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iWorld / Blog / Montenegro

Obtaining a residence permit in Montenegro by business

Alexey Nosovsky

Alexey Nosovsky

A representative of the Legal Department at iWorld. Author of articles on Migration Law.

October 20, 2021

9 minutes read

Flag on the background of Montenegro as a symbol of citizenship after obtaining a residence permit in Montenegro

A foreigner (including Ukrainian or Russian) can quickly and easily obtain a residence permit in Montenegro by opening their own company and taking a lead position in it. The way of immigration to Montenegro through the opening of the business is one of the most popular, as it allows the applicant to get a residence card at a minimal cost. The authorized capital of the established company may be as little as 1 EUR, in addition, there are no requirements to confirm the active operation of the company or the mandatory minimum financial indicators (turnover, profit).

The procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Montenegro through the business is relatively simple - first, the candidate must register a company and take the position of director, and then submit an application for a residence permit. Consideration of the application on average takes about two weeks. After receiving a certificate of residence permit, the foreigner is issued a residence certificate.

What do you get when becoming a resident of Montenegro

  • Residence in a country with a mild climate and a large number of resorts on the Adriatic coast.
  • The possibility of moving to Montenegro for the spouse and minor children of the main applicant.
  • Tranquility and safety, since Montenegro has a low crime rate.
  • The right to conduct business in the country with the lowest tax rates in Europe.
  • The opportunity for children to attend kindergarten and school free of charge.
  • The prospects of obtaining a permanent residence permit, and then - the citizenship of the state, which is a candidate for accession to the European Union.
  • The opportunity to pay for the resort property 3 times lower than in the EU, and earn from its rental.
  • The right to have dual citizenship.

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit by opening a business

It is not enough for a citizen of another country to open a company in Montenegro for obtaining a residence permit, as the local legislation does not provide immigration status for business owners. In order to qualify for residency, the applicant must hold the position of director in their company, having previously obtained a work permit from the Employment Agency.

The entrepreneur does not need to conduct business activities or create jobs, all that is required is to file accounting reports on time and pay taxes. The minimum wage of the director is about 250 EUR per month, and the tax on it is about 51,55 EUR. But in order to obtain a residence permit, the immigrant must purchase or long-term rent a house and open an account in a Montenegrin bank, sending enough money to it for covering current expenses.

Required documents

  • Valid international passport;
  • registration in Montenegro;
  • diplomas/certificates of education obtained by the applicant and their family members;
  • criminal records for persons over 16 years old, issued not earlier than 6 months prior to application;
  • marriage certificates;
  • birth certificates of children under the age of 18;
  • proof of ownership or contract of long-term lease of real estate in Montenegro;
  • statement from Montenegrin bank, which confirms the solvency of the applicant;
  • health insurance certificate (issued in Montenegro);
  • company registration certificate, articles of association and other information about the company (in Montenegro);
  • proof that the applicant is a director of their company;
  • receipt of payment of state duty;
  • work permit obtained from the Employment Agency of Montenegro.

Some of the above documents need to be apostilled.

Filling out documents for opening a company and obtaining a residence permit in Montenegro

Stages of obtaining a residence permit by business

  • Company registration, purchase or rental of real estate for residing
    A foreigner can start their own company in person, arriving in Montenegro, or remotely through a trusted lawyer. Citizens of other countries, planning to spend in the country for more than one month, must obtain a visa. Officially the process of company registration takes from 15 to 20 working days, the applicant spends this time searching for accommodation in Montenegro and concluding the contract of sale or long-term lease with the owner.
  • Opening a bank account and obtaining a work permit
    A foreigner, planning to obtain a residence permit in Montenegro for business, is required to take the position of director in their company - this will require a work permit from the Employment Agency. Applicants also need to open an account at a local bank with a min. 3,650 EUR to cover the costs of living in the country.
  • Processing of residence permit in Montenegro
    Having all the required documents, the applicant applies to the police department for a temporary residence permit. The application of a foreign entrepreneur is reviewed for about 15 days, and if the dossier is drawn up correctly, the authorities issue to the applicant a temporary residence permit (Privremeni Boravak), valid for one year. A resident of Montenegro has the right to renew their status every year, as long as the grounds for doing so persist.

