Henley & Partners is reporting a sharp rise in interest in the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program, with a flood of applications from dynamic, successful US citizens, most of whom are high-powered Generation Xers. The leading international residence and citizenship advisory firm is one of only three government appointed marketing agents for Montenegro’s highly sought-after citizenship program, which is due to close at the end of this year.
Rade Ljumović, Managing Partner at Henley & Partners in Montenegro, says high-net-worth investors are drawn to Montenegro for multiple reasons. “Over and above the mild Mediterranean climate and abundant beauty, investors of the highest calibre see significant opportunities in Montenegro — one of the fastest-growing Balkan economies. We are receiving applications from leading US innovators in the tech sphere, whose real estate investment is just the start — all are fully aware that Montenegro is focused on boosting digital innovation. The government has created a strong and sustainable environment to accelerate the digital society and economy. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership and Montenegro offers one of Europe’s most favorable tax regimes. In addition to all the usual benefits of an additional citizenship, the property boom means that investors are likely to see excellent returns on their real estate investment.”
US citizens are aware of growing need for diversifying their citizenship portfolios, says Mehdi Kadiri, Managing Partner and Head of North America at Henley & Partners. “The shock waves of Covid-19-driven volatility throughout 2021 have seen more entrepreneurs building diversified domicile portfolios through investing in residence and citizenship by investment programs, such as Montenegro’s attractive offering. The primary aim is to overcome the limitations and associated risks of being restricted to a single jurisdiction. With its ease of access to major EU metropolises, investors see Montenegro as an ideal, well-priced gateway to Europe and the associated networking and business opportunities throughout the region.”
Applicants to the Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Program need to make a defined economic contribution to the country. In exchange, and subject to a stringent vetting and due diligence process including thorough background checks, they and their families are granted Montenegrin citizenship within three to five months. Main applicants must be over 18 years of age, meet the application requirements, and contribute EUR 100,000 to the Government of Montenegro, designated for advancing local under-developed, self-government units. In addition, applicants can make an investment of at least EUR 450,000 in an approved development project in the capital, Podgorica, or in Montenegro’s popular coastal region if preferred. Alternatively, they can invest a minimum of EUR 250,000 in an approved development project in the northern or central regions of Montenegro (excluding Podgorica). Additional government processing and other application fees apply.
Montenegro’s passport consistently ranks in the top 50 worldwide. Currently it sits in 48th position on the Henley Passport Index, with its holders enjoying visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 123 destinations worldwide, including the countries in Europe’s Schengen Area as well as Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, and the UAE. In addition to being a NATO member, Montenegro is a recognized candidate for future membership of the EU, with the government’s chief negotiator, Zorka Kordić, recently giving 2024 as the target timeline for Montenegrin accession.
Reaz Jafri, CEO of Withers Global Advisors in New York, describes the many drawcards Montenegro holds: “The key factors individuals consider when relocating to a certain jurisdiction are the quality of life in the target country, taxes, political and financial stability, the utility of the passport, perception of the country globally, and the application processing time. The Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Program ticks all the boxes and we increasingly see our clients — who are key players in a wide range of industries including IT, business, and banking — choosing Montenegro.”
CEO of Henley & Partners, Dr. Juerg Steffen, says the resulting increase in business activity and new employment opportunities created by the flourishing real estate sector will benefit all Montenegrins. “Investment migration enables sovereign states such as Montenegro to tap into a new source of sustainable revenue without becoming overleveraged. Prudently managed citizenship programs that conduct stringent due diligence on applicants and that have transparent structures can drive investment without adding to the burden of debt. I firmly believe that in the current pandemic environment, as in the wake of previous disruptions such as the 2008 financial crisis, residence and citizenship by investment programs will create significant value both for investors and for sovereign states in need of alternative revenue streams.”
Notes to Editors
About Henley & Partners
Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment. Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals and their advisors rely on our expertise and experience in this area. The firm’s highly qualified professionals work together as one team in over 35 offices worldwide.
The concept of residence and citizenship planning was created by Henley & Partners in the 1990s. As globalization has expanded, residence and citizenship have become topics of significant interest among the increasing number of internationally mobile entrepreneurs and investors whom we proudly serve every day.
The firm also runs a leading government advisory practice that has raised more than USD 10 billion in foreign direct investment. Trusted by governments, the firm has been involved in strategic consulting and in the design, set-up, and operation of the world’s most successful residence and citizenship programs.
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