Montenegro: How Do You Become a Citizen?

The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.
The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.

Obtaining a Montenegro Citizenship: Essential Things to Know

By Oscar Davis

A few different residence permit categories are available to foreign nationals in Montenegro. Citizenship in Montenegro can be applied once a person has worked or started a business in the country for a predetermined time and has been a permanent resident.

Map of Montenegro, right below Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Map of Montenegro, right below Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Multiple people from other countries who want to establish a successful life choose Montenegro because of the country’s many paths to citizenship.

Citizenship by investment will be available in Montenegro by 2021 as well. However, this immigration option requires a sizable monetary outlay.

Citizenship-by-investment programs are available worldwide, and at Global Residence Index, they know how to navigate them all. Working closely with their customers, they do everything possible to take on the administrative burdens of the process.

Qualifications for Citizenship in Montenegro

There are four distinct paths to citizenship under Montenegrin law.


A person can acquire citizenship by birth if they have a parent who is a legal resident and citizen of Montenegro. A child born outside Montenegro must petition for citizenship until their 23rd birthday. Adopted children in Montenegro can petition for citizenship if at least one of their adoptive parents is a country resident.

The Bridge of Dzhurdzhevicha, Montenegro.
The Bridge of Dzhurdzhevicha in Montenegro.

Place of Birth

If a child’s parents are unknown or of unknown citizenship, and the child is born on Montenegro’s territory, the child automatically acquires Montenegrin citizenship. This includes situations when the child will be stateless forever until they get Montenegrin citizenship.


Citizenship can be granted to those with a compelling cause to continue living in Montenegro. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however, including being a permanent resident of the country, being married to a citizen of Montenegro, or being of special interest to the state, such as investing in the country’s economy.

If both parents have legal permanent residency in Montenegro and a passport from that country, their children are also granted citizenship by admission. Citizenship by admission is automatically passed on to a child whose legal residence is in Montenegro, even if only one parent has been awarded citizenship.

Adopted children who have lived in Montenegro lawfully and continuously for at least two years are eligible for citizenship by naturalization, regardless of whether or not they have completed their adoption.

Montenegro - A hint at the passing scenery.
Montenegro – A hint at the passing scenery.

International Treaties and Agreements

Citizenship of Montenegro can be obtained based on international treaties and agreements. For instance, this includes those who used to live in what was once Yugoslavia.

Suppose you don’t have blood or historical ties to Montenegro. In that case, you can still receive a passport, become a permanent resident, marry a citizen, or invest in the country.

Citizenship for Permanent Inhabitants of Montenegro

Anyone who has lived in Montenegro for at least ten years and has not committed any serious crimes is eligible to apply for a Montenegrin passport.

For this reason, prospective citizens must first get permanent or temporary residency. For persons who have relocated to Montenegro for one of the following reasons, a temporary residency permit can be issued:

  • The Reuniting of Families;
  • Studying
  • Working
  • Reasons related to humanity

After five years of staying in Montenegro with a temporary residence permit, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

To qualify for permanent residency or citizenship by admission in Montenegro, applicants must demonstrate a basic understanding of Montenegrin. To do so, individuals must first demonstrate competence in a set of subject areas based on a curriculum developed in compliance with guidelines set by the National Education Council.

Petrovac, Montenegro.
Petrovac, Montenegro.

Marriage as a Way to Montenegrin Citizenship

The time it takes to become a citizen of Montenegro is shortened if you marry a local. If you’ve been legally residing in Montenegro for at least five years and have been married to a citizen for at least three years, you can apply for citizenship.

A temporary residency visa for a family reunion can be applied for by the spouse of a Montenegrin citizen who has yet to relocate to the country. Spouses of Montenegrin citizens can apply for it if they can show that their union is not a political marriage.

Those who become citizens of Montenegro by marriage are required to give up any other citizenships they may hold.

Citizenship-by-investment in Montenegro

By investing at least €472,000 into Montenegro’s economy through the country’s citizenship-by-investment scheme, one can receive a passport of the country in as little as six months.

Perast Montenegro
Perast Montenegro, Uruguay.

Investors can use any specific linguistic or historical expertise. They need not even physically be present in the nation. However, before being accepted into the program, they must complete stringent Due Diligence.

Under the CBI program in Montenegro, investors have a choice between two types of investments. Both will necessitate real estate investment, with the property’s asking price as a dividing line. A property in the country’s center or northern regions can be purchased for €250,000. Prices are €200,000 greater in coastal areas and capital cities.

Montenegro’s properties that meet the first investment option requirements are frequently situated near well-known ski areas because of the country’s hilly terrain. Autumn and winter are the busiest seasons here.

Unsurprisingly, more people travel to the south of Montenegro to see places like Budva and Sveti Stefan. Common when the ocean is warm enough to swim in throughout the summer. May through October is the most lucrative for property investments in this area.

Who Meets Specific Criteria Enroll in Montenegro’s CBI Program?

For those investors interested in becoming naturalized citizens of Montenegro, the following criteria must be met:

  • Have reached the age of 18+;
  • Have never been charged with or convicted of a crime;
  • Pass Due Diligence
  • Make sure the money is coming in legally.

All the investor’s immediate relatives can join the program for the same price: Following the investor, the following people are eligible to receive a passport from Montenegro:

  • Their partner, regardless of sexual orientation.
  • Those under the age of eighteen
  • Adult children rely on the investor for support if they are financially independent.

More on Montenegro

In addition to other privileges, holding Montenegrin citizenship allows you to visit over 120 countries visa-free. In addition, Montenegro has filed to join the European Union, a move expected to be successful by 2025. It also has one of Europe’s lowest income tax rates, at just 9%.

Oscar DavisOscar Davis is a freelance writer from Leeds, UK.

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