Henley & Partners is delighted to announce its milestone submission of 100 applications for the Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Program. Of these, 33 international investors and their families have already received their citizenship and passports, despite the ongoing disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The leading global residence and citizenship planning firm is one of only three government-appointed marketing agents for the highly sought-after citizenship-by-investment program, which will close at the end of this year.
Rade Ljumović, Director at Henley & Partners in Montenegro, says the program offers high-net-worth investors a significant opportunity in a dynamic regional market but there are only a few months left to apply. "One reason for Montenegro's success is that it caters for investors with a diverse range of interests and requirements. Investors can choose between glamorous seaside resorts where they can invest in new hotels that are being established by reputable developers, including cutting-edge options such as the SIRO brand by Kerzner International and InterContinental. Alternatively, they can opt for the northern parts of the country, where there are exclusive ski and mountain resorts in advanced stages of construction such as Swissôtel."
Montenegro is currently on the EU's "safe list" of countries with relatively low rates of COVID-19 infection. Its passport ranks 45th on the Henley Passport Index, providing its holders with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 124 destinations worldwide, including Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, and the countries in Europe's Schengen Area. As well as being a NATO member, Montenegro is a recognized candidate for future membership of the EU, with the government's chief negotiator, Zorka Kordic, recently giving 2024 as the target timeline Montenegrin accession. Last month, the EU Information Centre in Montenegro published research findings showing that 73.8% of the population supported EU accession, and 86.9% would vote in favour of joining the EU should there be a referendum on the question. The EU ambassador to Montenegro, Oana Cristina Popa, recently noted that the trust of Montenegrin citizens is motivating to the EU and encouraging for Montenegro's accession.
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Applicants to the Montenegro Citizenship-by-Investment Program are required to make a defined economic contribution to the country. In exchange, and subject to a stringent vetting and due diligence process, including thorough background checks by specialized firms, applicants and their families are granted Montenegrin citizenship. The main applicant must be over 18 years of age, meet the application requirements, and contribute EUR 100,000 to the Government of Montenegro, designated for advancing local under-developed, self-government units. In addition, applicants can invest at least EUR 450,000 in an approved development project in the capital Podgorica or the popular coastal region of Montenegro. Alternatively, they can invest a minimum of EUR 250,000 in an approved development project in the northern or central regions of Montenegro (excluding Podgorica). Additional government processing fees and other application fees apply.
CEO of Henley & Partners, Dr Juerg Steffen, says the resulting increase in business activity and new employment opportunities created by the program will benefit all Montenegrins. "Investment migration enables sovereign states such as Montenegro to tap into a new source of sustainable revenue without becoming overleveraged. In the current pandemic environment, as in the wake of previous disruptions such as the 2008 financial crisis, residence and citizenship programs create significant value both for investors and for sovereign states in need of alternative revenue streams."
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