In recent years, affluent South Africans have been flocking en masse to a somewhat unlikely destination: Montenegro.
With a surface area of 13,812 km² and a population of just 662,000, the tiny Balkan country has become a tourism hotspot thanks to its gorgeous 295 km coastline and 73 km of beaches — not to mention the 280+ sunny days per annum.
However, it is not Montenegro’s charm as a summer getaway destination that has been drawing South African nationals to the country. After all, South Africa is not exactly lacking in the gorgeous coastline department.
Montenegro’s popularity with South Africans is largely due to its competitive citizenship by investment program.
Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Program
Prime Real Estate Investment
The so-called Pearl of the Balkans offers excellent opportunities for offshore investment in real estate. Property prices are still among the lowest in all of Europe, and Montenegro’s tax policy is incredibly competitive for both businesses and individuals.
More importantly, industry experts predict that real estate prices will rise exponentially after the country joins the European Union in a few years. That means now is the perfect time to invest in the country. Many up-and-coming development project in Montenegro’s coastal and inland regions have already drawn in significant South African capital.
Low Financial Threshold
Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program has some of the lowest financial thresholds in Europe. Potential investors can choose between the following options:
- A minimum investment of €450,000 in properties in Podgorica and the southern coastal regions; or
- A minimum investment of €250,000 in government-approved development projects in less affluent areas further inland.
In both cases, applicants must contribute an additional €100,000 as a donation to a government development fund. The proceeds from the fund are to be invested in less developed regions in the country.
Montenegrin passport holders are entitled to visa-free travel to 123 countries (and counting). The country’s passport currently ranks 42nd globally, with visa-free access to:
- All EU member states
- All Schengen Area countries
At present, a visa is still needed to travel to Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However, that is likely to change as successful applicants are also looking at obtaining the much-coveted EU citizenship further down the line.
Eligible foreign investors can obtain a Montenegrin passport and citizenship in as little as three months. That makes the country’s citizenship by investment program one of the easiest ways for South African nationals to set up a base in Europe.
Beautiful Nature and an Exciting Culture
There is no denying the obvious: Montenegro’s scenery is breathtaking. From its dazzling coastline to rugged mountains, it is a real paradise for nature lovers.
What’s more, the country boasts an interesting and vibrant culture with a centuries-old history. The locals are warm and welcoming to outsiders, and the capital Podgorica and seaside resorts have become the newest playgrounds for travelers, adventures, and affluent global citizens. In time, the Balkan country might well turn into the next Monte Carlo.
More Good News on the Political Scene
In addition to Montenegro’s well-thought-out citizenship by investment scheme, recent macroeconomic and geopolitical developments have further boosted its appeal as a stable, up-and-coming foreign investment destination.
The country has shaken off its Eastern Bloc past, embarking on a bold set of reforms aimed at improving the country’s economy and attracting foreign capital.
The reforms have largely paid off: the World Bank now ranks Montenegro as an upper-middle-income economy.
The country is also firmly set on joining the European Union in the near future. Montenegro already uses the Euro as its main currency. The country applied for EU membership in 2008 and currently holds the status of a candidate country. The accession negotiations kicked off in 2012. So far, excellent progress has been made on all 33 accession chapters, and the government additionally hopes to secure a Schengen Area membership by 2025.
Has Montenegro Piqued Your Interest? We’d Love to Hear from You.
Savva & Associates has a proven track record of assisting South African nationals and investors from all over the world obtain European passports and build a rich new life for themselves and their families.
Our experts will give you the most competent legal and financial advice. We will help you prepare your documents and will guide you through all stages of the application process. More importantly, we will make sure that you always get the highest possible return on your investments in Montenegro and beyond.
Contact our team today to explore your options and start creating your brave new life today.