Montenegro Citizenship By Investment Program 2020 – Ultimate Nigerian Investor Guide

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Looking to obtain second citizenship by property investment in Europe and get E-2 Visa access to the USA? Launched in 2018 and priced from only €350,000, the Montenegro Citizenship By Investment Program is fast gaining popularity as a preferred Plan B destination for Nigerian net worth families.

Find out more about the benefits of Montenegro Passport By Investment Program, or contact us now to arrange a free confidential consultation.

The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program at a glance

 

As a part of its development strategy, the Montenegrin Government launched its Citizenship by Investment program with the aim of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to support public projects and ramp up the development of its tourism sector.

Legal basis: The legislation governing the establishment of a Montenegro Economic Citizenship Program (MECP), also referred to as the Montenegro Special Investment Scheme, was adopted by the Montenegrin Government during its 99th parliamentary session held on 22 November 2018.

The Montenegro CIP requires applicants to make a non-refundable government fund contribution of €100,000, along with a government approved property investment of either €250,000 (in northern Montenegro) or €450,000 in the south of the country.

Examples of government approved property investment opportunities can be viewed below. Applications can only be made via one of three government approved intermediary agents, and applicants are required to undergo thorough due diligence vetting.

Obtaining a Montenegrin passport by investment has many advantages, including EU visa-free access (with the country slated to formally join the European Union by 2025), access to one of the Balkan region’s fastest growing economies and a company tax rate of only 9% with no estate taxes, and a very low capital gains taxation. Boasting exceptional stability and world-renowned natural beauty, the country’s popularity as a travel and second home destination is growing fast.

In addition, the streamlined application process is exceptionally fast – you become a Montenegrin citizen and obtain your second passport in only 3 to 4 months.

What’s more, Montenegro’s economic citizenship program is one of the few in the world that don’t enforce any minimum stay requirements. Apart from collecting your passport, you don’t even need to spend 1 day per year in Montenegro in order to become a citizen of the country.

The total number of application slots will be capped at 2,000 for a period of 3 years, starting on 1 January 2019. This makes it essential for investors serious about establishing a footprint in a low-tax European jurisdiction to move fast.

 KEY PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Foreign investors and their dependent family members have to meet certain criteria for enrolment in the program, most notably the contribution and investment requirements. Significantly, the entire family is eligible to apply for citizenship, including financially dependent children over the age of 18.

Qualifying family members include:

  • Spouse: A person of the opposite sex to whom the applicant is legally married, however Montenegro just recently voted in favour of recognizing same-sex civil unions, so please contact us to confirm the latest status on the country’s spousal definition under its economic citizenship program.

  • Children: Children under 18, including adopted children, provided that the principal applicant has legal custody over the child. Children over the age of 18 can qualify if they are financially dependent on the principal applicant. In the case of adoption, all adoption papers will have to be submitted.

While the Montenegrin Government has not (yet) set an exact minimum amount for the applicant’s net worth as a qualification threshold for the program, the general rule is that an applicant should be solvent enough to make the required investment and the contribution, pay the associated government and due diligence fees, and be able to support their dependents.

All applicants must be in excellent health, be of outstanding character, and have a clear criminal record. 

INVESTMENT OPTIONS

In order to obtain Montenegrin citizenship by investment, the acquired property must be kept for a minimum period of 5 years as of the date of signing of the sale agreement. As of 2019, only one investment option is available – investment in real estate, with two categories:

  • An investment of €250,000 in approved properties located in an undeveloped region (in the northern region of Montenegro).

  • An investment of €450,000 in approved properties in a developed region (the coastline and the capital city of Podgorica).

In addition to that, applicants must make a non-refundable contribution (donation) to a state fund at the amount of €100,000 regardless of the investment category selected.

The above requirements apply per family, regardless of the number of applicants. 

 REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Some of the core supporting documentation required to apply for Montenegrin Economic Citizenship include civil status documents, documents related to business background and banking history, as well as other documents that applicants are required to provide. Some of these are required in copy and some must be originals. Our application analysts will guide and advise you throughout the process of document collection. To comply with internal KYC policies, your application analyst will require clear copies of all applicants’ passports, and a CV for the principal applicant.

