The Astons’s experts answer the most frequent questions regarding investment immigration and elaborate on the new Montenegrin citizenship program that enables your family and yourself to quickly procure a European passport.

I’ve decided to arrange a second citizenship and heard that it’s now possible to receive a passport of Montenegro. Is this true? 

Yes, the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program was designed two years ago and was unveiled to the public on October 3, 2019. The first candidates have already filed their applications. As investment immigration experts, we recommend you not delay your plans since the program imposes a quota on the number of applicants.

So may I not have enough time to procure this passport? 

Don’t worry, there is enough time. As we said, Montenegro’s immigration program has just launched. The thing is: the program may only accommodate 2,000 investors. If you plan to fit this quota, it’s crucial to have the paperwork prepared and the application submitted on time.

OK, so what are the benefits of a Montenegrin passport?   

There are many.

First of all, you’ll have visa-free access to 122 countries including the Schengen zone, Singapore and Hong Kong. This opportunity will dramatically improve your mobility since you won’t need to plan all business and leisure trips weeks ahead, fill in tedious forms or worry about having a valid visa. Besides, Montenegrin citizens have a right to stay in any EU country for 90 days in each half a year period.

Second, you can procure this second passport at a very competitive rate. The minimum investment is significantly lower than required by other European citizenship investment programs.

Third, you’ll be able to optimise your taxes in Montenegro. The local income tax for individuals ranges between 9 and 11 percent.

Fourth, the citizenship of Montenegro will enable you to apply for the US E-2 visa. This visa entitles you to relocate and run a business in the US.

Wow! Move to the US with a Montenegrin passport? It’s an exciting opportunity!

Yes, that’s right. Many applicants to the Montenegrin programme consider the opportunity to arrange a US E-2 visa as a decisive factor.

Where and how much should I invest to receive a passport of Montenegro?

Procuring a Montenegro passport is fairly easy. You will need to make a non-refundable donation of €100,000 to the governmental fund that supports the least developed regions of the country, and invest a sum of €250,000 – €450 000 into real estate.

The investment sum depends on the region where you are planning to purchase property. Southern Montenegro is a well-developed and prestigious region whereas the north of the country requires extra development.

You may thus choose between the two options. Each of them has its benefits: 

Option 1: Investment from €350,000

  • You donate €100,000 to Montenegro’s governmental fund
  • You purchase property in the northern or central part of Montenegro (except Podgorica)

Option 2: Investment from €550,000

  • You donate €100,000 to Montenegro’s governmental fund.
  • You invest into property located on the coast or in Podgorica

All real estate projects available within the immigration programme of Montenegro have to be approved by the local government. This rule serves as additional protection of investor interests.

Seems clear. Which option should I choose? 

Depends on your specific preferences. No worries, Astons has a 30-years track record of facilitating second passports for global clients so we’ll come up with proper investment recommendations that best fit your needs, budget and interests. Our lawyers will consult you on any questions and suggest optimal property based on your requirements.

Although the Montenegro programme has just been launched, it’s already obvious that it will generate high demand. The Montenegrin economy is on the rise and will keep on growing, according to unanimous forecasts.

Real estate experts point out that Montenegro’s property rates will largely increase in case the country joins the European Union. This scenario is most feasible: Montenegro is a member of NATO and an obvious candidate for EU membership.

That’s why it’s critical to grasp on the current investment opportunity and unlock the Montenegrin citizenship on most beneficial conditions.

I see, yet I can’t really tell how the southern part is different from the north of Montenegro… Does the south attract more tourism?

The Montenegrin tourist industry is on the rise. In 2017, the country welcomed over 843,000 people. In 2018, this number augmented by 15 percent. Hence an investment into holiday realty may be highly lucrative.

When starting the programme, Minister of Sustainable Growth and Tourism Pavel Radulovic explained the difference for foreign investors channeling funds into approved development projects. If you choose to invest into tourist complexes or hotels on the southern coast or in the country’s capital Podgorica, this will have to be 5-star hotels with a minimum of 60 rooms. If you opt for the northern or central regions (except Podgorica), that may as well be 4-star hotels with 35 rooms.

Okay. Can I procure a Montenegrin passport for my entire family?

Sure! You have a right to procure Montenegrin Citizenship not only for yourself but also for your spouse and children including financially dependent children over 18 years old.

Good. How long does it take?

You will be granted the citizenship of Montenegro in three months after the application. The Montenegrin immigration programme has been recognised as the fastest CIP in Europe right from its launch.

Are there any specific requirements that a future Montenegrin citizen should meet?

Yes, and they are very simple.

1. You must be an adult (over 18 years old)

2. You must have no criminal record

3. You must not be a citizen of any EU member state

Easy indeed. Please tell me what the entire immigration process looks like. 

Procuring the Montenegrin citizenship is a clear, transparent and comfortable process. The Astons experts will guide you all way long, advise you on optimal investment models, help you prepare the paperwork, submit the application and retrieve the passport of Montenegro.

The processing of the Montenegrin passport involves a few stages:

1. The Astons lawyers will help you collect and meticulously review all the documents required to join Montenegro’s CIP. The thorough and repeated documents check-up ensures a successful result. We can do all this for you in under a couple of days.

2. Our consultants will analyse your investment opportunities and interests and suggest relevant real estate properties. The Astons experts will help you choose a reliable and attractive project, ensure a safe purchase and sale transaction and conduct all negotiations to attain the best price possible.

3. The Astons immigration lawyers will thoroughly check all required documents. At the same time, you will transfer the funds to an escrow account (aimed at storing the funds before specific requirements are met) thus protecting your investment funds.

4. After the application and all accompanying documents are ready, they will be passed over to the Montenegrin authorities. The processing of your application will take about three months.

5. The authorities of Montenegro will analyse and approve your application and you will receive a certificate of naturalisation.

6. You make the required investment. At this point, your funds are transferred from the escrow account.

7. Congratulations! You are now a citizen of Montenegro!

Thank you! Will I need to come to Montenegro for the passport?

No, it’s not necessary. You may choose one of these options:

  • Get the certificate of naturalisation and passport in Montenegro
  • Get the certificate of naturalisation and passport remotely – in any of Astons’s offices across the globe
  • We’ll arrange courier delivery of your certificate of naturalisation and passport

These options are available for all your family members.

Do I understand correctly that Montenegro doesn’t impose any physical presence requirements on its citizens?

No, it doesn’t. You are not obliged to live in Montenegro either before or after receiving the passport.

Will I have to pass any exams? 

No, Montenegro’s CIP does not require any language or history tests. Future citizens won’t have to pass any exams or interviews.

One more question. If my family and I decide to come to Montenegro after we receive citizenship, shall we have things to do and see in the country? 

Sure! Montenegro offers a plethora of beautiful natural sights and beaches. Kotor Bay, Budva, Sveti Stefan, Luštica Bay and other renowned sights will enchant the most demanding traveler.

Montenegro is also a perfect spot for yachting. Check out the ports of Bar, Budva, Zelenika or Kotor. Porto Montenegro in Tivat is considered one of the best yacht marinas on the Adriatic coast.

Walk the ancient streets of Kotor, visit Perast for charming palaces and churches, observe the mountain peaks in Durmitor, see the largest European canyon of the Tara river and more!

Also, don’t forget the Montenegrin culinary traditions. Try the meat delicacy njeguški pršut (a local prosciutto), the pljeskavica cutlet, fish soup riblja čorba, local cheese and deserts.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm. For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected].