Emigrate to Montenegro: Residence Permit & Tax Residency Guide

5th June 2023
Author - Jonathan Howe
Montenegro is a beautiful country and a great place to live permanently. Crna Gora, however, isn't exactly one of the most popular European immigration countries.
Since independence, however, the country has become an important tip for anyone who wants to emigrate. Numerous wealthy and well-off individuals have made the country their home and moved their yachts from France to Montenegro, the beautiful Adriatic port.
Montenegro's real estate market is relatively expensive, even in comparison to other countries. This is due to high demand and few legal requirements for western buyers. You will also find this guide useful if you're considering living in Montenegro as a digital nomad.

Learn more about living in Montenegro and temporary residency in Montenegro!
Are you looking for the best destinations for digital nomads in Montenegro? Then read this article - Discover the Best Places for Digital Nomads in Montenegro
An image of monastery on a small island in Boka Bay Montenegro
Emigrate to Montenegro in 2023 - Residence Permit and Tax Residency

Montenegro - Not the usual emigration destination

The general cost of living in Montenegro is lower than comparable Mediterranean countries, and it still offers the same climate and landscape that are at least as thrilling as those of classic settlement destinations. Although the Euro is not a cheaper way to pay, it simplifies payment transactions with other European countries.
In some areas, the infrastructure has improved significantly in recent years. It is now comparable to that of EU countries.
Many are already comparing Montenegro with Monaco and Nice. Culturally and linguistically, Montenegro is a little more complex than France and Spain, both of which are long-standing members of the European Union (EU). Their idioms are often taught abroad in Europe.
Many Russians have invested in Montenegro real estate over the past few years. They feel the same way: they are at ease in a Slavic country and don't need a visa as they do in EU countries. However, this has helped to put the real estate market in prime locations at an all-time high.
It is easier for people who are from overseas but have Montenegrin and Serbian roots to establish a foothold in Montenegro. People who are familiar with the Balkan culture and language will feel right at home with the friendly Montenegrins. However, it is possible to immigrate to a country if you are open to learning about the culture and mindset of the people.
Financial independence is a must, as there are very few opportunities for employment in Montenegro. There are also many unemployed people in Montenegro who compete for the few jobs. They also have the advantage of being fluent in their native language.

Living in Montenegro in 2023

If anyone wants to permanently live in Montenegro, Central Europeans will have much to learn. It is difficult to learn the language and it is not common for people to have foreign language skills. Basic knowledge of Montenegrin is essential for working life. Montenegro is no exception to this rule. You must be open-minded, communicative, and tolerant if you wish to live there. It's also natural: The language is easier to learn and more people will be able to integrate into local society.
Apart from Montenegro's language, there are many other reasons why Montenegro has not been a popular destination for German emigration. Montenegro's economy doesn't offer attractive jobs that would attract foreigners, at least not for economic reasons. Many locals have difficulty "making ends meet". Many times, they have to work multiple jobs.
It was not easy for Montenegro to become an immigration country. The landscape is stunning, and the mild Mediterranean climate and wild beauty make it even more appealing. The rise of tourism is a boon for people looking to make a living, including foreign specialists.
Tourism is always a gateway to other countries, and so there are opportunities for foreign specialists to work in similar service areas. Opportunities will also be available for craftsmen and technical experts, as well as career opportunities in the management and medical sectors.
Investors are welcome but they must create jobs. Financially independent retirees have other options. Before emigration, it is important to fully understand the details and speak with competent Montenegro immigration advisors or Montenegrin authorities.
Image of a small fishing boat on Boka Bay in Montenegro at sunset
Emigrate to Montenegro in 2023 - Residence Permit and Tax Residency

Montenegro residence permits, work permits, company formation and residency by property ownership

Are you looking to immigrate to Montenegro?

Our team of expert advisors are ready and available to help you emigrate to Montenegro, with real local knowledge and combined experience in the country!
Montenegro Digital Nomad Agency can help with everything:
Formation of a Montenegrin company (DOO / LLC / GmbH)
Registration of the company Executive Director
Application for work and residence permits, plus family residence permits
Montenegro C and D visa applications
All employment contracts and administrative procedures
Investment in real estate and residency by property ownership
Relocation and Emigration to Montenegro
Import of personal goods and cars

Montenegro is the perfect base for your company

Montenegro is a desirable business location, situated centrally in Europe and within easy reach of major trade routes. Montenegro has a range of taxes between 9% to 15%, which are some of the lowest in Europe. The running costs for staff and bookkeeping are also quite low.
We handle the registration and processing for you. This includes all administrative procedures such as notary, translator, and so on. You will need a copy of your passport, company name, company headquarters, and business purpose, as well as the managing director.

