Real estate purchase and business registration as the main ways to obtain a Montenegro residence permit. The interview with an expert
This time REALTING talked to Svetlana Barina, Sales and Marketing Director of Montbel Montenegrin Real Estate Agency. How to get a Montenegrin residence permit, what advantages the status gives, what is the procedure of obtaining a residence permit — more about all this in our article.
— Who can apply for a residence permit in Montenegro?
— The most common way to obtain a Montenegrin residence permit is real estate acquisition. The owner of the property (without age restrictions, etc.) gets a residence permit, as well as members of his family, including minor children. That is, immediate relatives: spouse and children under 18. Parents of the property owner and children over 18 can no longer obtain a residence permit. The only way out in this case is the registration of real estate for two (50% for one and 50% for the other).
Suppose you want your elderly parents to receive a residence permit on the basis of the acquired property as well. In this case, you can arrange a half part for yourself and a half for the parent. Or, if your children are adults, you can establish a half for yourself and a half for an adult child. Registration of 1/3 of the property under the law is not a basis for obtaining a residence permit.
There were no such restrictions before. However, it has been a period when foreign citizens massively went to Montenegro. They bought the cheapest studio, for example, for 30 thousand euros, fit in there with the whole «crowd» and went to get a residence permit. So, amendments to all legislative documents were made and since then, in order to obtain a residence permit, you can officially register a maximum of a half of real estate. You can, actually, arrange for yourself and others even 1/20 of the part, but no one will get a residence permit.
— What are the benefits of a residence permit?
— First of all, this is an unlimited time spent in the country. Without a residence permit, Belarusians are allowed to stay in Montenegro for only 30 days, Russians in the season — 90 days, out of season — also a month, Ukrainians (regardless of season) — three months. Children can attend free public kindergartens and schools. By the way, there are a lot of private kindergartens here, they are good and not very expensive, even by local standards. One hundred euros per month per child including food, and developing groups, language training, trips on excursions, etc., that is, children are cared in full.
Another important advantage of obtaining a residence permit by registration of a legal entity is free medical care in polyclinics and hospitals.
— How often is real estate purchased in order to obtain a residence permit?
— In my practice, there has never been a case when people bought real estate only in order to obtain a residence permit. That is, people here consider many factors: climate, and being near the Adriatic Sea, and location in the center of Europe. Montenegro is an ecologically clean country with stunning nature, ski resorts are located 1.5 hour away from the coast. The country is not very developed yet, but it has prospects. It is impossible, being in the center of Europe, not to «shoot» at one moment. For example, Croatia when it joined the EU.
Montenegro has become a member of NATO, here roads are actively repaired, infrastructure is developed, the legislation is «being pulled» under European standards, even in the most seemingly small things. For example, a law has recently been passed — stores cannot work on Sundays. Beaches for relaxing with pets are being opened. Actions about homeless animals are now being held everywhere4 vaccination, chipping, issuing passports are conducted in veterinary hospitals.
— What other methods of obtaining a residence permit exist?
— Another common way is business registration. Apart from this, you can obtain a residence permit through the family reunification procedure. Also the reasons are studying at universities and even studying at school. So, family reunification, university studies, formal employment, treatment — all this is absolutely real.
— And what about the jobs for foreigners in Montenegro?
— Actually, you can find work, but it is worth considering that wages in the country are low. There is also very little work, and, taking into account the Montenegrin mentality and «clannishness», here, rather, they will hire the Montenegrin — a relative, a good friend. Visitors always remain «dark horses.» Although, in fact, this is usual everywhere. It’s easier to build a business here yourself, that is, coming with your own business and develop it.
By the way, an interesting fact! Somehow I came across a job announcement online: «In Budva, the Old Town, workers are needed at the restaurant...». The following is a list of vacancies, salaries, requirements, where one of the points is the citizenship of Belarus. I couldn’t even believe my eyes! That is, there are many legends about working capacity, hard-working nature, orderliness of Belarusians. In fact, it is true: the Belarusians living here, whatever their business is, simply «bite and pull.» If they own aparthotels, then for themselves, perhaps they may not have very good conditions, but for customers everything is at the highest level: clean and beautiful. Again, our company deals with the construction of buildings. It would seem like we build for sale, but, nevertheless, we cannot afford to bodge. We all try to do as for ourselves, this is our mentality.
— Can a foreigner with a residence permit apply for permanent residence?
— Earlier, it was possible to obtain Montenegrin permanent residence only if one owned a company or was employed in the country. Today one can get a permanent residence on the basis of real estate ownership. Thus, after five years, having a continuous Borawok (permission to stay in the country), you can apply for permanent residence.
— What documents are required to obtain a residence permit?
«It all depends on what your foundation is. If the basis is the registration of a business, then you submit, first of all, documents on the company opening. You also need a certificate from the bank stating that you have 3650 euros on your account (a certificate costs a couple of euros). This money is not required to be constantly on the account — actually, in the afternoon or the next day, you can withdraw it and use it at your discretion. By the way, the same money can be put on the account of another family member and take a certificate for him. Apart from this you need photocopies of passports, birth certificates, a criminal record from the country of which you are a citizen, medical insurance. All documents must be translated into the Montenegrin.
In the case of applying for a residence permit through the real estate ownership, you provide either a passport to your property (security sheet) or a lease. The lease must be signed by a lawyer. Next — the same photocopies, certificates, insurance.
— How much does this procedure cost?
— If you apply for a fee, then it will cost 800-1200 euros for a family of four people(depending on the region, some human factors).
For our clients who purchase real estate from us we make a residence permit for free (to the buyer and his entire family) as a bonus.
— What is the procedure for obtaining a residence permit, how does this all happen in general terms?
— The whole package of documents is collected, translated into the Montenegrin, submitted to the local police station and being waited for (usually for about one month).
— Is any meeting scheduled? Is there an electronic queue?
— There is something similar, I guess, cities there is nothing like that in Budva and other cities. There are no electronic queues, one can come at any working time, choose a counter — your documents are checked there. Even to the point that if you don’t have some document, but the operator is in a good mood, he will offer to bring it tomorrow. And so here it is. If you made a literal error — just cross it out and write the right one. Why am I saying this because it’s all unacceptable for Belarus. If one wrote a letter badly or crookedly, one will have to stand and re-fill this card.
— How long does a residence permit remain in force? How to renew it?
— Validity period is 1 year. During the first five years, a residence permit must be renewed annually. The largest package of documents is being collected for the first time. As for the residence permit through the real estate ownership, then in the second and next years you are to just go to the police (where you originally filed) and show a new extract from the electronic cadastre, confirming that you still own the real estate. Also, an extract from the bank and a criminal record will be required again.
— Can they refuse to grant a residence permit and for what reasons?
— In my practice, no one has been denied if all the documents are in order. Only if a person, having submitted documents, within a month of waiting for a residence permit managed to «screw up» somewhere and get into the police, then they can refuse him. Only in this case.