Montenegro will soon launch a citizenship program for up to 2,000 foreigners in exchange for investments over the next three years to help accelerate the country’s economic development. The passport of Montenegro, a country with a population of 620,000, a NATO member, and a partner of the European Union allows its citizens to travel to 121 different countries without a visa. Mundo Offshore, the market-leading company service and second residency/citizenship portal of South America, published an interview with our Managing Director, Laszlo Kiss about the program. You can read the original article in Portuguese and Spanish here.
The EU directives provide the same rules for all EU Member States for the promotion of the citizenship programmes. The national governments must clarify voting rights and the anticipated deterrent measures to enable legislators to prevent the risk of money laundering.
Montenegro’s strategy to attract investment in exchange for citizenship puts the country on an equal footing with the other 13 European countries, including Portugal, Malta and Latvia.
The specifics of the project are that potential applicants should donate € 100,000 for the development of poor communities and also invest € 250,000 in development projects in the north and centre of Montenegro or even € 450,000 in projects in the capital Podgorica or along the coast. The government has launched a bid to find pre-selected agents, as well as diligence firms and legal advisors, conducting all necessary assessments.
A statement issued by the government in recent months said the program aims to further accelerate Montenegro’s economic development by creating new tourism, agricultural and processing capacities, creating new jobs.
Today, Offshore World is interviewing our Investment Citizenship specialist Laszlo Kiss, who will inform us about the new citizenship program to be implemented soon in Montenegro.
– Laszlo, it’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Firstly, what can you tell us about Montenegro as a place for doing business?
Montenegro now offers a very efficient and productive environment for investors, including a flat corporate tax rate of 9%. The main strength of Montenegro’s economy is tourism, but other sectors have also contributed to a 4.8% increase in GDP last year.
– As far as we know the government of this country is about to launch the Citizenship for Investment program. Is that right?
In fact, the government announced the citizenship program late last year, setting out the main rules and regulations.
– When will the Montenegro citizenship program officially begin?
We hope to present the first application in the fall of 2019.
– What do we know about this program so far? What will be the requirements for the application?
In addition to internationally accepted due diligence regulations, the financial requirements will be a combination of real estate investing and donation. The donation to the government will be €100,000 and, depending on the location of the property, the minimum investment will be €250,000 or €450,000.
– We know that Montenegro has started negotiations to join the EU. In this case, obtaining Montenegrin citizenship will open the door to European citizenship. Do you think this will happen and when?
The target year for Montenegro’s accession to the European Union is 2025, allowing investors to obtain full EU citizenship in about five years. The government is very committed to transparency to achieve its goal. For example, the bidding for the agents dealing with the intermediary agent application was so open that competing companies could read every application page from each other.
In a statement issued by the government in recent months, it declared that the program aims to further accelerate Montenegro’s economic development by creating new tourism, agriculture and processing capacities, thereby creating new jobs.
– Finally, if this program is implemented as planned, what are the advantages over other citizenship/residency programs in Europe, such as Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Serbia and Bulgaria?
So let’s take a look at the costs of other countries: Cyprus requires a property investment of €2,000,000 for a family of four. Malta requires a donation and additional charges, costing around €1,000,000; Portugal offers only residence permits, and Bulgaria has closed its accelerated citizenship program. In Montenegro, real estate investment can be liquidated and sold after five years. Therefore, the net cost of obtaining citizenship in Montenegro is definitely the lowest of all these countries.
Long regarded as the pearl of the Balkans, Montenegro has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Balkan Peninsula. Moreover, Montenegro is becoming fast a key destination for investors looking for mobility, security and a better quality of life. Apart from the country’s natural beauty and sophisticated culture, its independence and strategic geographical location in Europe, with direct access to the Adriatic Sea, make it an ideal choice for many industries.
If you are interested in being one of the 2,000 foreigners who will apply for Montenegro citizenship, we will be delighted to help you achieve your goal. If you need more information or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.
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