Citizenship in Montenegro VS residence permit in Portugal. A comparative analysis: expert commentary

By Sofia Silina, VP for Russia and CIS, Apex Capital Partners Corp.

Citizenship in Montenegro VS residence permit in Portugal

Let’s compare citizenship in Montenegro and residence permit in Portugal, obtained through their respective investment programs. Both programs are processed remotely; the applications are finalized within 6 months.

Citizenship by investment in Montenegro – official program

Why chose the Citizenship by investment program in Montenegro? Montenegrin passport holders can travel visa-free in the Schengen area (90 days every 6 months), and in general, have visa-free travel to 120 countries, including Europe and the Russian Federation. In addition, the option to move to and do business in the USA after obtaining a non-immigrant visa E2. Montenegro is expected to join the EU in 2025 which will allow the citizens of Montenegro to fully enjoy the rights of citizens of the European Union.

The application process can be started remotely. The file processing will take approximately 6 months, or less in some instances. For example, a Montenegrin citizenship application filed by Apex Capital Partners at the end of May 2020 for one of the clients was reviewed and approved in just 49 days. What investments does the program require? You need to invest from € 250,000 in an authorized real estate project under construction in the north of Montenegro, or from € 450,000 in the south. Also, along with this, a contribution to the state fund in the amount of € 100,000 is required. This amount will be added to the cost of the investment, professional fees, and services for legal registration.

The validity period of the Montenegrin passport is 10 years. This means that after this period, the holder will need to fly to Montenegro for biometrics. All this is processed at the local passport office. The fee for issuing a new document is only 35 euros. Apex Capital Partners offers its clients full support in this matter as well through the representatives of our office in Montenegro. We stay in touch with all the clients who have already completed the application and we are always ready to provide the necessary support in matters related to the country of the second citizenship.

Residence permit in Portugal through investment program

Portugal Golden Visa program, also called a residence permit by investment in Portugal, had become very popular in the last years. The first option is the purchase of real estate in Portugal in the amount of € 280,000 in a sparsely populated area, or real estate from € 350,000, built 30 or more years ago in the old center of Lisbon or Porto. However, based on the program recent statistics, the most popular choice is the purchase of real estate from € 500,000 of any type in any location. Please note that investing in real estate in Lisbon and Porto at a rate of € 350,000 will be possible only until the end of 2020. You can invest € 500,000 in any location without restrictions, at any time. Local specialists highly recommend purchasing real estate on the island of Madeira, the Azores, and inland municipalities.

Those investors who would like to avoid the hassle and risks associated with the acquisition of real estate are offered the option with special certified funds. To obtain a residence permit in Portugal, you need to invest from € 350,000 in shares of a special fund (private equity). Of course, in this case, in addition to the investment amount, there will be additional costs, like duties and registration services.

And now let’s compare the program for obtaining citizenship of Montenegro and a residence permit in Portugal in terms of their advantages, specifics, and features of status.

Citizenship of Montenegro VS Residence Permit in Portugal by Investment

Citizenship of Montenegro

 

Residence permit in Portugal

 

Becoming a citizen for life, get a passport.

 

You get a long-term visa, residence permit (residence permit card).
 

Renewing a passport is simply replacing the old document with a new one. The procedure is similar to how you renew your passport.

 

The Portuguese residence permit will need to be renewed 3 times in 5 years (this means paying additional fees, preparing and submitting additional documents).
Citizenship in general as a status and citizenship of Montenegro is a permanent status that is virtually impossible to revoke.

 

The residence permit may not be extended unilaterally by the decision of the authorities.

 

Citizenship can be inherited by future generations.

 

The residence permit in Portugal is a final status, cannot be inherited.

 

Montenegrin citizenship for the current year will allow you to live in Montenegro and travel without a visa to all EU and Schengen countries with the ability to stay up to 90 days in half a year. 

With a Portuguese residence permit, you can live in Portugal, as well as travel without a visa to all EU and Schengen countries with the opportunity to stay up to 90 days in half a year.

 

There are no requirements to reside in Montenegro for or after obtaining investment citizenship.

 

 

According to the rules for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal by investment, presence in the country is required for at least 7 days in the first year and at least 14 days every 2 years thereafter.

 

In 2025, according to the planned international agreements, Montenegro will join the EU, which means that with a Montenegrin passport it will be possible to live, work, study in any EU country.

 

 

 

To obtain the Portuguese citizenship, you must not only fulfill the residency conditions of the program (35 days, connection to the country), but also go through an interview in Portuguese. Please note that the Golden Visa program, Portugal’s residence by investment, does not guarantee an investor’s Portuguese citizenship.

 

 

 

Montenegro does not require renouncing other citizenships when obtaining investment citizenship of Montenegro (this is an exception to the rule and applies only to investors who participate in the program).

 

Portugal does not require renouncing other citizenship when acquiring Portuguese citizenship (unlike, for example, Spain).

 

It costs € 470,000 to obtain Montenegrin citizenship for a family of four (€ 250,000 of which is a refundable part).

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a residence permit in Portugal, you need to invest from € 350,000 (and it will soon be impossible to buy housing in the renovation area of Lisbon, there will be an option in uninhabited areas, an investment in a special investment fund or real estate from €500,000). Other fees include € 80,000 in registration costs and renewal fees during the next 5 years. You can add your spouse and children to your application for an investment residence permit in Portugal

 

 

 

The real estate option in Montenegro requires participation in authorized projects for the program (share or a room / apartment in hotels), where the management company takes care of the maintenance.

 

The option with real estate in Portugal for a residence permit is a private property, and the investor is responsible for its maintenance.

 

Please get in touch with one of our specialists regarding more details.

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