How to Obtain Residency in Montenegro

Why seek to obtain residency in Montenegro?

  • An absolutely gorgeous country with mountains, beaches, and historical towns.
  • A low cost of living; Montenegro is competitively ranked in the Numbeo Cost of Living Index.
  • Affordable, quality real estate.
  • Geographic location – in Europe.
  • 9-15% corporate income tax, 9-15% personal income tax, 15% capital gains tax, 15% dividend tax – amongst the lowest in Europe
  • Multiple international schools.
  • Affordable healthcare.

What are the Residency options in Montenegro?

  1. Residency through the ownership of local real estate (you can read my article on real estate in Montenegro here)
  2. Residency by creating a local company and appointing yourself a director (you can find out about how to create a local company here)

1. What documents to you need to obtain residency in Montenegro

You’ll need the following documentation to obtain residency in Montenegro: 

  • Passport
  • A clean, criminal record from your country of citizenship
  • Letter of application for registration
  • Marriage and birth certificates for your family members
  • A diploma which demonstrates your education level such as university or high school (in some cases)
  • For residency through real estate – a copy of the real estate title deed
  • For residency through a local company – the company documents and proof you are registered as the director
  • Medical insurance

All  documents needs to be translated into Montenegrin. The immigration agent will take care of this. Documents from back home must be apostilled.

The whole process can take 45 days. It’s quite a bureaucratic process. 

2. If you obtain residency in Montenegro, can it lead to citizenship?

Yes it can.

  • You must spend 5 years in Montenegro with your temporary residency. The government wants you to stay AT LEAST 9 months per year to renew it on a yearly basis. If you don’t spend the minimum amount of time, then you will have to apply for a temporary visa again, and the countdown will start from year one. Simply renewing the residency is much simpler from a bureaucratic point of view.
  • After 5 years of maintaining temporary residency, you are entitled to permanent residency.
  • 5 years later (year 10), you can apply for Montenegrin citizenship.

3. How my immigration agent Andreas can help you obtain residency

Andreas has helped family members of mine obtain residency in Montenegro. Half German and half Montenegrin, he graduated from Nikola Tesla University in Belgrade, Serbia. He is reasonably priced, and will ensure you do not get “played” because let’s face it, that’s always a risk as a foreigner.

obtain residency in Montenegro immigration agent

Feel free to watch the Youtube interview of Andreas above or read the full transcript below.

Get in touch with Andreas at andreas@thewanderinginvestor.com or through the contact form below if you want to get the process started or have any question.

Full transcript of “How to Obtain Residency in Montenegro”

LADISLAS MAURICE: Hello everyone, Ladislas Maurice from thewanderinginvestor.com. So today, I’m with Andreas and we are in beautiful Porto Montenegro in Tivat. And today, we’ll be discussing how to obtain residency in Montenegro. It’s a question that I get a lot. Essentially, there are two ways, and he’s going to elaborate on both ways. The first way is through buying property in Montenegro and the second way is by creating a company in Montenegro. And then, lastly, he’ll elaborate as well on some of the documents that you need to bring with you to Montenegro when you apply for residency. So Andreas, let’s say, I come here, I buy a property and now I want residency. How does it work exactly, and what are the conditions?

Residency by Real Estate Investment in Montenegro

ANDREAS: Okay, Ladislas. What you need to know is you need to have a property that fulfills certain criteria. So it needs to be big enough so that each person that will be applying for the residency permit needs to have at least 12 square meters of livable space. So let’s say you have a wife and two kids, you will need to have an apartment that’s 48 square meters or larger. What this gives you is a temporary residency permit in Montenegro, which is valid for one year. So after one year, you will need to renew it. In order to renew it, you need to spend significant time in Montenegro, that is 11 months. Let’s say, you spend less than 11 months in the country, what can happen is that you need to apply from scratch, which will be maybe a problem to you if you want to go for the permanent residency route, where you need to renew your temporary residency permit five years in a row. So let’s say you don’t spend these 11 months in the country, you will basically be starting from scratch.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Essentially, that’s why a lot of people including some of my family members, even though they own property here in Montenegro, they own the property, but then they create a company on the side for the residency because it gives them more flexibility. So can you elaborate on this option?