Montenegro work permits and a residence permits for foreigners

If you want to stay in Montenegro for longer than the 90 days that your passport allows, then you will need to apply for a residence permit or a work permit.
Individuals seeking to reside and work in Montenegro for over three months must obtain a residency permit. This permit is also a requirement for investors looking to establish a company in the country for legal operations. Montenegro offers two types of residency permits: temporary and permanent. Applications for a temporary permit must be submitted to the Montenegrin police along with necessary documentation and are processed within a 30-day period. After five years of temporary residency, individuals can apply for permanent residency in Montenegro.
Our team of immigration, legal and taxation experts will manage the entire process for you, ensuring that your relocation to Montenegro is as simple and smooth as it can be.

What residence permits are available in Montenegro?

Montenegro Work and Residence Permit by Company Formation

Setting up a business in Montenegro is an effective way of obtaining residency in the country. As Montenegro is not part of the EU, the process of obtaining a residency permit through company formation is more complex than in EU states.
To acquire a temporary residency permit, a foreign individual must first initiate the process of forming a company by gathering the necessary documents and registering the business. This includes having the company's statutory documents drafted and notarized, as well as opening a corporate bank account for the deposit of share capital.
The minimum required amount for setting up a company in Montenegro starts at 1 euro for limited liability companies, though the amount may vary based on the nature of the business. Legal assistance during the entire company formation process can be provided by our consultants.
Forming a company in Montenegro allows foreign entrepreneurs to work in the country, as well as bring family members to Montenegro and obtain temporary residency permits for themselves and their families. After five years of temporary residency, the foreign citizen can apply for permanent residency. And after ten years of living in Montenegro, they can obtain a Montenegro passport.

Document Requirements Montenegro Work and Resident Permit

All of the documents about the company registration, ownership, statutes etc. are organised by our team of lawyers and accountants.
The most important question for a foreigner applying for a Montenegro work and residence permit is, "What documents are do you need to provide from your country for the residence permit application?"
The documents that you need to bring with you to apply for a Montenegro work and residence permit are:

For the company incorporation:
- Signed and notarized special power of attorney (SPA) (can be sent by courier if required)
- Valid passport
- Company name
- Company activities (we can advise)

For the work/residence permit application:

Founder/Exec director:
- Valid passport with at least 18 months remaining
- Certificate of no criminal record - Less than 6 months old.
- Education diploma and transcript of grades (minimum high school level)
- Proof of accommodation in Montenegro - 12-month accommodation rental contract.

For married spouse:
- Valid passport with at least 18 months remaining
- Certificate of no criminal record - Less than 6 months old.
- Marriage certificate
- Proof of accommodation in Montenegro - 12-month accommodation rental contract.

For children under 18:
Valid passport with at least 18 months remaining
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Proof of accommodation in Montenegro - 12-month accommodation rental contract.

Important note - Some documents may need to be certified by Apostille in accordance with the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961, depending on which country the documents originate from.

Montenegro Temporary Residency by Property Ownership

Individuals who invest in property in Montenegro can secure a yearly residency permit, regardless of the property value or business type. This permit, which is available to owners of homes, apartments, hotels, restaurants, and holiday homes, can be extended each year.
As part of the resident permit requirements, the applicant must provide the following documents:
  • Proof of property ownership.
  • Bank receipt showing deposit of 3,650 EUR in a Montenegrin bank.
  • Medical insurance for a 30-day period.
  • Passport copies
  • Proof of a clear criminal record from the home country
  • Registration with local police within 24 hours of arrival in Montenegro
  • Payment of the 25 EUR residency permit fee.

The Language of Montenegro is an important part of life here

Montenegro is a great place to live, although the language can seem completely alien at first. However, learning the Montenegrin language will make it easier to communicate with local citizens and to integrate into society and daily life here.
Having said that, do not be worried that you won’t be able to communicate with other languages such as German, English, and Russian when you first arrive in Montenegro. Especially in the coastal areas, English is quite widely spoken thanks to tourism and it is also quite common to find German speakers too!

