Important factors to consider in residence planning
The Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Program has opened for business, offering high-net-worth investors significant opportunities in a booming regional market, a powerful passport, and visa-free access to the whole of Europe’s Schengen Area. Investment Migration firm Henley & Partners is one of only three government appointed marketing agents for the program. By adding Montenegro’s exclusive citizenship program to the already impressive list of investment options for HNWIs, the firm has further cemented its reputation as the industry leader when it comes to residence and citizenship planning.
Henley & Partners CEO Dr. Juerg Steffen commented: “The Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Program represents an extraordinary opportunity for both the Montenegrin people and for high-net-worth investors around the world. Montenegro is one of Europe’s best kept secrets, with unparalleled natural beauty, a flourishing tourism industry, an array of exciting investment opportunities, a rich cultural heritage, and is well-known for the hospitality of its citizens. Our extensive and unmatched sovereign advisory, real estate, and marketing experience makes us confident that the country’s exciting new program will exceed all expectations. When properly implemented and managed, investment migration programs offer countries a means of tapping into a revenue stream that almost guarantees resilience and growth.”
As well as being a NATO member, Montenegro is a recognized candidate for future membership of the European Union and is currently aligning its policies with those of the EU as part of the standard accession process. Currently ranked 46th on the Henley Passport Index with a visa-free/visa-on arrival score of 122, the country has an admirable safety record and a strong commitment to the rule of law. The World Bank classifies Montenegro as one of the fastest growing Balkan economies, and the nation is quickly establishing itself as a key strategic destination for some of the world’s most important industries.
The Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Program is limited to just 2,000 applicants and offers individuals several options in terms of investment, including a EUR 450,000 investment in projects in developed areas or a EUR 250,000 investment in projects in less developed areas. Applicants are also required to pay a contribution of EUR 100,000 per application, which is directed to a special fund for the growth of underdeveloped areas.
To qualify for the program, the main applicant must be over 18 years of age, meet the application requirements, and make both a qualifying investment into a government-approved project and a qualifying contribution. In addition, applicants are required to pay a processing fee of EUR 15,000 for a single applicant, EUR 10,000 each for up to three family members, and EUR 50,000 for each additional family member thereafter.
Once the application is processed by the government and provided that all due diligence procedures are completed satisfactorily, citizenship is granted. Once acquired, Montenegrin citizenship extends to family members (being received by children when they reach 18 years of age) and can be passed on to future generations by descent.
Rade Ljumović, Director at Henley & Partners in Montenegro, further commented: “The program has already attracted a great deal of attention ahead of its launch, and we expect demand to be high. Henley & Partners applauds the careful consideration with which the Montenegrin Government has chosen due diligence providers, and looks forward to supporting Montenegro in the coming months and years as the country reaps the many benefits that well-managed investment migration programs can provide. Our extensive experience has shown us that apart from the economic gains, successful applicants bring intangible benefits to receiving countries, such as scarce skills and rich global networks. They add diversity, and they uplift host nations through improved and innovative services, which create new employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.”