Seeking Montenegrin citizenship? Learn about achieving citizenship through family ties, long-term residency, marriage, and the implications of the discontinued investment option. This guide provides straightforward information on the processes, requirements, and benefits, including dual citizenship rules, to assist you in navigating your journey to Montenegrin nationality.

Key Takeaways

  • Montenegro provides several pathways to citizenship including origin, birth, marriage, naturalization, with eligibility criteria rooted in ancestry, residency, and following appropriate legal processes as per the Law on Montenegrin Citizenship.
  • Montenegrin citizenship offers numerous benefits, including visa-free access to over 120 countries, property ownership rights, access to local healthcare and education, and the prospect of future EU integration.
  • The Montenegrin government discontinued the Citizenship by Investment Program, which allowed foreign investors to obtain citizenship through significant economic contributions to development projects. This required a clean criminal record, a legal source of funds, and investments in approved projects.

Key Aspects of Montenegrin Citizenship

Several factors contribute to Montenegrin citizenship, forming a comprehensive picture. The Montenegrin government for the moment provides multiple avenues for obtaining citizenship, including:

  • Origin
  • Birth
  • Marriage
  • Naturalization

Montenegro welcomes both foreign citizens and stateless individuals who meet the legal requirements.

Montenegrin Citizenship

The Law on Montenegrin Citizenship, ratified in 2008, sets the terms for obtaining citizenship. This law, along with international treaties and agreements, forms the cornerstone of Montenegrin citizenship law. From the age requirement of 18 years to the various routes such as naturalization, Montenegro offers a well-structured pathway to becoming a Montenegrin citizen.

Eligibility Criteria for Montenegro Citizenship

Qualifying for Montenegrin citizenship can be likened to unlocking a series of doors, each key designed uniquely for the lock. One gate opens with the key of origin, granting citizenship to individuals with Montenegrin ancestors or parents. This pathway requires proof of the Montenegrin citizenship of parents at the child’s birth, and if one parent was Montenegrin, registration for Yugoslavian citizenship was required before it dissolved.

Naturalization, another pathway, requires a residence permit and a stipulated period of residency in the country. But it’s not just about time; it’s about age. Children aged over 14 need to provide consent for acquiring Montenegrin citizenship by origin, and applicants born abroad must apply before turning 23. Remember, having Montenegrin grandparents alone does not entitle one to citizenship by origin.

Benefits of Montenegro Citizenship

The advantages of Montenegrin citizenship are multifaceted and appealing to many prospective citizens.

Benefits of Montenegro Citizenship
  1. Scenic Beauty: Montenegro boasts stunning landscapes, from the picturesque Adriatic Sea coastline to the rugged mountains in the north, offering residents a diverse and captivating environment to explore and enjoy.
  2. Geographical Advantage: Positioned strategically in southeastern Europe, Montenegro offers easy access to neighboring countries and markets, making it an attractive location for business and trade.
  3. Growing Economy: Montenegro’s economy is experiencing steady growth, presenting opportunities for investment, entrepreneurship, and employment.
  4. Low Taxes: The country offers favorable tax policies, including low personal and corporate tax rates, creating a conducive environment for financial prosperity.
  5. Stable Property Market: Montenegro’s real estate market is stable and offers luxurious properties at relatively affordable prices, making it an attractive option for investors and homeowners.
  6. Visa-Free Travel: Montenegrin passport holders enjoy visa-free access to over 120 countries, including many European nations and members of the European Union, facilitating hassle-free international travel and business opportunities.
  7. Property Ownership: Citizens have the right to own property without restrictions, providing flexibility and security in real estate investments.
  8. Labor Market Access: Montenegrin citizenship grants access to the local labor market, enabling individuals to pursue employment opportunities and contribute to the country’s workforce.
  9. Healthcare and Education: Citizens have access to Montenegro’s healthcare and education systems, which provide quality services and facilities for residents and their families.
  10. EU Integration: Montenegro is on track for potential integration into the European Union by 2025, offering citizens the prospect of enhanced economic opportunities, mobility, and international cooperation.

These benefits collectively make Montenegrin citizenship an attractive option for those seeking economic prosperity, global mobility, and a high quality of life.

Citizenship by Origin and Birth: The Fundamentals

Citizenship by Origin and Birth

Obtaining Montenegrin citizenship could be compared to exploring your family roots or sowing a seed and observing its growth. The first method refers to citizenship by origin, where having a Montenegrin parent at the time of your birth automatically grants you citizenship. The second method, citizenship by birth, applies to children born in Montenegro to parents who are known and of Montenegrin citizenship, regardless of their place of birth.

There are special cases, too. Adopted children with at least one Montenegrin parent qualify for citizenship by origin. Children born in Montenegro to stateless parents or parents with unknown citizenship are automatically granted citizenship to prevent them from being stateless.

