Economic Citizenship

Foreign nationals are enabled to acquire Montenegrin citizenship under special conditions, namely through Economic Citizenship, which implies that a person should invest capital in Montenegro by establishing a business company to carry out economic activities, whose operations will contribute to the economic development of Montenegro or by directly investing capital in Montenegro or by donating funds.

In that area, Montenegro adopted a special investment program of importance for the economic interests for Montenegro, which is implemented by Agency for Investment, and the introduction of the special program was made with the aim of developing Montenegro, i.e. with the aim of attracting foreign investments that will intensify development projects in the sector of tourism, agriculture and processing industry, in the entire area of ​​Montenegro, both in the north and in the south, as well as the faster development of the less developed municipalities of Montenegro.     

The request for the implementation of the special program is submitted by the applicant through the mediation agent, and the applicant is checked by the agent for the assessment of international suitability, to whom the licenses were issued. When the applicant meets the criteria, that is, when the Agency, as the competent authority, issues a certificate of administrative compliance of the documentation within the application, then the Agency forwards the entire documentation for verification to the agent authorized for the assessment of the applicant’s international suitability (DD agent). 

In order to obtain citizenship, the following criteria must be fulfilled: 

  • That the applicant and persons related to him do not have a criminal record in the country of origin or any other country in which he acquired citizenship or has a residence, which is determined on the basis of a certificate issued by the appropriate authority of that country.
  • That the applicant did not commit a criminal offense on the territory of Montenegro, which is determined based on the confirmation of the state administration body responsible for justice affairs.
  • That the applicant has not been charged before the International Criminal Court, regardless of whether he was found guilty or not.
  • That the applicant is not a person on the INTERPOL and/or EUROPOL or wanted list.
  • That the companies in which the applicant is the founder/co-founder or Board of Directors member, have not been convicted of economic offenses or have been banned from operating in the last five years.
  • That the applicant respects the state of Montenegro and the legal order of Montenegro, as well as that he does not pose a threat to the independence and national security of Montenegro, as well as the reputation of Montenegro.
  • That the applicant is not a person accused of acts of terrorism, financing of terrorism, crimes against humanity.
  • That there is proof of the origin of the money intended for payment and investment in accordance with Montenegrin positive regulations.
  • That the applicant has a good reputation.
  • That the application for acquiring Montenegrin citizenship is accompanied  by documentation translated by a court interpreter into the Montenegrin language and with an apostille.
  • That the applicant has fulfilled the obligations defined by the legal provisions. 

When the competent authority determines that the applicant meets the criteria, it submits a report to the Prime Minister of Montenegro. When the state administration body responsible for internal affairs informs the competent authority that, acting on the proposal of the Prime Minister, it has determined that the conditions for adopting a decision on the admission of the applicant and his family members to Montenegrin citizenship have been met, the competent authority shall inform the applicant thereof. 

In the notification in question, the competent authority informs the applicant that he is obliged to make a payment from the ESCROW account to the account intended for the development of less developed local government units and to the account of the investor who shall be implementing the development project if it is registered in Montenegro, i.e. to the account of the company implementing the development project , and it is registered in Montenegro. 

The control of the payment is performed by an independent auditor who, on the basis of a public invitation, is engaged by the competent authority. Based on the independent auditor’s report, the competent authority informs the state administration body responsible for internal affairs that the payment has been made, in order to issue a decision on admission to Montenegrin citizenship based on a special program. 

Also, with the latest changes in this area, an additional condition was introduced – a bank warrant, as a way to introduce more strict criteria for investors who are already implementing projects, requiring the submission of a bank warrant, which will be valid until the project’s finalization date.

In the part that refers to the necessary funds in applying for Montenegrin citizenship, the applicant is obliged to pay:

Costs of the procedure:

  • EUR 15,000.00 for the applicant.
  • EUR 10,000.00 individually per family member, and a maximum of four family members.
  • EUR 50,000.00 for each subsequent family member.

  1. Deposit the amount of EUR 100,000.00 into the ESCROW account for the development of less developed local government units.
  2. Deposit into the ESCROW account an amount of at least 450,000.00 euros, for the purposes of investing in one of the development projects in the capital city of Podgorica or the coastal region of Montenegro, or an amount of at least 250,000.00 euros, for the purposes of investing in one of the development projects in the northern or the central region of Montenegro, except for the Capital City of Podgorica.
  3. Deposited an amount of at least 100,000.00 euros on the ESCROW account, for the development of the innovation policy of Montenegro, for the needs of the Innovation Fund of Montenegro. 

The goal of the Special Program is to encourage new investments in development projects in the tourism, agriculture, and processing industry sectors, in the entire territory of Montenegro. Investors who implement their projects in accordance with the conditions of the Special Program are allowed to have a part of their project financed by applicants who are interested in acquiring Montenegrin citizenship. By creating such a legal framework for investments, investors are enabled to realize those investments that they would not otherwise realize under worse market conditions, which benefits both investors, the state, and citizens. 

Projects that participate in the economic citizenship program are mostly projects from the List of Development Projects in the field of tourism, so the dominant form of investment in development projects is through the purchase of some of the accommodation units in the hotel (condo and residential model). 

In this respect, the economic citizenship program certainly influenced the construction of tourism capacities, especially in the north of Montenegro, and it seems to have done better than any other incentive for development from an earlier period.

Applicant’s family members include: 

  • Spouse.

  • The applicant’s children are over 18 years of age, whom the applicant supports.

  • Applicant’s children under 18 years of age.
  • Children of the applicant who were born after the application was submitted, and during the implementation of the special program.

Along with the application, the applicant must attach for himself and his family members: 

  • Copies of passports. 

  • Extracts from the birth register or other document on the basis of which identity and Citizenship can be determined, in accordance with the international agreement.

  • Extracts from the register of marriages or another document on the basis of which the marital status, ie cohabitation or life partnership of persons of the same sex can be determined.

  • Insurance policies are valid in Montenegro and cover health insurance. 

In order to acquire Montenegrin citizenship for the applicant’s child, who was born during the implementation of the special program, the applicant can submit a request for Montenegrin citizenship by admission and pay the costs of the procedure in the amount of EUR 50,000.00 to the payment account of the competent authority.

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