Offshore

"Golden Visa" Market Expands With Another Entrant

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 26 November 2018

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Another nation opens up to the "golden visa market" and details are released on how much the programme costs.

Montenegro has joined the ranks of countries offering citizenship in return for investment – the “golden visa” option recently taken up by Moldova.

Government ministers have decided on how selection criteria for the citizenship-by-investment programme will work, a statement from the country’s administration said last week. 

Applicants must pay €450,000 ($510,761) to the account of the State of Montenegro for the projects in the coastal region and Podgorica, or €250,000 euros in northern and central region except Podgorica, as well as €100,000 euros intended for less developed areas. 

In addition, the applicant must deposit €15,000 for an application for themselves, €10,000 for up to 4 family members, and €50,000 for each next family member, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism concluded.

"The government's decision was made with a view to further accelerating the economic development of Montenegro and attracting investments that will create new tourism, agricultural and processing capacities, and new jobs, and improve the quality of life and the living standard of our citizens," deputy Prime Minister Milutin Simovic told journalists.

"The decision will intensify the implementation of development projects and enable faster development of less developed municipalities,” he said.

Such programmes have been controversial, with some European policymakers claiming that they could enable money laundering and other abuses. 

DPM Simović said that the government has established a “sincere and open dialogue with the European partners”, according to the statement. 

"There were also certain doubts, additional inquiries about whether we are prepared to carry out such a demanding project in the right way - as did the EU member states that have similar programmes, not jeopardising our European path and achieving the goals of the Union. In the end, we understood the position of our EU partners that Montenegro should use its exclusive rights to grant citizenship, in the spirit of sincere cooperation and to refrain from any measure that could jeopardise the Union's goals,” he said.

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