The Montenegro Citizenship by investment programme was launched last year and has been well marketed. But what are its pros and cons?
We’ll look at the following:
- How does the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme work?
- The pros of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme
- The cons of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme
- What agents never tell you about real estate in citizenship by investment programmes and how not to get tricked
- The exact cost breakdown of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme
- How I can help you get a better deal for no extra fee
How does the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme work?
There are two options:
- Invest €250,000 in an approved project in the north of the country (the mountainous area) AND make a €100,000 donation to the government
- Invest €450,000 in an approved project on the coast AND make a €100,000 donation to the government
A few months later you are handed a beautiful Montenegrin passport and will be a lifetime citizen.
The pros of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme
- Now that the Cyprus CBI has been canceled, the only way to legally buy an EU passport is to go through the very expensive Malta programme. Montenegro, which is next in line to join to EU, offers a much more affordable EU option for patient people
- Will Montenegro really join the EU? All agents will tell you “Yes, in 2025”. If we take a step back, in 2016 people all claimed Montenegro would join by 2020. Since then, progress has been made in terms of EU accession chapters, but the reality is that it isn’t a done deal
- On the one hand, the EU and its people are tired of expansion
- On the other hand, getting Montenegro in is cheap (only 600,000 people) and would be a positive political development for the EU to demonstrate that the project is still viable and growing
- Montenegro joining the EU is likely, but not guaranteed
- Montenegro has a great tax system, probably the best in continental Europe – 9% corporate income tax, 9% personal income tax, 9% capital gains tax and no inheritance tax
- A Montenegrin passport is a great travel document – access to the Schengen Zone and visa free travel to 124 countries
- An amazing Mediterranean climate, and great winter skiing
- Two-hour flight from most European capital cities
- Two international airports (Podgorica and Tivat)
- A real country – it looks better than a Caribbean passport
- Great international schools
- Family members can be added
The cons of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme
- Not cheap – much more expensive than Caribbean options
- Overpriced real estate – depending on the project, real estate options would see a 10-50% haircut in the open market
- EU accession, though very likely, is not a guarantee in spite of being marketed as such
- Extra fees – more on this below
- Only 2000 spots are available
- Deadline of December 2021 to apply
What agents never tell you about real estate in citizenship by investment programmes and how not to get tricked
This is a crucial point which pertains to CBI programmes in general, but to the Montenegro programme in particular.
In the Montenegro CBI programme, unlike in other programmes such as in the Caribbean, the certified agents do not make a commission from the government. This means they make their money on the extra legal fees, where all agents almost price align, and on commissions from the real estate developers.
This is important because agents will try to sell you the development with the greatest commission structure. If a developer offers a 15% commission, and another one a 6% commission, you can be 100% sure the agent will be pushing you to buy the former. Remember, the passport is not the main product. YOU are the main product.
You must do your own analysis of the the real estate developments, and not base your decision on what the agents tell you.
The exact cost breakdown of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment programme
You won’t find this information on any other website as agents prefer to rope you in, and then hit you with all the extra fees.
You can shop around, but the reality is that these fees are fairly standard.
How I can help you get a better deal at no extra fee
I can introduce you to my preferred agent; I’ve worked with them in the past as they have multiple business interests in Montenegro.
To be transparent with you, if you end up buying the citizenship through my introduction to the agent, I make a small flat commission, whichever project you end up choosing. Whether you go through me or not won’t change the total price you’ll end up paying. However, you will have the benefit of my unbiased opinion and analysis on the different projects.
I’ve been doing real estate deals in Montenegro for a few years now and spend part of the year there, so I have a very good understanding of the market. I can save you money by helping you choose better projects.
Other articles on Montenegro:
Available services in Montenegro:
- How to obtain Residency in Montenegro
- A Real Estate Lawyer in Montenegro
- My Favourite Real Estate Agents in Montenegro
- Create a Company in Montenegro
*a consulting session is a discussion about your portfolio and objectives. It does not constitute legal, financial, tax or investment advice.