How to handle administration and real estate purchases in Montenegro

All administrative procedures in Montenegro are handled by our competent team. Our network allows us to assist you quickly and efficiently in many areas. We're also available to help you with the purchase of a property. Our team of real estate professionals are available to assist you in your search for your dream home or dream property in Montenegro. They have many years of expertise and are highly competent in the procedures of real estate transactions in Montenegro.
There are a lot of things you should consider when purchasing a Montenegro property. Checking building permits and other legal documents is essential. Unpaid bills or mortgages on a property could cause you terrible problems later on. Undeclared ownership issues are also known to happen with properties in Montenegro.
All of these problems can be avoided with the right team to conduct property background checks and ensure that the sale contract is correct. Our team are here to help you through the process with our many years of experience, so there are no unpleasant surprises after your Montenegro property purchase.

What is Montenegro's Tax Residency Law?

Although Montenegro's tax system is not completely tax-free, it is still one of the most appealing in the world. This is especially true when you consider the lifestyle and opportunities that are available here.
Depending on whether your country has a Double Taxation Avoidance agreement with Montenegro you may be eligible to move your tax residency to Montenegro while obtaining non-resident status in your country.

How much is Income Tax in Montenegro?

Montenegro Personal Income Taxes

Montenegro's income taxes are lower than most other countries. The base income tax rate is 9% for corporate income tax and 15% for worldwide income.
According to PWC - Worldwide Tax Summaries The following is how foreigners' personal income are taxed:
Montenegro has introduced progressive salary taxation starting January 1, 2022
  • Salary up to EUR 700 (gross), are exempted from tax
  • Salary ranges from EUR 701 to EUR 1000 (gross), and are subject to 9% taxes.
  • All salaries above EUR 1001 (gross), are subject to 15% tax.
"One of the most significant changes in 2022 will be the introduction of a new income tax rate for entrepreneurs.
  • Taxes apply to all amounts between EUR 8,400.01 and EUR 12,000, except EUR 12,001.
  • A 15% tax is applicable for purchases above EUR 12,000.01.
Corporate Income Taxes for Montenegro
Montenegro's progressive corporate profit tax (CPT) applies to all entities. The tax rate applicable depends on taxpayers' realized profits. Tax rates range from 9% to 15%. These are the progressive tax rates:
  • The tax rate for profits up to EUR 100,000 shall be fixed at 9%
  • The tax will be payable on profits between EUR 100,000.01 and EUR 1,500,000 in the amount EUR 9,000 + 12% for profits above EUR 100,000.01.
  • For profits exceeding EUR 1,500,000, tax will be payable in the amount EUR 177,000 + 15% for profits above EUR 1,500,000.
Resident taxpayers pay tax on worldwide profits. Non-resident taxpayers pay tax on income from Montenegro or income attributable to their Montenegrin permanent institution (PE). Montenegrin-sourced income is subject to withholding tax (WHT), which is also applicable to non-residents.
(There are additional details about the Montenegro regulation of income taxes for domestic and foreign income that are beyond the scope of this article.

Montenegro Income Taxes Comparison Table

A chart showing the personal and corporate income tax rates in Montenegro, compared with other countries.
Chart: Montenegro Personal and Corporate Income Tax Comparison Chart

What Countries Have Double Taxation Treaties With Montenegro?

At the time this article was written, these are the countries that have double taxation agreements with Montenegro:
Albania, Austria. Azerbaijan. Belarus. Bulgaria. China. Croatia. Cyprus. Czech Republic. Dan. Egypt. Finland. France. Germany. Greece. Hungary. Italy. India. Korea. Kuwait. Lett. Macedonia. Malta. Holland. Norway. Poland. Portugal. Romania. Russia. Serbia. Slovakia. Slovenia. Sri Lanka. Sweden. Switzerland. Turkey. Ukraine. The signing of income tax treaties with Spain, Qatar and Sri Lanka is ongoing.

What are the advantages of living in Montenegro?

Montenegro has a relatively low cost of living for a modern country on the Mediterranean coast.
The income tax policy in Montenegro is extremely attractive, ranging from 9% to 15%
The real estate market is still very affordable and offers incredible value for coastal properties compared with other parts of Europe.
The weather in Montenegro is very warm in the summer and quite mild in the winter. It is quite rare for temperatures on the coast to drop below freezing, although it can feel very cold at times due to the wind and the high humidity.
The amount and the variety of the natural environment in Montenegro offer something to do for everyone all year round.
Montenegrin culture is very open and welcoming to foreigners, especially if you stay longer and begin to learn the local language.
The process of obtaining temporary residency, permanent residence and finally citizenship is quite straightforward. This has the added advantage of Montenegro being in line for EU citizenship in the next few years.
An image of the view across Boka Bay and the mountains on a perfect day in Montenegro
Emigrate to Montenegro in 2023 - Residence Permit and Tax Residency

What is the cost of living in Montenegro in 2023?

