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Montenegro Citizenship - Guide for 2024

Obtain Citizenship in Montenegro

Updated on Wednesday 13th March 2024

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Citizenship in Montenegro
 
Foreign citizens who want to move to Montenegro have several options in terms of residence permits. They can work or set up their own businesses and live here for the desired period of time and if they want, they can apply for Montenegro citizenship.
 
 
Below, our lawyers in Montenegro explain the main ways through which foreign citizens can obtain citizenship in 2024. We are at your service with tailored immigration services.
 
 Quick Facts  
 Applicable law Montenegrin Nationality Act 

 Nationalities accepted (EU/Non-EU) 

 Both EU and non-EU qualify for citizenship in Montenegro

  Minimum age for application

 - a person must be 18 at the time of the application;

- minors can be represented by parents or legal guardians.

 Dual citizenship availability (YES/NO)  Only with countries with which Montenegro has agreements with
  Living requirements in Montenegro (Yes/No)

 Yes, based on a permanent residence permit

  Direct citizenship option

 Yes, through naturalization

 Ways to obtain Montenegrin citizenship

- naturalization,

- marriage,

- descent.

  Living requirement for citizenship by naturalization

10 years 

  Citizenship by investment availability (YES/NO)

 No, the program has been terminated.

 Documents to obtain citizenship by naturalization 

- valid residence permit,

- passport copy,

- application form,

- birth certificate,

- marriage certificate (if available).

 Timeframe to obtain a Montenegrin passport

 Approx. 4 weeks

  Benefits after obtaining Montenegrin citizenship

- access to the labor market,

- access to healthcare and education,

- voting rights, etc.

 Fastest route to citizenship in Montenegro

 Descent, as it is automatically recognized.

  Best ways to obtain citizenship

 Naturalization and descent

 Support in applying for citizenship (YES/NO)  Yes, we can assist those applying for citizenship in Montenegro.
 

Who is eligible for Montenegro citizenship?

 
According to Montenegro’s Nationality Law citizens of any country of the world are allowed to apply for citizenship as long as they are willing to renounce their former nationalities. There are several ways through which one can obtain Montenegrin citizenship.
 
Here are the main grounds under which citizenship can be acquired in Montenegro in 2024:
 
  1. origin if the applicant has Montenegrin ancestors or close relatives;
  2. birth if the applicant is a child of foreign citizens but is born in Montenegro;
  3. naturalization if the applicant has lived in this country based on a residence permit;
  4. based on international agreements with other countries.
 
Investors who want to have their own businesses in Montenegro can choose the naturalization pathway of obtaining citizenship based on long-term residency.
 
If you want to know if you meet the requirements to apply for Montenegro citizenship, our lawyers are at your service for assistance.
 

How to obtain citizenship in Montenegro based on origin and birth

 
One of the safest ways of obtaining Montenegro citizenship is by origin or birth. This will be granted based on a set of documents to the following categories of applicants:
 
  • children with Montenegrin citizens who have left the country at a certain point;
  • children who had at least one Montenegrin parent and who was born in this country;
  • children of Montenegrin citizens who were born abroad and who have not acquired the citizenship of the other state;
  • foreign children adopted by Montenegrin citizens.
 
If you meet any of the above criteria or want to know if you enter any of the categories above, you can discuss with our Montenegrin lawyers.
 

Montenegrin citizenship by admittance

 
One of the most employed paths for obtaining Montenegro citizenship in 2024 remains admittance or long-term residency. There are numerous foreign citizens who have moved to Montenegro for various reasons and decided to remain here.
 
Considering that obtaining a residence permit for Montenegro is not difficult, staying here and making a living is even simpler. The main requirements to obtain citizenship through admittance are:
 
  • for the applicant to have lived in Montenegro based on a long-term residence permit for 5 years;
  • for the applicant to have lived in Montenegro based on a permanent residence permit for 10 years;
  • for the applicant to have been married to a Montenegrin citizen for at least 3 years.
 
Additional requirements apply to all categories of applicants. For instance, those who have obtained long-term residency and have lived in Montenegro for 5 years must know that they have the right of leaving the country for more than 10 months during the entire 5-year period or 6 months at a time.
 
Foreign citizens who are married to Montenegrin citizens must have lived with their spouses here for 3 years in a period of 5 years. During this entire period, they must have not left Montenegro for more than 30 days. Another requirement is for the wedding to have taken place in Montenegro.
 

