Montenegro Will Not Renew Its Citizenship By Investment Program/
The government of Montenegro will not renew the program through which foreign investors can obtain citizenship of the country by investing in some investment projects.
The program expires on December 31, 2021.
One of the reasons for this decision is a contradiction with the principles of the European Union.
“The promotion of such a program runs counter to trends in the revision of existing programs in the EU and criticism by the institutions of the European Union, as well as demands for the abolition of analog programs in the member states. Therefore, further support for such a program may complicate and slow down the process of joining the EU,” the message says.
However, this does not mean that the government completely abandons the system of obtaining Montenegrin citizenship (which does not arise automatically by birth and other criteria provided by law). The final decision on this matter will be presented by the end of the year.
The published document also states that the non-renewal of the citizenship by investment program "does not lead to an obstacle to investment in projects."
“Only 37 granted citizenships out of the total 2000 limit foreseen by the end of 2021 cast doubt on the feasibility and sustainability of the program. The number of 131 applications filed with the Investment Agency of Montenegro does not contribute to the reasoning investors base investments in development projects solely on the basis of economic dependence, profitability, or expected income associated with the successful implementation of the economic citizenship program. The constructed objects and real estate within the framework of development projects are still available for commercial activity or sale."
It is also reported that the government will timely and clearly define new criteria and procedures for obtaining Montenegrin citizenship.
“Based on two basic principles, in accordance with the government's statement presented by the Prime Minister in the Parliament of Montenegro, which states that the government wishes to change the existing economic citizenship program to a citizenship program for highly qualified employees, all to further promote and improve human resources in the country through:
i) defining preconditions that imply high qualifications of the applicants when it comes to individual applications and clearly assessing the contribution of the individual profile of the applicant to the economic development of Montenegro (so-called highly qualified personnel);
ii) definition of sectors
In both cases, the government will clearly define the criteria, including, but not limited to, such as the required length of stay in Montenegro, as well as the obligations arising in connection with obtaining Montenegrin citizenship,” writes Vijesti.
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