Montenegro, a picturesque gem in Southeast Europe nestled along the Adriatic Sea, has been gaining popularity as a destination for those seeking a change in their lives. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and welcoming atmosphere, Montenegro is becoming an attractive option for expats looking to obtain residency or citizenship. In this guide, we will delve into the ins and outs of immigration to Montenegro, covering costs, visas, and the path to permanent residency and citizenship.
Montenegro, bordered by Croatia, Italy, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, boasts an area of 13,812 square kilometers and a population of approximately 700,000. Although the official language is Serbian, Montenegro achieved independence from Serbia in 2006. While it’s not part of the European Union yet, Montenegro is a candidate country expected to join by 2025. The Euro (EUR) serves as the official currency in this charming nation.
Cost of Living in Montenegro
Understanding the cost of living is crucial when considering immigration. In the capital, Podgorica, the average price per square meter for housing is around 1,750 EUR in the central region. If you’re dreaming of coastal living in the resort town of Budva, be prepared to spend approximately 3,200 EUR per square meter. Meanwhile, in Nikšić, apartments are more budget-friendly, with prices around 550 EUR per square kilometer.
Renting an apartment is another important aspect of daily life. A one-bedroom apartment in Podgorica typically rents for about 300 EUR per month. In Budva, the rent increases slightly to around 350 EUR, while in Nikšić, it drops to an affordable 150 EUR per month. If you’re looking for a more spacious three-bedroom apartment, be prepared to pay an average of 500 EUR in Podgorica, 600 EUR in Budva, and 200 EUR in Nikšić.
Daily food expenses for one person in Montenegro typically range from 10 to 20 EUR, depending on your choice of products and dining establishments.
Before packing your bags, it’s essential to understand the visa requirements for Montenegro. Citizens of the UAE and Qatar are in luck, as they do not require a visa to enter Montenegro. However, citizens of other Arab countries must apply for a tourist visa in advance.
To apply for a tourist visa to Montenegro, you’ll need:
- Passport-sized photos
- Valid passport
- Health insurance covering your entire stay
- A letter of invitation from a relative or friend, or a hotel reservation
- Completed visa application form and visa fee (around 80 EUR)
Residency in Montenegro
Once you’ve arrived in Montenegro and fallen in love with the country, you may want to consider obtaining temporary residency. There are various paths to achieve this:
- Real Estate Purchase: Buying property in Montenegro, typically ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 EUR, allows you to qualify for permanent residency.
- Company Formation: Establishing a limited liability company with a minimum capital of 1 EUR allows you to obtain residency. The cost of setting up a company varies but generally starts at around 2,000 EUR to 8,000 EUR.
- Monthly Tax Obligation: If you’re running a business in Montenegro, be prepared to pay monthly tax obligations, which can vary depending on your type of business activity.
Permanent Residency in Montenegro
If you’ve spent five years as a temporary resident in Montenegro, you’re eligible to apply for permanent residency. This status allows you to call Montenegro home for life. Additionally, if you’ve been married to a Montenegrin citizen for three years, you can also apply for permanent residency.
While obtaining residency is a significant step, some may aspire to become Montenegrin citizens. However, it’s important to note that Montenegro doesn’t allow dual citizenship, so you’ll need to renounce your previous citizenship.
To become a Montenegrin citizen, you must meet the following requirements:
- Reside in Montenegro for at least 10 years
- Pass a Serbian language test
- Have no criminal record
A Montenegrin passport can open doors to 126 destinations without the need for a visa, ranking 46th in the world for visa-free travel.
Please keep in mind that immigration policies can change over time. To ensure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information, it’s crucial to consult with relevant authorities or legal experts when considering immigration to Montenegro.
Montenegro’s allure lies in its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking a change in lifestyle, pursuing a business opportunity, or simply looking for a new place to call home, Montenegro offers a variety of options for those interested in immigration. From temporary residency to the path to citizenship, Montenegro provides a unique opportunity to embrace a new way of life.
- Is Montenegro part of the European Union? Montenegro is not yet a part of the European Union but is a candidate country expected to join by 2025.
- What is the official language of Montenegro? The official language of Montenegro is Serbian.
- What is the cost of living in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro? The cost of living in Podgorica varies, with housing prices around 1,750 EUR per square meter in the central region and monthly apartment rentals starting at 300 EUR for a one-bedroom.
- Can I obtain permanent residency in Montenegro through marriage? Yes, you can apply for permanent residency after three years of marriage to a Montenegrin citizen.
- What is the rank of a Montenegrin passport for visa-free travel? A Montenegrin passport ranks 46th in the world for visa-free travel, allowing access to 126 destinations without a visa.
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