Citizenship by investment is not a new concept and has been applied in numerous countries for years. Since 2019, Montenegro has joined the European and world countries that offer an economic citizenship program. With this program in our country, it is planned to issue 2,000 Montenegrin passports for investors who are subject to strict criteria.
In order for someone to become a citizen of Montenegro through this program, he must first deposit 100,000 euros to the state account, which are used for the development of underdeveloped municipalities. This is the first condition without which one cannot enter the citizenship procedure. The very fact that money is collected from investors in this way, as the first step towards applying for citizenship, speaks of how much care was taken to ensure that the interest of the state and its financial stability were in the foreground.
The conditions for the amount of investment differ on the coast and in the north of Montenegro. While for Podgorica and the coast it is necessary to set aside 450 thousand euros for the investment project, in the north the amount of investment is 250 thousand euros. Since Montenegro relies mostly on tourism, it is clear that investors have recognized this economic branch as the best area for investment. Those who have opted for projects in the field of tourism are obliged to build 5-star hotels on the coast, which will have at least 80 employees and 60 accommodation units, while projects in the north of Montenegro should have at least 35 accommodation units and 25 new employees. The minimum project value on the coast and in Podgorica is 15 million euros, and five million in the north.
In addition to these conditions, it is clear why citizenship through investment programs are beneficial for the state. Municipalities where projects participating in the program are developed, receive a strong financial boost. It is also an incentive to work on legal frameworks, on the creation of regulations and administrative procedures that will help to launch projects in accordance with the laws. Residents of municipalities where projects are developed benefit the most from such investments.
Hiring local labor starts a cycle in which the standard of living of citizens undoubtedly increases. The large number of jobs created by such projects contributes to the reduction of unemployment. The local population gets an incentive to get involved in the increasingly dynamic business scene, and young people are inspired to enroll in tourism faculties and thus secure a job.
Every year, millions of euros are poured into the Montenegrin budget, generated only from taxes paid by investors who received citizenship under this program. It is clear that this money is used to finance important areas of society – education, health, social programs. For the state, these benefits are of great importance, since the most vulnerable sections of society are helped with these funds.
Another very important advantage of such a program should not be overlooked, and that is the promotion of our country outside its borders, that is, in the countries of origin of the investors. When you bear in mind that Montenegro lives on tourism and that the share of income from tourism in GDP is more than 20%, it is clear why we care about encouraging as many people as possible to visit our country. Investors who have found a new home in our country are the best ambassadors of our country, those who in their home countries, but also among their friends, spread a good word – about the beauty of nature, about the hospitality of people, about the high-quality lifestyle that they can practice here .
What must also be emphasized is that investors are very aware of their role as initiators of certain social processes and take care to improve the lives of citizens in the municipalities where they develop their projects in every way. It often happens that investors build roads at their own expense, electrify settlements, improve water supply, and solve the waste problem. However, their participation does not end there, because it is they who make the biggest contributions to humanitarian activities and organize them in order to best help the community in which they live.
In the end, the arrival of new people always initiates creative processes, new ideas are developed, the exchange of opinions and attitudes contribute to the whole country moving in the direction of progress and progress. On the way to European integration, these are the programs that give us extra energy and momentum to be as successful as possible. Such investors, people who develop our tourist product, who expand our offer, are visionaries who are inspired by Montenegro and who came to us to create a better and more beautiful life for everyone.