Citizenship by Origin

Citizenship by origin in Montenegro is like an ancestral heirloom passed down through generations. If you have Montenegrin ancestors or parents, or if you were born outside of Montenegro to Montenegrin citizens, you can apply for citizenship by origin. However, it involves more than merely proving your ancestry. The documentation required includes proof of the Montenegrin citizenship of parents at the child’s birth, and if one parent was Montenegrin, registration for Yugoslavian citizenship before it dissolved.

Citizenship by Birth

Birth in Montenegro can lead to citizenship, depending on specific circumstances. A child of foreign citizens born in the country is granted citizenship by birth. Furthermore, to prevent statelessness, children born in Montenegro to stateless parents or parents with unknown citizenship are automatically granted citizenship.

If you were born in Montenegro with at least one Montenegrin parent, you can request Montenegrin citizenship before the age of 18. Similarly, children who would otherwise be stateless and those with unknown parentage can request citizenship before they turn 18.

Gaining Montenegro Citizenship through Marriage

Marriage can facilitate the acquisition of Montenegrin citizenship. If you’ve been married to a Montenegrin citizen for at least three years and have legally resided in Montenegro for a minimum of five years, you are eligible for citizenship. But as with any journey, there are milestones to reach and conditions to meet.

Residency specifics mandate that you should have lived in Montenegro for three years within a five-year period, and the wedding must have taken place in Montenegro without leaving the country for more than 30 days at a time. If you’re not yet a resident, you can apply for a temporary residence permit for family reunification to establish your residence in the country. Apart from these, be prepared to provide personal documents like a notarized passport copy, an original birth certificate, and a marriage certificate.

Gaining Montenegro Citizenship through Marriage

Montenegro Citizenship by Investment: A Comprehensive Overview

The now-defunct Montenegrin Citizenship by Investment program, also known as the citizenship program, offered a quick route to citizenship. This initiative was part of the Montenegrin government’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment and increase economic activity in the country.

The Montenegrin Citizenship Investment Program offered a unique opportunity to obtain citizenship by investing in government-approved projects and making donations.

Montenegro Citizenship by Investment

However, it wasn’t just about pouring money into a project. The investment program requires applicants to be at least 18 years old, with a clean record, and able to prove that their wealth was legally acquired with a good credit history. Furthermore, the program allowed successful investors to hold dual citizenship, adding a Montenegrin passport to their collection without having to renounce their existing citizenship.

Key Features of the Montenegro Citizenship Investment Program

  1. Investment Options: Participants could obtain citizenship by investing in government-approved projects and making designated donations. These investments aimed to support sectors such as infrastructure development, tourism, and renewable energy.
  2. Eligibility Criteria: Applicants were required to meet certain criteria, including being at least 18 years old, possessing a clean criminal record, and demonstrating the legal acquisition of wealth with a sound credit history.
  3. Dual Citizenship: One of the program’s notable features was its allowance for dual citizenship. Successful applicants could retain their original citizenship while gaining Montenegrin citizenship, offering enhanced flexibility and mobility.
  4. Due Diligence Process: Stringent due diligence checks were conducted on all applicants to ensure compliance with program requirements and to maintain the integrity and reputation of Montenegrin citizenship.
  5. Benefits of Citizenship: Obtaining Montenegrin citizenship through investment provided access to numerous benefits, including visa-free travel to over 124 countries, unrestricted property ownership, and access to healthcare and education services.
  6. Investment Impact: The program aimed to drive economic growth by attracting investment capital into targeted sectors, fostering job creation, infrastructure development, and overall prosperity in Montenegro.
  7. Program Closure: While the Montenegro Citizenship Investment Program was once operational, it has since been discontinued. However, its legacy continues to highlight Montenegro’s attractiveness as an investment destination and its commitment to fostering international partnerships and economic development.

Overall, the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment program served as a testament to the country’s proactive approach to economic development and its openness to global investors seeking citizenship opportunities.

Investment Options and Requirements

The discontinued Citizenship by Investment Program provided explicit investment directives. One could become a Montenegrin citizen by investing either EUR 450,000 in development projects in Podgorica or the coastal regions, or EUR 250,000 in northern or central Montenegro, excluding Podgorica. These investments typically manifested in resort complexes or hotels.

The location of the investment also factored into the profitability. Properties in central or northern Montenegro, known for their proximity to popular ski resorts, had their high seasons in autumn and winter. In contrast, properties in the coastal region or Podgorica saw higher profitability from May to October when the sea was warm enough for swimming.

Costs and Fees

Deciphering the financial complexities of the Citizenship by Investment Program entailed more than merely the initial investment. The program required a non-refundable contribution of €200,000 to donation to the government of Montenegro.

Processing fees for the program included a fee for the primary applicant, with additional fees for dependents. Applicants also needed to cover Due Diligence fees, which varied depending on the number of applicants.

Lastly, applicants had to provide a statement detailing the origin of funds, including any government fund, for their non-refundable contributions, investment, and fee payments.

Acquiring Montenegro Citizenship for Permanent Residents

For permanent residents, the journey to Montenegrin citizenship involves years of residency and dedication to Montenegro’s lifestyle. To be eligible for naturalization, a permanent resident must have resided in Montenegro for at least 10 years according to the terms of their permit. However, the duration of residency isn’t the only factor.

