Until recently, a foreigner could apply for Montenegrin citizenship in two cases. Or legally living in the country for at least 10 years. Or on the basis of marriage with a citizen of Montenegro, subject to continuous residence of at least 5 years.
From January 1, 2020, another option appeared - economic citizenship.
To get a passport of the Republic of Montenegro, you need to choose the direction - tourism, agriculture, processing enterprises and the level of investment, which depends on the region. Investments are considered from 250,000 euros in projects in the mountainous regions of the country and from 450,000 euros on the coast and in the capital. In addition to direct investments, the applicant is also required to pay an additional 100 thousand euros to the escrow account of the Montenegro Investment Agency for processing the application and to pay for the verification and document processing services by one of the agents. Currently, three companies are officially accredited to receive applications.
The government says the money will go to support the economies of lagging regions.
It is worth noting that according to the World Bank, the country's economy is one of the fastest growing in the Balkan region. Holders of Montenegro passports have the right of free entry (without a visa or with a visa on arrival) to 124 countries of the world, including the countries of the Schengen zone, Russia, Israel and Turkey. Montenegrin passport ranked 46th in the Passport Index.
Obstacles to obtaining citizenship of Montenegro may be the following points:
- criminal record;
- appearing in the lists of Interpol;
- participation in financial fraud;
- the presence of incurable infectious diseases;
Terms of granting economic citizenship.
This option provides for maximum acceleration of the procedure. Three weeks after the official approval of the documents, the applicant will receive permanent residence, and within six months after the start of the process - citizenship.
Over the 3 years of the program, they plan to accept a maximum of 2000 applications from citizens of countries outside the EU.
Advantages of a passport of the Republic of Montenegro.
It is expected that Montenegro will join the EU in 2025, because the application was submitted back in 2008. At the moment, Montenegrin citizens can stay visa-free in 28 countries of the European Union for up to 90 days in a half-year. With the entry into the EU, Montenegrin passport holders will have the opportunity to live and work there all year round.
Compared to Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus.
Recently, the economic citizenship of Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus has been quite attractive. But compared with Montenegro, the prices of the passports of these countries are significantly higher.
In Bulgaria, foreign investors must invest in the economy 1 million 24 thousand euros or irrevocably donate 270 thousand. In Malta, you need to invest 500 thousand euros and another 650 thousand donate free of charge. In Cyprus, the conversation about obtaining a passport in exchange for investment starts from the amount of 2 million euros.
So the passport program of Montenegro is an excellent budget option on the eve of the country's accession to the European Union.