 APPLICATION PROCESS AND TIMELINES

There are four main stages that successful applicants will undergo:

  • Stage 1: Compilation and building of your client case file.

  • Stage 2: Mandatory investment: transfer of funds to escrow accounts and completion of property documentation.

  • Stage 3: Economic citizenship application: Submission of application to the Montenegrin Government, Due Diligence vetting, pre-approval letter, transfer of funds from escrow accounts and issuance of letter of approval.

  • Stage 4: Economic citizenship approval: Client travels to Montenegro to submit biometric data and collect passports.

The time to complete the building of the file and investment stages are conditional to the client’s availability and resources. Once the application is submitted, it takes up to 3 months to complete the entire process for all applicants.

 

Why choose Montenegro

STRATEGIC LOCATION: Centrally situated in southeast Europe on the coast of the Balkans, Montenegro is bordered by Bosnia-Herzegovina Serbia, Kosovo Albania to Adriatic Sea and Croatia. The country’s time zone is GMT +2, making it ideal for professional and companies wishing to conduct business throughout Africa and Europe. 

STABLE JURISDICTION: Montenegro is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The country is a member of the WTO, UN and NATO, and in terms of its ease of doing business, the country is expected to score 50+ by the end of 2020.

DYNAMIC GROWTH: Tourism is developing into a major industry in the country with tourist arrivals registering a 10% increase in 2018.

EU ACCESSION: While the country is a part of the Eurozone, full EU membership is expected by the end of 2025.  This makes acquiring a Montenegrin passport pre-accession an excellent value investment, compared with the much more expensive EU citizenship programs of Malta (circa €1.3m, including a government fund donation of €600,000 or more), and Cyprus (property investment of €2 million+).

If you’re therefore looking for the most affordable European Citizenship by Investment program, Montenegro could be an excellent choice.

TAX OPTIMISATION: Montenegro is becoming known as the Monaco of the Balkans. With a company tax rate of only 9% – one of the lowest in Europe (compared with an average of 19% to 25% across the rest of the continent), Montenegro serves as an excellent base for establishing a new business or subsidiary branch for your existing overseas company. In addition, the country has no estate taxes, and capital gains taxes are very nominal.

GLOBAL MOBILITY: Montenegro’s passport gives holders access to over 120 countries  around the world visa free, including the EU Schengen countries.

Montenegro Government Approved Property Development Projects 2020

PROJECT 1: HOTEL BREZA

Property manager: Accor Brand Mercure

Property owner: Prominent developers from Montenegro and Russia with several completed hotels in MNE.

Location: The hotel is located at the heart of Kolašin town center, on the right bank of Tara River, only few meters away from it. Rooms and apartments offer pleasant views of the surrounding hills, mountains and Tara River.

Investment option: Development project

Investment capacity: The project is available to a total of 188 freehold units.

PROJECT 2BJELASICA 1450

Location: Kolasin

Developer: Zetagradnja

Investment option: apartments (individual freehold units)

Investment capacity: 168 apartments for 168 investors

Investment amount: €250,000

PROJECT 3: WESTIN HOTEL

Property manager: York Hotels & Reports under the franchise of Marriott International

Property owner: Kolasin Resort & SPA

Location: Kolasin town, which is in the northern part of the country. The development is located on the Ski Center 1450, just few meters away from the ski slopes

Investment option: fractional ownership (shares in the asset are sold to individual shareholders who share the benefits of the asset) with a €200,000 BUY BACK.

Investment capacity: the total number of investors in this project is 240.

Project financing: The project has already secured financing and it can be developed without the funds that the applicants under the program are expected to invest.

Applicants who invest in the project will deposit their investment in an escrow account managed by independent auditors.  

Expected ROI: It is estimated that investors will get an annual return of 4% on their investment after the project is operational.

Gain Montenegrin Economic Citizenship from only 350,000. Contact us now. 

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The Montenegro CIP aims to attract property investment from exceptional foreign investors from across the globe. If you’re looking to take advantage of the benefits of this investment citizenship program, contact us today.