate of naturalisation.
Thereafter, you will have to travel to Montenegro to take a citizenship oath and have your biometric data collected.
Finally, you will be granted your passport and lifelong citizenship in Montenegro.
Montenegro Citizenship by Investment provides the ideal gateway to acquiring second citizenship in a European nation, which is expected to become a full member of the EU in the coming years. This provides a unique opportunity to potentially gain full access to live and work in the EU, for a much lower cost compared to other EU citizenship and residence by investment programs.
Montenegro itself stands out as a true gem of a nation to call your second home. Not only is it stunningly beautiful and pleasant to live in, it also has a rapidly growing and successful economic environment with plenty opportunities for foreign investors.
The process of obtaining citizenship by investment in Montenegro is straightforward with clearly defined criteria, and an efficient and timeous application process. As such, it is one of the most highly recommended programs.