BUSY SPRING IN ADVANCE OF START OF MONTENEGRO’S NEW CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM
Imagine being a citizen of Montenegro – a Southeast European country, close to Asia, with beautiful beaches on the Adriatic Sea, rugged mountains, a friendly climate, a growing economy, political stability, and cultural diversity. Montenegro’s new citizenship by investment program offers foreigners a chance to become citizens of this Balkan country. It has been a busy Spring in advance of the start of Montenegro’s new citizenship by investment program, as various announcements have been made by the government of Montenegro concerning this program.
First, on March 25, Dejan Medojević, Secretary of the Secretariat for Development Projects, announced that the first applications for citizenship under Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program would begin by the end of year 2019, with the program fully operational by year 2020. Medojević stated, with respect to the requirement that every applicant under Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program must make a donation of 100,000 euros (to a government fund), “This money will be directed to less developed local self-government units and will be spent primarily on the construction of infrastructure and facilities that will contribute to reducing the regional differences between the north and the south. In addition, three areas selected at the moment are interesting for applicants: tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. Since the biggest interest in the field of tourism, we have immediately developed the criteria and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has sent a public invitation to investors who have ready projects for the construction of a five star hotel in the south and in Podgorica, that is four stars in the north and the center”. Medojević further explained that Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program is intended to allow a maximum of 2,000 investors to acquire the citizenship of Montenegro in the next 3 years.
Second, on May 13, from 11 due diligence firms that applied, the Montenegro government announced that it has selected 2 companies – S-RM Intelligence and Risk Consulting LTD, UK and Exiger Canada Inc., Canada – to handle due diligence issues for Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program. Due diligence is an important aspect of any country’s citizenship by investment program by vetting citizenship applicants to maintain integrity over the program.
Third, on May 28, the Montenegro government announced that it has selected 3 companies to serve as agents for Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program. These 3 companies – Apex Capital Partners, Arton Group, and Henley & Partners Government Services – are required to pay 50,000 euros annually to receive operating licenses as agents. Agents help to market a country’s citizenship by investment program to foreigners around the world.
In addition to the donation of 100,000 euros described above, Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program requires either an investment of 250,000 euros in approved real estate in an undeveloped area (in the north of the country) or 450,000 euros in approved real estate in a developed area (in the south of the country).
One benefit of citizenship in Montenegro is visa-free travel to more than 120 countries (including European Union countries).