This article looks at Montenegro residency, the different ways to obtain residency in Montenegro and some of the benefits it offers.
Montenegro is a country we at Nomad Capitalist have been taking a keen interest in. It’s affordable, has favorable taxes and a lucrative real estate market. And as an EU candidate country, Montenegro’s fortunes are certain to rise further.
Looking for an affordable and tax-efficient European base with strong investment potential? Talk to our team of experts today and we’ll find the best destination for you.
Montenegro enjoys a prime position in the west-central Balkans at the most southerly tip of the Dinaric Alps. It takes its name from the black mountain Lovćen, whose towering height of 5,738 feet explains why Montenegro was the only one of the Balkans not to fall to the Ottoman Empire. Montenegro did, however, form part of Yugoslavia and, latterly, Serbia and Montenegro before becoming fully independent in 2006.
Montenegro locals’ income taxes are low. While nearby Croatia has stolen much of the limelight, Montenegro goes minimal on regulations, making it a friendlier base for businesses.
Montenegrin company formation is relatively straightforward and reasonable, with the required share capital being a minimum amount of €300.
Citizenship by investment is no longer available in Montenegro.
So, unless you’re one of the lucky few chosen by the government for citizenship by exception your options are claiming citizenship by descent, citizenship by marriage or through naturalization.
Further conditions for obtaining citizenship and a Montenegro passport include that your marriage has included three years of cohabitation in the country.
However, as Montenegro is not yet an EU state and its EU membership has yet to be confirmed, you might be better off looking for citizenship options in the European Union.
Tourist visas permit a three-month visit to the country. Two main Montenegro residence permits allow foreign citizens to stay beyond 90 days in the country. You can obtain residency on a short-term basis with a temporary residence permit, an official document known as boravak in Montenegro.
Foreign citizens can stay beyond 90 days in Montenegro with a temporary residence permit for the following purposes:
- Family reunification
- Secondary education or study
- Participation in programs of international student exchanges or other programs for the young
- Specialization, vocational training, and practical training
- Scientific research work
- Medical treatment
- Humanitarian reasons
- Conducting religious services
- Immovable property ownership in Montenegro
Going the real estate route is the method which we recommend to our clients since you essentially get a property which you can then sell at a profit.
Our job is to help you find the best property available and make sure you’re not overpaying for it. Plus, since Montenegro is an EU-candidate country, the value of that property is likely to rise considerably in the future.
You are eligible for a temporary residence permit if:
- You have means of subsistence demonstrated with a bank account statement
- You have arranged accommodation
- You have medical insurance
- You have submitted evidence justifying the application for temporary residence
- You hold a valid passport or identity card issued by the competent authority of another state
- You are not prohibited from entering and residing in Montenegro
- You have a clean criminal record in your home country and Montenegro
- You are not subject to restrictions due to national security, public order, or public health reasons.
By applying for a temporary residence permit before your 90-day stay expires, you can stay in Montenegro until you hear from the Ministry of Immigration whether they have decided to admit you to the country as a temporary resident.
You will receive a decision regarding your temporary residency permit within 40 days of applying to become a temporary resident.
Montenegro typically grants temporary residence for one year, although there might be some legal exceptions. You should apply for an extension of your temporary permit not later than 30 days before your temporary residency expires.
Generally we recommend the property route as the most straightforward and also most beneficial path to residency. Montenegro’s real estate market is thriving and, with EU membership pending, the value of Montenegrin property is certain to rise considerably.
If you have legally lived in Montenegro for five consecutive years on a temporary residence permit, you are eligible for a permanent residency permit in Montenegro provided you have a clean criminal record and meet certain criteria.
Real estate ownership is one of these and is the option we recommend to our clients.
Montenegro also grants permanent residence to foreign citizens who have held a temporary residency permit in the country for less than five years in exceptional circumstances. These include humanitarian reasons or if the foreign citizen can provide something of interest to Montenegro.
Montenegro issue permanent residence permits to child family members subject to the presentation of a birth certificate and:
- Whose parents held permanent residence permits at the time of their birth
- Who have one parent who is a Montenegrin citizen with permanent residence in Montenegro or a foreigner who has permanent residence, with the consent of the other parent at the time of their birth
- Whose one parent, at the moment of their birth, has a permanent residence permit, and the other parent is unknown or has died.
A decision on permanent residency in Montenegro is typically given within 60 days of applying. It will take up to six months at the most. Permanent residence permits in Montenegro are valid for five years.
Acquiring a residency card in Montenegro is similar to applying for residency in other countries. All the procedures are familiar. Here is a summary of the documents needed:
- A criminal record that is clean
- Birth certificate
- A statement from your bank account showing that you have sufficient funds to live in the country.
You can qualify for residency through a number of conditions, including:
- Property ownership of commercial or residential property such as apartments, holiday homes, and restaurants
- Family reunification
- Medical treatment.
Residency brings numerous benefits, including the chance to obtain a work permit, to become a company director, ease company formation, and claim a Montenegrin passport. International agreements could reduce your income taxes, too, as a result of double taxation treaties.
Suppose you are not content to put up with the second-best opportunities offered by your home country. In that case, Nomad Capitalist can help you improve your situation in a jurisdiction that matches your ambitions.
Our founder, Andrew Henderson, launched Nomad Capitalist “to share how he had lowered his taxes from 43% to 1%, obtained multiple second citizenships, spent time in over 100 countries in search of freedom and opportunity, and invested in countries all over the world.”
Become a client and go where you’re treated best.
A residence permit can indefinitely extend a stay in Montenegro from the maximum of 90 days permitted as a tourist.
You can become a permanent resident of Montenegro by lawfully residing in the country for five consecutive years before submitting an application for a permit possessing a temporary residence permit or approved additional protection by the law governing asylum.
Yes, acquiring a residence permit in Montenegro is a relatively straightforward process. However, there is no longer the residency shortcut offered by the discontinued citizenship by investment program.
We live in a paperless world. Yet many countries’ bureaucratic procedures are less digital than you would imagine. We can help. Become a client, and we will deal with all the red tape.