Late December 2021, Montenegro’s government announced an extension of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment program.
The extension will be a year in duration, continuing up to 12/2022. The decision was unexpected, having come as a last-minute announcement.
The announcement was also shocking for the political scene, having contradicted the government’s March 2021 announcement of terminating the program by the year’s end.
However, the announcement seems to have been a way to ease the European Commission’s worries. And thus, it occurred despite rejection by the European Commission, which saw the program as an obstacle to Montenegro’s EU membership.
But, Montenegro seems like it will not renounce its plans anytime soon.
As implied by Jako Milanovic, the Minister of Economic Development, Montenegro aims to set itself as a “regional leader” in money allocation for innovation. Tourism seems to be a goal here, with its Citizenship by Investment Program as one of its tools.
Montenegro’s Response to the Commission
The government responded to the Commission’s worries by adding harsher conditions for its economic citizenship.
Through a recent statement, the government announced a doubling in bank guarantee requirements to complete citizenship requests.
Applicants must now submit 50% of the total as demanded by the program. New applicants are required to pay EUR 100,000 to the state, and an extra EUR 100,000 towards regional development.
However, this isn’t the first time Montenegro demanded exorbitant amounts for economic citizenship.
As far back as 2010, Montenegro’s former government launched 3 programs aimed at highly reputable and credible businessmen, with EUR 500,000 as a minimum.
A similar model was restarted in early 2019. This occurred when Montenegro issued passports to those investing:
- EUR 250,000 minimum in the country’s northern underdeveloped regions
- EUR 450,000 in developed regions (South and Centre) of Montenegro
While the price hikes may repel some investors, analysts see that interest in Montenegro’s CIP should grow throughout the next year, especially with last year’s numbers.
Montenegro’s CBI Investor Demographics
So far, 108 citizenship have been issued to foreigners, most being Chinese and Russian nationals.
Passports were issued for property purchases, or for monetary donations to undeveloped regions of Montenegro.
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