Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program

overview

Montenegro citizenship by investment, also known as the economic citizenship program was launched in 2019. Options for investment include the popular real estate route where applicants can invest in one of several government-approved real estate development projects. Compared to other European options, Montenegros citizenship by investment program is cheaper and quicker to get. Montenegro passport investment is gaining popularity due to its recent independence and geostrategic location. 

Although dual citizenship is generally restricted in Montenegro, exceptions are made for those who become citizens by naturalization under the Special Program of Investments of Special Significance for Commercial and Economic Montenegrin Interest. This is Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program, initiated at the beginning of 2019. By law, applicants who meet certain conditions can acquire citizenship by naturalization in exchange for a financial contribution, meant to stimulate the country’s economy by raising foreign capital. 

To qualify for Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program, foreign investors must make a minimum total investment of only €350,000. The application process is also fairly simple and can be completed in as little as 3-6 months! Note that while you wait for citizenship approval,  you can also apply for residency which takes just three weeks. 

Citizenship by investment in Montenegro is also an attractive option to applicants as a European nation. Although it is not currently part of the European Union, it is an official candidate and accession may potentially be possible in as early as 2025. Nonetheless, citizenship to Montenegro currently allows visa free travel to over 135 countries, with the list expanding over recent years. 

Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment program is subdivided into two types of foreign direct investments. Both are necessary to fulfill the requirements set out by the program. The first involves an investment into a government development project. The second portion involves a choice of real estate investment project. For the purposes of this real estate purchase,  the country is divided into two distinct regions. There is a pre-approved list of real estate properties available to purchase by the government to help direct you in your search for a new home!

The Montenegro citizenship by investment program is set to end at the end of this year on the 31st December 2022. Some of the reasons for ending the program are probably due to the lower demand for the citizenship program as well the European Union’s criticism of the program. 

Montenegro is not currently a member of the EU, however it is predicted to potentially join the EU in 2025, which will only benefit its passport rank. Montenegro is already a member of NATO and the Euro is used as currency. 

Montenegro citizenship processing time takes around 6 months (however, it will depend on the complexity of the case) and passport holders have visa-free access to over 120 countries and territories. 

Main Advantages for Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program 

VISA FREE TRAVEL

BUSINESS ADVANTAGES

FAMILY ADVANTAGES

PERSONAL FREEDOM

Montenegrin Citizenship Requirements for Application

  1. Must be 18 years or older
  2. Must have a clean criminal record and no previous prosecution
  3. Must have a valid passport
  4. Must pass due diligence
  5. Must be capable of proving source of funds 
  6. Children included in citizenship application must be under the age of 18 or financially dependent on the applicant

 

Routes to Montenegro Citizenship

There are two different routes to the Montenegrin citizenship program under the citizenship by investment program. Both of these include a contribution to a government fund got development projects, as well as a real estate investment. Qualified investors can choose one of the following options for investment: 

 

Option 1: 

The investor fulfils two financial requirements: 

a) Development Government Fund Donation

Program applicants must first make a non-refundable contribution of €200,000 in a specially created state development fund. One half (€100,000) goes to a fund to support local self-government units, the other half goes to the Innovation Fund of Montenegro. This donation has increased in 2022, requiring investors to make the additional contribution to the Innovation Fund. 

b) Real Estate Purchase

The applicant must also buy a government-approved property which are part of a real estate project worth €250,000. The list of qualifying projects includes resort complexes and hotels. This real estate project must be located in an undeveloped region of Montenegro, including the northern region or central region (excluding the capital of Podgorica). 

Additional government fees may apply: 

  • €15,000 for a single applicant
  • €25,000 for a couple
  • €45,000 for a family of four
  • €50,000 per person for dependent parents or grandparents

 

Option 2: 

The investor fulfils two financial requirements: 

a) Government Fund Donation

The applicant must still make a non-refundable contribution of €200,000 in a specially created state fund. One half (€100,000) goes to a fund to support local self-government units, the other half goes to the Innovation Fund of Montenegro.

b) Real Estate Purchase

However, if the applicant makes a real estate investment located in the capital of Podgorica or in the southern region of Montenegro, the minimum investment is €450,000. 

Additional government fees may apply: 

  • €15,000 for a single applicant
  • €25,000 for a couple
  • €45,000 for a family of four
  • €50,000 per person for dependent parents or grandparents

 

 

Procedure for Citizenship Application

One can expect that the application process for citizenship by investment in Montenegro to include the following: 

  1. Clients contact JH Marlin 
  2. Preliminary check is performed (due diligence check, background check) to determine eligibility 
  3. Client agreement is signed, and retainer is paid
  4. Applicants choose the qualifying investment) option best suited to them with the help of our team
  5. Applicants choose a government-approved real estate project and executes purchase agreement
  6. Bank account is opened for applicant in Montenegro in order to make investment
  7. Investment to escrow account of state fund and escrow account of real estate developer is made by the applicant. The bank only releases payments after the application is approved. All other application fees are also paid at this time.
  8. Files are prepared and required documents are collected
  9. Application for citizenship and additional documents submitted to the citizenship by investment unit
  10. The citizenship by investment unit committee will process the application 
  11. The citizenship by investment unit will notify of the application pre-approval
  12. The bank will transfer the investment to the fund and real estate developer accounts 
  13. Once approved, applicant will be invited in person for fingerprinting and to take the citizenship oath
  14. Issuance of passports 

 

Documents Required for Montenegrin Citizenship Application

  • Certified copies of all applicants passports
  • Copies of birth certificates (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Clean criminal record 
  • Medical insurance policies
  • Medical certificates confirming that applicants do not have any infectious diseases
  • Documents certifying that sources of applicants income is legal
  • Proof of your investment (ie. bank transfer, property lease, investment project approval from the municipality)

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends on your unique situation. Most often, JH Marlin Law assists with other citizenship programs. Provided that Montenegro joins the EU in the future, this may be one way to obtain an affordable citizenship with a European passport of a EU country. 

