Welcome to Montenegro: Acquire a Residence Card

May 9, 2024

How could a foreigner procure a residence card in the delightful Balkan state of Montenegro? There exist two simple options to do that: purchase real property or establish a business in your name in the territory of the country. As a result, you will get additional income and become a citizen by naturalization in a European destination later on. In this post, we will look at the financial requirements to be fulfilled to become a proud holder of a residence permit in Montenegro and the steps that a foreign resident needs to take.

Official Requirements

If your passport grants visa-free access to Montenegro, you're entitled to a ninety-day stay. Alternatively, a travel visa allows for the same duration. However, for a longer-term stay, procuring a local stay permit, known as Privremeni Boravak, is necessary. This document enables residence and employment in the country for up to twelve months, with the option of easy renewal upon expiry. The Montenegrin Law on Foreigners outlines approximately twelve qualifying criteria for procuring a stay permit, with some of the most prevalent motives listed below:

  • Company ownership and employment
  • Becoming a real property owner in the destination
  • Owning a yacht/crew membership
  • Studies
  • Family reunification

Let’s take a detailed look at the first two options.

Buying Real Property

Prior to proceeding, it's essential to understand that the procedures for obtaining residency permits through property investment in Montenegro diverge from those of European nations. Notably, there are no restrictions on the minimum investment amount in local property. This freedom allows prospective investors to purchase real property, thereby qualifying for legal residency irrespective of the property's value. On the other hand, certain constraints apply: eligibility demands estate ownership below the 50% threshold.

Certain individuals prefer acquiring land plots over houses/apartments. Nevertheless, it's vital to understand the process thoroughly: while purchasing a land plot can enable eligibility for a residence card, it entails the obligation to construct a house on the property and register it with the pertinent Montenegrin authorities.

Company Formation

Please consider that merely establishing a legal entity will not inevitably qualify you for a local residence card. To be eligible, you are required to hold a position in a Montenegro-based company. However, this requirement is easily met: by establishing a legal entity and assuming the role of its executive director, you can acquire the sought-after document.

Following this step, you will have to furnish evidence to the local authorities of your accommodation within the territory. This could entail renting a property, for which you'll have to provide a lease agreement, typically a long-term one. Alternatively, you can opt to purchase an apartment or a villa, in which case you'll need to present an ownership certificate.

The subsequent stage involves verifying your financial stability to reside in Montenegro. This entails presenting a bank statement from a local bank. To proceed with a single-person application, a deposit of no less than 3,650 euros with a local financial institution is mandatory. For joint applications, an equivalent sum per adult family member has to be deposited.

In addition, a state fee of 25 euros is applicable for document processing.

Following this, a visit to the Labor Board is necessary to procure a job permit. Formation of a legal entity solely for the purpose of becoming a residence card holder will hardly be the most cost-effective approach. Despite the lack of business operations, maintaining a company in Montenegro incurs expenses such as hiring an accountant, covering employees' medical expenses, and making compulsory contributions to the local social security fund. When considering these costs, annual company maintenance in Montenegro is estimated at around 2,000 euros.

Municipal Requirements for Residence Card

First and foremost, it's crucial to mention that a temporary residence card comes with certain restrictions. Specifically, you will not have the right to be absent from the territory for more than 30 days per year without preliminary notification to the local administration.

On a positive note, becoming a stay permit holder in Montenegro can be a swift process. Documents from foreign residents looking to establish a company or purchase property in the region are typically considered within a mere 2 weeks or so!

Receiving a Stay Permit Step by Step

Here are the four main steps you will have to take to become a local residence card holder:

  • Become a local real property owner or establish a legal entity (you can do so independently or delegate all the hassle to an intermediary).
  • Meticulously prepare a package of documents to submit along with the application and book a consultation with an immigration agent.
  • Submit the application to receive a temporary residence card to the police department and obtain your paper.
  • Complete all the required employment procedures and register with tax and social security authorities (applicable to prospective business owners).

If all your documentation is in order, the entire process of obtaining legal residency in Montenegro typically spans approximately six to seven weeks.

It's worth noting that most of the documents you'll need to provide are likely to be in a language other than Montenegrin. Therefore, you'll need to arrange for their translation by a sworn translator into Montenegrin.

Whether you need to have your documents apostilled depends on the country in which you currently reside. If your country doesn't have special agreements with Montenegro, apostilling your papers is usually a requirement.

Are you interested in obtaining a residence permit in Montenegro? You can find more details by clicking the link above or reach out to a knowledgeable expert for assistance, often available through live chat, with the initial consultation typically being free of charge.


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