Residency by Company Formation in Montenegro

ANDREAS: Yeah, the second and most popular option is to establish a limited liability company in Montenegro, which is pretty straightforward. Everybody can establish it with just one euro in share capital. It gives you more flexibility, because the government considers like a company owner and director as somebody who’s welcome in the country, so they give you more flexibility entering and exiting the country. So you’re not limited the same way as you would be owning a property. You can also bring in your dependents, your wife, your children–

LADISLAS MAURICE: Same as with the other one.

ANDREAS: Exactly the same. Exactly the same. I mean, generally, the process of getting the permit is very similar. Just in the first scenario, you would purchase a property, in the second you would open a company.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Are there any tax obligations linked to the creation of that company to get the work permit?

ANDREAS: Obviously, yes. In the simplest scenario, as a one-person enterprise, you will be employing yourself as the company director, and there are some social security contributions you will need to pay each month. On top of that, you will have the rent, you need to pay capital gains taxes, income taxes, or dividend tax, depending on the nature of your income, or your capital gains.

LADISLAS MAURICE: And then some accounting as well, which you can help people with.

ANDREAS: Exactly. You also would need to have an accountant because there’s an obligation to do monthly payroll accounting and financial statements at year end. It’s not really easy to grasp or to do by yourself because you need a certain software and some programs.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah. Yeah, you don’t want to end up having to do accounting in Montenegro when you move here, for sure.

ANDREAS: That’s right.

Documents to obtain Residency in Montenegro

LADISLAS MAURICE: Let’s say I move here. I either come with my title deed, or I come with proof that I’m employed by a company, so my company. What other documents do I need to bring to obtain residency?

ANDREAS: Yeah, you will need to bring criminal records from your home country. So that means if you have a Canadian passport, you will need to bring a criminal record from Canada, despite the fact that you will be living somewhere else. It’s just important that it’s from the country of your citizenship–

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.

ANDREAS: which should be not older than six months and an original. So people like to see a stamp or a signature here, so not just a digital outprint. Then if you have any dependents, you would need to bring a marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children. So then you could perform a so-called family reunification with your dependents.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. And then you take care of the translations into Montenegro.

ANDREAS: Yeah, all those documents need to be translated into local language. We are taking care of all those things. Under certain circumstances, you would also need to have a proof of education, but this is just under certain circumstances.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.

ANDREAS: So I’m just mentioning it here. But in most cases, it’s not necessary.

LADISLAS MAURICE: So let’s say–

ANDREAS: And your passport needs to be valid at least 15 months or longer—

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.

ANDREAS: at the date of applying for the residency permit.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, important. So let’s say I come here to Montenegro, I want to create a company, apply for residency, and I have all my documents, roughly how much time between recruiting you, creating the company, and then actually having my residency card?

ANDREAS: It’s roughly one month. It’s roughly one month for yourself, if you’re the main applicant, and another four to six weeks for your dependents.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Just be aware that when you apply for residency in Montenegro, there is actually quite of bureaucratic work involved. You don’t actually need to deal with it, but it means that you have to come here for a few weeks until all the documents are sorted out.

ANDREAS: Yeah, what I want to point out is what some people do that are very busy, they come here at the date of application, then there is a certain time interval in-between where they can be outside of the country.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.

ANDREAS: and come back to pick up the residency permit in person.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, good. Okay. Good. So you can travel in the meantime.

ANDREAS: That’s right.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Perfect. Good to know. Andreas, thank you very much. So if you want to get in touch with Andreas to create a company or get residency here in Montenegro, there is a link below. And there’s also Andreas’ email. Cool. Andreas–

ANDREAS: Thank you.

LADISLAS MAURICE: always a pleasure.

ANDREAS: Thank you, also. Thank you so much.

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