Citizenship by Investment in Montenegro
Nationality law of Montenegro was ratified by Parliament in 2008 and published by the Official Journal of Montenegro. It is mainly based on jus sanguinis. However, Article 12 also allows immediate citizenship for foreign investors who invest EUR 500,000 into the country (Real estate or business in Montenegro). The mentioned amount of investment allows a fast-track second citizenship and second passport that is approved by the Government of Montenegro. Article 8 of Montenegrin Citizenship Act establishes the following requirements for normal naturalization procedure:
A petitioner may be admitted through the naturalization to the Montenegrin citizenship, in accordance to the interests of Montenegro if fulfils the following conditions:
- Has reached 18 years of age;
- Has a release from foreign citizenship;
- Has been legally and without interruption staying in Montenegro for the period of 10 years, prior to the petition for admission into Montenegrin citizenship;
- Has a guaranteed residence and guaranteed permanent source of income in Montenegro of an amount that enables material and social welfare;
- Has not been irrevocably sentenced in Montenegro or a foreign state to a prison term longer than one year and for a criminal offence prosecuted “ex officio” or legal consequences of such sentence are ceased;
- Possess active command of the Montenegrin language to the level which allows basic communication;
- Poses no threat to the security and defense of Montenegro;
- Discharged his/her tax obligations.
The condition from Paragraph 1 item 2 of this Article, does not regard a petitioner if the person has no citizenship at all or if the person can submit the evidence, that his/her own citizenship shall be cancelled by the law of his own State, through admission into Montenegrin citizenship. If criminal proceedings have been initiated for a criminal offence under Paragraph 1 item 5 of this paragraph, the procedure shall be suspended until a legally binding decree has been taken in the criminal proceedings. The Government of Montenegro (hereinafter: Government) shall appoint the Competent Organization for establishing of criteria and testing of language knowledge from paragraph 1 item 6 of this Article.
As we can see from the text above the requirements for normal (standard) naturalization procedure imply that foreigner must prove Montenegrin language proficiency as well as have 10 years of legal residence in Montenegro. Moreover, the applicant must renounce his previous citizenship to felicitate oneself with Montenegrin passport. Article 12 of the same Law gives a possibility to waive all these requirements:
Notwithstanding the conditions under Article 8 of the present Act a person over 18 years of age may exceptionally obtain Montenegrin citizenship through naturalization if this is to the benefit of the state for scientific, economic, cultural, economic, sports national or similar reasons. On admission into Montenegrin citizenship under paragraph 1 of this Article, shall decide the Government on proposal of the competent State Administration Authority, with the opinion of the State Administration Authority competent for the affairs of citizenship.
Advantages of Becoming Citizen of Montenegro
When you acquire second citizenship, you and your members of your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent. You and your family can reside in Montenegro all the year around and enjoy low tax jurisdiction (both in corporate and personal aspects). In November 2009, European Union canceled visas for citizens of Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro, and on December 19, 2009 the decision came into force. So, passport of Montenegro allows visa-free travel to all of the Schengen countries in Europe. Moreover, it allows visa-free travel to Russia. Montenegro has applied for EU membership and in the future (until 2013) it will become a full member state of the EU, and consequently citizenship of Montenegro will become EU-citizenship. As we know, citizen of any EU-country can reside, work, and do business in any other EU-country, including the UK, Austria, Germany, and France.
Questions related to obtaining of citizenship-by-investment in Montenegro:
Question: I have been researching citizenship via investment in Montenegro and came across your site (good info, by the way). I was wondering if you would be willing to answer a few questions, if possible. Do you know of an expected date of EU membership for Montenegro? Do you have any updated information on the reformation of this program as it relates to dates or timeframes? Are the expected changes (investment or investment + donation) currently being considered on a case-by-case basis or will they only come into effect with a formal announcement of the new and evolved program? I know that there are a variety of variables, but from a simplistic and high level beyond fees, what are some of the advantages to Montenegro versus St. Kitts or Dominica?
Answer: The program in Montenegro was closed for a reform nut it is clear now (In November 2012) that it is not going to be renewed. We can offer a similar program in Bulgaria based on donations or investment. The expenses for Bulgaria, if you choose a full investment option, will be around 1,024,000 EUR (512,000 EUR must be invested into government bonds to get permanent residency and another 512,000 EUR must be invested in Bulgarian business after 1 year to fast track citizenship application). Under loan option (donation or contribution) you irrevocably invest 305,000 EUR and get Bulgarian (EU) citizenship. Dominica is not really good because its passport is not visa free for Europe (with exception of the UK). Saint-Kitts is a good option especially for those clients who will be OK with visa-free access to EU-country. But if you wish to settle permanently in Europe in the future the only fast citizenship option (which is relatively cheap in comparison with Austria or Cyprus) is Bulgaria. Cyprus will require at least 2,000,000 EUR for an applicant to become eligible for fast track citizenship application; Austria will require 10,000,000 EUR.
Question: I have some questions regarding help with acquiring second citizenship. I am a Swedish citizen, my wife is Ukrainian, and we live in Malta. I have seen that you offer services helping to get Montenegrin citizenship which we are interested in. Please contact me with further information as to what form of documentation is needed, time from application to granting of citizenship, as well as costs etc. Furthermore, my wife is pregnant and will give birth in May. I saw on your website that you say that Montenegro practice Jus Soli – in other words that our future child would get Montenegrin citizenship if born there. Is this really the case?
Answer: This is not correct; birth on the territory of Montenegro does not automatically lead to citizenship. Citizenship-by-investment program in Montenegro is also closed.
Question: I am writing to you in response to your website information relating to PR by formation of company. I am Pakistani national, but working in UAE. I am interested to pursue various options to legally obtain work permit and permanent residence in Montenegro. My intentions are to continue working in UAE till I may get permanent residence. Is it possible? I would like to know if I and my nephew age 19, may form a company as joint directors and may apply for permanent residence. What shall be the bare minimum cost and what shall be the procedure? What documents would you need?
Answer: If you do not plan to actually relocate to Montenegro it will not be possible. Based on a company formation most countries of Europe give temporary residence permit (with possibility of getting permanent residency after 5 years of actual residence). In case you want to continue working in UAE but have a permanent residence without physical residence then the only way is to invest. The required investment is 250,000 EUR in Greece, , 500,000 EUR in Spain and Portugal, 512,000 EUR in Bulgaria.
If you are interested in acquiring second citizenship in this country do not postpone it for future time. Contact us today