It is possible to live quite a comfortable life in Montenegro for €1000 (Euros) per month, including rent, utility bills and modest personal expenses. However, if you have at least €1500 (Euros) per month you will find that you can afford to live well and enjoy a little luxury at the same time.
It is important to consider that much of the information you will find online about the cost of living in Montenegro may be significantly out of date. This is due to the fact that the events of 2022 have caused an increase in demand for rental accommodation and therefore all other goods and services in Montenegro. You will also find the same effect in the real estate market, where property sale prices have risen a lot since February 2022.
However, Montenegro is still considered one of Europe's most affordable countries for the Mediterranean lifestyle that is on offer here.

Montenegro Cost of Living Comparison Table

A table showing the cost of living in Montenegro compared with the cost of living in other well known locations.
Table: Cost of Living in Montenegro

How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Montenegro? (2023)

It is possible to rent an apartment in Montenegro from as little €250 (Euros) per month but you will not get very much for that amount of money.
For something of reasonably good quality with a balcony and a sea view, you should expect to pay from:
  • €375 (Euros) per month for a studio apartment
  • €500 to €700 (Euros) per month for a 1 bedroom apartment, 35 to 70 square meters
  • €650 (Euros) + per month for a 2 bedroom apartment, 65 + square meters
  • €900 to €1300 (Euros) + per month for a 3 bedroom apartment, 70 + square meters

Renting an apartment in Montenegro will have a wide range of costs depending on the location and number of bedrooms. It also depends on the length of the rental contract. There are not many places to rent in Montenegro for less than EUR300 per month. Two-bedroom apartments in better areas of a town or city can cost you 650 to 800 Euros per month, or more.

How much do electricity bills cost in Montenegro? (2023)

Depending on the amount of services you choose and how big your home is, utilities typically cost between €50 and €100 (Euros) per month. The lower electricity bills will usually be in the summer months. Winter heating is always a greater need than summer cooling.
If you are looking for the perfect place to escape winter fuel prices in the rest of Europe, then Montenegro is the perfect place for you!

What is the cost of food and groceries in Montenegro?

The cost of food and other daily products in Montenegro has definitely increased in 2022, as in many other countries. Depending on how extravagant your tastes, a couple can still buy groceries for €50 Euros per week or less. Many people in Montenegro certainly live on less than that, because the minimum monthly salary is only €450 (Euros) per month.

What is the cost of private healthcare in Montenegro?

Private healthcare and health insurance plans in Montenegro can cost around €300 (Euros) per year. However, foreigners who have temporary residency in Montenegro by employment and work permit also have access to the same national healthcare provision as citizens. This is because they are paying for it through their employee taxes and social contributions.

Is Montenegro a good country for retirement?

Montenegro has been a popular destination for European retirees for a number of years and is steadily growing in popularity. The main attractions that make Montenegro an attractive place to retire are:
Low capital gains tax, which is part of a generally friendly tax system.
Affordable real estate in a rising market, especially when compared to Croatia.
Reciprocal agreements allow retirees to keep part or all of their pension and health benefits from their home country.
Very low living costs compared to other European countries.

Crime and Safety in Montenegro - Is Montenegro a safe country?

Montenegro has one of the lowest crime levels in the whole of Europe, which makes it a very safe country to live in. It is completely normal to see younger children walking around or playing in the neighbourhood long after dark. Moreover, women generally feel very safe walking around alone at night.
Low-level street crimes like pick-pocketing can occur during the high season in busy tourist areas, but basic common sense can prevent becoming a victim.
Image of Njegosh Mausoleum on Mount Lovcen in Montenegro
Emigrate to Montenegro in 2023 - Residence Permit and Tax Residency

Do you want to find out more about emigrating to Montenegro?

We can help you with everything you need to relocate to Montenegro

Contact our team using the form below to enquire about any of our Montenegro relocation services.
We can assist with everything you need, including:

Real estate purchase and sales
House and apartment rentals
Montenegro company formation
Work permit and residence permit applications
Montenegro C and D visa applications
Montenegro Citizenship by Investment
Car rentals in Montenegro
Booking tours in Montenegro
Document translation
Legal assistance
Importing vehicles and personal belongings

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