Other ways to obtain a residence permit in Montenegro

  • Marriage to a Montenegrin citizen entitles a foreigner to obtain a residence permit. The applicant must be of the age of majority and have a source of legal income. Authorized agencies conduct checks to make sure that the marriage is not fictitious, but they are not as strict and thorough as similar services in the EU or the United States.
  • Family reunification — the basis on which the spouse and minor children of a citizen or resident of Montenegro get a residence permit.
  • Investment in real estate allows a foreigner to obtain a residence permit in Montenegro, but does not allow the holder of a residence permit to make a permanent residence or get a job. If the value of the property exceeds 350,000 EUR and is included in the list of state-approved projects, the investor can immediately apply for citizenship. This program is valid until the end of 2021.
  • Signing a contract with a Montenegrin company gives a citizen of another country the right to apply for a residence permit, but first they will have to obtain a work permit from the local Employment Agency. Legislation allows professionals from abroad to take jobs in the country, only if there are no applicants for them among the Montenegrin citizens. If the work is temporary, the holder of the residence permit will not be able to subsequently obtain permanent residence status.
  • Study at the university and scientific research allow foreigners to obtain a residence permit in Montenegro for as long as they have the right to reside in the country.
  • Buying a yacht and willingness to spend in ports of Montenegro for at least 3 months a year give citizens of other countries the right to obtain a residence permit.
  • Medical reasons, humanitarian reasons, participation in international exchange programs and religious activities enable a foreigner to obtain a residence permit in Montenegro.

Permanent residence permit and citizenship of Montenegro by business

Residence permit in Montenegro, obtained by a foreigner on the basis of registration of their own company and working in it as a director, is valid for 1 year. Each year, the resident must extend their status, which requires them to keep accounts, submit reports on time and pay taxes. After living in the country legally for 5 years, the owner of the residence permit has the right to apply for permanent residency, if he/she provides a certificate of language skills. Children under the age of 14 and adults over 65 are not required to prove their language skills.

Foreigners, who have been legally residing in Montenegro for 10 years, are eligible to apply for citizenship, if they meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years old or older;
  • own or rented housing and a steady source of legal income;
  • no prison sentence of 12 months or more for a criminal offense;
  • basic knowledge of the Montenegrin language;
  • timely payment of taxes;
  • no threat to national security on the part of the applicant.
A city in Montenegro where you can open a company and get a Montenegrin residence permit

Immigration by business to Montenegro: the pros and cons

Foreigners choose business immigration to Montenegro, as it is one of the most affordable ways of moving to this country. In order to obtain a residence permit, the applicant does not need to make an investment or meet a lot of requirements, which can be among the undeniable advantages of this option. There are no significant disadvantages of business immigration to Montenegro.

Obtaining the resident status through the registration of their own company is suitable for both entrepreneurs who are planning to conduct commercial activities, and those who open a company purely formally. The first category of applicants will find a wide range of business opportunities in the country - they can invest in hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities of the resort area. Low taxes and a large influx of tourists during the high season allow business people to get a solid and stable income.

Applicants, not planning to engage in commerce, will be able to get a residence permit through the registration of a company with an authorized capital of 1 EUR. The resident does not need to actively conduct business in order to maintain their status, and this is a significant advantage for those, who receive income in other ways. Thus, obtaining a residence permit in Montenegro through the establishment of their own company is suitable for most migrants, who meet the requirements of the legislation.

Since dealing with issues related to company registration and issuance of residence permit in Montenegro requires certain knowledge and experience, it is recommended to delegate such tasks to qualified professionals. The participation of an international lawyer minimizes the likelihood of mistakes in the preparation of documents and greatly increases the chances of the applicant's successful completion of the migration procedure.

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