No. Montenegro is currently a candidate country for European Union membership and is likely to join the European Union in 2025. 

Montenegro’s Citizenship by Admission scheme was published in Official Gazette of Montenegro 34/10, 40/16 and 62/18 and was adopted in 2018. 

Yes, applications for Montenegro citizenship by investment are currently open until the end of 2022. 

A total of 2000 investors and their family members will be admitted as citizens.

No, currently Montenegro is not part of the Schengen are. However, Montenegrin passport holders can travel to EU Schengen countries without a visa. Montenegro is also likely to join the Schengen area in 2025.

The minimum investment for the program is EUR 250,000, making it one of the cheapest programs in Europe. 

Permanent residency is issued within 3 weeks after investment.

No. Citizenship program applications can only be submitted on behalf the applicant through an intermediary agent.

Yes, given that your home country also allows dual citizenship. For example, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and the UAE may not allow becoming dual citizens. 

Montenegro uses the Euro as currency. 

First the agent performs initial due diligence checks. Later the government appointed third party due diligence firms conduct a detailed vetting process on the applicants, who must be free from criminal record, must have no visa denials from EU schengen states, clear from sanctions and clean source of funds.  Only by passing these checks will you be granted a passport.

Applicants should not have been sentenced in Montenegro or another state by a final and binding court decision to an unconditional prison sentence of more than one year for a criminal offense prosecuted ex officio or the legal consequences of the conviction for such criminal offence have ceased

Family members are considered to be:

  • a spouse;
  • applicants children over 18 years of age, who are financially dependent on the applicant
  • applicants children under 18 years of age
  • Certified copies of all applicants passports
  • Copies of birth certificates (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Clean criminal record 
  • Medical insurance policies
  • Medical certificates confirming that applicants do not have any infectious diseases
  • Documents certifying that sources of applicants income is legal
  • Proof of your investment (ie. bank transfer, property lease, investment project approval from the municipality)

A detailed list of documents will be provided to you when you decide to do the program. Sample documents and a detailed checklist specific to your case will be provided. 

No. Citizens of the following countries are not allowed to apply for Montenegrin citizenship: North Korea, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan. There may be exceptions made for those who have become residents of another country for a minimum numbers of years.  

Montenegro offers an excellent investment opportunity in a renowned real estate market. The real estate market currently offers low prices of roughly 1,200 EUR per square foot in the capital of Podgorica. There are also opportunities in coastal cities for those who prefer beach-front properties. 

No, Montenegro’s program has a donation and real estate investment model, requiring both aspects of requirement to be satisfied. 

Yes, Montenegro may revoke citizenship anytime for concealment, fraud, national security threat, amongst other illegal activities. If citizenship is revoked, there will be no refund of investment.

Yes, you can invest in commercial properties. You can either develop or buy shares in equity of hotels or resorts, with a minimum value of EUR 250,000. 

Montenegro is a small country, but has two international airports: one in the capital, Podgorica, and the other on the coast in Tivat. You can also fly into Dubrovnik airport in Croatia to save on international flight costs, located 20 minutes from the Montenegrin border

Foreigners can open bank account at one of 15 commercial banks with a license in Montenegro. These include: 

  • Erste Bank,
  • The First Bank of Montenegro
  • Hipotekarna Bank
  • Lovćen Bank
  • NLB bank
  • Societe Generale Bank of Montenegro
  • ZIRAAT Bank
  • Montenegro Commercial bank (CKB)

No. There is currently no official golden visa (residency) program, only the golden passport (citizenship) program. 

Yes. To receive residence permit, you have to travel to Montenegro in order to fulfill the biometric data process.

No. There is no requirement to visit Montenegro after getting your passport.

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

It costs EUR 25 to renew your Montenegrin passport.

Montenegro: General Information

Located in the Balkans in Southeastern Europe, Montenegro is not only a luxury tourist destination, but is also becoming increasingly popular for business travelers and investment opportunities. Montenegro has a reputation of a stable country, regarding both politics and economy. It is an economic hub which provides a door to the European market. 

Montenegro stands between eastern and western Europe, making it a cultural and religious melting pot. Throughout history, many different people have lived on Montenegrin soil, leaving behind a rich history and the dynamic culture Montenegro is known for today. 

Montenegro boasts unmatched topography, with deep canyons and rivers nestled between beautiful mountains, refreshing lakes, untouched forests, and of course the Bay of Kotor – all perfect for nature enthusiasts. However, this compact country is also well linked for travel, with two international airports, a railway system, and well-developed roads, making it easy to explore. Its economic growth and future expansion makes it particularly attractive for investors and businessmen.

 

Fast Facts:

Location: 42.0° N & 19.1° E | Balkans

Capital City: Podgorica

Size: 13,812 km2

Population: 628 k

Official Currency: Euro

Government: Parliamentary Democratic Republic

Economy: Service-Based | Foreign Capital | Tourism

Language: Montenegrin | Serbian

Religion: Christianity | Eastern Orthodox

 

Visa-Free Countries with Montenegrin Passport

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte dIvoire
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Somalia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe