How to Acquire Legal Residence in Montenegro

Since recently, you have to legally reside in Montenegro for 10 years to become a naturalized citizen of the country. Before, the term used to be 15 years. This is probably one of the reasons why the demand for Montenegrin residence cards has been increasing.

Below we discuss how you can legalize your 10-year stay in Montenegro if obtaining citizenship of the country is your goal.

Foreigners Act in Montenegro

Entry and residence of foreign nationals is regulated by the Foreigners Act in Montenegro. It specifies the following residence regimes:

  • Guest stay (up to 90 days),
  • Temporary residence, and
  • Permanent residence.

You have to apply for a temporary residence permit if you want to live in the country for more than 90 days and you want to find a job there.

A residence permit is a plastic card that you should carry with you when traveling across Montenegro and when entering the country. The document makes you qualified for putting local number plates on your car.

Residence permit in Montenegro

You can apply for a residence permit in Montenegro on the following legal grounds:

  • Employment in the country,
  • Family reunification,
  • Marriage to a citizen of Montenegro,
  • Ownership of real property in the country,
  • University вattendance in Montenegro.

Below we briefly discuss these legal grounds and provide lists of application documents required in each case.

Legal residence for foreigners employed in Montenegro

There are two ways to find employment in Montenegro: first, find an employer in the country and second, form a company and employ yourself. The first way is rather problematic simply because there are not very many large employers in Montenegro. The second way, however, is unproblematic: registering a company in the country is easy. At this page, you can find more information about the procedure.

You can choose from the following types of companies to register in Montenegro:

  • Preduzetnik (sole proprietorship),
  • AD (equity company),
  • Društvo sa ograničenom odgovornošću, DOO (LLC).

Establish a company, deposit 1 euro as the charter capital, and appoint yourself company director: this will make you qualified for a residence permit in Montenegro.

You have to submit the following application documents to the Ministry of the Interior:

  • Confirmations of your solvency.
  • Confirmations of your residential address in Montenegro.
  • A medical insurance policy.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • Confirmations of the fact that you have never been sentenced to more than 6 months in prison and you are not legally prosecuted at the moment (a police clearance).
  • A letter from your Montenegrin employer with an official job offer and the main details of the job contract. This document is not required if the applicant is the sole owner of the company or if more than 50% of the company ownership share belongs to him/ her.
  • Educational certificates (diplomas).
  • Medical examination results (to be obtained from a naa songs certified medical institution in Montenegro).
  • An extract from the Business Register confirming that a company is registered in the applicant’s name in Montenegro (if applicable).

If you are employed by a local company, you should be aware that your residence permit will expire on the date when your job contract is terminated. The employer has 8 days to notify the authorities of contract termination. You have to leave Montenegro or apply for legal residence on different grounds.

If you appoint yourself your company director, you have to pay yourself at least the minimum wage (532.5 euros per month at the moment).

Residence in Montenegro for property owners

If you own an apartment, a house, or a commercial building in Montenegro, you also qualify for legal residence in the country. The documents that you have to submit when applying for a residence permit include the following ones:

  • A passport copy,
  • Property ownership certificate or certificates,
  • A medical insurance policy,
  • A proof of solvency,
  • A police clearance.

If you are planning to apply for a permanent residence permit after 5 years, you should be prepared to keep the property in your possession for at least 5 years. If you sell it prematurely, your residence permit will be invalidated.

Residence in Montenegro on the grounds of owning property in the country does not give access to free medical services and neither does it serve as a work permit.

Family reunification

You can apply for legal residence in Montenegro for family reunification. The following documents translated into the national language need to be submitted:

  • Marriage certificate,
  • Personal IDs for both spouses (copies),
  • Birth certificates,
  • Other documents depending on the kind of relations of kin.

A residence permit issued on these grounds can be valid for up to 1 year. Much will also depend on the validity term of the residence permit held by the relative that you want to reunite with.

Extending your residence permit in Montenegro

You have to apply for a residence permit extension a month prior to its expiration date. The procedure of extending your residence permit is simpler than the procedure of acquiring the first permit because many documents are not going to be required any longer.

At the same time, your biometric data will be verified when you apply for residence permit extension.

You have to bear in mind the fact that the procedures of residence permit extension can be different in different Montenegrin cities. Besides, the legislation of the country tends to change rather often and this is why you have to find out about the exact contents of your application document package beforehand.

You should also realize that you have to live in Montenegro most of the time if you want to extend your residence permit. If you are absent from the country for more than 30 days without a valid excuse or for more than 90 days even with a valid excuse, your residence permit will not be extended. An exception to this rule applies, however: foreign nationals registering companies in Montenegro do not have to live in the country permanently to be able to extend their residence permits.  

Permanent residence in Montenegro

You have to live in Montenegro and keep extending your residence kuttyweb permit for 5 years before you can apply for a permanent residence permit. This kind of permit is nearly as good as a passport of Montenegro: you have all the civil rights apart from the voting rights.

In accordance with the amendments to the Foreigners Act passed in 2023, you can apply for citizenship of Montenegro after living in the country for 10 years in total.

We must note in conclusion that the popularity of Montenegro with foreigners has been growing rapidly over recent years. Some go there for the summer while others register companies in the country and relocate there with their families. IT specialists working from home love working from Montenegro because it is a comfortable country by the seaside with affordable prices.

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