To qualify to obtain Montenegrin citizenship, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of Montenegro for at least 5 years, with no more than 10 months of total absence or 6 months of consecutive absence.
  • Demonstrate sufficient income.
  • Secure a place of residence in Montenegro.
  • Provide a medical report certifying good health.
  • Hold valid health insurance within Montenegro.
  • Have a mastery of the Montenegrin language at an elementary level.
Acquiring Montenegro Citizenship for Permanent Residents

Dual Citizenship in Montenegro: Rules and Exceptions

Dual Citizenship in Montenegro

While the Montenegrin government generally disallows dual citizenship, there are, as always, exceptions. Montenegro permits dual citizenship exclusively with countries it has formal agreements with. Exceptions to the prohibition include:

  • Participants of the Citizenship by Investment Program
  • Individuals who were dual citizens prior to Montenegro’s independence in 2006
  • Future provisions under treaties such as the one being negotiated with Serbia.

However, the path to dual citizenship presents its own challenges. The Montenegrin Citizenship Act mandates that naturalization applicants provide evidence of having relinquished their previous citizenship within two years, a requirement that can even lead to the automatic loss of Montenegrin citizenship if not met. Fortunately, ratified international agreements facilitate the acquisition of dual citizenship, offering a two-year guarantee during which previous citizenship needs to be renounced. This process ultimately results in acquired citizenship for those who successfully navigate the requirements.

Montenegro Citizenship Application Process

Applying for Montenegrin citizenship encompasses documentation, language proficiency, and meeting particular requirements. Required documents include a valid residence permit, a copy of the applicant’s passport, a completed application form, a birth certificate, and a marriage certificate if available. Applicants must also demonstrate basic proficiency in the Montenegrin language and pass a language test.

The language test in Podgorica, Montenegro, which takes place at the Examination Center, requires an administration fee. To take the exam you must pay a fee. It is worth knowing that the test does not include an examination of general knowledge, but focuses solely on language knowledge.

Montenegro Citizenship Application Process

Visa-Free Access and Travel Benefits of Montenegrin Citizenship

Montenegrin citizenship provides unparalleled travel benefits, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 120 destinations worldwide. With a Montenegrin passport in hand, you can explore Europe’s Schengen Area, Russia, Turkey, and other countries without the hassle of obtaining a visa beforehand.

Key Travel Benefits of Montenegrin Citizenship

  • Visa-Free Access: Enjoy seamless travel to over 120 destinations, including popular tourist spots and business hubs, without the need for a visa.
  • Streamlined Visa Processes: Montenegrin passport holders benefit from streamlined visa processes in 32 countries, where eVisas are issued, simplifying the visa application procedure.
  • Visa on Arrival: In addition to visa-free access, Montenegrin citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival in 33 countries, facilitating spontaneous travel plans and last-minute trips.
  • Tourist Hotspots: Explore renowned tourist destinations like Thailand and Singapore with ease, as Montenegro’s passport grants visa-free entry to these sought-after locations.
  • EU Candidate Status: Montenegro’s status as an official EU candidate country enhances the potential for future travel and business opportunities within the European Union, offering added mobility and connectivity.
  • Global Mobility: Whether you’re traveling for leisure, business, or education, Montenegrin citizenship opens doors to diverse destinations across continents, allowing you to experience the world without restrictions.


Navigating the diverse pathways to Montenegrin citizenship reveals a tapestry of opportunities and advantages. From birth and origin to marriage or naturalization, each route offers a unique journey toward becoming a Montenegrin citizen. Although the Citizenship by Investment Program is now closed, the benefits of Montenegrin citizenship continue to be attractive, such as visa-free travel, low taxes, and potential EU membership.

Whether you’re tracing your family roots, celebrating a union with a Montenegrin spouse, or marking your tenth year of permanent residency, Montenegro welcomes you with a suite of benefits that make the journey worthwhile. As the country continues to progress, the value of being a Montenegrin citizen only promises to grow. Check out the full offer of citizenship by Investment programs here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the cost of acquiring Montenegrin citizenship?

Acquiring Montenegrin citizenship requires a €200,000 government contribution (donation to the government of Montenegro) and an additional investment in real estate projects valued at either €250,000 in the northern region or €450,000 in the southern region. This provides investors with the opportunity to obtain citizenship in Montenegro.

How can I obtain Montenegrin citizenship through the Investment Program?

Although the Montenegro Citizenship Investment Program has been discontinued, you can still apply for citizenship in other attractive European or Caribbean countries.

Will it be easy to immigrate to Montenegro in the future?

This process may become more complicated in the future, especially after the country joins the EU. Therefore, it’s advisable to plan ahead and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

What are the different ways to obtain Montenegrin citizenship?

You can obtain Montenegrin citizenship through origin, birth, marriage, naturalization, or a now-closed investment program. These are the different ways to become a citizen of Montenegro.

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