How to obtain citizenship by marriage in Montenegro

 
Getting married to a national of this country is another way for a foreigner to become a citizen of Montenegro. You are eligible for citizenship if you have been lawfully residing in Montenegro for at least 5 years and if you have been married to a Montenegrin citizen for at least 3 of those years. However, there are requirements to complete just as in any other case.

According to the Montenegrin residency requirements, you had to have been a resident of Montenegro for 3 of the 5 years leading up to the wedding, and you could have not left the country for longer than 30 days at a time during these years. To establish your residency in the nation if you are not already a resident, you can apply for a temporary residence visa for family reunification.
 
If you are interested in how to obtain citizenship by marriage in Montenegro, our law firm can advise you and your spouse on the procedure.
 

Documents required when applying for citizenship in Montenegro

 
The process of obtaining Montenegrin citizenship is not difficult, with a few exceptions and unique circumstances.

You need to submit some personal documents in order for your application to be accepted. These documents include the following:
 
  • the citizenship application form;
  • a copy of a notarized passport (apostille certified);
  • an original copy or certificate of birth;
  • an original copy or marriage certificate;
  • a health insurance policy that is accepted in Montenegro;
  • an evaluation of your health for infectious diseases in a medical report.

An official government representative will review your application and decide if you qualify to become a citizen of Montenegro once you submit it.
 
If you want to apply for a passport, you can rely on our lawyers in Montenegro for support. To apply for citizenship in Montenegro, one must meet specific standards, have the necessary papers, and be proficient in the language. Candidates must additionally pass a language test.

 

Dual citizenship in Montenegro

 
Generally speaking, the Montenegrin government does not accept dual citizenship. The main exceptions apply only to those states with whom Montenegro has formal agreements to allow dual citizenship.
 
Here are some of exceptions to the rule:
 
  • participants in the now abolished Citizenship by Investment scheme;
  • those who held dual citizenship until 2006, when Montenegro gained its independence;
  • future clauses in treaties like the one under work with Serbia.
 
Obtaining dual citizenship comes with its own set of difficulties. According to the Montenegrin Citizenship Act, candidates for naturalization must show that they have renounced their prior citizenship within 2 years.  Failure to comply with this condition may result in the automatic loss of Montenegrin citizenship. Nevertheless, signed international treaties make obtaining dual citizenship easier by providing a 2-year guarantee that the prior citizenship must be surrendered. For individuals who successfully complete the prerequisites, this process leads to the acquisition of citizenship in the end. Our Montenegrin lawyers can advise on each particular case when it comes to dual citizenship.
 
If you are interested in Montenegro citizenship, our lawyers can explain the documents you need to supply and file with the governmental authorities in charge of immigration. Here is also our video:
 
 
 

Benefits of obtaining citizenship in Montenegro

 
Montenegrin citizenship comes with various benefits, among which the possibility of travelling without a visa in more than 120 counties. Also, Montenegro has applied to EU accession which should happen by 2025. Apart from these, the country offers one of the lowest personal income tax rates in Europe – 9%.
 
Holders of a Montenegrin passport also enjoy expedited visa procedures in 32 countries where eVisas are granted, making the process of applying for a visa simpler.  Montenegrin nationals not only enjoy visa-free travel, but they can also get a visa at the airport in 33 countries, which makes last-minute vacations and travel arrangements easier.
 

Population of Montengro

 
The most recent information indicates that:
 
  • as of January, 2024, 626,266 people call Montenegro their home, according to Worldometer's data from the most recent United Nations report;
  • in June 2023 the  population forecast for Montenegro was 626,485;
  • the people of Montenegro represents 0.01% of the global population;
  • according to population, Montenegro is ranked 169th out of all the countries (including dependencies);
  • in Montenegro, there are 47 persons per square kilometre;
  • there are 13,450 Km2 (5,193 sq. miles) of land in the entire country;
  • urbanization accounts for 68.8% of the population (430,805 in 2023)
  • the median age of the population is 38.7 years, which is lower than in other Eastern European countries.
 
If you want to apply for citizenship in Montenegro in 2024 and need assistance, our law firm is at your disposal with various services, including assistance in setting up companies in this country, so do not hesitate to contact us.