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Montenegro : The land of fairy tales offers citizenship by investment

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July 30, 2018

On July 26th 2018, Montenegro tweeted that "Montenegrin Cabinet adopted the Information on the program for acquiring #Montenegro citizenship by admission on the basis of a special investment program."
Montenegro, who joined the NATO in 2017, wants to stimulate its economy by offering citizenship by investment program through investments in real estate in one of the government’s development projects and payment of funds into a special account of the Budget of Montenegro.

Montenegro – "Black Mountain"

Montenegro is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Croatia to the west, and Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east and Albania to the southeast. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica . The official language in Montenegro is Montenegrin. Also, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian are recognized in usage.
The small Balkan of 642,550  that found itself at the center of a fierce debate about NATO after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested the alliance could get drawn into World War III there.
Citizens of Montenegro can enter the Shengen Area without a visa. On 30 November 2009, the EU Council of Ministers for Interior and Justice abolished visa requirements for citizens of Montenegro.
Montenegrin citizenship by investment program

Citizenship by Investment Montenegro Requirements
The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment cost and requirements will be as below*:
  1. € 250,000 investment in approved development projects (real estate’s) in a undeveloped area of Montenegro (in the north of the country);
  2. Or € 450,000 investment in approved development projects (real estate’s) in a developed area of Montenegro (in the south of the country);
  3. Due diligence fees;
  4. Notary fees;
  5. Background check;
  6. Legal fees;
  7. Passport fee.
* The amount of these fees depends on the size of the families who will submit an application.

Montenegrin citizenship by investment program benefits
Why foreign investors might be interested in Montenegro passport:
  1. dual citizenship and does not require relinquishing previous citizenships under the new economic citizenship scheme.
  2. Favorable tax rates: Low tax policy for established businesses and individuals.
  3. Visa-free travel : As of May 2018, Montenegrin citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 125 countries and territories including :  Shengen area , European Union , Antigua and Barbuda ,  Argentina , Brazil , Hong Kong , Russia , Turkey, Singapore and United Arab Emirates . However , A visa is needed to travel to United Kingdom, Canada, China Australia and United States
  4. Fast processing time : Passport after 6 months
  5. Safety: Kudos to its NATO membership. Montenegro may award social and political security to investors and their families.

The Caribbean and European Union (EU) alternatives to Montenegrin citizenship by investment program
As Montenegro is finalizing its citizenship program before the launch, other European states have something to offer like:
  1. Citizenship and Second Passport of Austria ( Legal basis for investor naturalization )**
  2. Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus
  3. Citizenship by Investment in Malta
  4. Bulgaria Citizenship by Investment
Plus other countries that offer Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs including:  
**Austria does not have a straight forward citizenship by investment program. Instead, the government looks into each investor and studies each application individually. The principal applicant is expected to invest millions in the country's economy, and it is significant that the investment is active but not passive.

But will Montenegro Citizenship by Investment program compete Citizenship by Investment in Malta or Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus ?

A Montenegrin citizenship (Passport) will be of course cheaper than a Maltese passport or Cyprus passport. 
The non-refundable donation to the National Development and Social Fund amounts to €650,000 and must be accompanied by government bonds worth at least €150,000a and residential property acquisition costing at least €350,000. Inventors can also opt for a lease of a minimum of €16,000 annually for five years.
Based on the above, the total cost of Malta’s Citizenship (passport) for a single applicant will reach €880,000, but the actual amount is higher with additional administration and due diligence fees. Also, adding family members to the application will increase the cost with €25,000-50,000 fee per family member.
Re Cyprus passport, the applicant needs to investment a €2 million (plus VAT of 0%, 5%, or 19%) investment in residential real estate situated in Cyprus, held for three years. The investment in residential property must be retained for a minimum period of 3 years, after which point the overall investment in real estate can be reduced to a minimum of €500,000 in residential real estate (excluding any VAT that was paid on original acquisition).
On the other hand, a Montenegrin citizenship (Passport) will be as fast as Cyprus which takes up to 6 months. Montenegrin application will take around 6 months to obtain the Montenegrin citizenship (Passport).
Malta , Bulgaria and Cyprus passports provide visa-free (or visa-on-arrival) access up to 167 countries, including the UK, Japan, South Korea, Canada (available for Bulgaria’s citizens since December 2017).
Cyprus offers the quickest route to citizenship of a European country through the Cypriot citizenship by investment program. While in Malta, Citizenship approved after 4 months processing time. Fast track residence cards within 1-3 weeks with Shengen mobility for 18 months. A total of 1 year to issue passport from the date of initial residency. Nevertheless, Malta is a Shengen state and EU country. While although Cyprus, which joined the EU on 1 May 2004, is legally bound to join the Shengen Area, implementation has been delayed because of the Cyprus dispute. As for Montenegro, it is a candidate country for membership of the EU and the country aspires to join the European Union and Since December 2009, Montenegrin passport allows its holder free movement across the Shengen Area. Having said that, buying a Maltese / Cypriot passport is still more attractive if one wants to acquire rights as an EU citizen. Montenegro is also an attractive option for foreign investors who are seeking to obtain a second second citizenship.

Interested in more detailed information about citizenship by investment programs in EU or the Caribbean? 
Montenegro – "Black Mountain" – is the land of magic tales.  The country boasts a beautiful beaches, lakes, mountains, and rivers. The rich culture and heritage catch the attention of thousands of tourists each year. Though Montenegro is small in size, it offers larger than life opportunities.

For further information on Montenegro citizenship by investment program and to discuss whether the Montenegro economic citizenship program is right for you fill our free assessment or contact us now!

Related Programs

Citizenship and Second Passport of Austria
Bulgarian Immigrant Investor Program (BGIIP)
Cyprus Permanent Residence Program
Portugal Golden Residence Permit
Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)

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